Five St. Louis Tinder dates to rev up a weekend romance

If you're traveling through St. Louis, there's no reason you have to explore the city's culture and nightlife on your own. Whip out your smartphone, pull up your Tinder app, and start swiping through the locals — or your fellow travelers — to find a companion for your weekend in the Lou.

Whether you're looking for a fling or for your soulmate, you can plan a Tinder date you'll always remember. Even if your date turns out to be someone you'd like to forget.

Take in the stars
See the sights of St. Louis from the Rooftop Terrace Bar at Moonrise Hotel in the University City Loop. In addition to serving up craft cocktails in a funky, yet romantic, atmosphere, the bar features the world's largest man-made rotating moon, the perfect spot under which to sneak that first kiss. If the date is going well, catch a concert at The Pageant rock club or hit the lanes at Pin-Up Bowl, both just steps away. If it's going really, really well, St. Louis's coolest hotel rooms are right below your feet.

The fine art of dating
Taking in St. Louis's eclectic art scene is the perfect backdrop to a first date. While the city is bursting with top-notch galleries and world-renowned museums, why not get a little hands-on with your date (and by hands-on, I mean the art, you pervert!)

Laumeier Sculpture Park, a free outdoor gallery, features 60 large-scale works of art on 105 beautiful park acres that invite you to touch and explore (again, the sculptures, not your date). If glass art is more your scene, hit up Third Degree Glass Factory for its Third Friday event if you're in town. Once a month, you can enjoy live music, drinks, glassblowing demonstrations, fire spinning, and even make-your-own art.

Let your date take flight
The best way to take the edge off a first date is with a little alcohol. And by switching the wine bottle for a flight of your favorite libations, you have the perfect conversation starter in a glass. With a lineup of four to five different brands to sample, you can each discover what you like and what you don't. If your date's a bourbon lover, go for a themed flight at The Wood Cask or Small Batch to test ryes and whiskeys from around the world. Wine connoisseur? Mix it up at Balaban's or Robust.

Get your action on
Part art museum, part heart-stopping jungle gym, City Museum is the perfect spot for a first date. But going during the day when it's wall-to-wall kids without one in tow can feel a little skeevy. Thankfully, on Friday and Saturday nights, the Museum is open until 12 a.m. so adults have the chance to play.

Grab a margarita on the Roof Top Cantina before racing down the Museum's 10-story slide or listen to a DJ while enjoying a beer at the indoor Cabin Inn. Best of all, with its endless caves to navigate, you'll find plenty of hidden nooks for an impromptu make-out session or a good place to hide if your date turns out to be a let-down.

Geek up and hook up
Not everyone on Tinder is looking for a beer-fueled roll in the sack. Or at least the beer part. Sometimes it's simply kismet – when two individuals with a propensity for geekdom pass through St. Louis at the same time. If lightsabers are more your speed than Bud Light, bring your date to First Fridays at the Saint Louis Science Center. Each event features a free screening of a classic sci-fi film at 10 p.m., hands-on activities and trivia competitions. With upcoming theme nights including The Hunger Games, Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Doctor Who, there's something to thrill any pop culture lover.

Nicole Plegge is a freelance writer and pop culture aficionado based in St. Louis. While she's busy writing for a variety of websites, magazines and blogs, she still can't get over never being able to attend the Eastland School for Girls.