Courtship Without the Cost: Budget-Friendly Date Ideas, Part 2

Who needs the opera when you have ideas like this?!

By , Columnist

Welcome to the second installment of how to date without breaking the bank.

Though expensive dinners and nights at the theatre are really nice, I think what a lot of people don't realize is that homegrown dates, the ones that don't cost a lot and spring up out of a desire to spend time together, are infinitely better.

So if you're looking for a unique way to spice up your dating routine (anyone else tired of dinner and a movie?), get to know another side of your partner, and simply have fun, try some of the ideas below:

Get a membership at your local museum. Even if you’re not an art critic, museums have so many different types of exhibits that you’re sure to find something of interest. Whether you’re experiencing the works of Picasso while they’re touring the US, admiring beautiful Ghanian 3D art, or just trying to figure out who a particular featured artist is, art exhibits are nothing if not thought-provoking.

Do something touristy. When you see out-of-towners doing it, you groan - ugh, another tourist! But since you’re a local and you’ve never done something that clichĂ©, this means you’ve probably never seen a particular side of your city or area. And let’s face it, touristy things become touristy because they are (or were at some point) kind of cool. So take a day to do as the tourists do, and you’re sure to have fun - or at least a few laughs.

Go wine tasting. Depending on where you go, tastings can be surprisingly inexpensive. There’s a winery not 30 minutes from me that charges $5 per tasting, and their wines are fabulous. You drink a small amount - no worries about getting smashed on your date - and tasting together gives you a chance to compare notes with your date, figuring out their tastes and preferences.

romantic couple prepping veggies together.jpgMake dinner together. This sounds cheesy, but working in a hot kitchen together can be really sexy and extremely fun, particularly if neither of you is a particularly confident cook. Just make sure you can both laugh at yourselves, don’t choose a terribly complicated recipe, and be sure to turn off the oven and burners should you have to leave the kitchen for some pre-dinner dessert.

Have your own film festival. Love a particular director, actor, subject, or genre? Grab three or four titles from Netflix and a bottle of wine (or three) and have a film festival in your living room. And hey, if you don’t get through all of the movies - well, you’re probably having fun anyway!

Got any tips of your own? Let me know in the comments section and I'll include them in a later installment!

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Emmie Scott is an English major-turned-marketing exec, with a passion for writing, humor, sharing knowledge, and "pink drinks." After hours, she started Are Toe Rings Professional Attire?, a blog for college grads and twenty-somethings looking to find their way through that daunting labyrinth called…

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