header image via @lorfitzpatrick
Ask any advice columnist or marriage counselor and they will tell you that the secret to keeping the “spark” in your relationship is making time for regular dates with your partner. Great idea, however going out for dinner every week can get pricey, right? The good news is there are lots of inexpensive and/or free options, too.
Whether you’re planning your 1st date or your 100th, why not do your wallet a favour and give these budget-conscious date ideas a try:
1 – “PWYC” (a.k.a. Pay What You Can) at Neptune Theatre
The first Tuesday for each play is “Pay What You Can Night”, which means admission is by donation only ($5 is a suggested minimum, but it’s really up to you what you give).
Tickets are sold on a first-come-first-served basis, so you need to line up early (doors open at 7 pm, shows start at 7:30 pm). There is no assigned seats, so if you don’t mind the wait, you can end up with a great view of the stage – one that would normally cost 10 times your donation! Besides, you can use the time waiting in line to learn more about your date (hello witty banter!) or catch up with your partner!
2 – Embrace your competitive nature at the Board Room Game Cafe!
Playing a board game with someone is a great way to bond (laughing and/or working together is sure to bring you closer), and to get to know someone (want to see someone’s true character? Play a game with them.)
The Board Room has plenty of comfy seats, over 400 board games to choose from, and a small café to keep you energized through that “Ticket to Ride” marathon. The best part is you only have to pay $5 each and you can play as many games as you like, for as long as you want. You can save even more by showing your stamp card on each visit (your 5th one is free!)
What is more romantic than skating hand-in-hand, nothing but the winter air and cozy layers between you? The Emera Oval has you covered (ice-skating in winter, rollerblading in summer.) And with public skates happening throughout the week, this is an activity you can easily fit into a busy schedule.
Don’t worry if you don’t have equipment – everything is available for rent at the Oval! This is one activity that everyone can afford – it’s all free of charge.
4 – Cozy Up With a Cocktail
Most of us don’t get to dress up very often, so why not put in a little extra effort and head out for a night on the town with your sweetheart? An expensive dinner isn’t the only option!
5 – Laugh It Up at Yuk Yuk’s
Dates have to be fun – otherwise, you’re just hanging out with a stranger, having a mediocre time. One way to guarantee plenty of laughs is to take in a show at Yuk Yuk’s comedy club. Cover for Thursday night shows is only $12 ($5 for students), so that’s an awesome date for less than $25!
It’s hard not to walk away from a date happy when you spent the entire time laughing. Sure, you could watch a movie at home (again), but I would encourage you to try something new this week and get out on the town for your next date. After all, the important thing is not the cost, it’s the company.