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 going on your 1st date or your 100th, give these budget-conscious date ideas a try:
“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 given out on a first-come-first-served basis, so you need to line up early (doors open at 7 p.m., shows start at 7:30 p.m.) But there is no assigned seating, so if you don’t mind the wait, you can end up with a great viewpoint – one that would normally cost 10 times your donation! Besides, you can use that line-waiting time to catch up with your partner or learn more about a potential one.
Upcoming PWYC performances: Cradle and All – February 4th Oil and Water – February 18th Mary Poppins: The Musical – April 1st Miss Caledonia – April 29th
Get Game at the Board Room 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 lots 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!)
Skate at the Emera Oval 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 taking place at various times throughout the week, this is an activity you can easily fit into a busy schedule. Not to mention the added health benefits! No worries if you don’t have the equipment – everything is available for rent at the Oval. This is one activity that everyone can afford – it’s all free of charge.
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. Try Martini Monday at The Fireside, where all martinis are only $5. Or check out Happy Hour at Niche Lounge, which is 4 p.m. to close EVERY DAY! That means cheap drinks, but also cheap eats (selected appetizers are half price until 6:30 p.m.) Looking for a more casual atmosphere? Pizza Delight on Spring Garden Rd. has $4 drinks ($6 doubles) every day, plus a different food special every day of the week (all-you-can-eat wings, fries, onion rings and garlic cheese fingers for only $15 on Wednesdays!) Share your hopes and dreams, the details of your day, or just your appetizers – whatever you choose!
Laugh It Up at Yuk Yuk’s Dates have to be fun – otherwise, what is the point?! One way to guarantee LOL’s 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.
Photo Cred for couple on bikes: NS Tourism