Romance on a budget
June 17, 2009 1:43 PM   Subscribe

Dating on a budget. What are your fabulous, creative & romantic ideas for a 30-something couple to do that cost little or nothing?

Newish couple. Very outdoorsy, active, love music & art. Also up for new experiences. Looking for things to do mostly in the evenings. Live in Atlanta. Suggestions? Would love to hear your favorite date night ideas!
posted by Alpenglow to Human Relations (14 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
There any streets in Atlanta notorious for for featuring a lot of street performers, musicians playing for change, that kinda thing? You could go for a stroll or a bike ride (assuming you have bikes) through such an area until you found a street musician worth sitting down and listening to. Drop a twenty in their guitar case or whatever and have you a semi-private show. Had a real nice evening in Seattle like this not too long ago.
posted by EatTheWeek at 1:48 PM on June 17, 2009

Picnics! Whip together something using food you already have, bring a blanket, and enjoy. Ohh, or kite flying. You could also go on hikes- you're not too far from the Appalachian Trail, right?
posted by emilyd22222 at 1:51 PM on June 17, 2009 [3 favorites]

There should be festivals going on throughout the city, and Screen on the Green is going on for a couple more weeks. Variety Playhouse has fairly cheap concert tickets. Young Blood Gallery might be fun. Bike the paths. Go hiking on the weekends.

When I visit ATL, I make sure to go to Taqueria Los Hermanos in Tucker -- delicious, cheap food, and tons of it. Might be a bit far, though -- in which neighborhood do you live?

Sigh. I miss Atlanta so hard. Anyone got a job for me so I can go back?
posted by runningwithscissors at 2:00 PM on June 17, 2009

Here's a list of free things to do in Atlanta. Looks like lots of fun date stuff.
posted by Pineapplicious at 2:01 PM on June 17, 2009

Oh -- I forgot. Check out some of the wineries nearby. Take photos -- I used to just grab some Chick-fil-a (very important part of the process), pick a highway out of the city, and stop in whatver little town that looked interesting. During the week when you don't have much time, just take a walk around your own neighborhood; you'll be surprised by the interesting things you find when you're on foot.
posted by runningwithscissors at 2:04 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Go to Little Five Points and people watch.
posted by torquemaniac at 2:07 PM on June 17, 2009

Furthering the picnics idea, I once took someone on a picnic and arranged beforehand to have a pizza delivered to the site of our blanket. That was a big crowd-pleaser.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:10 PM on June 17, 2009 [4 favorites]

Instead of going out to restaurants, cook dinner together. If neither of you are great cooks, choose a recipe to follow together. If you've both got skills, hit the grocery store together and each pick out one secret ingredient, then meet by the peanut butter and figure out what you can cook using the two things that you picked.

Going for walks is always fun, in my book.

If you can find a busy spot to hang out, people watching is good too. Make up stories about the people who go by.

If there's a grassy park nearby, bring a blanket and a book and read to each other. Or do the crossword together. Or write the first 3 lines of a limerick, and then trade to finish them.

At home, take bubble baths together. Or start a netflix theme (catch the first season of a show you both always wanted to watch, or see every Kevin Spacey movie, or whatever).

There must be galleries around the city you could visit, yes? In my experience, smaller galleries don't charge admission.

Also, see these three previous related questions.
posted by vytae at 2:21 PM on June 17, 2009 [3 favorites]

Take a hike.
posted by Flood at 3:30 PM on June 17, 2009

Best answer: Visit Atlanta On The Cheap for low/no-budget ideas and specials.

One fun low-budg idea is to eat a nice meal at Lumiere, the Cordon Bleu restaurant (in Tucker, near 285 & Lawrenceville Hwy). You can get certificates via -- I bought a couple for 80% off, getting $40 worth of GC for $8.

Los Hermanos in Tucker is fab and cheap (I love their chiles rellenos). Bagel Palace in Toco Hills has surly servers and the best bagels in town. Try walking or biking any of the greenways around town, like the Silver Comet trail to the north or the Decatur-to-Stone Mtn trail. I love going to Zesto's for a chocolate cone, a perfect date at the Ponce/midtown location. If you want to try the cheap eats on Buford Highway, check out Jennifer Zyman's blog, The Blissful Glutton -- she reviews other restaurants as well, but her BH recommendations are gold.

But be sure check out Atlanta On The Cheap -- it's a great resource for just about everything, including shopping and free/cheap days at museums and local attractions.
posted by mdiskin at 3:56 PM on June 17, 2009

Fruit walks. Take a walk to an area with lots of ethnic markets, buy one of all the fruits you've never tried, and have a fruit picnic in the park.
posted by benzenedream at 5:10 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

It really all depends on the person, but here's some ideas:

Find a topic that interests you both, get a good book on it, and read it to each other. We both have an developed an interest in wine lately, so I've taken to reading to him a chapter or so at a time from a really interesting wine book, and we stop and talk about it and flip back and forwards through the book. It gets some good conversations going.

We've always had a blast going to the big camping/outdoors store in my area and looking at the gear and planning our hypothetical trip to Everest/motorcycle tour of South America/European backpack tour. You don't have to spend anything to look at stuff. The same goes for big electronics stores (We could build a movie theatre!) and other stores that are focused on one type of thing and are big with limited sales staff to harass you.

I also find random things on local blogs/yelp/other sites. There is almost always a focus on low-cost and free events. Pay-what-you-can Improv sounds pretty awesome.
posted by cathoo at 7:51 PM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]

Catch in the park is pretty fun. You can get glowing balls intended for dogs (night-fetch) and play at night- that's even funner.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 8:02 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Check out Fernbank's observatory on Thurs/Fri nights (weather permitting). (free)
Bonus: Go early and check out the Planetarium for $4/person.

Tour the Fox Theater. You've probably been to the Fox before, but this tour gives you a behind-the-scenes look at this awesome building. ($10/person)

Check out The Doug Dank Project for some consistently funny improv theater. Most of the improvisers perform at the more popular Dad's Garage improv show so you know you're getting some of the best improv in the city, but tickets are only $5/person. TDDP is also not as structured (or censored).
posted by k1ng at 5:08 PM on June 18, 2009

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