I need a date idea that is cheap and fun
May 28, 2006 11:58 PM   Subscribe

What was your favorite (inexpensive) date?

The cute girl I have had a crush on asked me out. We have a first date tomorrow that almost certainly will extend to several more. I want to have a second date suggestion for when this one ends to help keep the momementum going but I am way out of practice in dating, much less finding fun things to do as a couple.

Things that don't require a lot of money or are too physically demanding (I have a small disability) would be great. We are starting with coffee and a museum trip. Thanks for helping me woo the cute girl who asked me out.
posted by karmaville to Human Relations (30 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
I've found walks are always nice. Can you get out of town for a few hours to somewhere nice?
posted by devilsbrigade at 12:17 AM on May 29, 2006

Go to a park, bring a dog if at all possible.
posted by isopropyl at 12:30 AM on May 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

Dessert at a cafe somewhere is nice, most girls gind it quite indulgent to go somewhere for the purpose of sweets, and you can drag it out with coffee and chat. Its a nice filler for a little date after something else:
"I have to take my mum to the blah blah blah."
"How about I pick you up for a late dessert and coffee?"
posted by bystander at 12:33 AM on May 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

posted by bystander at 12:33 AM on May 29, 2006

Some of my favorite cheap dates:

* Coffee and dessert, followed by a late night walk thorugh a park where it recently rained. We walked around a pond, looked at the glimmer of light on wet sidewalk, looked at ducks and trees and stars and moon.

* Jazz and a beer at a no-cover hole in the wall club. The music was OK, not professional, but live music anywhere dark at night is a little bit magic.

* Daytime date: Long stroll through Chinese gardens, followed by tea at said gardens. There were flowers floating in the tea!

The common denomenator in all three: a nice guy I could really talk to, who from time to time made a point of saying something really nice and flattery to me.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 12:40 AM on May 29, 2006

We're heading into summer so there may be some (free) outdoor Shakespeare in your area. Many museums are free/cheap one day a week. Or how about an art walk like First Thursday in Seattle or First Friday in Honolulu? All the galleries stay open late, some serve wine and cheese. Or free outdoor movies like Sunset on the Beach (Waikiki) or the one they do in Golden Gate park (which I only know, I'm embarrassed to admit, from "The Wedding Planner"). Book readings at bookstores, if there's a cool author you both like coming up. Poetry slams and open mics are typically free or *very* cheap and almost always free if you're performing. What could be better than casually mentioning at the end of your first date, hey, I've got this thing I'm doing next Thursday, reading one of my poems, we could get ice cream after (assuming you can write).
posted by zanni at 1:02 AM on May 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

* Sharing poetry, when I was into that sort of thing.

* Fishing and talking, don't really care so much about the fish.

* Make a dinner at your place.

* miniature golf.

* Hide and seek.

* Pet stores.

* Roller rink.

* Popcorn and and a sunset.

* Ghost hunting.

* Tubing.

* Trick or Treating, when we were obviously too old to be doing it.

* Graveyards.

* Little league baseball.

* Footrubs.

* Cheap wine and a hot tub.

* Going thru your old pictures of when you were a child.

* Biking

* nickel arcades

* homemade ice cream

* People watching

* Historical tours

* botanical gardens

* Hiking

* Record stores -- this is cool now because you can listen to the CD's together.

* Dress up in Salvation Army garb (outlandish or old) and wander around town.

* Hakey sac

* Frisbee

* Snapshot scavengar hunt

* Tall buildings and elevators.
posted by bigmusic at 1:02 AM on May 29, 2006 [6 favorites]

I just noticed your in Portland, too. More info on my cheap dates:

* Coffee & dessert at the Pied Cow, then a walk through Laurelhurst Park.

* Beer and live jazz at the Produce Row Cafe.

* The Chinese Gardens are in Chinatown ... duh. The tea shop is right there in the garden.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 1:04 AM on May 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


Last Thursday on Alberta Street, between NE 12th & NE 30th -- on the last Thursday of every month, hundreds of local crafters and artists set up tables and booths on the street. There's usually at least two or three live music groups performing, and sometimes street artists have impromptu parades. The stores stay open late, and so do a number of galleries. You could grab pizza at the pizza-by-the-slice place at NE 30th & Alberta, or really good, less than $4-per-entree Mexican at La Bonita's, at 28th & Alberta. Then stroll up and down the street and soak it all in.

I think there's a more sedate high culture First Thursday in the Pearl District, too. Wine bars and art galleries. But I think it would be more costly.

Other cheap dates include all the awesome second run theaters around town -- the Baghdad, the Laurelhurst, the Kennedy School. See a movie for less than $5. If you'd like to add beer and pizza, it might set you back another $5. If you see something at the Kennedy School, you can then wander around the refurbished school building for the better part of an hour just appreciating the weird paintings on the walls.

For bigmusic's tall buildings and elevators, I really recommend the U.S. District Court House, 1000 SW Third in downtown. It's only open during business hours. Don't bring any weapons or anything illegal, of course, because you'll have to go through a metal detector and put your bags through an X-Ray machine. It's a public building, and if security gives you any guff tell them you're going to look something up at the Court Clerk's office. Then go up the elevator to various floors and enjoy the view. It's got a great view of different parts of downtown Portland, and there are some beautiful photographs from all around Oregon on the walls.

You could also schedule a tour of the Oregonian building. The offer tours once or twice a week, and it's neat to learn how a newspaper is made.

Central Library, also in downtown, has regular performances in its atrium. I've been to story telling as well as string performances there. The library is beautiful. You can search for events here.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 1:15 AM on May 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

Things that don't require a lot of money or are too physically demanding (I have a small disability) would be great.

Maybe go to a local Farmers' Market and oogle at all the fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season? Bonus: any decent farmers' market will have fresh flowers for sale. Make up an excuse (bathroom, adding change to the parking meter, etc.) and then surprise her with some tulips or whatever catches your eye.

Good luck! I'm sure this first date will fuel your imagination for future ideas:-)

On preview- croutonsupafreak's ideas sound really good.
posted by invisible ink at 1:25 AM on May 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

Since you're in Portland: If it's nice weather I suggest beach picnic at Sauvie Island, a drive to the coast, or a Saturday monring at Saturday Market. In general maybe you could cook for her, or if not, then Ice Cream and some of your favorite movies at home.
posted by Packy_1962 at 1:54 AM on May 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

Powell's is a good place to go for a low-intensity date, if you're both readfreaks.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 2:08 AM on May 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

Afternoon cinema and then some evening coffee to discuss the movie and other movies you've seen?. Try to go to a serious, shocking movie (but not horror not any blockbuster).

Botanic garden maybe? (be sure to ask if she has any allergies before!) They're usually fresh and shady and you could buy her some herbal tea there, so she could invite you home to try it for the next date ;)
posted by ArchEnemy at 3:51 AM on May 29, 2006


Maybe it's just me, but I've never met a girl who wasn't overjoyed when I took her for pizza.

Yeah, it's probably just me.
posted by reklaw at 5:16 AM on May 29, 2006

Spiritualist church. Then pizza.
posted by popcassady at 5:17 AM on May 29, 2006

Corny maybe but how's about kite flying? Lots of time to be together outdoors. Little physical effort (contrary to popular belief you don't have to run to fly a kite). BONUS: buy a two line sport kite and get to wrap your arms around the other whilst showing him/her how to do some tricks...YMMV
posted by Gungho at 6:13 AM on May 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

I've always found that inviting someone on a seemingly aimless walk when you've in fact planned and booked a destination works well.

For example, when I proposed to my girlfriend-now-fiancee on Saturday, I had lured her down to the south bank of the Thames, where we walked for a bit, and had a coffee, and finally went to the end of one of the piers "to look at the view", and I did the business with the one knee.

After the deed was done I suggested that we would both benefit from a drink, so we went to the nearest bar... where I'd booked a table and stocked it with four of her closest friends. There was much squealing and tears, and we all had an amazing evening.

I'm not suggesting you propose on your second date. But something like a walk through a picturesque part of town, ending up outside a theatre or little arthouse cinema for which you've already booked tickets... chicks dig foresight, is what I'm saying. Now use date #1 to work out something she'd like to see.
posted by Hogshead at 6:40 AM on May 29, 2006 [3 favorites]

Based on the fact that no one looks up, ever, a rooftop tour of the city is always good.
posted by jon_kill at 6:56 AM on May 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

Girl came over, we played cribage, listened to the Replacements and got drunk. She stayed the night.

Best date ever.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 7:13 AM on May 29, 2006 [3 favorites]

I agree that walks make for excellent dates, but he asked for something not too physically demanding. If he's going to do that, he should plan a walk with built-in excuses for lots of breaks. botanic garden is a nice suggestion, unless he needs to sit too. something where they have to stop to notice things (maybe even take pictures).

kungho: Kite flying, nice suggestion. Stunt kite flying, even better because it will be trickier than a normal kite, thus provide more to do and talk about during the date. Maybe they could try kite aerial photography. even more tricky.

Does Portland have many art galleries? Here in Chicago we have a lot, and they often have receptions on opening nights.
posted by bleary at 7:33 AM on May 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

Stunt (acrobatic) kite flying is something that you can get the hang of - as far as doing simple turns and twists - in one short outing. It's not exhausting (unless the wind is blowing REALLY hard) but it is a LOT of fun and kites pack up small enough that you can carry them anywhere you want.
posted by jedrek at 8:17 AM on May 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

Best date, and a first date: a bottle of red wine, some 70% chocolate, up on the Rose Garden looking down on the city, in Portland.

I got crazy lucky that night my friend. You can too.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:20 AM on May 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

A paint-your-own-pottery type place? There's no Color Me Mine in Portland, but I bet there's a competitor.
posted by dmd at 10:18 AM on May 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

Get personality tests together from the scientologists. It's free and it's good for laughs. (Also, better than a psychic cause it's free! And you might want to convert!)
posted by hooray at 10:33 AM on May 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

If you have a car, get out of the city. Even if you're only gone for a few hours it can feel like a vacation. Find some little mom&pop diner and play cards.

Another favorite of mine is bowling.
posted by yogurtisgenocide at 10:47 AM on May 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

My favorite date was when my new boy took me to a used bookstore. We had lunch in the adjoining cafe, and then went to an old film playing in the attick. YMMV.
posted by rosethorn at 2:52 PM on May 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

Disc golf is easy, strolly and fun. While there's some physical activity involved, there's not a lot.
posted by klangklangston at 3:16 PM on May 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

is there an Improv or some other comedy club near you? They aren't the cheapest option but they are GREAT places to go on dates because you're guaranteed to have fun.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 11:38 PM on May 29, 2006

This may not actually be helpful, but the second date I had with my wife (which she still talks about as one of the best dates she'd ever been on) was when I took her to the Ordination Ceremony and reception of a very good friend of mine.
But unless you have any friends being ordained into priesthood, this may be hard to apply to your situation.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 11:30 AM on May 30, 2006

find a dog shelter.

I am not kidding. there is one in williamsburg (that's brooklyn, if you are from anywhere else) that let's you walk their dogs for two hours if you just plunk your id on the table.

I will guarantee she has never been out on a date like this before and you will absolutely positively get her attention. hey, they even have cats there to pet if she doesn't like dogs.

in the odd case that she reacts negatively to cats&dogs altogether - stop dating transvestites.

good luck :-)
posted by krautland at 2:28 PM on August 18, 2006 [2 favorites]

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