Esker Foundation. Photo: Elyse Bouvier.
Don’t let inflation kill your spark. Whether you’ve recently experienced your dream meet-cute or are trying to kindle an old flame, these 10 cheap date ideas nurture romance without breaking the bank.
Monday Night Board Games at the Sentry Box
Calgary gamer institution the Sentry Box offers a free drop-in board game night, inviting participants to try-out new games and mingle with other players. If you and your date get hungry after settling your Catan scores, take the five-minute walk to One Way Foods for a low-cost bite.
Free Pinball at PinBar
Try your hand at classic and unique pinball machines for free on Mondays and Wednesdays at PinBar. Enjoy a burger and a beer ($22 for two) on Mondays after 5 p.m., or $6 tall boys ($12 for two) after 5 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Skating at Olympic Plaza
For the lightly athletically inclined; breathe in the fresh air while enjoying the romantic ambience at Olympic Plaza. Strap on a pair of skates to take the romance-level up a notch, before heading to First Street Market to split a margherita pizza at Actually Pretty Good for $20.
Explore the Esker Foundation
Soak up some art while wandering through the Esker Foundation. Admission is free, so you can spend your hard-earned cash on a Singlewood Burger from the Inglewood Drive-In ($19.98 for two) while partaking in a titillating conversation with your date about Lucia Hierro’s exhibition Corotos y Ajuares, which runs until April 28.
Get Cozy at the Central Library
Grab a couple of books, and nestle in for an afternoon of reading with your sweetheart. While cafe services will be returning to the library later this year, you can pick-up two cups of joe from the nearby Phil & Sebastian ($9.30 for two Americanos) before losing yourself in a good book.
Take in the Views at Scotsman’s Hill in Ramsay
Enjoy some of YYC’s most stunning views — complete with benches to snuggle with your sweetie. Keep away the evening chill with a hot chocolate from Apprentice Cafe ($11 for two).
Catch a Flick at The Plaza Theatre
With lower ticket prices than big-box movie theatres, you can feel good about supporting local while also indulging in a budget-friendly date night ($25.98 for two tickets). Bonus points for sipping on a post-film Dark & Stormy in the theatre’s tucked-away Sidebar cocktail bar ($21 for you and your date).
Split Some Tacos at Tu Taco
Savour four street tacos for only $15.50, with your choice of protein including carne asada, al pastor or sliced mushrooms and corn as a veggie option. Feel like making it a night to remember? Order two gummy tequila shots for $16.
Freeze the Moment at And Some Flower Cafe
If the reasonably priced Korean menu and delicious coffee don’t impress your date, then the $10 photo booth is sure to make a lasting memory. Treat your special someone to a stunning bouquet to add a hint of luxury (mini-bouquets start at $47).
Get Out of Town
Solar activity is cyclical, and is reaching its highest point in 2024; providing ideal conditions to witness the aurora borealis, one of the most magical natural phenomena. Pack some blankets and a picnic and head out to the mountains to enjoy this stunning light display.