With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we’re sure you’re wondering where to take your significant other on this day for romance. If you’re like most Americans, you’re still paying for those Christmas presents and that New Year’s Eve dress, but no worries! Listed below are six cheap dates to take your sweetie that will surprise and delight. Remember, it’s not about how much money is being spent, it’s about creating an experience.
Few things are cheaper than a park. Centered in the heart of downtown, Campus Martius is a great way to interact with your significant other in a low-pressure environment -both of you will be bundled up, so no need to overdo it in the clothing department. You may only need to spend a few bucks on parking (now would be a good time to download the City of Detroit’s parking app), but maybe bring an extra $20 just in case you need to park in a lot or a garage.
800 Woodward Ave., Detroit
Open 6 a.m.-10 p.m., daily
It’s not always about flowers and chocolate. While you’re people-watching at Campus Martius, stop by Lafayette – sorry, American – Coney Island. For someone unfamiliar with Detroit food icons, it’s a nice and albeit messy introduction to the coney dog. The staff is friendly and the building is slightly drafty, so cuddling in between bites of that snap-tastic hotdog is acceptable. Cash is a must, but these hounds won’t break the bank at close to $2.50 a piece.
118 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit
Open Mon.-Thurs. 9 a.m.-3 a.m., Fri. 8 a.m.-3 a.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-4 a.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-4 a.m.
You can’t beat the larger-than-necessary booths and chill atmosphere of Bosco. The low lighting and smooth drinks creates an environment meant for conversation, and the bartenders are easy-going and knowledgeable. But get there before 11 p.m., when the real party people start to show up if a night of hardcore partying isn’t on the agenda. You’re also going to need slightly more cash for this one – appetizers and other food items range from $8-15, and the drinks follow suit. If you’re planning on having more than one drink each, bring at least $50 and please remember to tip your bartender.
22930 Woodward Ave., Ferndale
Open Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Tues. & Wed. 5 p.m.-12 a.m., Thurs.-Sat. 5 p.m.-2 a.m. *Kitchen closes at 11 p.m. Tues.-Sat.
For the art lover in us all, Painting with a Twist is a unique dating experience – or so one would assume from glancing through event photos. It’s a little more more exciting than your average dinner and a movie, and costs about the same. At $35 per person, you and your honey can reserve a seat at the studio, and paint and drink your way to romance on Valentine’s Day weekend. Early registration is required, so check out the website for event times and other details.
200 W. 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale
Open Mon.-Fri. noon-5 p.m.
Nestled in downtown Plymouth, the Plymouth Coffee Bean is known for leaving a good impression on first-time visitors. The inside resembles an old house with all the various mismatching furniture and decorative art. Beyond the coffee, it serves customizable and signature crepes – the reason why most are drawn to the place. The atmosphere is homely in the best way possible, and a breakfast or brunch date is a good deviation from the norm. Plus side: The bill shouldn’t be more than $25, since crepes are $6.50 a piece (add-ons cost a little more). It’s in a downtown area, so don’t forget to bring some change for parking.
884 Penniman Ave., Plymouth
Open Mon.-Thurs. 6 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri. 6 a.m.-midnight, Sat. 7 a.m.-midnight, Sun. 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
It’s cold, you may or may not fall on the ice, but at least you get to hold hands! Ice skating is last on the list of cheap dates. You can spruce up your outfit for this one, but still bring a cute scarf or a hat if you get cold too quickly. John Lindell is conveniently located across from Royal Oak High School, so don’t be alarmed if you encounter a horde of teenagers during open skate. The February schedule is posted on the arena’s website, which has an early afternoon time on the 14th and late evening open skates Friday and Saturday. Again, the goal is frugal fun, so no more than $25 is needed here. Skate rental is $3, with an additional $5 admission fee on Saturdays and Sundays. If you’re going to the SK8 Jamz session on Friday, admission is $10 and includes skate rental.
1403 Lexington Blvd., Royal Oak
Schedule varies, check their website for times