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Inexpensive date options in Columbus?

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Everyday Chit Chat Inexpensive date options in Columbus?

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    So, I’m starting to date, and the person I’m going out with doesn’t have an excess of cash right now due to underemployment. I also have some pretty aggressive financial goals that are pretty darned important to me (i.e., investing heavily in my 401k while stock prices are good, as well as saving up for a house).

    So, I’m looking for “options”. Long bike rides are coming when the weather improves as well as picnics in the park. Weekday evenings and weekend days are the best times.

    Any suggestions?



    I think it would be awesome to just go for walks, make dinner together at home, go to Alum Creek Dam and walk, Griggs Res., do your errands together, split entrees, take a yoga or fitness class together, library is super fun,

    you really hit a nerve in me because someone I was seeing would always say he had no money and I said I would be grateful for a walk around the block….does not matter just the TIME you make and the attention you bestow upon each other is what matters.

    Just go for walks and talk and see things together.



    Metro Parks For The Win.


    I’m so happy for you!

    *Festivals will be coming up.
    *We’re working on music in Goodale Park for this summer (FGP, SNF, and neighborhood organizations – Music in the Air’s funding was cut for the jazz series, but we’ll do something free).
    *Until gas prices go back up, a trip down to Highland’s is amazing and tends to bring out the romantic side of people (and Manatee is organizing a trip down there to pull garlic mustard, so you could carpool and work with other people — less pressure and cooperative work can be bonding, too). I highly recommend the trip — there is some breathtaking beauty there, and the water, caves, and cliffs remind me of Missouri – so there’s the added homesick or nostalgia feelings for me.
    *I’ve always loved game nights and dinner parties with friends.

    Anyway, those are a few ideas. Have fun :)



    Game nights super fun….



    Dinners at home are fun, also hosting dinner/grilling parties in which each guest brings something to contribute (and you get to keep the leftovers, mwahahaha)

    Joint creative endeavors could also be challenging but fun. Maybe this person might have an interest in wood turning or painting or something similar? And of course a bike/motorcycle ride is cheap entertainment as well.

    Once you get used to operating with minimal expendable cash, it makes dates where you merely throw money at the evening seem a bit superficial. Homemade dinner and a great conversation smokes any conventional “going out for dinner & a movie” combo in my book.



    Depends on what you’re into, of course. The cheapest “dates” I’ve had with the girl I’m dating right now have been just cooking at my apartment, and going to a big board game meetup that I found on Meetup.com. If the thought of playing a 7′ x 4′ game of Settlers of Catan is more likely to put you to sleep or have you banging your head on the table, though, that’s obviously not going to work for you. I’m comfortable spending a lot of time in my apartment, which makes things a lot easier: I’m happy to rent a movie and watch it at home, which costs peanuts next to going to a movie. I’m happy to cook at home rather than go out to eat. I’m happy watching a sporting event on TV rather than going to it live. (I do tend to spend money when I go out to First Fridays, which are basically Canton’s Gallery Hop, albeit smaller; however, I don’t mind that, since it’s only once a month and I’m doing my part to keep the arts and decent restaurants downtown, which is definitely a struggling area of Canton.)

    Find out what you can do at your local parks or other public facilities and see if they sound interesting. (Ex: If you play tennis, how close are you to a freely available tennis court?)

    Also, addressing the opposite side of the equation: the one that adds up a lot more than people expect is going out for drinks, even at happy hour. Details, Surly Girl, etc. are awesome, but for people on a budget, it can break that budget quickly. Dining out presents many of the same pitfalls, even with an Entertainment book–it just adds up.



    Cooking dinner together is a good option. I’m eating the leftovers more often now instead of eating out for lunch or whatever. I get more mileage by spending that money on good ingredients. Time in the kitchen is quality time spent in my opinion.

    Additionally, it gives reason to head to the markets together. Which is something fun to do.



    gramarye wrote >>
    Details, Surly Girl, etc. are awesome, but for people on a budget, it can break that budget quickly. Dining out presents many of the same pitfalls, even with an Entertainment book–it just adds up.

    You speak the truth. Ive been tracking a budget with a free app for the Iphone called Spend Lite (yes, its spelled that way). It adds up fast and furiously especially when you track it. I think I may delete the app and go back to being mildly oblivious to this consumption expenditure.



    If all else fails….

    GEARS OF WAR!!!! pew pew pew



    Shakespeare in the Park at Schiller park during the summer is cheap and fun. The offerings vary in quality, but there is nothing like sitting out in the park at night with a picnic. They usually ask for donations, but it is a voluntary thing.

    If you are into education type things like lectures, Ohio State offers a lot of free lectures that are open to the public.

    Anne Evans
    Anne Evans

    First Wednesday of the month, 6-8pm Franklin Park Conservatory is Free.
    Also the free day for the Art Museaum. I think Sunday? You’d have to double check that.
    Deaf School Park is fun.
    I think the library has art exhibitions on its second floor too.
    OSU ice rink is pretty cheap.



    Roland wrote >>
    If all else fails….
    GEARS OF WAR!!!! pew pew pew

    haha Roland knows how to please a lady..

    Srsly though, I like cooking together.. It’s easy and usually fun (and if it isn’t fun, then it might be a warning sign).

    This time of year I also like to go hiking.. Daytrips to Blackhand Gorge, Mohican and the parks around Lancaster are always great. I like to bring a picnic lunch (and sometimes sneak in a few beers) and make a day of it. Dinner can be some “local color” type place that are almost always cheap (be mindful if you’re dating a vegetarian though). I like to spend about 30 minutes online and find a few likely places.. Closer to home there’s Highbanks and other Columbus metroparks..

    Museums can be a good bet too. I think one of the best dates I ever had was at the old COSI. I drove down to Cinci a few times to see shows down there. Not free, but not expensive either.

    Soon we’ll have things like Shakespeare in the Park and summer concerts, so that can be a fun cheap date.

    The Grandview Library has concerts year round which can be great. They’ve had all sorts of shows there.



    +2 to HeySquare (+1 for Shakespeare and +1 for random OSU academic events, which are often interesting (to fellow nerds, anyway), always free, and occasionally even have free food).

    Also, depending on where you live, your apartment complex may have amenities that it doesn’t mind if you share with guests. I took a date to my complex’ pool one night. It would have been cheap (free, in fact) if I hadn’t snuck in wine. :-) Not sure if you live anywhere that has something like that, but if you do, you’re paying for those amenities, so you might as well use them.


    Oh, and if you aren’t going to Highland’s on the 26th of April, we’re having a free food event at the Goodale Park Shelter House from 1-3 (can’t believe I didn’t list this in my first post). We’re bringing lots of food and will also have tea and lemonade…and there will be a plant exchange, if you want to trade a plant. More info here. We aren’t requiring folks to bring anything — just show up and meet neighbors/gardeners, and learn more about Martha Walker Garden Club, community gardening, and the Friends of Goodale Park :)

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