Not all dates have to entail whisking her away to Paris to go BASE jumping off the Eiffel Tower, bottles of champagne in hand. Nor do you have to settle for another round of beers at the same corner bar you always end up at. Think original. Think fun. And think in a way that won't sacrifice a paycheck. With Valentine's Day coming up—gifts and dates are in order—we brainstormed 30 particularly fun excursions that don't require a ton of forethought or cash (they all fall in the zero-dollar to hundred-dollar range). Have a great time together, you crazy kids.
Why she'll like it: C'mon, you've seen all the movies and TV shows. Ice skating is cute as hell. It also requires a fair amount of skill and grace, so chances are she'll skate circles around you, which she'll also like.
Don't spend more than: 2020欧洲杯积分$30 for rental skates
Goes great with: Irish coffees and extra thick socks
Carhartt cold weather boot sock ($14),
Why she'll like it: 2020欧洲杯积分Bars like these have walls and walls of board games for her to choose from, plus drinks and a great atmosphere.
Don't spend more than:2020欧洲杯积分 $40 for a couple rounds
Goes great with:2020欧洲杯积分 A cool deck of cards
Areaware Minim playing cards ($13),
Why she'll like it: Flash tattoos don't require much forethought; a tattoo parlor will give you a book of small designs to choose from, and ink you both with your chosen designs within a half hour. Easy, but bold, too.
Don't spend more than:2020欧洲杯积分 $120 (flash tattoos run around $50 each, plus tip)
Goes great with: Petroleum jelly for aftercare. And photographic documentation of the entire process.
Why she'll like it: Here us out. Do due diligence and find a coffee shop that's extra charming—poofy chairs, cool artwork, live plants, the works. Bring your favorite books and settle in for a few hours. Drink a lot of overpriced coffee.
Don't spend more than: $20
Goes great with: Thematically appropriate boxers
Edgar Allan Poe-ka Dot unisex boxers ($10),
Why she'll like it:2020欧洲杯积分 If you can book time for a couples-style lesson together with an instructor, you can both fumble through your first cords—and be well on your way to being true musicians. Of course, if guitar doesn't work, then there's always drums, mandolin, piano, flute...
Don't spend more than:2020欧洲杯积分 $50 for an hour-long lesson for two (guitars included)
Goes great with: Tickets to a concert
Why she'll like it: These “experiences” are fun and photogenic. Whether it’s the Candytopia in Atlanta, the U.S. Pizza Museum in Chicago, or the Rosé Mansion in New York, she’ll get a great photo for the ‘gram.
Don't spend more than: $90 on two tickets
Goes great with:2020欧洲杯积分 A disposable camera for some analog snaps
Kodak FunSaver disposable camera ($16),
Why she'll like it: You can’t get much more classic than a night at the bowling alley. Grab a pair of shoes and cheer each other on under the neon lights.
Don't spend more than: $70 on shoes, lanes, and fries
Goes great with: Sour Patch kids, like old times
Why she'll like it: 2020欧洲杯积分Winter is beautiful in its own way. Bundle up and hit the trails, where fresh snow changes the landscape into a fantasy world.
Don't spend more than: $0
Goes great with: A tumbler of hot coffee
Zojirushi coffee mug ($26),
Why she'll like it: You never know what you’ll get on an open mic night, but you know whatever it is will be interesting. Even if a performer chokes on stage, she’ll appreciate the bravery it took to get up there. Especially if that performer is you.
Don't spend more than: $15 on two drinks. You probably won’t be staying long.
Goes great with:2020欧洲杯积分 A journal for writing your own terrible poetry together
Why she’ll like it:2020欧洲杯积分 You shouldn’t overthink the first date—grabbing food is a fine way to get to know someone. But planning a route so you can try delicious tacos (and accompanying drinks) at different stops along the way is more fun than sitting still. Call it a mini-adventure.
Don’t spend more than: $50 (and eat no fewer than three tacos each)
Goes great with:2020欧洲杯积分 Colorful food commentary and a taco book
"Guerilla Tacos" ($21),
Why she'll like it: Even if she has to drag your limp body across the finish line, it's the tag-along-to-the-gym afternoon you've never taken her up on before. A search for "Valentine 5K" or "Love the Run You're With" should turn up one of many couples' runs in a nearby city.
Don't spend more than: $45 to register, which goes straight to charity
Goes great with:2020欧洲杯积分 New joggers (for you) and a hamstring massage (for her)
Why she’ll like it:2020欧洲杯积分 Cheap drinks, fierce competition, and the chance to prove you wrong.
Don’t spend more than: $30 on drinks
Goes great with: 2020欧洲杯积分Slices of pizza afterwards to celebrate your win (and soak up the victory shots), and a trivia game for home
Smart Ass trivia game ($12),
Why she'll like it: What’s not to like about arguing over Street Fighter high scores and Pop-A-Shot2020欧洲杯积分 basket counts?
Don't spend more than: $30. Gotta cut off your quarter supply at some point.
Goes great with: 2020欧洲杯积分Mini arcade games for the Uber ride home
Pac-Man mini arcade game ($19),
Why she'll like it:2020欧洲杯积分 She probably hasn't done it in years, and the adrenaline kick couldn't hurt either of you.
Don't spend more than: $60 for the session
Goes great with: Gatorade
Gatorade BOLT24 ($16 for a dozen),
Why she'll like it:2020欧洲杯积分 It's as casual as getting together for drinks, with the perks of open sky and fresh air.
Don't spend more than:2020欧洲杯积分 $40—half on a bottle of wine, half on cheese and crackers
Goes great with:2020欧洲杯积分 A bug-repelling candle and a creative vessel to mask the public alcohol consumption
Mosquito-repelling incense sticks ($6),
Why she'll like it: We all saw.
Don't spend more than: $60—for tickets at the door and drinks
Goes great with:2020欧洲杯积分 A vinyl jazz record, preferably Billie Holiday
Lady Sings the Blues ($15),
Why she'll like it: These cafes are popping up all over the place, and the cats are actually friendly.
Don't spend more than: $40 on the price of admission and cappuccinos
Goes great with: A donation to the closest animal shelter—the cafe will know which one—2020欧洲杯积分and antihistamine
Become an ASPCA Guardian,
Why she'll like it: Bars around the country sponsor "yappy hours"—that's cheap drinks, dogs allowed.
Don't spend more than:2020欧洲杯积分 $30—$25 on drinks, $5 on a designer dog biscuit
Goes great with: A leather dog collar
Perri's Amish-made collar ($8),
Why she'll like it: Secrets are fun. Plus, the lowkey setting and mood lighting will soothe both of your frayed, wedding-planning nerves.
Don't spend more than:2020欧洲杯积分 $60 on two rounds of drinks, and $20 for the doorman
Goes great with: Coffee and bagels in bed the next morning
Why she'll like it: It's the chance to—an underrated past time these days—2020欧洲杯积分surrounded by trees. It's one step up from a stay-cation.
Don't spend more than: $80 for one night in a remote Airbnb
Goes great with: A crackling fire, a bottle of wine, and a playlist of these songs
Why she'll like it: Take it literally and don't have her do anything: You make her dinner, you set the table, you fix her a drink, you do the dishes, you massage her feet, you rinse, you repeat.
Don't spend more than:2020欧洲杯积分 $35 on a ton of good, cheap wine—boxes approved
Goes great with:2020欧洲杯积分 A call bell
Mroco call bell ($6),
Why she'll like it:2020欧洲杯积分 Cooking for her may or may not be too intimate, but "going for drinks" again may lead to absolutely nothing. Middle ground: Hit —late seatings might still be available, so you'll have time to loosen up with that drink beforehand.
Don't spend more than:2020欧洲杯积分 $100; think off-the-beaten-path bistro, not the fanciest joint in town
Goes great with:2020欧洲杯积分 Flowers; think peonies, tulips, or gerbera daisies, not roses
Why she'll like it:2020欧洲杯积分 It's no ring, but it's indulgent enough for her to brag about to her friends. Plus, you avoid the bait-and-switch of a romantic weekend with no payoff—for either of you.
Don't spend more than: $100. Try a facial-and-pedicure combo package.
Goes great with: A romantic dinner when she returns home—and
Why she'll like it: Sounds embarrassing, but get her talking into your phone, and she'll get into it. Stretch out your arm in bed and tell each other romantic things: how you met, how you make up, how you make whoopee. Then suggest you play this video not on YouTube but at your wedding—and propose.
Don't spend more than: A few seconds withand mic, if that
Goes great with: You know, a ring
Comica mini microphone ($46),
Why she'll like it: Because she ain't gonna be up for much else, and Look Who's Talking Too on the couch ain't gonna cut it. Pop in a racing game or one of the throwback Mario titles into your Wii. Laugh, cheer, and heckle accordingly.
Don't spend more than: $30 on comfort food
Goes great with: Some healthy competition, and possibly a bet on the final score
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate ($59),
Why she'll like it: Just because she doesn't want a boyfriend doesn't mean you can't set the mood. Find one of a growing number of clubs for the ultimate in non-romantic sexiness.
Don't spend more than:2020欧洲杯积分 $50 for two tickets—more than that and you better be seeing Dita Von Teese
Goes great with: A joke-y sex gift, like edible underwear, which is still kinda funny
Why she'll like it: Supper clubs are like speakeasies for eating—underground and enthusiast-friendly, except they take place at the homes of local chefs, too. They even have websites, especially in cities like San Francisco, Washington, and New York.
Don't spend more than: $100 for dinner, although many are by donation
Goes great with: Thomas Keller's fantastic cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home
Ad Hoc at Home ($31),
Why she'll like it: Because it's shopping, with good company. Take her toand wait as she reenacts Pretty Woman2020欧洲杯积分 with a not-quite-on-sale-enough gown or two. Compliment excessively. Do not buy. Yet.
Don't spend more than:2020欧洲杯积分 $60 for Ralph Lauren's latest fragrance on the way out
Goes great with: Subscriptions to BagBorrowSteal.com
Bag Borrow or Steal gift card,
Why she'll like it:2020欧洲杯积分 Bonding, knives, and wine—good things all, but in that order. A good maître d' at your local restaurant can recommend a decent one-off lesson for a decent tip, which you'll recoup by dining at home the next few weekends.
Don't spend more than: $85
Goes great with: A retro ruffled apron, which she might want to wear all by itself
Why she'll like it: Karaoke is so ridiculous as to be disarming, especially when Journey is involved. And crooning a song she remembers you by—not your song, a song—is just disarming enough for her to reconsider the breakup. Worth a shot at a second chance, right?
Don't spend more than:2020欧洲杯积分 $40 on drinks. For yourself. For pitch.
Goes great with: Nothing. A premeditated gift for an ex-girlfriend is bad news.