Planning the perfect date can get stressful.
And when you’re struggling for ideas, people suggesting “go out to dinner” doesn’t always help. I’m as guilty of it as the next girl, but it’s time that we start pushing ourselves a little, don’t you think?
This city is cool. You’re cool. I’m (sorta) cool. So let’s go do something cool for a change!
Dates that won’t break the bank
Hit up a free Sunday at the Columbus Museum of Art
I’ll never stop suggesting this as a cheap date because it’s literally one of my favorites. The museum is one of the best things about this city and it’s even better when you can experience it for free.
Go out for breakfast
Not only is it one of the most important meals of the day, but it’s also one of the most affordable. From delicious donuts to traditional eggs & bacon, you can get a lot of bang for your buck if you know where to look. You could pair it with something super romantic like sunrise on the Scioto Mile and score mad relationship points.
Ring your bell for the Columbus Clippers
Baseball games are great summer dates. Tickets to the Columbus Clippers start at $7 and if you go on Dime a Dog night, you can get out of there for super cheap. Plus, baseball games are great to talk through… it’s the perfect “getting to know you” evening!
Go for a picnic at one of our beautiful parks
I think picnics are highly underrated. You get to be in nature, you have complete control over the menu, and they almost always involve laying down after you eat. Plus, we have some amazing parks. What could be better? Seriously though, picnics are legit.
Want more cheap date ideas? We’ve got you! 10 Columbus Dates Perfect For When Payday Isn’t Until Next Week
“Try something new” dates
Go flying through the air at insane speeds
Zip lining. I’m suggesting zip lining here people! Get out of your comfort zone together and do something that forces you to live life in the moment! This date can be as close or as far from home as you’d like it to be. If you want to stick around Columbus, check out ZipZone Outdoor Adventures.
Take a cooking class together
The couple that cooks together, stays together, right? I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that I really enjoy cooking with my husband, even if we’re not that great at it. That’s why this particular date has so much appeal to me, I think. It’s a gift that keeps on giving! Here’s where you can find the perfect cooking class.
Create some art together
Much like art, this date is open to your interpretation. You can sign up for free art classes, attend a Sip & Paint session at Wine and Canvas, or create your own ceramics. Not sure if it will be as romantic as that scene in Ghost, but you’ll never know until you try!
Dates that will make you feel like a good person
Volunteer at the dog shelter
This one may sound a little out there, but just trust me. Spending time helping others is always fun, especially when the “others” are doggos! Franklin County Dog Shelter and Adoption Center is a temporary home to some of the cutest furry friends around. You can volunteer your time to play with dogs, take them on walks, and do all sorts of fun shelter activities. Get more info here.
Go to a charity event
Doing good doesn’t mean that you have to break a sweat. If you want to get a little fancy and help others, you can attend one of the many charity functions that happen around Columbus all year round. You can explore upcoming events here.
Volunteer at Habitat for Humanity
Test your handy skills together and help a family in need by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity! The Mid Ohio branch is doing amazing work and there’s something for everyone, no matter how skilled you are with a hammer!
Dates for the whole gang
Pins Mechanical Co.
Good drinks, great food trucks, and lots of fun activities… what else could you want on a group date? When you’re getting the whole gang together, it’s hard to find something that everyone will enjoy. But at Pins Mechanical Co., you can bowl, play giant Jenga, practice your ping pong skills, and so much more. If you guys enjoy duckpin bowling, you can even form your own team for the summer league!
Get your game on at 16-Bit Bar+Arcade
Nothing quite says “fun night out” like getting overly competitive with your friends and significant other at NBA JAM. But seriously, 16-Bit Bar+Arcade is a great way to spend a night with your crew, especially because you get to play games for free while you’re enjoying a drink!
Get throwing at Columbus Axe Throwing
If you had asked me a few years ago if I thought throwing axes at a wall sounded like a fun date, I probably would have thought you were crazy. But honestly, ax throwing is so incredibly entertaining. You don’t even have to be good at it to have fun, although it is way more satisfying.
Stretch out those twinkle toes at a bowling alley
From now until forever, bowling will always be my go-to group date. First of all, we have so many awesome bowling alleys in Columbus. Second, you can get a pitcher of beer, laugh with your friends, and hope that you’re not the one who has to granny-bowl.
“Get a little fancy” Dates
Grab amazing seats at a concert
If you’re looking to drop some cash on an impressive date, why not hit up a concert and snag some “up close and personal” seats. With national touring acts coming to Nationwide Arena, the Schottenstein Center, through PromoWest Live, and more, there are plenty of opportunities to see your favorite artists.
Enjoy a night at the theatre
CAPA has an incredible Broadway season coming up, so there really hasn’t ever been a better time to indulge in the arts. View the upcoming shows here so that you can start planning the perfect night out.
Savor a steakhouse dinner
You could combine this with any of the dates in this category to make a spectacular night, but if you choose the right steakhouse, you won’t need anything else. We’ve got a list of suggestions for where you can enjoy a perfect steak. Now you just have to pick one!
Book a room at a boutique hotel
This date is one of my personal favorites. Taking a mini staycation can make for an exciting and romantic night. It’s nice to feel like a visitor to your own city and you can use your hotel stay to explore something in Columbus you’ve never done before! Need hotel suggestions? We’ve got you covered!
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