Whether you think Valentine’s Day is a way for card shops and florists to make more money or a special day to treat the one you love, there’s no denying that a bit of romance makes us all feel great! The cost-of-living crisis might stop you from making a grand gesture this February 14th, but you can still impress your other half. Here are some of our favourite ideas for budget-friendly romantic dates at any time of the year…
Tickle their funny bone
Nothing breaks the ice better than a good giggle, so treat your date to a comedy show. Avoid big headline names and support local talent – open mic nights, charity gigs and pub comedy events are regularly held in most towns, with tickets starting from £5.
Bowl them over
Not just for kids, ten-pin bowling is a great activity for all ages and gets the competitive juices flowing! Most of the major bowling chains offer late-night sessions which attract an older crowd and there are special offers throughout the week. For example, Hollywood Bowl offers unlimited bowling for £10 every Sunday night. Or, for something different, head down to one of the cool hipster alleys that are springing up across the UK – GroupOn offers two games for just £10 at London’s retro-style All Star Lanes!
Pop the question
Quiz nights are always popular (and can help to avoid any awkward silences during the early days of a new relationship!). If you fancy yourself as a bit of a swot, check out local pubs, social clubs and charity nights for any upcoming quizzes and impress your other half with your stunning IQ – or bond over how rubbish you are. It’s a win-win!
Much cheaper than a zoo, most animal sanctuaries allow visitors to turn up and pet the animals for a small fee, donation or even for free. You’ll be helping to support a local good cause and showing your date what a kind and sensitive soul you are. Whose heart wouldn’t melt at the chance to pet a rescued donkey?
There’s no risk of your date being ‘bored’ at one of the many board game cafes that have popped up across the country. With literally hundreds of games to choose from plus hot drinks, soft drinks, snacks and even cocktails, what better way to while away a rainy afternoon? Try Draughts bar and board game café in London, Chance & Counters in Bristol, Cardiff and Birmingham, or Goodtime Games in Manchester. But if you want to stay friends at the end of the date, maybe steer clear of Monopoly!
Raise a glass
Finally, if you fancy a drink but know that your local boozer isn’t going to impress your new flame, why not take them on a tour of a local brewery or winery? They’re not as expensive as you think, and you might learn something, too! There are options right across the UK starting from £15 – try Cains Brewery in Liverpool, Five Points Brewing Co in London, or Hattingley Valley Winery in Hampshire.