Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Phoenix Date Night Ideas - Cheap or Free

We are back with even more ideas for a great time out with someone special. This is post three out of five in our Ultimate List of Date Night Ideas. Go here and here for our other posts. 

Today's category is the one you've been waiting for: Cheap or Free.

Sometimes you really want to go all out and spend some money on a fancy night out. Most of the time though, we are just looking to spend some time with someone we care about and not get too crazy with the costs. And, if you have little kids, you may already be spending a good portion of your date night budget on hiring a sitter. 

Here's some ideas for saving on date night and even several free date night ideas in the Phoenix area:

1. Rio Salado Audubon Center and Preserve (Phoenix). Head to the Audubon center to learn about conservation with their interactive exhibits. Then, walk the interpretive loop trail or pick one of the other trails to walk or bike through. There are a total of 16 miles of trails through this preserve. Free.

2. Riparian Preserve (Gilbert). Another option for enjoying some wildlife. You can stroll the grounds, visit the library, and walk the trails and view birds. Also on this property is the Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory. The observatory is open to the public on Friday and Saturday nights, weather permitting from sunset til 9:30 or 10:00 PM. Preserve is free, there is a small donation of $3/person suggested for visiting the observatory.

3. Do something athletic. Try visiting your local high school after-hours or on the weekends to use their facilities. Play a game of tennis, raquetball, or run on the track. Also, check your local parks for amenities to play other sports like volleyball, soccer, or disc golf. 

4. Visit a national park or monument. Several national monuments around the state have free admission. Here is a list.

5. Go geocaching. Find instructions for this free treasure-hunting activity here.

6. Visit an artwalk. Check out our list of artwalks throughout Arizona

7. First Fridays or Third Fridays in Phoenix. If you've never been you should definitely get some advice from the volunteers before you choose your route to find the right route for you. 

8. Adults Night Out at the Arizona Science Center. In conjunction with First Fridays, adults can get in free at the Science Center once a month. 

9. The Heard Museum in Phoenix is another free First Friday spot you can check out. 

10. Phoenix Art Museum is free on Wednesdays from 3:00 - 9:00 PM and on First Fridays from 6:00 - 10:00 PM. Also, the Phoenix Art Museum and Tucson Museum of Art are free for Bank of America cardholders on the first full weekend of every month.

11. Visit free museums. Check out this list or this list for other suggestions of museums that don't charge. 

12. Get into the Desert Botanical Garden for free every second Tuesday of the month, from 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM.

13. See a movie at a discount theater.

14. Ballet Under the Stars produces free outdoor ballet concerts in various Valley locations every September. 

15. Take a gardening class. Check your local nursery for their schedule. Generally, these classes are free.

16. Or, try a home improvement clinic at Home Depot or Lowes. 

17. Photography night. Go somewhere scenic and take some nice pictures together. You can even bring a tripod, use a timer or remote, and get some shots of the two of you. 

18. Go for a guide hike at one of the Maricopa County Parks. Try a full moon hike at Usery Park (Mesa) or Spur Cross (Cave Creek), or a Friday Fitness hike at McDowell Mountain (North of Fountain Hills). $3 per person at Spur Cross, $6 per vehicle at other Maricopa County Parks. 

19. Go for a hike in town! There are some great hikes close to home. Do you know how lucky we are to live in an area full of gorgeous mountains? Try Papago Park (Phoenix), A Mountain (Tempe), Camelback, or South Mountain as a start. Bring a picnic with you, or just some drinks, snacks, and a blanket. Time it right and you can enjoy the sunrise or sunset at the top. 

20. Volunteer together. Look up opportunities at Hands On Phoenix.

21. Check the deal sites first! It is super easy to save on date night by using one of these great sites:

LocalDines.com This is a great site focusing on half-off deals at local restaurants. Register for an account and stay in-the-know about available restaurant deals by email.

Groupon There are always great deals on Groupon perfect for date night. Right now, you can snag a cheese and dessert fondue for two to The Melting Pot for just $22, a great deal on tickets to Studio Movie Grill, or entry for two into the Geocaching adventure race called Cache Clash which is held Sunday November 16th.

Goldstar This is a new site I just found that has discounted tickets for local events and attractions. Get tickets to Sea Life Aquarium, the circusPhoenix Symphony, and more at a discount. 

Sub Zero Ice Cream, Rockin' R. Ranch, Steve's Crazy Sub, and Pita House are just a few of the restaurants you'll find on this site. Restaurant.com is a great way to get a bargain and try out a new restaurant. You do want to watch for the minimum purchase requirements though. If you buy a $25 certificate for $10 and the minimum purchase is $50, that means your bill needs to total $50 plus at the restaurant, and you have already spent $10 on your voucher, so you save $15 using Restaurant.com

What are your ideas for an inexpensive or free date night? Share in the comments below or on our facebook page!

This is post number three of five, come back next Tuesday for more date night ideas in the Phoenix area. If you missed our other date night posts you can find more ideas here:

Phoenix Date Night Ideas: Arts and Music

Date Night Ideas: Something Special

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