9 Fun Dates That Won’t Break the Bank

Spend creativity rather than moola on your Valentine's Day date.


The best things in life are free, or so you thought. You could have sworn you heard your wallet whimper after the last flowers/dinner/movie date. And while you’d like to branch out, you know that money doesn’t grow on trees. When it comes to date ideas, you’re feeling a bit broke.  


Splurging on a romantic outing isn’t the wrong way to romance. It’s just a wee bit out of date. Whether you’re on the market or have already struck a love deal, here are some fun and fresh date ideas that are totally worth it: low on budget, but rich in imagination.
You owe it to yourself.


Take a leisurely bike ride

The best part about dates, in our opinion, is the element of spontaneity. Go where your wheels take you. There’s always something new to discover, and you can reward yourselves at the end with shave ice or a jump in the ocean. If you don’t own a bike, find one to rent, such as from Holo Holo Bicycles, next door to Manifest in Chinatown. In the meantime, we’ll be drumming our fingers awaiting the official launch of Bikeshare Hawai'i downtown!


Establish a secret couple’s getaway

This could be a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant, an underground, late-night dessert shop or a picturesque nature lookout. What matters is that you two can return there again and again, making new memories with each visit.


Attend an open-mic night

There’s nothing better than the unexpected pleasure of finding new, local talent. Our favorite spot is Station Bar and Lounge, which hosts open-mic nights Mondays from 8 p.m. to midnight. 1726 Kapi‘olani Blvd., 384-9963.


Go on a crawl

Stick to three venues within walking distance and stop in for shared appetizers or drinks at each spot.  A fun neighborhood to try? Kaimukī, where it seems new eateries are popping up faster than you can say “Wai‘alae.” And, duh: You’ll want to end your choose-your-own-adventure date at Via Gelato. 


Hike to the sun

You’ve gone on countless hikes, but how many times have you actually hiked to see the sunrise? It may sound daunting, but it’s totally worth it. Get a jump-start to the day (workout—check!), beat the crowds and indulge in breakfast picnic treats. Mimosas on a mountain: Need we say more?


Bring your own

You don’t feel like cooking, but you also don’t want to shell out big bucks at a restaurant. Get in touch with your inner sommelier and check out our BYOB wine guide. It’s got a pairing suggestion for everything from your favorite Korean barbecue to Indian.


Dance, dance, dance

Get out of your comfort zone and check out the Latin dance night, Salsamor, at Ginza Nightclub, Thursday evenings. It’s a great spot for beginners and dance fanatics alike. The $10 cover charge will get you a drink and a one-hour beginner’s lesson in salsa, bachata and merengue. You’ll be spinning around like pros in no time.


Give back

Step away from the iPhone! Create a new kind of happy hour and volunteer together for a cause you both care about. After a day of giving back, you’ll return home feeling more grateful for each other than ever.


Take a tour of your childhood neighborhood

Unless you’ve been together since elementary school (wow!), chances are your sweetie hasn’t seen your favorite local snack shop that you went to after school. Or maybe you have a special secret spot to which you escaped the daily dramas of adolescence. By giving each other tours, you can learn a lot about each other. It’ll be sweet to reminisce and share memories with your S.O. now that you’re an adult.


Buying quality time with your beau? Now that’s a steal.


Read More Stories by Natalie Schack