Dates can be expensive. You have a Tim Horton's budget, but they want a Coast dinner. This is especially common among first dates, since the desire to be impressive usually ends in you overlooking a more thoughtful, practical and not to mention cheaper night out. It happens to all of us, and it sucks.
If you're on a budget, but still looking for love, then why not head out on one of these nine awesome dates? Your date will have a blast and your bank account will thank you for it.
1. Stargaze at the GMS Observatory
Located at the HR Macmillan Space Centre, the observatory is open Fridays an Saturdays from 8pm until 12 am. It's definitely a unique date idea, and entry is by donation!
2. Check out the Richmond night market
The Richmond night market is the ultimate date destination, since you can easily spend hours there just taking it all in. Entry is only a couple of dollars, and you have the option of playing carnival games and buying food if you feel like splurging later on.
3. See the waterfalls and suspension bridge at Lynn Canyon Park
Take your date on a romantic walk through the forest and past the waterfalls, and admire the view from the suspension bridge. Unlike Capilano, this suspension bridge is completely free. Bonus points if you bring a lunch and have a picnic.
4. See a gig from a local band
If it's a new, lesser known band playing in a tiny venue, tickets are usually dirt cheap. Plus, there's places all over the city that offer free shows occasionally, like Vinyl Records downtown, for example. Who knows, you might discover your new favourite band in the process.
5. Watch the sunset at Spanish Banks
You can watch the sunset from any beach, really, but there's something peaceful about Spanish Banks. It's definitely less crowded than English Bay, so bring a blanket and take it all in.
6. Take a walk through the flowers at Queen Elizabeth Park
Everyone loves flowers, so you can't go wrong with a walk through Queen Elizabeth Park. It's totally free, and totally beautiful. There is also the option of visiting the conservatory if you have a little extra cash to burn.
7. Visit the Vancouver Art Gallery on a Tuesday night
Tuesday nights are by donation, so it's the perfect opportunity to pretend you know something about art. Even if your date sees straight through you, at least you didn't spend a lot.
8. Get some free samples from Costco
Costco samples are quite possibly the greatest thing to ever grace this earth. Treat your date to a feast, and they'll either be super impressed that you have a membership, or will immediately be turned off by how cheap you are. That would be their loss though, because three crackers with various dips on them and 1/16th of a fruit leather is an awesome meal.
9. Go on a SkyTrain adventure
Taking public transit for fun sounds like the worst idea ever, but maybe you just need to be more open minded. Everyone has those stops that they pass by all the time, but never ever get off at. Why not just spend the day getting off at random stops and exploring the neighbourhoods there? If you usually take the Expo line, maybe try the Millennium line. There's tons of adventures to be had.
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