Source: Indys Child Parenting Magazine

Date Night on a Dime (or Two)
Cheap is chic this Valentine's Day

by Carrie Bishop

February 01, 2012

If your love is big but your wallet is thin take heart in knowing that cheap is chic this February. Consider these Cupid-approved ideas for dates on a dime.

Be a kid again. You visit the Children’s Museum, the zoo and all the kid-friendly spots all the time. But have you done it on your own terms without kids? Consider the possibilities! You could ride the Children’s Museum carousel with just your honey or spend some real time with the magnificent orchids at the White River Gardens. You could even experience the magic of Peewinkles Puppet Studio’s Valentine’s Day Show just the two of you. How nice.

See it live. Indianapolis’ Central Library is a terrific place in and of itself, and on Feb. 19 take your sweetheart to hear free chamber music by members of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in the facility’s Clowes Auditorium.

Paint your love. Have you heard of Wine and Canvas? This 86th Street shop is a great spot to spend time with your spouse and bring home an original work of art to boot. So it’s not free, but for $35 to $45 you get kid-free time with your guy or gal and an opportunity to unleash your creative juices onto canvas. So skimp on dinner and go crazy with the paint.

Cook up something sweet. Cooking lessons are a great activity for two, but can be expensive. Luckily 21st century couples can find free and convenient culinary sessions by searching YouTube for cooking lessons. Find a dish that tantalizes your taste buds, hit the grocery store, set the computer up in your kitchen, and begin your culinary adventure together. Voilà and Bon Appétit!

A date with Mass Ave appeal. Mass Ave is a great getaway in the city. There’s interesting art, hot coffee and a fun toy store that is a must-do for parents. On Feb. 3 and 4 the street is also hosting Mass Ave Festival of the Arts, a free event with live music, gallery openings and late-night shopping. It is sure to be a great mix of locals and Super Bowl fans. Or for $15 a person give Comedy Sportz Indianapolis a go. Watch improvisation teams compete by playing improv games based on audience suggestions. Could be a fun way to inspire a little spontaneity in your relationship. There’s also the Chatterbox Jazz Club which offers free jazz Sunday through Thursday.

Volunteer together. There may be no better way to show your love than to volunteer for an organization your significant other is passionate about. In love with an animal lover? Then ask the Humane Society of Indianapolis how you can help this month. Maybe it’s cat food donation or walking dogs. Or maybe his heart is with the hungry, then check into a nearby food pantry or food bank to see what items they most need or if they could use an extra pair or two of hands.

Send the kids out. How nice, right? This is no time to get excited about spring cleaning either. Send the kids to grandma’s or their best friends’ for an evening then curl up on the couch with a bag of buttered popcorn, some wine and turn on all those DVRed programs you haven’t had time to watch yet. It’s romance at its most relaxing.

Visit area art museums. One obvious choice is the Indianapolis Museum of Art to steal a smooch near the famous LOVE sculpture. Wouldn’t that make a nice Facebook pic? Plus admission to the museum, gardens and grounds is free.

This month romance may be in the air, but keep your money in your pocket with a few of these budget-friendly ideas.