Date Night on a Budget

April 24, 2017 12:25 pm


When you’re on a tight budget, date nights can seem like more of a luxury than a necessity, but as the saying goes, “love don’t cost a thing”. However, if you aren’t J Lo, and need some fun budget date ideas in Center City look no further. Here is a whole weekend packed with date ideas all under $40! 

THURSDAY:  Uptown Crawl and Q                                                                                             Total cost: $24 

If you are in the mood to impress your S.O. with your sophisticated side, hop on a free trolley and spend the evening channeling your inner artist at the Uptown Gallery Crawl.  The crawl has free admission to Uptown’s best museums and art galleries every third Thursday of the month from 6-9 p.m.  Participating venues this month include Levine Museum of the New South, Goodyear Arts, New Gallery of Modern Art and many more.  Bonus points: some galleries have beer samples and light hors d’oeuvres.  Save Levine Museum of the New South as the last stop on your crawl and head over to Queen City Q for dinner. A Hand Pulled Pork Platter is only $12. (I highly recommend mustard-based BBQ sauce!) Double bonus points: they will validate your parking voucher if you parked in the 7th Street Public Market Parking Garage.

FRIDAY:  Pizza, craft beer and a movie                                                                                     Total cost: $30

If the work week has taken its toll on the both of you, and all you want to do is have a cozy night. Don’t settle for re-runs of The Office on Netflix, instead, follow these 3 simple steps for a relaxing night in: Step 1. Call BrewPublik and order a Home Delivery package, 6 local beers for $15. Step 2. Call Fuel Pizza and order a medium pizza of your choice (or wings!) for $15. Step 3. Dive into a feature film shot here in Charlotte like Dirty Dancing or Talladega Nights

SATURDAY: Rail Trail Rendezvous                                                                               Total cost: $34.50

Spend your day strolling the Charlotte Rail Trail. Take a break at Sycamore Brewery and indulge in one of their many locally brewed beers ($6 per person). (My favorite, is the Southern Girl Blonde.) While you’re at it, grab a bite to eat at the food truck stationed there for the day. If Papi Queso is there, be sure to grab The Pig Mac so you can eat like Food Network’s Guy Fieri who recently featured this beloved Charlotte food truck on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives! ($9 max per person). Hop back on the Rail Trail and head down to Pike’s Old Fashioned Soda Shop to split a milkshake like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jack Black in Shallow Hal – filmed at Pike’s ($4.50).  Feeling ambitious?  Head over to the “Before I Die” wall and leave your mark or just read what others had to say.  Snap a picture of the two of you in front of your saying, this is a great Instagram worthy moment!  (My favorite is “Before I Die…I want to pet all the dogs”, that’s what I would write.)   

SUNDAY:  Sunday Funday!                                                                                           Total cost: $35.50  

Head over to the 7th Street Public Market and pack your picnic basket with a sandwich from Orman’s Cheese Shop ($8.50 per sandwich max) or a sandwich from Local Loaf ($11 per sandwich max) (I suggest the Peanut Butter and Triple Berry Jam sandwich add goat cheese from Orman’s or the BLT from Local Loaf – it has pimento cheese on it!)  Strap your basket to a B-Cycle ($8 per person for 24 hrs.) and peddle over to Romare Bearden Park to enjoy your Sunday lunch.  Bonus points if the Panthers have a game that day!  Double bonus points because the Market validates 90 minutes of parking with a food purchase in their garage.  More free parking!


Margo Goodale

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