365CheapDates.com icon transparency

Sunday, January 31, 2010

94. Scavenger Hunt on Bikes

View Comments
Looking for an active and creative cheap date idea?
Mark you calendar for the 3rd Annual Venice Valentine's Scavenger Hunt (and bike ride). If you're already booked for that Sunday, make it a full weekend of fun with your Valentine. There are 5 scavenger hunts from which to choose: Saturday, Feb 13th at 10 AM or 2 PM, and Sunday Feb 14th at 10 AM, 1 PM, or 4 PM. Admission is not quite cheap at $25pp, but at least $1 of it will go toward a good cause at the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The hunt sold out early last year, so buying tickets in advance online is recommended.

scavenger hunt flyer
Originally uploaded by ryanrocketship

The event host advertises that scavenger hunts are out of the box events that help build better teams. What an interesting and undoubtedly true concept! The hunts are designed for teams of two, so grab your partner in crime and 2 bikes. The top 3 teams win prizes! It's BYOB (bring your own bike), unless you want to save yourself some trouble by simply renting a bike there for $10 each.

If you were born to be creative and want to take the initiative, why not DIY and create your own scavenger hunt! Venice Beach is always a lively scene, but a hunt can be done practically anywhere you wish. This would be perfect for a surprise date idea on Valentine's Day or anytime of the year. I suggest making it a group date idea to stir up some friendly competition. Treat the winning couple to Happy Hour or agree on something mutually beforehand. Don't forget to bring your digital cameras on the scavenger hunt!

Approximate cost of creative date idea = $25 pp Admission (or DIY for FREE).
Actual value of the cheap date idea = $70 Total.
Kiss & Tell Date Idea by Eye Spy LA via @SoCalCoupons

Saturday, January 30, 2010

93. FREE Live TV Show Tapings

View Comments
Smile, you're on camera!
Why watch your favorite TV show on a television screen at home when you can watch it live? Laugh in person on the Hollywood movie sets of "American Idol", "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?", or how about the all-time favorite, "Family Feud". Browse for your fave TV shows online (click HERE).

Depending on the show, you can reserve tickets for specific times directly online through On Camera Audiences TV (OCATV). For some popular TV shows, it's on a first come, first serve basis. Once you submit your contact info, they will email you the voucher and hopefully you will be available. It doesn't hurt to submit your email address. Needless to say, this won't work for a surprise date or spontaneous activity.

However, it's a great idea for a group date! Actually, you might have a better chance of getting in as a large group. For groups of 10 or more on "Family Feud" or "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?", your group can earn money as a fundraiser. These shows are family-friend activity with a minimum age of 14 years. The online form is simple and easy to fill out online, and they will contact you to set up a time.

Be prepared to spend some quality time on the set though, because an "hour episode" usually takes more than an hour. This is something good to do at least once in your life. In one aspect, consider it as a perk from living in Los Angeles or Orange County. How many people can say they've watched a live taping on a Hollywood set? Not just a cheap date idea, but better yet a unique and free date idea.

UPDATE 04/21/10: Here's another online resource for tickets to local tapings of your favorite TV shows, including Price is Right, Dr. Phil, and more at HollywoodTickets.com and TVtix.com.

Approximate cost of creative date idea = FREE.
Actual value of the cheap date idea = Priceless.
Kiss & Tell Idea by my fellow Tweeter in Detroit @freeismylife

Friday, January 29, 2010

92. FREE Meatballs of Comedy, CityWalk

View Comments
FREE laughs, FREE admission, FREE parking.
Yup, it's all free at the Meatballs of Comedy Show at the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club. @TheMeatballs invites their Twitter friends to come down to CityWalk (next to Universal Studios Hollywood) for a night of fun this Sunday, Jan 31st, at 6 PM. Parking is even free with this coupon (print HERE), which normally costs $10 on Sundays after 5 PM. The coupon is actually good after 3 PM, so that gives you 3 hours before the show to hang out and wonder around CityWalk. I'm sure this is first-come, first-serve, so arriving early is a good idea anyway. Enjoy the sunset...

Originally uploaded by this_girl_daydreams

By the way, tickets are normally $10 per person to see these Italian stand-up comedians. If you can't make it out this Sunday, check out Cheap Date Idea #68 for discounts on other nights there (Sundays and Wednesdays). The other comedy clubs in Hollywood offer free and cheap nights too (see Cheap Date Idea #77 and Cheap Date Idea #55). Comedy shows are good for a first date to break the ice, but laughing is good for the soul even for old married couples.

UPDATE 02/18/10: Get FREE admission for the comedy show this Sunday, Feb 21st, at 6 PM by mentioning the secret Tweet-word "CheapDates" at the door. Say thank you to our Fellow Tweeter, @VoiceForFreedom. AND print a free parking pass good for 3 PM on 3/21 (click HERE), thanks to @CityWalkLA! Wow, free passes AND parking- I might just do this cheap date idea too this Sunday!

UPDATE 03/28/10: Get FREE admission today, Sunday, March 28th, by mentioning the tweet by @365CheapDates (yours truly). Have fun tonight!

UPDATE 04/16/10: Get FREE admission on this Sunday, April 18th, by mentioning "CheapDate".

Approximate cost of creative date idea = Free Admission + Free Parking + 2 Drinks Per Person.
Actual value of the cheap date idea = $30 Total + Drinks.

Kiss & Tell Idea by @TheMeatballs

Thursday, January 28, 2010

91. LA Friday Night Skate

View Comments
Dust off your old roller skates and let's rock & roll!
Believe it or not, a group of 40-80 roller skaters (and don't forget the roller bladers) meet up every Friday, usually in Santa Monica and sometimes in Downtown LA and once in awhile in Hollywood. You don't have to be an expert, but prepared to boogie for 10 miles or so. For motivation, a skater will have a sound system strapped to his/her back playing 70's Disco and Funk music. Consider it a big rolling block party!

Roller Skate Disco
Originally uploaded by paulinuk99999

This isn't a new organization. It looks like FNS (Friday Night Skate) group leaders have been around since 1997 and 2000. I'm guessing this activity is a "locals" secret, but now I'm inviting you all from Los Angeles and Orange County to break out your old roller skates and have some fun! This is definitely a great group date idea!

Tomorrow on January 29th, skaters start gathering at 8:30 PM near Santa Monica Pier on the corner of Ocean and Colorado Ave, then start rolling by 9 PM (just look for other folks on wheels). If you can't make it, check online at www.FridayNightSkate.org for the schedule and more info, especially to find out when there will be a special theme. Since it's still "winter" time in LA, bundle up for a night of outdoor fun. It's BYOS (bring your own skates, or borrow your own skates). Oh, and don't forget knee pads and helmets (if you are clumsy like me).

UPDATE 01/30/10: @YoSantaMonica just informed me that FNS is starting a FREE skating practice on the First Sunday of every month at 11 AM in Venice. Don't be shy! That will give you 5 days to practice before the big night on Fridays. Good luck!

UPDATE 05/20/10: Skating will be in Hollywood tomorrow, May 21st.

Approximate cost of creative date idea = FREE.
Actual value of the cheap date idea = Priceless.
Kiss & Tell Date Idea by @GoSantaMonica

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

90. FREE Ice Skating at OC Great Park - 1/30

View Comments
FREE sledding, FREE ice skating, FREE helium balloon rides!
Celebrate Snow Day on this Saturday, January 30th, 11 AM - 4 PM, at the OC Great Park in Irvine. Where else can you go for a winter wonderland with free sledding, free snowman making, and free snow play? You don't even have to bring a sled because OC Great Park provides sleds for free on Snow Day. Just bring yourself and a fun date! Actually, this can be a good "group date" idea and even a first date idea...

Originally uploaded by demonviper

The fun does not stop at Snow Day! It's also the opening day for the OC Great Park's "Great Skate Ice Rink". This is the ONLY ice skating rink that I know is absolutely FREE: free admission, free skate rentals, free helmets AND free parking. However, there is a small parking fee of $8 on special event days, such as the opening day 1/30. Ice skating is a pretty cheap date idea, but FREE is even better! Other rinks can cost $8-$15.50 per person in the LA and OC areas (click HERE for a list comparison), but most of the ice rinks are already closed for the winter season.

For the next month (Jan 30 - Feb 28), the rink will be open every weekend (Fri-Sun) at 11 AM - 10 PM, where skate session times start on the hour with 15 minute breaks every hour. The best time to go is on Sunday Nights if you want to skate to the music of your favorite decade: 70's at 7 PM, 80's at 8 PM, and 90's at 9 PM. Ice skating is a family-friendly activity, which means lots of kids. If you prefer less craziness, I suggest going later in the season before the rink shuts down.

Of course, this is first-come, first serve. Advance tickets are available for...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

89. Free Day at La Brea Tar Pits

View Comments
Fossils, dinosaurs, tar pits, oh my!
If you enjoy all of that, head over to the Page Museum (AKA La Brea Tar Pits) in LA. Go for free on the first Tuesday of every month (save $7 pp!). If you cannot make it that day, the museum is open daily 9:30 AM - 5 PM, but be forewarned that this place can be like a zoo with kids on weekends. According to some Yelp reviewers, an hour is more than enough time to stroll through the museum. If speed walking is your thing, admission is free for the last 30 minutes to closing.. The tar pits on the outside is free for the public to roam, so you might want to check that out beforehand while there's daylight, especially around sunset (see photo on right).

La Brea Tar Pits
Originally uploaded by Menetnashté

Metered street parking is available on 6th Street but read the signs carefully for no parking during week day rush hours, 7-9 AM and 4-7 PM. Otherwise, the convenient parking lot is $7 with museum validation during weekdays or flat on weekends.

Don't end your date at the tar pits! After 5 PM, walk on over to the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA) for discounted museum admission (Cheap Date Idea #80). Or go to the LACMA on the second Tuesday of the month for free and then the tar pits. Either way, double the fun in culture and history! This is something different to do at least once in your life, at least a step up from watching The History Channel for a date night...

UPDATE 05/26/10: While you're in the area, stop by the sister museum, Natural History Museum, which is ALSO free on First Tuesdays (see Cheap Date Idea #186).

Approximate cost of creative date idea = FREE + $7 Parking.
Actual value of the cheap date idea = $14 Total.

Monday, January 25, 2010

88. Love Can Be Magical - 2/14

View Comments
Or was it Cupid's arrow on Sunday, February 14th?
Watching a magic show at the Magicopolis in Santa Monica is definitely a unique and creative date idea for Valentine's Day. This performance includes a buffet, champagne toast a party favor- not a bad deal for 25 bucks. Get 50% discount off the $50 regular tickets on Goldstar.com. Being new, this particular event has not yet been rated, but the venue is 2.9 out of 4 stars overall.

Magic Shows
Originally uploaded by Mark McLaughlin

The public parking garage nearby is $3 flat after 6 PM, but the show does start at 6 PM. Or make it a full day of fun in Santa Monica: the weekly Farmer's Market in the morning (see Cheap Date Idea #50) and to the aquarium at the Santa Monica Pier in the afternoon (see Cheap Date Idea #84), which is only 0.6 miles or 13 minute walk away from the magic shop.

Approximate cost of creative date idea = $25 Per Person + $6 Service Fee.
Actual value of the cheap date idea = $50 Total.
Kiss & Tell Idea by @GoldstarLA

Sunday, January 24, 2010

87. Pajama Night at Cafe 50's

View Comments
Eat for FREE in your pajamas!
There's no need to dress up at The Cafe 50's because they will give your meal for free on the last Wednesday of every month. You do have to purchase a beverage with your meal, but it's still a great deal either way. Just something silly to do once in awhile...
come caffeina.
Originally uploaded by con Costanza

To keep things "clean", they have hired their own "pajama judge" who will inspect your pajamas upon arrival and award you with a white token for wearing the proper traditional PJ's or a blue token for a decent attempt. The white token gets you 100% free meal, while the blue is like a second place prize with only 50% discount. So leave the sexy lingerie home for another date night.

Pajama Night is officially 6-10 PM, but breakfast is served all day, otherwise lunch and dinner meals are available too (see menu online). Cafe 50's is open from 7am til midnight daily or until 1 AM on weekends. There seems to be 3 locations according to Google Maps, but these specials apply to the one on Santa Monica Blvd right off the 405 Freeway.

Sign up for their frequent dining club, so you can enjoy perks, including FREE garlic fries and milk shakes, and also FREE meals on your birthday. Why go to Denny's, when you can support your local mom & pop shop? See you on Wednesday!

UPDATE 04/27/10: The definition of pajamas has evolved over time, but it's back to tradition at Cafe 50's with 2-piece button-down long sleeves and pantlegs with matching top and bottom with a collar. You may change into your PJ's at the cafe but the discount will be 50%, so wear your PJ's proudly into the joint and get your meal for FREE (with a purchase of a drink). For the complete rules for Pajama Night, click HERE.

Approximate cost of creative date idea = 2 Drinks + Tip.
Actual value of the cheap date idea = Varies.
Kiss & Tell Idea by @SoCalCoupons

Saturday, January 23, 2010

86. dineLA Retaurant Week is Back!

View Comments
Restaurant Week is a cheap way to discover local eateries!
Enjoy 3-course lunches and dinners during dineLA Restaurant Week. Actually it's more like 2 weeks: Jan 24-29 and Jan 31 - Feb 5. On their website, you can easily sort through restaurants by name, lunch/dinner offering, price, cuisine, and neighborhood.

dineLA: ford's filling station
Originally uploaded by bluepupae

$ Deluxe Dining: $16 Lunch, $26 Dinner
$$ Premier Dining: $22 L, $34 D
$$$ Fine Dining $28 L, $44 D

By the way, you can register online for a special American Express promotion, where you will receive a $20 credit after going to lunch or dinner 3 times during dineLA Restaurant Week (minimum $20 per meal, so this offer excludes only the deluxe lunch at $16pp). For example, if you go to 3 premier lunches at $22 each, then after the $20 credit, your final cost will have been $46 instead of $66 for 3 lunches or on average only $15 each!

Support your local businesses, especially the smaller ones. If you are on a budget, this is an excellent way to go out for lunch and dinner on a fixed amount. Everyone has to eat right? So you might as well try something new and different! Enjoy!

Approximate cost of creative date idea = As low as $16 per lunch plus tip.
Actual value of the cheap date idea = Priceless.
Kiss & Tell Date Idea by @GoSantaMonica

Friday, January 22, 2010

85. Champagne Brunch Cruise II

View Comments
It's like a mini-romantic getaway in Newport Harbor!
If you missed out on Cheap Date Idea #65 in Marina del Rey earlier this month, you've got one more chance in Newport Beach this upcoming Sunday, Jan 24th, at Noon-2 PM. Or if you simply loved it so much, you want to go again! Hornblower Cruises does host the same excursion in multiple locations along the coast, including San Diego.

Champagne Breakfast
Originally uploaded by lewishamdreamer

Boarding time starts 30 minutes before the boat disembarks. Once aboard, you two may enjoy a scrumptious brunch buffet plus free-flowing champagne for two full hours while cruising around Newport Beach. Enjoy your breakfast inside, then head outside to enjoy the ocean views with a glass of champagne in hand. Do remember to bundle up with sunblock and sunglasses (and a camera) to thoroughly enjoy your time together outdoors.

Get discounted tickets through Goldstar.com for $35 per person plus a $5 service fee. This does not include the gratuity, which will be suggested at $15 off the original price $55 pp, which is not abnormal to do ($16.50). The convenient parking lot is $8 or park across the way on PCH for free. Although this may not be quite the cheapest date idea yet, it's like a mini romantic getaway that's local and won't break the bank. It's just too bad that they are not offering the same deal for Valentine's. This Sunday is the last date available at the moment for the Champagne Brunch Cruise in Newport Beach, so stay tuned for schedule updates...

UPDATE 02/06/10: New cruise date has been added for Sunday, Feb 21st (unfortunately, not for Valentine's Day). Check Goldstar.com for more dates.

UPDATE 03/10/10: A special cruise for St. Patrick's Day has been added for Sunday, March 14th, at 6:30 PM (board at 6 PM and return by 8:30 PM). Buy tickets online at Goldstar.com  by the Friday afternoon prior to the cruise. Please note that the $20 ticket price + $3.50 Service Fee does include complimentary appetizers, but not alcohol.

Approximate cost of creative date idea = $35 Per Person + $5 Service Fee + Tip (or $23.50pp on 3/14).
Actual value of the cheap date idea = $120 Total + Tip.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

84. Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

View Comments
Santa Monica Pier is always a good date idea anytime.
The Heal the Bay Aquarium is open daily except Mondays and some holidays: 2-5 PM on Tues-Fri and 12:30 - 5 PM on weekends during winter (Oct-Mar). The admission fee is $2-5 donation. There are many options for parking as low as free for first 3 hours (check website for map).

Under Water World 2 of 6
Originally uploaded by shannonmaria

For Valentine's weekend, the aquarium is sponsoring "Whale of a Weekend" with family-friendly activities all day. Be aware that it's a kid-friendly place all of the time, so this is something fun to do, but not necessarily the most romantic. If you're lucky to have kids, admission for each child is free with a paying adult during this special event.

I suggest going on Sundays, so you can also grab a coffee and bite to eat at the Farmer's Market in the morning (see Cheap Date Idea #50). Or come later in the day to enjoy the sunset by jumping on the ferris wheel or better yet for free by laying out on the beach.

If you love ocean life, check out the Roundhouse Aquarium at the Manhattan Beach Pier for FREE every day of the year (Cheap Date Idea #6).

Approximate cost of creative date idea = $2-5 Per Person + Parking.
Actual value of the cheap date idea = $4-10 Total.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

83. 1/2 Off Lift Tickets at Snow Valley

View Comments
Are you addicted to skiing or snow boarding?
Then head to Snow Valley every day for 1/2 off! Why go solo though? Drag a date and call it a 2-for-1 deal if you need a reason for a date... Just an idea! This is an even better deal than going once per week on Tuesdays at Mountain High (see Cheap Date Idea #81),

Not bad for a Dummy
Originally uploaded

by ski_snow_valley

Buy your tickets online with the discount code RUN1. Or be spontaneous, and simply bring 1 printed coupon (click HERE to print). The coupons are good the whole season through March with a few black out dates AND good for 6 people, so it can be a "group date" if you want to triple the fun. This skiing resort is about 30 minutes before Big Bear, so it's a bit of a drive from LA and OC, but at least the coupon is good anytime, even on the weekends. If you are addicted, I assume you've got the equipment and this is a pretty cheap date idea for you!

UPDATE 02/18/10: Click HERE to download the new coupon with ZERO black out days! Say thank you to @Snow_Patrol!

UPDATE 03/24/10: Snow Valley is still open for 2-for-1 skiing and snow boarding! Lift tickets only $27 per person and only $22 midweek!

Approximate cost of creative date idea = $27 Per Person.
Actual value of the cheap date idea = $108 Total.
Kiss & Tell Date Idea by @Snow_Patrol

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

82. Jamba Juice & $1 Oatmeal

View Comments
Jamba Juice and oatmeal are good for the body!
Enjoy oatmeal with your Jamba Juice drink for only only one buck more! In case you can't make it in the morning for a breakfast date, don't worry because this special deal is good all day every Wednesday until February 3rd. Take advantage of this deal for a quick lunch date or an afternoon "coffee break" for the caffeine-free folks out there. Heck, it's good anytime of the day on Wednesdays. Click HERE for more info about the Jamba Juice special.

jamba juice
Originally uploaded by Morning Vertigo

For extra savings, pick up discounted gift cards for Jamba Juice at your local Costco: 2 cards for only $40 with a face value of $50 total or $25 each. You can't find a better deal than this at 20% off! Keep both cards for yourself or give one to your sweetie. Either way, it's a sweet deal.

Approximate cost of creative date idea = $5 Per Person.
Actual value of the cheap date idea = $10 Total.
Kiss & Tell Date Idea by @SlinkyTams

Monday, January 18, 2010

81. Mountain High Skiing 2-for-Tuesdays

View Comments
What are you doing after the holiday?
Grab your sweetheart and go skiing and snow boarding at Mountain High tomorrow! If not tomorrow, this buy-one-get-one free (BOGO) deal is good every Tuesday through the end of March. However, you do need to buy your 2-for-1 lift tickets in advance online and bring the voucher with you. The lift ticket is good for 8 hours of fun in the snow. Bring your own equipment or rent some on-site for $30-35 per person depending if you're skiing or snow boarding.

Snow Sunset
Originally uploaded by ms4jah

Mountain High is a quick 90-minute ride from LA and OC, so it's a nice day trip compared to Big Bear. If you can't get away during the day, run over there after for for some weeknight skiing. You can buy "The Quad" Night Tickets for $79 (4 tickets break down to $19/ticket). These tickets are fully-transferable, so you can share it with a date or split it with friends on a double date. You can buy it at your local sports specialty shop (click HERE for more info).

If you're new to this sport like me, then take advantage of the "3-Peat for Success" Beginners Package. For $129, you can get 3 days of lessons, including rental equipment and lift tickets (4 total lift tickets), which is an awesome deal. That breaks down to $43 per day for everything! This deal is available only for first-timers at Big 5 Sport Goods stores, so buy it before you head to the snow.

For those born in January, February, and March, go skiing or snow boarding for FREE on your birthday! You can either go to Mountain High again or go somewhere else like Big Bear Mountain (check Cheap Date Idea #74 for more info). Just remember to bring a photo ID on your actual birthday.

Approximate cost of creative date idea = Free + $55 Day Pass + $30-35pp Equipment Rental..
Actual value of the cheap date idea = $110 Lift Tickets + $60 Rental.
Kiss & Tell Idea by @OCdeals

Sunday, January 17, 2010

80. Free at LACMA

View Comments
Do something cultural AND free on MLK Day!
Tomorrow on Martin Luther King's Day, enjoy free admission all day Noon-8 PM at LA County Museum of Art (LACMA). Don't miss out on the free dance and music performances at 12:30 and 2:45 PM. The 6th Street parking garage east of Fairfax Avenue is $7 flat rate, but free after 7 PM if you want to squeeze in an hour of culture.

If you can't make it tomorrow, LACMA offers offers "pay as you wish" admission every day after 5 PM, so feel free to offer up to the regular $12 pp. Or you can go for FREE on the second Tuesday of each month (next one Feb 9th). The museum is normally open every day Noon-8 PM except closed on Wednesdays and open one hour later on Friday nights and one hour earlier on the weekends.

In addition, Target sponsors Free Holiday Mondays in 2010: MLK Day 1/18, President's Day 2/15, Memorial Day 5/31, Labor Day 9/6, and Columbus Day 10/11. Also, mark your calendar for the next quarterly Miracle Mile Art Walk in April. That's at least 20 FREE days of culture per year!

UPDATE 02/24/10: Get 2-for-1 (BOGO) admission to LACMA anytime through April 30th, 2010. Click HERE to print coupon. Or go for completely FREE on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, next one is March 9th.

UPDATE 05/28/10: Another good day to go now is Fridays during April-November. LACMA offers FREE live jazz concerts at 6-8 PM in their courtyard. No reservations required. Click HERE for details. Thanks @RentFoodBroke!

UPDATE 06/05/10: Enjoy more FREE live music on Saturdays too courtesy of LACMA! At 5-7 PM from now through September, come listen to Latin music at the Dorothy Collins Brown Amphitheater in Hancock Park, which is north of the museum. Relax and listen to music from Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Mexico and Cuba before sunset. No tickets or reservations required. Thx @anibaez!

Approximate cost of creative date idea = FREE Admission + $7 Parking.
Actual value of the cheap date idea = $24 Total.
Kiss & Tell Idea by @TheLAScene

Calendar: January Date Ideas

View Comments
Instead of reading every day, check out the calendar for date ideas by specific dates or days of the week or days of the month or whenever you are free...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

79. Spa Day at Glen Ivy Hot Springs

View Comments
Only $19 pp for a relaxing day at the spa with your sweetie?!?!
Glen Ivy Hot Springs is extending their special offer for 1/2 off on Wednesdays as well as 2-for-1 on Tuesdays and Thursdays through the month of February (UPDATE 03/04/10: Offers extended through the end of March!). Regular admission during the "cool" season is $38 on weekdays and $49 on weekends and holidays. Based on photos, it looks like that some areas are co-ed, so this can be a day of pampering with your sweetheart. Too bad Valentine's Day doesn't fall on a weekday this year, but you can always celebrate early (hint hint). There is one year-long promotion for a free spa day on your actual birthday, so I might hold off until my birthday on a Sunday during summertime. Click HERE for more info about all the promotions.
Glen Ivy
Originally uploaded by vancouvergirl

Being open daily 9:30 AM - 5 PM during the winter, this spa day may be more of a "day trip" depending on where you live. I don't think it will be hard to find a place to relax within the 11 acres with 15 areas from which to choose. Let's just say that I was sold after seeing the property map (click HERE). However, if the hot springs in Corona is too much of a trek, there are 2 smaller facilities called "Glen Ivy Spas" in Valencia and La Brea. Unfortunately, these 2 locations only offer the birthday promotions at the moment.

Per the website, the "admission price includes: parking, use of all pools, sauna, steam rooms, Roman Baths, red clay mud bath and Wafa, towels and lockers. Please bring your own swimsuit, beach towel, robe and an old swimsuit for the red clay mud bath. Individual spa treatments and The Grotto are additional to admission rates." Whatever you do, wherever you go, whenever you go, just relax because you deserve it!

UPDATE 03/04/10: Offers extended through the end of March!

Approximate cost of creative date idea = $19 Per Person.
Actual value of the cheap date idea = $72 Total.
Kiss & Tell Idea by @OCDeals

Friday, January 15, 2010

78. FREE Meetup Hiking in Griffith Park

View Comments
Wanna do something FREE & active outdoors this weekend?
Well, grab a hiking buddy tomorrow morning and call it date! So far over 30 folks (with 22 maybes) are headed to Griffith Park. RSVP online on Meetup.com (click HERE). Of course, with that many people, this will be more of a "group date" idea (a newly added category for date ideas!). Not only will this be an opportunity to meet other new people, but also less pressure on each other. If this Saturday is too soon, there is always something happening on Meetup.com.

Griffith Observatory Sunrise
Originally uploaded by rianklong

This hike is for advanced beginners with the ground mostly level except for the part near the golf course and zoo. Plan to arrive early since the hike starts promptly at 9:30 AM. The rendezvous point is the Parking Lot #2 past the merry-go-round, not the fire ranger station. Bring enough water to last 2 hours. The weather bunny predicts partly cloudy with the rain returning on Monday, so this weekend should be a good time to do something outdoors. Sunblock and camera are always on my list of recommendations for outdoor activities. Lastly, this event is dog-friendly with leashes.

Don't end your date at 11:30 AM. Stick around and head to the Griffith Observatory too while you're in the area. Admission and parking are FREE too. By the way, the 2010 schedule for the FREE Public Star Parties at the Observatory are posted online now. See Cheap Date Idea #4 for more info.

Based on the photo here, the view of The Griffith Observatory against Downtown LA looks spectacular. The only other place with a comparable shot may be The Getty Center for Cheap Date Idea # 32 (actually it's yet another free date idea).

Approximate cost of creative date idea = FREE.
Actual value of the cheap date idea = Priceless.
Kiss & Tell Idea by @CentrdinLA

Thursday, January 14, 2010

List: 1 Month 'Til Valentine's Day

View Comments
For the next 30 days, this will be a growing list of things to do on Sunday, February 14th. Mark your calendars! Some romantic, some casual, just something to do on Valentine's Day around Los Angeles and Orange County! Click on the hyperlink for more info about each or search by category Valentines

Originally uploaded by fukutomi_r

77. Laugh for FREE at The Comedy Store

View Comments
Comedy Clubs are always a casual date idea anytime!
Wow, this offer at The Comedy Store is even better than Cheap Date Idea #55 at The Improv (both freebies are located in Hollywood). The coupon is good through the end of this month (1/31), but it is first come, first serve.

@TheComedyStore did assure me via a tweet response that going on weekdays should be ok, but Fridays do tend sell out. You can laugh every night of the week. Most show times start anywhere between 7-9 PM, but check online for the schedule.

By the way, some people mentioned that this place is more of a mix between a bar and comedy club, which may be more appealing than it's competitor, The Improv. I've been to The Comedy Store before, but don't recall the best bet for parking on Sunset Blvd. I think metered parking is free in the evening, but I'll post an update once I've gone. Have fun!

UPDATE 03/10/10: Get FREE admission into The Comedy Store, good for anytime during the month of March. Download and print the coupon HERE. Each pass is good for 2 people and up to 3 coupons may be used per group, so this is a good group date idea too! Great date idea for St. Patrick's Day as well. @TheComedyStore just mentioned that it's $7 for a pint and shot on St. Patrick's Day!

UPDATE 04/03/10: Get FREE admission during the month of April. Click HERE to print coupon. Great idea for group dates (up to 3 couples).

UPDATE 05/07/10: Click HERE to print the coupon for the month of May.

Approximate cost of creative date idea = FREE Admission + 2-Drink Minimum
Actual value of the cheap date idea = $10-60 Total.
Kiss & Tell Date Idea by @TheLAScene

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

76. FREE Coffee Bean Ice Blended Drinks

View Comments
Boy, am I feelin' the latte love this week!
After you're done getting your BOGO (buy one, get one) coffee at Peet's Coffee (download coupon from Cheap Date Idea #73), pick up your FREE drink at Coffee Bean & Teal Leaf (CBTL) TOMORROW afternoon. This offer is only good for one day, Thursday, January 14th, 4-7 PM (click HERE for more info, no coupon required). No date is required for this offer, but why go solo when it's one drink free per person?

If you don't like one of the two Ice Blended flavors, they are also offering a free cafe mocha.

Pin It Up.
Originally uploaded by love-letters
By the way, all Coffee Beans offer FREE Wi-Fi, so bring your laptops, if you two are techies. I do have to admit that it's a smart marketing move to force a 10-minute coffee break every 2 hours. It's still not a bad deal, plus it gives a leg up on Starbucks.

I suggesting hitting the Coffee Beans in Manhattan Beach or Hermosa Beach since those locations are only a block or two away from the beach. While you're at the beach, check out other date ideas in those areas, such as Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach (click on hyperlink or pull-down menu bar above). The MB store has a a good-sized covered patio area if you prefer outdoor seating, while the one in HB offers more tables upstairs. There is a parking structure with cheap meters right behind the CBTL in MB (2-hour limit, 75 cents per hour). Street parking (not metered) in the Hermosa neighborhoods about 2 blocks is free right now during off-peak season until May (double check the street signs when you park).

If you miss out on this freebie, check out Cheap Date Idea #73 before it expires on Monday, January 18th (Martin Luther King's Day). Enjoy!

UPDATE 03/01/10: Come back again for a free drink on Thursday, March 4th, 4-7 PM, for their Spring Peach Tea Party. Enjoy the Peach FruTea or Spring Peach Tea Latte (hot or cold). Click HERE for info, but no coupon is required.

UPDATE 05/09/10: Enjoy a FREE Ultimate Ice Blended drink at a participating CBTL near you on Tuesday, May 11th, at 4-7 PM (click HERE for details). Thanks to Savings Cents with Sense! If you miss that or you want to go on another coffee date, Starbucks is still offering their happy hour: 1/2 off Frappuccinos at 3-5 PM daily until May 19th, so it's like a BOGO deal. Enjoy.

Approximate cost of creative date idea = FREE.
Actual value of the cheap date idea = $7.
Kiss & Tell Date Idea by @FreeFunGuides

75. Tide Pools by Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

View Comments
Exploring tide pools is a cool AND free day date idea anytime!
The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium offers a FREE 90-minute tide pool tours once per day on most weekends. The walk usually starts anytime between 10:30 AM and 2:30 PM, depending on the low tide, with a informative slide show. Then the tour continues long the shore of Point Fermin State Marine Park in San Pedro. The next ones are scheduled for Sat Jan 16th at 2:30 PM and Sun Jan 17th at 3 PM, but click HERE for the online schedule of the rest of the first quarter.

sea star
Originally uploaded

by Stuart Fingerhut

Valentine's Day falls on a Sunday this year, so a special 2-hour tide pool walk is scheduled for February 14th, 1:30 - 3:30 PM. This is the only tour that is not free, but it's still a cheap date idea at a mere $3 per person. The exploration will not only include the tide pools and salt marsh, but also the examination of fossils, native plants and a beach wreck. Afterward stay an extra hour or two for a romantic stroll along the beach. Bring a picnic blanket or beach towel and maybe chocolates or something sweet to enjoy at sunset...

Outdoor clothing and sneakers are always recommended for tide pool walks. And don't forget sunblock and your camera. Pack a snack and a bottle of water for your beach walk too. I also suggest bringing a towel and plastic bag to wipe off your shoes before getting back into your car (I learned the hard way once).

If you love tide pools, check out Abalone Cove in Los Angeles (see Cheap Date Idea #57) and Crystal Cove in Orange County (see Cheap Date Idea #44). No matter where you are, tide pools are always a nice day date idea by the beach!

UPDATE 03/16/10: Here's the schedule for the next quarter for FREE tide pool tours.

Saturday, March 27, 2010 • 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Sunday, March 28, 2010 • 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Saturday, April 10, 2010 • 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Sunday, April 11, 2010 • 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Sunday, April 25, 2010 • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Saturday, May 22, 2010 • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Approximate cost of creative date idea = FREE.
Actual value of the cheap date idea = Priceless.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

74. FREE Birthday Skiing Bear Mountain

View Comments
Were you born with skis on?
Skiing is not quite the cheapest activity out there, but skiing on your birthday is F-R-E-E at Big Bear Mountain Resorts. The free birthday pass is good all day for skiing or snow boarding on both Snow Summit and Bear Mountain. Don't forget to bring a photo ID on your birthday! Depending on your birth date, the pass is worth as much as $53 during the regular season or $66 on holidays and weekends. If you don't borrow or own already, rental gear will run you $30 pp. Either way, you're saving a whopping $53-66 on the birthday boy/girl!

Bear Mountain 006
Originally uploaded by dik426

Being only 2-hours from LA, Big Bear makes for a good day trip or a day date idea. The slopes are open daily from about 8 or 8:30 AM to 4 or 5 PM on both mountains through late March. Check online for weather updates and more info. This can be a nice birthday treat for yourself or better yet a pleasant surprise for an avid ski partner. Unfortunately for me, my birthday is in August. Happy Birthday!

Approximate cost of creative date idea = 1 FREE Day Pass + $53 Day Pass + $30 Each Equipment Rental.
Actual value of the cheap date idea = $166 Total.
Kiss & Tell Idea by @OCDeals