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Sunday, February 7, 2010

101. $30 Date Night at The Grove

As we all know, dinner & movies are not really cheap dates.
Well, The Grove is making it more affordable with this special deal, $30 Date Night on weeknights (Mon-Thurs). At $30 per person, you get a 3-course meal for two, movie passes for two, and complimentary valet parking for you (which means pick up your date and carpool).

I Love Popcorn
Originally uploaded by Daveblog

Bring your appetite since a 3-course meal is from start to finish: an appetizer, a main entree, and a dessert. The menus are available online for the 7 participating restaurants, which include places such as The Cheesecake Factory and Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro.

For a current listing of the movies showing at the Pacific Theatres at The Grove, click HERE. I personally recommend...

Avatar (long action-packed flick), It's Complicated (very funny romantic comedy), and Sherlock Holmes (action story with some romance). The movie tickets here are usually $12.75 per person (with $1 service charge if purchased online). As for Avatar in 3D is 3 bucks more, I'm not sure if you have to pay the difference for the Date Night special.

Valet parking is normally $8 for 2 hours plus $2 for every 20 minutes. So let's say 4 hours total (1.5 hours for dinner, 1.5 hours for movie unless you watch Avatar, plus 1 hour for wandering around the dancing water feature, jumping on the trolley for a quick ride to the Farmer's Market, and taking photos), that would cost $20 total (or $10 pp), which is the daily maximum for valet anyway. For the best photo ops, I suggest arriving before sunset and then enjoy dinner before the flick around 7 pm'ish, so you can get home at a decent time on a weeknight.

You might flinch at the $60 Total for the Date Night, but working backwards, let's calculate the value of this date night:
$30 per person.
- $10 parking pp.
- $12.75 movie pp.
= $7.25 Remaining Value for the 3-Course Meal.
This sounds like a pretty good deal to me, no matter which restaurant you go to, it would definitely cost more than $7.25. I could breakdown each 3-course menu to calculate the value, but this is enough math to convince me that it's a pretty good deal. I wouldn't be surprised if a 3-course meal at any of these restaurants would add up to $30 after taxes and tip!

Reservations for Date Night are taken over the phone only. I suggest selecting your movie online and previewing the menus online before making calling the concierge to schedule your date night.

In general, The Grove is a cool to place to hang out year round. If the weeknights are too busy for you two, then check out the FREE Hawaii events on Saturdays during February (Cheap Date Idea #98).

UPDATE 03/22/10: The $30 Date Night special expands to it's newer sister mall, The Americana at Brand in Pasadena. Click HERE for the menu and phone number to make reservations. Thanks, @mamimaria!

Approximate cost of creative date idea = $30 Per Person + Tip.
Actual value of the cheap date idea = $106 Total.
Kiss & Tell Idea by @TheGroveLA
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