Outdoor concert + picnic = Good combo for a classy date idea.
Even if you don't love classical music, the Hollywood Bowl is always fun to do during the summertime. The last two times I went to the Hollywood Bowl, it was for a rendition of Looney Tunes in 2006 with my now-fiance (the symphony played lived with cartoon snippets of Bugs Bunny and the singing frog, see my photo below) and Star Wars (yes, Star Wars!) in 2008 with friends (but my fiance would have loved this). I guess it's that time to go again since it's 2010. This date idea is fun to do more than once every two years though; the dates are coincidental. The Hollywood Bowl is perfect for a one-on-one romantic date as well as a fun group date idea.
The Hollywood Bowl is open all year long, but the first lineup for the summer is the Playboy Jazz Festival on June 12-13th at 2 or 2:30 PM. The cheapest tickets are $20 per person with a convenience fee of $7 per person. This is not the cheapest date idea yet, but stay tuned for discounts through the venue itself and Goldstar. Supposedly tickets can be as cheap as $1, probably for bench seats last minute on weeknights. Fourth of July weekend is a good time to go too if you love fireworks. Bugs Bunny is coming back in mid-July! It's not all Beethoven and Mozart, the concerts include music from Beetles, Sting, Abba, Dave Matthew and more.
Doors open as early as 4 hours prior to the show, so pack a picnic- wine and cheese, nothing fancy unless you want to splurge. I love pouring myself a glass of bubbly when the symphony starts playing! Parking is limited at the Bowl. I've done it both ways: on-site parking and public transportation. On-site parking is ok if you get there early, so that you don't get blocked in. However, nothing beats public transportation being easier and cheaper, only $5 for a pre-paid round trip unless you carpool with a group. Check the website for pick up locations near you.
UPDATE 05/21/10: Get discounted tickets for Sunday, June 13th, via Goldstar.com: $16.25 + $6.50 = $22.75 Total per person.
Approximate cost of creative date idea = $22.75 pp + $5 Transportation.
Actual value of the cheap date idea = $67 Total.