Great dates! Fun but affordable date night ideas

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It's the weekend, (or even a weekday night) and you're making plans with that special someone. But you don't want to spend a fortune; you just want a fun, creative and affordable night out. We found some unique places for a great date night.

Hit a museum

If you'd like a little culture + companionship, consider going on a date to a museum. And while museums can be expensive, it doesn't have to break the bank. The Phoenix Art Museum is free on Wednesday nights. And the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is free on Thursdays, and free after 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. There are also First Fridays in Phoenix, which feature amazing art and let you take part in the culture and spirit of downtown Phoenix.

Phoenix Art Museum
(602) 257-1880

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

First Fridays 


Nothing brings folks together like working together to get out of a hairy situation. Escape rooms are all they rage, and they offer some good bonding time as you put your heads together to solve the mystery and make it out of the room in an hour. Check out Escape the Room AZ in Scottsdale. You can pick from a number of different "theme" rooms, like the Bank Heist, the Submarine, and an 80s-themed Rec Room. Or at the Phoenix Escape Room, you can rescue a fictitious "kidnapped girl," or search for pirate treasure while trapped on board a pirate ship. You can usually always find coupons and Groupons to get a good deal on an escape experience.

Escape the Room AZ, Scottsdale

Phoenix Escape Room, Phoenix

[Mobile users: click here to see photo of trivia night at the Arena]

It's all trivial!

Test your date's (and your own!) knowledge at a trivia night! It's become the thing to do- gather with other couples or friends on a certain night of the week and try out your trivia skills. There are bars and restaurants all over the Valley that offer trivia nights. Thursdays are especially popular. Check out the Arena, Doc & Eddy's and Cold Beer and Cheeseburgers on Thursday nights to partake in the fun.

Cheap flicks

OK, dollar movies may be a thing of the past, but there are still a few theaters around town that offer flicks for just a couple of bucks. Check out the Super Saver Cinemas 8 at I-17 and Bell Road. The cost? $3.00 for all shows every day; $1.50 on Tuesdays. And Pollack Tempe Cinemas offers $3.50 admission every day, and $2.50 on Tuesdays. And if you choose to go to a Harkins movie, don't forget a Harkins T-shirt will get you free popcorn all year, and a Harkins cup gets you cheap refills every time.

[Mobile users: Click here to see photo of West Wind Glendale Drive In]

Drive-In Movie

Speaking of movies, there is one drive-in left in town, and it's in Glendale. When the evenings cool down a bit, there's nothing like a date at an old-school drive-in. The West Wind Glendale drive-in costs $7.50 for general admission, and kids are just $1.25. Tuesday is family fun night for just 5.25 a person. And you can save on the snack bar; just bring some goodies in the car to share. facebook


There's no two-drink minimum at this comedy show. It's the perfect place to go for some great laughs before of after dinner. The Jesterz Improv Comedy Theater in Mesa offers two shows a night on weekends with clean comedy and some incredibly creative improv. Each show consists of 3-5 improv comics that perform 10-15 scenes and “theater games.” Every performance is different because the audience provides the subjects and suggestions for each scene. Tickets are about $14 for adults. And it's free on your birthday!
1061 N. Dobson Rd. #114 (Just behind Bass Pro Shop)
Mesa, AZ 85201
(480) 423-0120

[Mobile users: click here to see a photo of the Jesterz stage]

Dive bars

Forget the swanky clubs with the steep cover charge and pricey drinks! Some of the best places to go fly under the radar. Shoot pool, play darts or hang out at your favorite dive bar, where you can forget pretense and image, and just be yourself.

[LIST: Top 5 Scottsdale Dive Bars]

Hit the water

Cool off by taking your date on the water. You can rent a paddle boat at Encanto Park in Phoenix. You can also rent one at the lake in the middle of the Phoenix Zoo. Or how about a gondola ride? If you have dinner at Alto at the Hyatt Regency Gainey Ranch, a gondola ride is included with your dinner.

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