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September 17, 2008

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We love going to the park with the kids. It's an easy place to get good photos of the kids to email to the grandparents.

People watching... haha... my wife and I do that, sad but true!

hiking, go to museum

People watching is great but I'd rather not do it in a sterile, daylight-free mall! It can be done just as cheaply on the patio of a nice coffee shop. Local festivals are a big one for us here in Toronto - we go to the Greek festival, the Ukranian, the Pride parade, various outdoor art festivals, city organized concerts, city ice skating rinks and so forth and that keeps us occupied most weekends of the summer and others throughout the year. These are well put together events which cost very, very little.

Agreed on the park idea - we have 2 within walking distance and go to them at least weekly.

If you've got one near by: go to the beach

Have sex.

Go fishing (no, not in the money-pit you call a boat) but along the shore at the local lake and bring a picnic.

Museums. Second-run/art/rep theaters, if you have them nearby (usually better films anyway). Rush or student tickets for concerts. Cooking lesson or tasting. Pick fruit at a u-pick farm.

Part of the problem with early dating is that it is not likely to be comfortable having that kind of date in one of the daters' houses unless they already know each other well. I certainly wouldn't go to the house of a guy I had just met to bake cakes or watch a DVD, for instance. That tends to up the price a little--publicity equals safety but it tends not to be free.

In most cities there are TONS of free festivals throughout the year where you can see artwork, hear music, enjoy storytelling or other live performances, and usually enjoy some cheap food if you didn't pack a picnic. My husband and I try to take advantage of as many of these as possible. We always run into people we know and learn new things about our neighborhood. And if you own your own business, like we do, it never hurts to be out and about where you can do some networking! :)

I agree with Sarah; a lot of the "cheap date" ideas are great with somebody you've been dating awhile. But if a guy I'd just met suggested a "long country walk" I'd be a little uncomfortable. Ditto cooking together or going over to his house to watch a movie.

To avoid the expensive dinner/drinks I do like the museum idea or getting coffee together is always good.

I'm not going to lie though, as a single 20-something I think drinks are kind of necessary during at least a couple of those first dates! If a guy kept suggesting cheap and alcohol free dates I would be turned off. That doesn't mean we have to spend $100 at a nice restaurant, but the willingness to splurge a little when you're courting is kind of the whole point and signals to some degree your interest in the other person.

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