The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

How-to: Date on a budget

Whether you’re short on cash or just want some new inspiration for your evenings out, we’ve got your date night plans covered.

First, if the traditional dinner-and-a-movie date is your idea of a good time, check out these highlights of various deals in town that will make an evening out a little more affordable.

Next, if meal deals and movie nights are too common for you, consider taking advantage of the great outdoors to make your time together more special.

Finally, for those interested in a more romantic evening, read the accompanying “Ask an Expert” piece as local restaurant experts give their suggestions for date-night dining. From heavenly $3.50 sandwiches to the city’s classier dining spots, they suggest some of the area’s best options for a lovely evening out.

Story continues below advertisement

Casual Dates
Traditional options for the financially challenged

The key to enjoying a casual evening out is to find an activity that is inexpensive, but doesn’t seem too inexpensive. Here are a few ideas for a fun yet cheap night that still feels like date.

Movie and drinks for two

Although there are plenty of deals for your Tuesday night out, this pick for the evening includes dinner and a drink. First, catch the early film at the Downtown Cinema theater (previously known as The Cameo Budget) for $2 per ticket. Next, enjoy some relaxing conversation at Grizzly’s Grill N’ Saloon, 4890 Golf Rd., as you slowly sip one of their signature Titanic Teas – a large Long Island-based drink for only $3.50. There are over a dozen unique flavors of these tasty teas. Also, if you happen to get hungry, Tuesday night at Grizzly’s features two burgers for $7.99. If you’d prefer something a little more engaging than conversation, or if you’re under 21, try Northwoods BrewPub (3560 Oakwood Mall Dr.) instead for two-for-one burgers and free billiards.

Two-for-one burgers

Girolamo’s Court’n House Bar & Grill, 113 W. Grand Ave, may not be the most romantic of locations, but it serves up delicious (and cheap) food. Between 5 and 9 p.m. on Thursday nights, enjoy two for one burgers. Hamburgers are originally $3.75, cheeseburgers $4.00, and bacon cheeseburgers $4.75 (plus $1 to substitute fries for chips). This local favorite gets a lot of traffic on Thursday nights, so expect to wait in line. After supper, stick around for karaoke or bundle up and enjoy a walk along the beautiful Chippewa River.

Movie and music

Nothing says “weekend” like seeing a movie in the theater; unfortunately, ticket prices are becoming more and more expensive. Weekend nights are therefore a great time to take advantage of the FREE Campus Film Series, organized by the UAC. Each week, Thursday through Sunday, a different feature film plays in the Davies Theatre.

Many of the movies playing on campus are lesser-known independent or foreign films, so look for a review in the print or online edition of The Spectator for more information about the film. Also, if you catch the 6 p.m. showing, you’ll most likely be able to stop by The Cabin afterward for an entertainment double-feature.Late-night wings and a movie

Some of the best deals don’t start until after dark. Swing by Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que (2911 Mall Dr.) any night of the week after 8:45 p.m. for their wings special: 30 wings for only $9.99. Famous Dave’s even offers call ahead ordering and an express pick-up option, allowing you to share these wings in the comfort of your own couch. Then, stop by the closest Family Video on your way back from Dave’s, pick out any of their $1 movies and you’ve just scored dinner and a movie for $11.

Seasonal Picks

For a more romantic
(yet still very affordable) time together
One of the best ways to save money when planning dates is to take advantage of the season. Here are some fun (and cheap) ways to enjoy the beautiful season of autumn with a date or even a group of friends:

• FREE: Drive to Menomonie and hike through the gorgeous Hoffman
Hills trails.

• FREE: Stroll through the lovely Gem Gardens (7021 W. Lowes Creek Rd.)

• UNDER $15: Go apple picking and make caramel apples or apple crisp together.

• UNDER $15: Buy pumpkins from a local lot, carve them and roast the seeds.

• STARTING AT $2: Rent camping equipment, snowshoes, sleds, skates and other outdoor gear from the UW-Eau Claire Environmental Adventure Center.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
How-to: Date on a budget