These days, going on a date is expensive. Even if you’re doing something boring like having dinner and going to a movie, you’re looking at well over $100 if you’re going to have even a remotely good time. Even if you’re just getting your relationship going, in this economy, no one has the kind of cash to sustain baller-status dating for very long.
Fortunately, there are plenty of free things to do in Dallas with your significant other that won’t make you look like a total cheapskate, and that you can (mostly) enjoy in the air conditioning when it’s this damn hot outside. Nobody wants to look like a broke-ass in front of the person that they’re trying to seduce, even if you’ve been in a long-term, broke-ass relationship for years. Surprise your sweetheart with one of these seven fun, free, and creative ideas. You might just find that they’ll help you get lucky.
Tour a craft brewery
So, the dude you’re dating is into craft beer, but you don’t know the difference between an IPA and a Miller Lite. Take advantage of Dallas’ bevy of brewing companies to learn about the dizzying array of locally-made craft beers that can be found in our fair city, all while drinking plenty of free (or cheap!) beer. On Saturday afternoons, you can tour Four Corners Brewing Company in Trinity Groves for free, and sample their seven different brilliantly crafted brews.
Spend a Saturday at the Dallas Farmers Market
The Dallas Farmers Market is currently under heavy construction, and is only open Wednesday through Sunday. At present, most vendors only show up on the weekends, when the crowds are out in full-force. Even if you don’t have much cash to plunk down on farm-fresh groceries, you can still wander the vendor booths for cheap finds and taste samples of everything from homemade toffee to fresh-pressed juice. If you wander around enough, you might be full enough to skip brunch and head directly into an afternoon nap together.
Dallas Art Walk
If your significant other is really into art of all kinds, the Dallas Art Walk is a sort of artsy scavenger hunt. Using a printable map that you can download from the Office of Cultural Affairs’ website, you can tailor-make your own free stroll through town with stops at all the city’s major art destinations. If you want to keep things really inexpensive, treat your date to dinner from a food truck at Klyde Warren Park, and call it an “urban picnic.” You’re going to be exhausted after all that walking anyway.
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Check out Dallas-Fort Worth on the DART
Spending a day on public transit is a really interesting way to get to know someone, even more so when you're touring around the metroplex. You can pick up a day pass on the DART for less than it would cost you to drive around the city all day, and plan your own romantic tour of Dallas-Fort Worth from the train, making as many free stops along the way as you like. Maybe you want to wander around the parks and statues in Downtown Dallas, then head off to Denton for live music or vinyl record shopping. You could also try Fort Worth for a day of exploring the (free) permanent collection at the Kimbell Art Museum. Whatever you’re into, you can plan a free sightseeing tour to get more acquainted with your own city.
Take a (free) class together
There are plenty of opportunities to try something you’ve never done before in Dallas, even if you’re too broke to pay tuition. Learning together is a pretty cool way to bond, especially if you find a newfound mutual interest. Every Saturday morning, you can catch a free yoga class at Klyde Warren Park from the Dallas Yoga Center, or head to the Dallas Museum of Art for interactive sketching exhibits and other hands-on arts learning activities. You’re never too old to learn something new, especially when it won’t cost you a dime.
Check out Dallas’ most morbid spots.
If you’re a history nerd or otherwise into the morbid and strange, Dallas has plenty of places to check out. From Dealey Plaza and the site of Lee Harvey Oswald’s arrest (Texas Theatre) to his Oak Cliff home, you can practically do a Kennedy assassination tour of the city in a single afternoon. You can also check out the gravesites of celebrities from all eras, including Bonnie & Clyde, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Mickey Mantle. Admittedly, it’s a little weird, but if you’re into that kind of stuff, you’re going to love this trek through the darker parts of Dallas’ history.
Learn to dance together
Dancing makes everyone feel a little weird and vulnerable, which is perfect for an already-jittery first date. If you don’t want to sign up for ballroom dancing lessons, you can try a variety of styles across Dallas without spending money on anything other than a little necessary liquid courage. Try out your two-step at Cowboys Red River, learn western swing at Lewisville’s Electric Cowboy, or dive head-first into salsa dancing at Gloria’s in Addison. Even if you’re a terrible dancer, you’ll end up with a memorable experience. And maybe a little pity from your partner.