Date-night ideas that won’t break the bank

Date night doesn’t have to be expensive to be romantic and fun, and the price tag shouldn’t keep you from having a good time with your partner.

There are several budget-friendly date ideas right here in Los Angeles County.

For a night out that will keep you laughing, head to a comedy show. Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank offers tickets for as little as $15. Flappers is located at 102 East Magnolia Blvd., Burbank 91502. For tickets, call the box office at 818-845-9721.

The Laugh Factory in Hollywood has tickets starting at $17. Not only is this an affordable date option, but it will also almost guarantee a hilarious time. The Laugh Factory is located at 8001 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles 90046. For tickets and information, call the box office at 323-656-1336.

Watch the sunset while enjoying a throwback movie. The Rooftop Cinema Club hosts movie nights on the rooftops of buildings in Los Angeles. This is the perfect twist to a traditional movie date night. The two venues also offer a snack and drink bar, along with dinner for purchase. Past movie screenings have featured “Top Gun,” “Clueless” and “Die Hard” among many others. General admission seats are first come, first served, so make sure to get to the theater early. The Rooftop Cinema Club is located at 6121 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles 90028. For information on tickets and seating, call 863-434-8725.

For a date night in which you can express your creativity, opt for an evening of painting and wine. There are places like Pinot’s Palette, located at 25850 McBean Parkway at Granary Square, that provide guests with professional painting instructors to guide the class. There is also a bar with different drink options. For information on reserving a space in the class, call 661-260-0846. Couples can also enjoy this date activity at home by purchasing canvases, paint and a bottle of wine.

For a “day”-cation date, head to downtown Los Angeles and explore the museums. Admission to the California Science Center is free, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank. The California Science Center is located at 700 Exposition Park Drive in Los Angeles. More information on hours and exhibits can be found by calling 323-724-3623.

Within walking distance of the science center is the Natural History Museum, located at 900 West Exposition Blvd. in Los Angeles. The museum sells adult tickets for only $13. Finish the date off at the Exposition Park Rose Garden, which features rows of flowers, located right outside the Natural History Museum.

Instead of a traditional dinner date, look up recipes online for a dinner you have always wanted to make. Go grocery shopping for the ingredients together and spend the evening cooking, maybe even while you enjoy a glass of wine. Taste the final product together and see if the dish lives up to your expectations.

If you are set on getting out of the house for dinner, search for local restaurants that host a happy hour. Instead of ordering a main dish, order a few different appetizers to share off the happy hour menu.

Get outdoors and enjoy the different hiking trails around the city. This activity requires no money and adds the bonus of exercise and getting fresh air. Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park is one of several great places close by to explore and photograph. Located at 10700 Escondido Canyon Road, the area’s features range from rocky terrain to patches of green. The park’s hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For different hiking trails around Santa Clarita, go to hikesantaclarita.com.

Make an outdoor date a little more adventurous. Try searching for geocaches around the city. Geocaching.com gives you a link to a smartphone app with maps that will help on your geocaching hunt.

For a more relaxed outdoor activity, grab your partner and go on a picnic at a local park. You can spend time making the food together before heading outdoors and enjoying a simple, yet relaxing, activity.

Sing your heart out with a night of karaoke. This musical activity is also a great group date idea. If you don’t want to spend money on a private karaoke room, get to a karaoke bar early and be one of the first to sign up to sing in front of a room full of people.

For another group date, invite your friends over for a game night. Have each couple bring an appetizer so there is no pressure on the hosts to cook a large dinner. Spend hours switching off on games and playing late into the night.

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