Fabulous ($5) Shopping Spree

WHAT

$5 (plus tax) and a sense of humor

A good sense of humor is probably the most important aspect of this date. Once your companion realizes you're headed to the Dollar Store, there might be some initial resistance. For that reason, it's generally best to keep it cryptic about the destination address.
But fret naught, it's easy to overcome and I explain exactly how I conduct this outing.
Obviously, without a Dollar Store... this date pretty much doesn't work.
And of course, without your $5+, you'd otherwise be leaving empty handed.
Take your date by the hand, and walk each isle, suggesting items for one of their 5 and asking their opinion on each thing that catches your eye. At the end, ring up your purchase and go find something fun to do with the 5 items.

WHEN

When do they close?

I almost made this mistake once and had to rush to make it with my date before they closed. So, lesson learned is check the store hours during the planning phase of this outing. 9pm was when the Dollar Stores closed for me, but Dollar Tree or Dollar Emporium or Dollar-Whatever you have in your area probably have different hours.

WHERE

Dollar Store Locations

Better make sure there are at least a couple options in your area and you're not having to drive 45 miles each way to spend $5.

READ MORE..



Zombie ACOSTCOlypse

WHAT

Costco Membership (or just goto Wal-Mart) and some Zombie knowledge

If you've never seen a a zombie movie before, you're going to need to be a fast learner.
Also, you'll probably need to grab a shopping cart (duh...) and maybe even a disguise (assuming you want to come back here and shop someday).

WHEN

Special Holiday Hours? Or is it just Tuesday?

Pretty straight forward way to narrow down the "when" is: business hours.
Short of being a key-holding store employee, you will probably need to stick to the standard open-to-close times provided on their website.
But once you have that window figured out, you can further determine the best time. Weekend afternoons are AWAYS going to be busy, but they are also always going to have the 'Senior Buffet' aka the billion sample brunch. There will be no less than a dozen employees, setup & handing out food samples. While you're filling your cart with survival essentials, make sure to fuel-up with all the samples you can eat. Plus, this may possibly save you from having to pay for a real meal later. Always thinking...

WHERE

Costco Locations

Better make sure there are at least a couple options in your area and you're not having to drive hours to find a warehouse club store

READ MORE..



I Think I L-IKEA You

WHAT

Browse IKEA displays & role-play your future

What would your lives be like living in this display room? Does IKEA rent these rooms out after-hours to people? Maybe a new revenue stream for them...? Like an AirBnB, but IKEAirBnB. They can even provide a continent breakfast (only 1 continent). I don't know, but it's something you two can discuss..

WHEN

Timing is important.. but so are Business Hours

Play it safe, go check their website and figure out when they close. Yes, I too like to live dangerously, but some things you just don't leave to chance...

To further drill down, what are you looking for? Relaxed conversation? A platform for people watching? If it's busy (like on the weekends or around "back to school" time), you will have a slew of interesting people to observe and create backstories for. Otherwise, if you want a little less chaos, you might want to stick to non-peak hours/days.)

WHERE

IKEA Locations

Hopefully there's an IKEA location around you (you can use the "Find A.." feature to check). Assuming so, then this should be pretty straightforward.
If there is NOT an IKEA location close by to you... pick a different activity.

READ MORE..



Ain't Got TIMESHARE For That

WHAT

Timeshare Presentations = free meal + Visa Gift card - Your Time + Funny Story

Seriously. My parents used to do this all the time. Granted, they were in like the top 1% for RCI or VI or something, so there was no reason to ever buy into more points... but the presenters never knew that (until the end). That's one way it made it very easy to say "no thanks" to the high pressure sales tactics.
Another way to avoid that is by just being super cheap or poor--you either don't want to afford it or simply can't! Brilliant!

Find a Timeshare presentation that offers a free gift or at least a meal you are interested in, find a date who's game for it, and enjoy! You can even dress up and pretend to be a long time married couple, even if it's your first date.

WHEN

The 3rd week of any months ending in Y..

You're pretty much at the mercy of whatever company is putting on the presentation. It's not like a standard restaurant where you can just call and make reservations for a time you want. You have to be on the lookout for these events and if you see them, make sure to make note of the date & time.

WHERE

Timeshares, Free Dinner Events, Free [something] Seminar, etc.

Sometimes you'll get these things in the mail, sometimes you'll find them online, sometimes you'll get recruited by your friends and neighbors. Either way, be on the lookout for these opportunities to get a free meal, gift card, or some other thing of value to you. If you dig around a little, you'll find a whole bunch of these types of events in your area.

READ MORE..



NAPternoon Delight!

WHAT

Casual Nap To A Forgettable Film

We've all put on a movie with no intention of actually paying attention to it. At least this time you can be real upfront about what's going to happen.
The movie is just background noise and a small distraction while you and your date get snuggled up and comfy. So grab some blankets and extra pillows, select a random movie (tip: try not to choose something with a bunch of crazy shootouts or action scenes) and start sawing logs.

WHEN

Morning, Noon, or Night!

I'd like to say that anytime is fine for a nap, but there probably are some times when you should be alert and wakeful. However, once you've narrowed down when you can schedule to be lazy, you should jump on that opportunity. And by jump, I mean fall asleep.

WHERE

Your Bed, A Couch, The Floor, etc

Unless you're a horse or a person with the unique ability to sleep in an upright, standing position... then pretty much any relatively flat, moderately comfortable area that's large enough for 2 will do. Personally, my preference would be to make a "super bed" which is basically just a spot on the floor that you've comfyfied with pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, etc. Granted, the bed or the couch are obviously suitable options as well that require less upfront work.

READ MORE..



Self-Help Section Projection

WHAT

Walking around the bookstore, making up bullshit

Start out in an easy section like weird diseases or the area dedicated to Psychological and Sociological Disorders and branch your way out to rows the require more imagination.

WHEN

Bookstores have hours... and criminals have lockpicks?

Probably safest to just stick to regular business hours. Pick a time when they're open and not super busy, then get in and do your thing!

WHERE

Large Bookstores like Barnes & Noble or others

The bigger and more bustling, the better. The larger an area to wander around, the more time you can spend and the more ideas you can get to talk about.

READ MORE..



Worst Wedding Registry EVER

WHAT

Create the most ridiculous wedding registry

Using a free wedding registry service like Target.com's, head to a location and grab a hand scanner from the customer service department. From there, you and your date can roam the isles, scanning and adding the craziest items to your list in hopes that some rich wedding guest will buy it for you (or at least look at it and wonder "wtf?!?")
Whether it's a first date or the 14th, you get to image yourselves as if you were gong to get hitched (make up the reason) and now it's your chance to ask for all the crap you can't afford on your own!

WHEN

Target's open late!

I think Target's open til like 11pm in many places. But reglardless, it's probably best to check the store hours first before heading out there. Otherwise you'll have your first nearly-married-fight.

WHERE

Right over the Target... .com

As you can probably tell.... I suggest Target. However, there may not be a location in your area and you can choose something like Bed Bath & Beyond or Macy's instead. All of them should have free services and hand scanners. (it's only fun if you get to goto the store and scan stuff with the laser thing).

READ MORE..



Coffee, Lotto, a Walk & a Convo

WHAT

Coffee, Lotto ticket, and a place to walk

Coffee can always be subbed for something else, but it's not the greatest idea to try and get tipsy and then go walk a bunch (granted, this is good practice for getting pulled over I guess?)

WHEN

Anytime's good for Coffee!.. and walks... except night.. or heavy rain..

You should probably pick this one strategically, unless you work like graveyard shift or are some kind of insomniac.
Regardless, you can probably figure out a good When based on your caffeine tolerance.

WHERE

Coffee shops are everywhere, throw a damn dart

Pick whichever place you think is good, but the idea is that it should be near a good place to take a walk.
The aim is to not have to hop in the car and drive to a place to then go walk.

READ MORE..



Trail Mix & an Urban Hike

WHAT

"Hikes need trail mix..."

Everybody loves a hike. Well, some people like them. However, there's not always a great place to GO for a hike; maybe you live in the city?
Not to fear! You can even kick it up a notch by adding in a DIY-trailmix portion to the date!

Hit the best bulk-food section of your local grocery store and create a trailmix concoction you and your date can munch on while you wander.

WHEN

Day, Night, Sun, Rain, Snow... eh, mostly just Sun..

Any time is fine, as long as you are ok with the elements. Sunny afternoons work great, but sometimes a stroll around sunset or an early morning excursion will better fit the bill. An umbrella and boots may be necessary if you live in the Pacific Northwest (but if you're really from here, you don't use an umbrella). Consider you'll be outside, it could be slippy (this is apparently a Pittsburgh) so make sure your footwear is appropriate. If it's after sunset, consider bringing a flash light (and then you can tell ghost stories or something later when you find a park bench).

WHERE

A city stroll or high-rise hopping

Pick a walk around your city--
Include stair-cases, hills, even buildings with elevators! You can use something like MapMyRun to create a route and utilize your phone's GPS to keep on track.
Something fun

READ MORE..



Post(perfect)mates Delivery Date

WHAT

Earn $$$ while going on dates!

No joke, it doesn't get any cheaper than negative costs! This idea is genius for like 6 different reasons!

Load up your Fleet App (or Instacart or Grubhub or whatever delivery driver app you use), get in your car with your date, and wait for orders.
Again, you'll need to do this during a peak time for best results... otherwise you'll just be sitting in your car with someone you might not really know very well yet.
Another good tip is to be somewhat close to a number of popular restaurants. Some prior scouting can do a world of good for this (as in: do a test run alone to see which restaurants are most popular and during what times so you know where to hedge your bets toward).
All in all, if you play your cards right, you can have a fun time earning some extra cash and possibly even end up with a really cool date story.

WHEN

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner!

This should be a no-brainer. While your standard "romantic encounter" usually happen within a certain section of the clock, this date lends itself to an "outside of the box" experience.

While many dates tend to be an evening thing, you could have some real fun hanging with your newest hot-homie and delivering lunch to people too lazy to go pick it up themselves!

For that reason, an afternoon delivery date during a mid-week lunch rush is a great construct for a memorable time.

WHERE

No Planes or Trains, but yes @ Automobiles

So, this wouldn't be 100% accurate if it didn't include the option of a tandem-delivery-bicycle. Yes, that is a possibility. Plausible? Not exactly.

But more than likely, you'll be in a car (either yours or your date's). The car can be great because you essentially have a captive audience (and not captive in the way a crazy person would mean it) who you can get to know without the standard distractions of a bar, restaurant, or whatever dive your date destination would have been.

READ MORE..



Thrift Store Scavenger Hunt

WHAT

"I'm like basically an Indian Guide.. what are we looking for again?"

Find a decent thrift store, a good day to go, and someone to join the journey.
You can create your own list of things to find, or you can use some of the items in here.

Here are some things to find:

  • The fanciest item
  • The best Summer outfit
  • The best secret disguise
  • The worst shirt/top
  • A uniform of some type
  • A green sweater
  • The worst picture frame for a sexy photo

WHEN

Basically during store-hours... unless you're good at picking locks.

If so, you can pretty much go whenever you want then.
(best to have a decent escape plan or a getaway ride waiting if you are choosing to B&E)

WHERE

Thriftstores and Second Hand shops

Goodwill, Salvation Army, or any other Thrift Store you can find around your area.

READ MORE..



Vision Boards & Bitchin' Scores!

WHAT

If you can see if, you can achieve it!

There's no way you haven't heard of The Secret by now (or some variation of The Law of Attraction). One of the things they talk about is creating a Vision Board. Think of this like a grade-school collage project where you just cut out pictures of all the stuff you want and words/letters that have special meaning to you. This can be anything from serious to goofy, which is great--it doesn't pigeon hole yourself into some dry, boring blah thing.
So, grab as many magazines and old junk mail as you can, find some old newspapers or cool advertisement flyers and then start cutting up the pieces that make up your future fabulous life.

WHEN

There's no time like the present..?

Depending where you end up going may further narrow down WHEN you do it.
If you choose to spread your art projects out over the tables of a local cafe, great. Figure out their business hours and least busy times, schedule it up & go!
Otherwise, if you plan to make things a little more private, one of your places is probably the ideal situation. As long as there's somewhere to cut, glue, and chat, you're golden.

WHERE

Gather your supplies, and then WHERE EVER!

Once you have your magazines and glue-sticks and such, you can pretty much just post up at someone house--or, if you're a real gangster, a 24-hour diner or Starbucks. Covering your table with magazine scraps and blobs of non-toxic glue are probably not in the restaurant's job description (though that might be nicer to pick up than half-finished pancakes or a picked-apart chicken sandwich.
But regardless of where you choose, as long as you keep it playful, it'll be a fun time.

READ MORE..



The Open Mic Talent Scouts

WHAT

You're going to Hollywood... district

Watching up and coming talent can be fun (or not). Sometimes though, it's even more fun to "get in on the performance" aspect of things and be an observing talent agent, looking for the next major star.

You and your date will find a suitable seat, get out your notebooks, order a beverage or two, and then start deciding who's fame-worthy, and who needs to keep their day job.

WHEN

Thursday? Tuesday? When's an open mic?

If you have a comedy club in your area, they will no doubt have an open mic night.
They tend to be on the less-busy nights, but there's usually no cover charge. Get there a little early though, just in case.

WHERE

Comedy club, Jazz bar, Music venue?

If you're not already abreast of the local spots to watch strangers perform what they believe is talent, hop on to Gewgle and see where any "local comedy" or "open mic night" are.
Once you've found one that suits, the rest is ... well, the rest.

READ MORE..



Tinder, Tequila, & Too Much Fun

WHAT

Fun and making-Fun of stuff!

Post up at a bar or some other agreed upon spot, pop open your Tinder app, and start co-swiping with your date.

WHEN

The earlier, the better...

Honestly, the earlier you choose to do this will probably be proportional to the success/fun level.
Later times are usually busy. Busy means loud. Loud sucks for trying to crack jokes and make fun of weirdos on dating apps. If possible, pick a time either early in the evening if it's a weekend, or choose an off-night like a Tuesday or Wednesday.

WHERE

Anywhere's fine, as long as they've got WiFi

Truthfully, you could probably just use your mobile data if the wifi sucks...
But aside from that, any bar/pub/brewery will do! Just replace 'Tequila' with drink-of-your-choice.
Extra points if you keep the alliteration.

READ MORE..



Raise The BAR GAMES!

WHAT

Simple. Easy. Cheap.

There are a lot of options, but here's a few common ones you should find at most establishments:

  • Pool/Billiards
  • Darts
  • Shuffle Board
  • Ping Pong
  • Board Games
  • Card Games (Uno, Speed, etc.)
  • Corn Hole
  • Pin Ball
  • Bingo

WHEN

Hours of Operation?

Again, like many of the other outings, unless you're skilled at B&E, you'll probably have to stick to regular business hours.

WHERE

Yelp & Google to the rescue!

Narrow down the types of games you want to play (for instance, maybe your date is a 1-armed Vietnam Vet... Pool is probably not the best choice in this case)

READ MORE..



I Don't Karaoke How Bad You Are

WHAT

Step 1. Pick a song. Step 2. Embarass yourself?

Even if you're not a good singer, there are ways around this. Bob Dylan songs for instance. Or songs that are intentionally done bad (Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, etc).
However, the easiest genre to do in my opinion, is rap.
Rap is the easiest Karaoke option to be "good-shitty" at. Singing, on the other hand, you have to be somewhat in-tune, find spots to breathe, use proper inflection, etc. There's a lot to think about with singing while with Rap, you can just basically talk in a structured cadence and people will be ok with it. With Rap, as long as you know (most of) the words and have a (somewhat) steady cadence... easy, done. I'd suggest "old school" songs as well like Warren G - Regulators. This is a crowd favorite from what I've experienced. Everyone knows it and it's not too difficult to perform.
Are there any songs you can think of that would make a "good" karaoke option? My personal favorite is SkeeLo - I Wish. (feel free to steal that one and use it for yourself--another crowd pleaser that poeple will sing along during the chorus with)

WHEN

I've got 1 kitchen table and no Microphone...

Unless you've got your own Disco-Tailgate rig, you are (like many of the other outings) limited by the hours of operation for said-business. Pro Tip: Check Google, or, you can use the "Find A..." option to search for "Karaoke" in your zip code or city.

WHERE

Hey Siri... Where can I Karaoke?

Unfortunately, Karaoke isn't like a dance battle where it could just go down at any time, any where. Granted, you can invest in a portable/home karaoke machine and take the party to your place. Heck, you can even just search on YouTube for "< song name > karaoke" and you'll find an instrumental/karaoke version that you can sing along with.
But, short of running a Speakeasy-style Karaoke club out of your domecile, you may be relegated to searching the internets for available options.
You can use the "Find A..." feature and search for "Karaoke" in your zipcode or city to find places that are rocking mics and melting faces.

READ MORE..



Garage Sale Grifting Gold

WHAT

Get the best deal for an item

The idea is pretty simple. You are trying to get the best deal for an item of your choosing. Whether it's a graphic tee or an old action figure, whoever can haggle for the biggest discount is the winner.
Take it a step further and whoever can find the best value, meaning what do you think the owner paid vs. what price did you pay at the garage sale for it?
Final game variation, whoever can get the MOST items for their money is the winner.

WHEN

Garage Sale Season is upon us..

Usually, garage sales are linked to "nice weather". No one wants to be walking around in the rain from house to house in your ritsy neighborhood, trying to find bargains.
Most often, you can find listings for garage sales in the newspaper, Craigslist, or on Facebook. I remember when I was a child, we would have a neighborhood garage sale. All the houses around the neighborhood would collectively put up signs around the area and, on the agreed upon weekend, would open their garage doors to any roving weirdos who wanted to see their old stuff.
tl;dr check the newspaper, craigslist, or facebook.

WHERE

To The... GARAGE!

Often times, homeowners will group together and host a neightborhood garage sale. You can pretty much bank on parking your car somewhere in the neighborhood and then walking from garage to garage as you play your games.

READ MORE..



Walking Rescue Dogs to the Rescue!

WHAT

Walking + Dogs = Good Times

Some of the Conversation Games you can play include things like:

  • Which dog at this dog park is good enough for [your dog]?
    Which of these muts would you let get fresh with your wo/man's best friend?
  • If your dog were a person, what kind of perosn would they be?
    Are they an asshole cheery morning person who's blood seems to be made of coffee? Basically the guy at the office who's always way too happy and excited about stuff? Maybe they're a crotchety old man who sits on his porch and yells at the kids to get off his lawn? What human traits do you think this dog embodies most? (from the single walk you've apparently taken them on haha)
  • Is this dog a player or virgin?
    Horn dog Harry or Virtuous Vivian? Want to test if your analysis is correct? Take them off leash and see what happens! (totally kidding--DO NOT do that)
  • This dogs previous life/job?
    What did this dog do before it found itself here? Was it working in fixed underground dog racing contests and Fido didn't throw the race like he was supposed to? Did this dog escape from a puppy mill and is looking for a new home?
Whatever you can come up with, just make it fun and entertaining!

WHEN

There's a time and a place... on their website

You can usually find programs through your local humane society or non-profit animal rescues where they'll allow you to sign up and walk the dogs or play with the animals. These are usually free and run on a schedule (can't just show up for some doggo-time on a whim).

WHERE

Ask around..

The Humane Society is the best place to start. Another simple option is to ask a few local vets if they know of any dog walking programs. If anyone is clued into the pup-scene, you'd assume it'd be the local vet/animal hospital. Just walk right in, politely introduce yourself to the receptionist, and ask if there are any local dog walking programs for the humane society or rescues. Anyone who works with animals obviously loves animals and will be happy to help.

READ MORE..



Picnic In The Business Park

WHAT

An indoor picnic in a fancy business building

Instead of waiting for the perfect sunny day and all the other moving pieces to fall into place schedule-wise, consider hosting your picnic in one of the nice office buildings around your area. Scout out a cozy little spot in advance, pack a casual meal or snack, (maybe a bottle of wine?) and bring your date to your weather controlled oasis.

WHEN

Timing is everything.. or most of it... sometimes..

Aside from worrying about business hours (i.e. getting in and not locked-in), the only other consideration I'd advise you on... considering.. is if the area gets busy during a lunch rush.
If that's the case, try to pick an off hour--maybe even an early dinnerish sort of thing.

WHERE

A suburban business complex common area

There are no doubt a local business complex around your area, and the newer they are, the more likely they are to have a nice little "common area" with tables, couches, fake plants, and other stuff to make it seem like it's a nice place... and not just where people goto work.
So, either hit a Google search for business complex locations in your area and go do a little recon. The things I look for would be as much privacy as possible, though this is sort of counter intuitive for these types of areas. However, they do exist, you just have to do a little bit of looking.
And if anyone starts questioning why you're there, just claim to work in the insurance agency--there is ALWAYS an insurance agency in these types of buildings. Claim you just started and that's also why you'll have no other information, probably including the name of the place you just asserted that you're employed at. Oh well..

READ MORE..



Backpack, Boardgame, & a Bottle/Beer

WHAT

Backpack, a Board (or card) game, and something inebriating

Other than those things listed above, a simple place to eat/play is really all that you'll need...
..and a blanket or something to sit on to make it pic-nic'y

WHEN

Pretty much whenever? (weather permitting I guess)

I almost made this mistake once and had to rush to make it with my date before they closed. So, lesson learned is check the store hours during the planning phase of this outing. 9pm was when the Dollar Stores closed for me, but Dollar Tree or Dollar Emporium or Dollar-Whatever you have in your area probably has different hours.

WHERE

Is it flat? Good enough...

Ideally, a picnic is outside, but it doesn't really matter. You could even post up in your living room on the floor if it's raining or you're just lazy as hell and trying to score.

READ MORE..



21st Birthday Mulligan

WHAT

"I'm older, wiser... and my friends can actually afford to buy me drinks now!"

It's fun to pretend to be 21 again. And if anyone gives you a hard time about it, tell them to "F off, I identify as a 21 year old tonight."

WHEN

Before 2am?

Honestly, any day is great. Doing it on an actual birthday is a little better, but definitely not required.

WHERE

The more laid-back the bar, the better.

You can suss out the vibe of a venue the moment you step in. You probably already have a good idea of the spots that are chill and the spots that are... well, not. Either pick a 'home base' or use the Pub Crawl method. Either way, really any bar will suffice.

READ MORE..



Pre-Funk Before The Pool... Hall!

WHAT

"I get really good between beers 2 and 3..."

Bars often offer FREE POOL on certain days. To encourage more degenerates to come in and drink during the early afternoons, bars have taken to offering things like “free pool” on Sundays & other typically “slower” times.

Find a place you enjoy that has a pool table (and NOT a pool league that night) and possibly some beverage options.
If you're too cheap to buy a couple drinks, you can pre-funk in the car and 'babysit' a beer the rest of the evening.
You may need a bunch of quarters as well..

WHEN

Consider the 'off-night' times...

A number of bars and taverns will offer free pool on Sunday afternoons or Wednesday nights or some other typically slow day (the bar is trying to drive business in on an otherwise crap night for them).
See if there are any places in your area that offer free pool and consider settling in there.
Another (half decent) option would be to learn to pick locks and take the glass guard off the table.
Either way.

WHERE

Bars or Billiard spots

As long as they have a(n available) pool table and a cue or two, you're pretty much good to go.
Now, add in a little 'social lubricant' aka alcohol and you can loosen up and have some more uninhibitted fun.

READ MORE..



Talk About Tongue Twisters

WHAT

Nothing like a Tongue Twister to get your mouth moving

Tongue Twisters are always a fun little challenge that bring back childhood memories. For that reason, they're a good choice as an ice-breaker/conversation piece.
Everyone knows at least one or two tongue twisters, but here are a few the two of you can play with:

  • Peter Piper
    Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers;
    A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked;
    If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
    Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

  • How Much Wood..
    How much wood would a woodchuck chuck,
    If a woodchuck could chuck wood?

  • Betty Botter
    Betty Botter bought some butter;
    "But," said she, "this butter's bitter!
    If I put it in my batter
    It will make my batter bitter.
    But a bit o' better butter
    Will but make my batter better."
    Then she bought a bit o’ butter
    Better than the bitter butter,
    Made her bitter batter better.
    So 'twas better Betty Botter
    Bought a bit o’ better butter.

  • Two Tooters
    A tutor who tooted the flute
    Tried to teach two young tooters to toot.
    Said the two to the tutor,
    "Is it harder to toot, or
    To tutor two tooters to toot?"

  • She Sells Sea Shells
    She sells seashells on the sea shore.
    The shells she sells are seashells, I'm sure.
    And if she sells seashells on the sea shore,
    Then I'm sure she sells seashore shells.

  • Pad Kid
    Pad kid poured curd pulled cod

  • Rubber Baby Buggy
    Rubber baby buggy bumpers

  • Glum Groom
    The glum groom grew glummer

WHEN

Whenever Is Fine

Since this is just a little conversation game, you can play whenever you want. It doesn't matter the time (as long as it's not "quiet hours" or something weird). Lull in the conversation? Ask about Tongue Twisters!

WHERE

The world is your clam.. cause its easier to spell

There 'where' isn't very particular. As long as you two can hear each other speak, I'd say you're fine. This is good as a "filler" or "thing to do while..". Try these on a walk or drive to your next destination. Times where you want to fill the gaps are the places you can toss in the tongue twisters.

READ MORE..



Gone Fishin'

WHAT

Fishing, chilling, and chatting

Did you know fishing is a sport? That's right. Even with the motor of the boat and all those fancy gadgets doing most of the heavy lifting... fishing is played on ESPN and there are tournaments for 6-figure prizes!

Fishing is also a good place to just chill and chat. You can do it from a boat or the shore, with minimal preparation and very inexpensive equipment. Find a body of water, find a date, find some fish!

WHEN

Morning or Afternoon probably... when are the fish feeding?

Whether you want to consult Google or the Farmers' Almanac... or just take a stab in the dark, you should probably find out some simple specifics like "when do fish like to feed?what's the best bait to use and where to get it?" and "is there a time when we're NOT allowed to fish?"

That's a good place to start on when to go.

WHERE

River, Lake, Pond, etc.

If you've been in your city for more than a few months, you should be aware of at least 1 place where there's water. Assuming you've been driving around with your eyes closed and ears shut... you can consult Google to figure out what a good spot to try is. There will be at least a few blogs related to fishing in your area and they'll have some suggestions. You may have to do a little bit of digging to find some good info, but it'll be worth it. A little bit of work now will lead to a fishing spot you can use all the time.

READ MORE..



International Airport Olympics

WHAT

People watching games at the International Airport

There are multiple mini-games that fall into the entirity of the International Airport Olympics. Just lkie the olympics has multiple events, so does this.

Baggage Claim Psychic
This game is points based. You and your date mosey on down to the baggage claim and post up in an inconspicuous spot. Wait around for a flight to get in and the bags to start rolling down the conveyor belt.
Your goal: match luggage to travelers.
Each time your correct (which is not that often), you get a point. These tend to end a lot like soccer games (low scores, ties). But oh man.. when you get one right... it's time to gloat.

Then, once the losses are too much to bear (because again, unless you're a real psychic, matching luggage to travelers is NOT an easy task), it's time to move over to a security checkpoint and play "Bigger, Better, Backstory"

Bigger, Better, Backstory
This game is all about crafting a story about a person's life who you presumably know nothing about. The idea is that you give a potential detail about the intended target, and then your date "Yes, And's" you and gives another detail.. but just a little more fantastical. Each additional detail should get more and more incredible until you move onto the next person. Then, you can continue to interweave and bring back in previous "characters" and stitch together back-stories for the entire airport population.

WHEN

Fly times at the airport lounge

The airport doesn't close. They're open 24 hours a day (well, except some of the businesses inside--they close).
You can really choose any time you want, but here are a few tips that may come in handy:

  • When are a bunch of flights coming in?
    You can look up arrivals/departures on the airports website iirc. You don't have to get this granular, but you can check out to see if more flights seem to get in around one time or another
  • Plan on grabbing a drink or bite to eat?
    If so, then you should probably rule out certain times when those restaurants will be closed. Also, consider what is OUTSIDE of the security checkpoint. Unless you have a ticket or a way past TSA, you are pretty much relegated to the food/drink options in the general area of the airport. Don't fret though, there are going to still be at least a few places to choose form.
  • Where are you going to park?
    It'd be a good idea to get an idea of the parking situation prior to going. How much is short term parking? Do they take credit cards or cash only? Are you carpooling or meeting each other there?
    All pretty simple things, but it'll make you much more comfortable and relaxed when you already have an idea of how things are going to work--it's why performances have dress rehersals.

WHERE

.... the airport, duh

Granted, if it's a small or private airport, this doesn't really work. The people watching and the food options will be nil, so best to stick to the large airport (especially the international) variety.
If you aren't sure where the closest airport is to you... I wouldn't even suggest Google'ing it--I'd tell you to just not do this.
You must live hours from an airport, so this will become anything but a cheap date if you were to follow thru. haha

READ MORE..



Happy Hour Pub Crawl

WHAT

"Your own DIY Pub-Crawl"

Find a string of pubs/bars that are within walking distance of each other. Verify they all have a similar time-frame for Happy Hour. Map out your route-to-take; park your car at one place, walk to the further bar, and work your way back.
(or call a cab/Uber/Lyft)

WHEN

Every Hour is Happy Hour... but usually it's like 3-6, 9-close

Sometimes Happy Hour is whenever you say it is. I mean really, if you think about it, it's basically a state of mind (that also includes drink and/or food specials which happened to be based outside of your mind and within reality).
But all that aside,

WHERE

Map out a route

You can string together a series of pubs on Google Street View or even use something like MapMyRun to create a "rum route"

READ MORE..



Low-Budget Bar Tenders

WHAT

YouTube Mixology Degree

Figure out how to make some sort of semi-fancy drink. YouTube has lots of people who fancy themselves the next Tom "Cocktail" Cruise, so let the algorithm guide you down a booze-soaked rabbit hole.
Once you have your cocktail list designed, grab a bunch of mini-bottles from your local alcohol store. I say mini-bottles because we're trying to keep this under $20 without resorting to stealing or breaking the law. Now, re-watch that YouTube video a few more times and memorize the coolest parts. Then, proceed to impress your date while you cue up "Cocktail", conjure up a creative concoction, then curl up on the couch to watch the movie and criticize Cruise's technique.

WHEN

Anytime is fine when you're the one mixing the drinks!

You set the schedule, you pick the time. Since this is date is either going to happen at one of your places or potentially in the liquor store parking lot while you stream Netflix on your phone.... the idea is you can basically do it whenever. Granted, some pre-planning on ingredients list is suggested, but part of the fun is making the purchase together.

WHERE

My Place or Yours?

As long as there's cups and maybe a television, you're pretty much set. And honestly, you don't even need the television part. However, it's much better to watch something like "Cocktail" or "Club Paradise" or something in that genre.

READ MORE..



Make-Shift Ice Cream Shop

WHAT

An Old-Fashioned Date With A Frugal Flair

Because lines at ice cream specialty shops tend to be long, sometimes you just want to get your treat and get on with the date. Patience is a virtue, but standing in line with someone you might have just met for the first time can be a bit of pressure. So, make it easier on both of you and skip the line entirely. Find a nearby grocery store (or even a 7-11 in a pinch) and head over toward the freezer section. There you'll find a variety of (probably overpriced) ice cream to choose from. If you're trying to keep it cheap, you can grab a single half gallon (oddly enough, generally cheaper than the specialty pints) of one flavor... or neopalitan if you're trying to be extra special. BUT WAIT! you're not done yet. Don't make the mistake of walking out of the store without AT LEAST some plastic flat ware or spoons for eating said ice cream. You could even go a step further and grab some Chinet bowls

WHEN

Ye Olde Ice Creame Shoppe... has short hours!

One of the bvest things about grabbing your ice cream from the grocery store is that most of them are either A.) open late, or B.) potentially open 24 hours.
For this reason, you can pretty much do this date whenever you can make it to the grocery store (or again, a 7-11 in a pinch... they have a small assortment of ice cream and it will due if you are just trying to fulfull your legal obligation to the date you outlined for your potential-partner.)
Play it safe and just check the hours of operation, but like I said, you're probably going to be fine at virutally any time.

WHERE

Does this town even have an ice cream shop?

What about a 'Shoppe'?
Even in a one-horse-town, there's probably a grocery store that has ice cream for sale. If listening to John Mellencamp has taught me anything, small towns ALL have a "Tasty Freeze" where Jack & Dianne will be sucking on chilli dogs.
Ultimately, you can probably leave it up to Google to figure out4 where the nearest grocery sotre or establishment that serves/sells ice cream is.

READ MORE..



Bar Hopping Scavenger Hunt

WHAT

Photo-Scavenger Hunt where the first to send the pic gets a point

The rukes are pretty straightforward and simple:
Find each item on the list, take a picture of it, and text it to your potential-partner before they text you.

This game requires you to have exchanged phone numbers (scoooooore!).

    Items To Find & PicMsg:
  • #7 Billiard ball
  • Half-empty beer glass
  • Parking meter
  • Toothpick or Mint
  • Graffiti on a bathroom wall/stall
  • Napkin with a name or number
  • Picture with a Bartender
  • Event flyer / promo poster
  • Dog
  • Numbered Street Sign
  • Tree
  • Batahroom mirror selfie
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • The word "Pub"
  • The word "Tavern"

Each item is worth one point. Have the least trustworthy person keep score.

WHEN

You don't have to go home... but you can't photograph here

As long as you start prior to last call (and you're a total night owl I guess), you can make this work just about anywhere. Obviously the easiest time to do this would be some sort of business hours that facilitate photo taking.
Example: If you're a shy person to begin with, you might not feel totally comfortable snapping random pictures. You might be the type of person who is constantly thinking, "...are people lookoing at me? Do they think what I'm doing is weird? Oh shit.. do they think I'm like a spy or something?"
So, if you're one of those people who (like me) is constantly "in their head" about stuff, you may want to choose hours/days that are traditionally not as packed. However, if you're a fan of people-watching, you may want to hit the peak hours where you have prime viewing.

WHERE

The Bar, Bitch!

The name sort of implies the location of the outing... so, if you didn't pick that up by now, well.. this one probably isn't for you (and this whole series of cheap dates probably isn't for you either come to think of it... no refunds, though.)

READ MORE..



Stripper Name Or Regular Noun

WHAT

Is it a Noun or a Stripper?

The game isn't very hard (pun intended). The idea is simple--come up with a name that could either represent an everyday noun or a stage name for a stripper.
Once you have come up with a name, then decide on what song this exotic dancer likes to perform to as well as the signature move that they do to earn all the $$$ from their sleazey patrons.

WHEN

A Game That Requires Little Warming Up

Whenever the mood strikes, you can pull this little conversation game out of your back pocket and have a laugh. Since we aren't reliant on business hours to facilitate the timing of this date, you can pretty much just drop this into conversation whenever and let the good times roll!

WHERE

Anywhere. Any time. Any (well, almost) Noun...

Since this is a game based on imagination and conversation, it's something you can do virtually anywhere--even online, over a Zoom call if necessary. Granted, a great place for name inspiration would be a strip club... however, that kind of negates the idea of these dates being cheap.
Generally, strip clubs don't appreciate folks who are just here to browse.

READ MORE..



Mistress or Daughter?

WHAT

Does she look young enough to be a daughter or mistress?

Take a gander at the crowd of people around. Try to pick out couples... are there any that look like there's a bit of a... 'gap' in age? Perfect! Start over analyzing!

WHEN

Well, we're not getting any younger..

If you 'keep getting older, and they stay the same age,' this might hit too close to home. However, if you're not a total creep, you can settle for being a creepy voyeur.
Survey the scene and see if you can pick out any people who could pass for parents compared to the person they're with.

WHERE

Go Where The People Are!

Any and all social gatherings, bars and pubs, or simply a walk downtown. Any place that you have the chance to see people together... that's a good 'where' that you can go. The busier, the better!

READ MORE..



Schizophrenic or Bluetooth Headset?

WHAT

Are they talking to themselves or someone on the phone?

This shouldn't be that tough... right?
If you see a bluetooth headset, you can pretty much make that call. However, it's not always that easy and they may just be a crazy person WEARING a bluetooth headset. For that reason, you and your date should try to determine A.) Who they're talking to -- it could be a business call or a direct line to Jesus. B.) Why they're talking to them -- closing that Ferchetti deal or channeling a long dead relative? That's up to the two of you.

WHEN

Arm-Chair Psychologist with FREE Diagnosises!

People watching games are good for virtually any time, any place. They're a great option to kill time or help break the ice.
Waiting for a table at a restaurant? Play some people watching games! Stuck in line for a show? Play some people watching games! There is really no "bad time" to play some people watching games. The stakes are low and you can quit/start/pick back up any time.

WHERE

Here, There, Everywhere...

Since crazy can strike at anywhere and at any moment, this is one of those people watching games that you can play... anywhere! Granted, it's better to play this game out in public (where you'll actually see people) than alone in your house or apartment. But, that's your choice. You make the game as "easy" or as "hard" as you want. For me, I generally have a few of the people watching games in my head for different types of places. When all else fails, just go for a walk downtown (on a sunny day) and you'll see a whole heck of a lot of people that you can creepily stare at and assign some made up motives and character traits to!

READ MORE..



Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Them A Match!

WHAT

A Match Made In He....LL.

You're creating the backstory. Make it an entertaining one. Did one of them just get back from living overseas, helping children in an under-priveledged country? Is one of the people a professional gold-digger and is waiting for the other to write them into the will??
There are no wrong answers--just have fun!

WHEN

You never know when you'll meet 'the one'

They say you find love when you stop looking for it... but I think it's better to take your chances and just keep looking.
So like looking for love, you can (and should?) probably play this game all the time. Failing that, it's good to play any/some of the time. That's one of the great things about people watching games; you can pretty much start, stop, and pick them back up whenever you feel like.

WHERE

Somewhere public... probably?

People watching games require people... to watch. There's generally not a whole lot of strangers available to creep on in the privacy of your home, so it's best to get out if you plan to play this one. A park, a bar, a festival, or even just a walk downtown. Any place where there's going to be a lot of interesting people to obvserve is a good choice.

READ MORE..



Souvenier Window Shopper

WHAT

Browsing For Bullshit

I'm always fascinated by the trinkets people make and subsequently sell to some local shop. The idea that so many people had to say "yes" to get this thing from idea to shelf blows my mind sometoimes (especially when the souveniors are absolute trash).
What type of effort do you think went into making said item?
What was the 'chain of command' when it came to getting this product designed and made? Is it a one-person operation, or a sprawling capitalistic venture providing incomes to numerous families?
All of that is up to you!

WHEN

Vacation, Staycation, or Fakecation

If there's a shop to buy kitchy shit (and it's open), then your "when" is now. Aside from taking into account business hours and maximum occupancy, you can pretty much just figure out a place you want to walk around and

WHERE

Getting Stuck In A Tourist Trap

Beach towns are notorious for having a string of stores that sell nothing but low quality trash. Granted, you don't need to be near the ocean to find a store that totally sucks. There are awful stores everywhere--you just have to keep your eyes open.

READ MORE..



Rooftop With A (rear) View (mirror)

WHAT

Makeshift Rooftop Bar In A Local Parking Garage

Instead of trying to get a spot at a swanky rooftop bar and wind up spending a fortune just to get a little tipsy, steak out a high rise parking structure with a decent view of your city. Pack a couple drinks and a delicious snack, park your car at the top, and enjoy!

WHEN

Sunset Or Just A Sunday

Short of the parking structure closing and you being unable to enter/leave, twighlight or sunset tends to be the best time for this in my opinion. Granted, if the parking garage you frequent doesn't have a western-facing side (and you are a loyalist to saaid structure), then you'll just have to maybe settle for a view of the lights.

WHERE

....At A Parking Garage... duh.

Every downtown tends to have a public parking structure. Some are free, some cost a few dollars an hour, but either way the cost is incredibly low and should be affordable by any cheap-dater.
I suggest getting on Google Street View and scoping out the surroundings of the structure. This way, you can figure out if a Sunset beverage & bite to eat is possible, or if you'll have a downtown-view drink and scope some city lights.

READ MORE..



Shitty City Chauffeur

WHAT

Bus fare for 2 and a medium bottle of hand-sanitizer

A ride on the bus isn't too terrible when you've got great companionship or at least some weird people to watch.
Take a nice loop around your city with your own (public) driver. And to further pass the time, there is a list of items you should be trying to locate.
Basically, if I-Spy was on the bus... which is what you'd be doing.

You get the idea..

WHEN

How late do the busses run? (and how safe is your city?)

I think the busses around me run until 12:30am most nights. Your town's public transit may differ, so besbest to check your city's website or transportation provider to get accurate times.
You can probably Google-maps the bus route around your city and see the approx. length of time it takes to make the full round.

Might want to get an idea of this beforehand, just in case...

WHERE

Right here... well, there.. where ever you are

Bus, subway, train, etc. Probably not a viable idea to play inside an Uber or Lyft... but if you've got the money to burn.. the private experience might be that extra wow factor that will really impress your date. However, considering this is CheapSkateDates, I don't think the private-cab thing is a smart way to redistribute your wealth.
You may consider what the safest route is, or secondarily--the most scenic route--to take.

READ MORE..