Dates for FREE



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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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