Where to take your bae out on a budget. 

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, you might be stressing about where to go with your BAE without breaking the bank or giving in to clichés like prix-fixe dinners while sporting high heels and sports coats. No, no, no. Here are a few date ideas that won’t put you in debt and absolutely won’t make you feel like you’re selling out.

1. Triangle Square Cinemas

trianglecinemasSource: Triangle Square Cinemas

Paying upwards of $12 and sometimes even $16 per person to see a movie has always seemed like a blatant rip-off in my opinion. You can rent it on Itunes for half the price of one ticket, that is if you don’t mind missing out on the experience of seeing it on a big screen with the luxurious and welcoming scent of popcorn in the air.

Well, Starlight Cinemas at Triangle in Costa Mesa has been the answer I’ve waited for my whole life. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, they offer $5 movie showings. Yes. For any movie. Take your sweetheart here for a mid-week date and if you’re feeling saucy, maybe to La Vida for Taco Tuesday or Black Knight for Wine Wednesday afterward to imbibe and discuss the philosophical implications of that romantic comedy you just saw.

1870 Harbor Blvd in Costa Mesa. Price: $5 

2. Anaheim Packing House

anaheim packing houseSource: Diana's Adventures / WordPress

Food halls have been popping up all over Orange County, blending food truck-style food with restaurant-style permanence, and the Anaheim Packing House is one of them. With two stories, over 20 restaurants and stands, this historical landmark characteristic of early-1900 Orange County is not to be missed.

While you can choose to spend as much or as little money as you want, from a coffee to a pizza to a craft cocktail, you can be sure that you and your darling can find something that suits both of your palettes. Plus, they have free live music on the weekends, adding some romantic ambiance to create a truly magical and memorable outing.

440 S. Anaheim Blvd. in Anaheim. Price: Varies 

3. Hiking at Crystal Cove

crystalcoveSource: KCET

For the outdoorsy type, getting out to explore and stretch the legs is just what the doctor ordered. You can take your beau to check out the tide pools, stroll along the beach, or go inland to take one of the various hikes that gives breathtaking views of the coast. Some of the trails can get to be quite an intense workout, so feel free to treat yourselves to a shake at the iconic Shake Shack on the coast when you’re done.

8471 N. Coast Highway in Laguna Beach. Price: $15 / car

4. Antique Shopping in Old Town Orange

oldetowneorangeSource: Let's Go See It

Being added to the National Register of Historic places in 1997, Old Towne Orange can transport you and your beloved to the past. Featuring many of its original buildings and houses, this 19th century plaza contains restaurants, bars, and of course, antique malls and consignment stores.

You can waltz along the sidewalks and peer into the various stores, imagining stuffing your own apartment or home with these treasures without the pressure to buy a thing. It’s remarkable to witness these museums of Americana, containing links to dreams of the past in the form of antique Coca-Cola bottles, Bruce Springsteen records, and rickety rocking chairs.

Old Town Orange is at Chapman Ave. and Glassell St. in Orange. Price: Free

5. Breweries

noble ale worksSource: Gentlemen's Guide OC

The San Diego beer scene is creeping up north to Orange County with the advent of craft breweries like Barley Forge in Costa Mesa, the Bruery in Placentia, Cismontane in Santa Ana, Bootleggers in Fullerton, Noble Ale Works in Anaheim, and Beach City Brewery in Huntington Beach, to name a few.

There is no doubt that you’ll find some good craft beer wherever you are in the county, and many of them will have games to play, free popcorn to nosh on, and live music or trivia depending on the day. Spend an hour or two (or more) at a brewery, enjoying the stress-free atmosphere with a cold and refreshing beverage in hand with your one and only and you won’t have a complaint in the world.

There are breweries all over OC. Price: Averages around $6/pint 


Originally posted 2016-04-12 21:57:07.

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