On Valentine's Day, there's always the lavish choice − the two dozen roses, the fondue dinner out, the theater. However, if you and your Valentine have an understanding about your low cash flow, what can you do for Valentine’s Day?
If you and your Valentine have an understanding, there are still thrilling and romantic ways to have a date without all the roses and $100 dinner bills.
These Atlanta date ideas are all $20 or less, so affordable that you may opt to celebrate Feb. 14 with more than one date.
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays but closed Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. $9.
1160 Broadway Ave., Braselton, 888-298-0396.
Take a sweet little side trip out of town to see how this century-old dairy produces the ice cream that comes in the yellow box. The trip is a pleasant drive, and the free cone at the end of the tour is delectable and ridiculously fresh. HVD, sweetie!
4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 17. Free.
Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, 1700 N. Decatur Road, Atlanta.
This could develop into a frugal date that exceeds your wildest expectations and has far more impact than lavishly priced entertainments. Smith is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, "Ordinary Light." She also won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her collection "Life on Mars," in part a tribute to her late father, an engineer who worked on the Hubble Telescope. Tickets aren't needed but seating is limited, so make a big effort to get there in time to enjoy the reading, along with staying for the book-signing afterward.
Dawn to dusk, daily.
Free admission, $5 for self-guided tour map.
Historic Oakland Foundation
248 Oakland Ave. SE, Atlanta, 404-688-2107.
Odd how touring this gracious, imposing and historic cemetery works out to be a charming, even romantic escapade, not something morbid. Depending on how the weather works out, consider packing a romantic beverage or snack to picnic among the statuary.
Daylight hours, but permits to walk on the gorge floor are only issued until 3 p.m. Free permits, $5 to park.
338 Jane Hurt Yarn Drive, Tallulah Falls, 706-754-7981.
Adventure on with your Valentine at one of the most spectacular canyons in the eastern U.S., about 100 miles from Atlanta. All it's going to cost you is gas, $5 parking and lots of energy for an unforgettable trip to the 1,000 feet deep gorge's floor. Stop by the Interpretive Center well before 3 p.m. to get your permit.
8 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 14. Free.
Clayton County Parks and Recreation
5665 Reynolds Road, Morrow, 770-603-4188.
Cell contact morning of walk: 678-642-7148
If you're free on Valentine's Day proper, you can enjoy a free excursion supervised by the Audobon Society Atlanta that will introduce you and your date to lots of local wildlife and maybe some buddies to go on a group date with later in the year.
8-10 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 15, $10 general admission. Ladies are free when entering between 7-7:30 p.m.
A great choice for a night out with your funny but frugal Valentine. If you score with the free ladies night admission, use the leftovers on some dope video games.
2-3:45 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15. Free.
Sewell Mill Library and Cultural Center
2051 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta, 770-509-2711.
If your date was a fan of LaLa Land or maybe just a sweet Valentine who's not so much of a romantic interest (okay, your mom or aunt or neighbor), this could be for you. Each Thursday, the library harks back in time to the Golden Age of Hollywood with classics from the silver screen. Best of all, you can bring your own food and even your own drinks, so think about brewing up a lavish hot chocolate or scoring some kettle corn -- whatever the frugal Valentine budget can bear.
Starting at 4:20 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday. $8/person; must be 21.
95 Ottley Drive, Atlanta, 404-691-2537.
Go see where it all begins with a guided trip through the Sweetwater production facility, stopping at three points along the way for 5-ounce sample pours. Reservations aren't required, but close-toed shoes are.
8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Around $20.
5600 Buford Hwy. NE, Atlanta, 770-455-0770.
Buying the ingredients is half the fun when you make an intimate meal after shopping the inspiring and zany Buford Highway Farmer's Market. Make a game of keeping the ingredient purchases under $20 and include a little people watching for added fun. You'll have aisles and aisles of ethnic options to choose from, including Korean, Caribbean, West African and Eastern European.