Thrifty but fun: Cheap date nights in Calgary

It may be a cheap date, but it shouldn’t feel like one. These discount date destinations will engage and impress your love interest despite their wallet-friendly price point.

Esker Foundation

444-1011 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0H7

A cool, contemporary fourth-floor art space on the Ninth Avenue Southeast boutique strip, Esker’s tall glass windows overlook downtown Calgary. The gallery’s painting and sculpture exhibits are well curated and often just plain fun. Arrive early for packed open nights or stroll in during regular hours. The cost? Nada.

The Dessert House

111 2 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0B2

The Dessert House serves sweet and savoury Asian snacks. However, bubble tea is the house specialty. The milkshake-like drink is served in many flavours including strawberry, mango and persimmon. Ignite discussion with the drink’s other exotic ingredient: tapioca jelly “pearls.” Order drinks to go, and take a stroll through Chinatown.

Plaza Theatre

1133 Kensington Rd NW, Calgary, AB T2N 3P4

A movie for two plus snacks is a bargain at Calgary’s oldest art-house movie theatre. Its regularly refreshed indie and foreign film lineup provides plenty of talking points for a post-film walk through the boutiques of Kensington Village.

Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant

15979 Bow Bottom Trail SE, Calgary, AB T2J 7A7

Spring through fall, Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant in Fish Creek Park operates Annie's Bakery & Café, a charming converted farmhouse snack stop. Stop in while walking or cycling the park’s extensive pathway system and savour a few minutes sharing baked goodies, sandwiches or ice cream cones on the porch.

Tubby Dog

1022 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T 0A5

A hotdog diner and live indie-music venue of national renown, Tubby Dog has been featured on Food Network Canada’s You Gotta Eat Here! Order a creatively indulgent dogs for two such as the PBJ, topped with peanut butter, jelly and Cap’n Crunch cereal; the Sumo, with its Japanese mayo, seaweed, pickled ginger and wasabi; or a more traditional Slaw Dog generously piled with coleslaw, chili and mustard. Partner with chips, onion rings or yam fries. Burgers are likewise a bargain on Wednesdays and Tuesdays are all about excellent yet economical tacos.

Schanks Sports Grill

103 Crowfoot Terr NW, Calgary, AB T3G 4J8

An adult activity centre, pub and restaurant, Schanks Sports Grill on Crowfoot Terrace Northwest features an indoor mini-golf course complete with sand traps and other hazards. Once you’ve conquered its micro greens, further date-night activity options include billiards, arcade games, 10-pin bowling as well as dinner and drinks.

There are several paintball and laser tag facilities in Calgary and surrounding area. The action-filled fun and camaraderie of these games makes them especially popular group and party activities. Paint ball places typically rent out all the needed gear and ample ammunition is available for purchase.
Calgary’s public golf courses are well served by the city’s varied and handsome geography. Within the city and surrounding area, many make use of rolling foothills topography as well as several area creeks and the Bow River Valley. Fore!
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