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Ideas for free & inexpensive dates

If you appreciate frugal fun, delighting your sweetie with a lovely inexpensive or free date is doable in South Florida.

Plenty of exciting events and interesting activities are free. Others are relatively inexpensive. With extra dollars in your wallet, splurge on sparkling wine, a fancy dessert, or other romantic indulgence.

Ideas for Free & Inexpensive Dates

Adore Art

Downtown Hollywood Mural Project/Photo Hollywood CRA

 

  • Artists open their workshops and artisan vendors display their unique treasures at the popular FATVillage ArtWalk events.  Events are usually 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. fourth or fifth Saturdays, with free entry. FATVillage Arts District, 521 NW First Avenue, Fort Lauderdale 33301, website, 954-760-5900
  • Downtown Hollywood ArtWalk events, usually 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. third Saturdays,  include tours, live entertainment and exhibits from artisan vendors. Especially interesting are demonstrations featuring artist  Daniel Pontet painting with his foot to rhythm of live drumming. 
  • Quaint Downtown Hollywood area offers an interesting outdoor display of artwork.  Downtown Hollywood Murals. About 30 are painted on structures in easy walkable route, read feature
  • Free entry at ArtServe featuring work of local artists in Fort Lauderdale Public Art display “Walking Sticks With Stories To Tell” Northwest 27th Avenue and Northwest Sixth Street  in the Sistrunk neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale. Description: “…vividly hued freestanding sculptures that reflect the West African traditions of the linguist staff, ornamental hairpin, Adinkra symbols and kente cloth colors, Walking Sticks with Stories to Tell embraces the rich cultural heritage of West Africa…”
  • Coral Springs Museum of Art offers free entry Mondays – Saturdays,  9 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 5:30  p.m. Mondays, Fridays & Saturdays, 2855A Coral Springs Drive, Coral Springs 33065, 954-340-5000,  website

 

Live Entertainment

 

 

Photo: Deposit Photos

 

Winter Holiday displays

Displays of dancing lights and seasonal sounds are festive  and romantic. 

Examples include Free Symphony of Lights display.

 

Play Trivia

A variety of restaurants and pubs offer entertaining interactive Trivia nights, which are usually free to play, especially if you’re ordering drinks or something to eat.  Read Play trivia at restaurants & pubs

Photo/Broward Parks

Admire nature

Stroll among shady trees, rippling streams and singing songbirds.  Pick a path in a lush forest. Or perhaps you prefer salty air and surf. Pack a picnic. Entry for some parks is always free, and often parking is free. For those with fees on weekends, or everyday, entry is relatively inexpensive.  Use Broward Parks’ website & Florida State Parks website for information about different venues

For a romantic evening excursion, register for a Night hike , usually $5 per person.

Parks with inviting nature paths & scenic settings include these & others

  • Secret Woods, includes a boardwalk overlooking the New River, and assorted other nature walks, 2701 W. State Road 84, Dania Beach 33312,  954-357-8884, read feature
  • Fern Forest, features several nature paths, including its elevated boardwalk into cypress/maple swamp, 201 Lyons Road South, Coconut Creek 33063, 954-357-5198, read Nature Trails & Free Entry at Fern Forest in North Broward
  • Quiet Waters Park, includes a butterfly garden & nature path, 401 S. Powerline Road, Deerfield Beach 33442, 954-357-5100 
  • TY Park in Hollywood, includes tennis, picnic tables & a 2-mile paved path — primarily around a lake — for walking, running, biking & skateboarding, 3300 N. Park Road, Hollywood 33021, 954-357-8811, read
  • Hollywood Beach Broadwalk — lovely 2.5-mile length between waves rolling ashore and  shops, hotels & restaurants, read feature
  • Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk — delightful stretch along the New River from about Southwest Fifth Street east toward Federal Highway, incorporating Esplanade Park, read  feature Riverwalk in Fort Lauderdale offers scenic setting for walks & outdoor recreation
  • Deerfield Beach Arboretum, Features native and exotic trees and plants from around the world. Includes flowering tropical trees,  palms, wetlands and others, 2841 W. Hillsboro Boulevard, Deerfield Beach 33442, 954-480-4494, free entry

 

Free Water Trolley

Step aboard. Rivewalk Water Trolley ferries riders to 8 points along scenic New River in Fort Lauderdale. It’s free. Read feature

 

 

Free surf, paddleboard & skimboard lessons in Deerfield

Island Water Sports offers free lessons usually 7 a.m. Saturdays. Participants need to pre-register online or via phone. Read feature

Shop

Ride The Rails

Step aboard and skip South Florida traffic. Tri-Rail is relatively inexpensive & offers $5 all-day fares on weekends.  The train  Tri-Rail offers $5 fares on weekends

Roller Skating

Relax with Online entertainment

Pop popcorn, snuggle on the sofa and download a film for free. Or immerse yourself in opera. Or a virtual art tour. Or a local performing artist. Or a webcam of adorable animals. Opportunities for online entertainment are plentiful.

Artwork/Francisco Sheuat in Fort Lauderdale

 

  • Coral Springs Museum of Art offers free entry Mondays – Saturdays,  9 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 5:30  p.m. Mondays, Fridays & Saturdays, 2855A Coral Springs Drive, Coral Springs 33065, 954-340-5000,  website
  • For daytime or evening dates, Downtown Hollywood Murals exhibit works nicely. About 30 murals are within in easy walkable route. It’s free. Download Florida’s Hollywood app for a self-guided tour. Fees for parking in downtown Hollywood apply. Read our feature
  •  Public Art display “Walking Sticks With Stories To Tell” Northwest 27th Avenue and Northwest Sixth Street  in the Sistrunk neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale. Description: “…vividly hued freestanding sculptures that reflect the West African traditions of the linguist staff, ornamental hairpin, Adinkra symbols and kente cloth colors, Walking Sticks with Stories to Tell embraces the rich cultural heritage of West Africa…”

 

Outdoor flicks & Drive-ins

Swap Shop drive-in theater, 3291 W. Sunrise Boulevard, Lauderhill 33311

    • Prices are $7 for ages 12 and older, $2 for ages 5 to 11 and free for 4 and younger
    • occasional discount — free for 1 person in vehicle Mondays & Tuesdays while promotion is offered, either with voucher from Swap Shop flyer or voucher from website
    •  outdoor screens
    • Tune into sound via FM radio
    • information online or 954-791-7927

Family-friendly films at ArtsPark in Downtown Hollywood

Load up your blankets & lawn chairs. Flicks are usually 8 p.m. Fridays. No movie October 22

For other outdoor movies, read  Drive-ins & outdoor movies

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Putt-putt & pitches

  • AllGolf @ CB Smith Park in Pembroke Pines
    • includes 2 18-hole mini golf course & a driving range, fees for miniature golf are $9 Mondays to Fridays, $10 Saturdays and Sundays for  18 holes, $2 extra for 36 holes, free for ages 4 & younger
    • $10 & $13 for driving range
    • batting cages  $2 for 25 pitches, $8 for 100 pitches
    • 950 N. Flamingo Road, Pembroke Pines 33028, 954-441-1333, website

Photo/Broward Parks & Recreation

Relax with Online entertainment

Pop popcorn, snuggle on the sofa and download a film for free. Or immerse yourself in opera. Or a virtual art tour. Or a local performing artist. Or a webcam of adorable animals. Opportunities for online entertainment are plentiful.

Other frugal date ideas & deals

 

Happy Dating

Patti Roth

About Patti Roth

Patti Roth, the editor of Fort Lauderdale on the Cheap, scouts out state and national deals, discounts and coupons for our readers, finding the real deals and presenting them in an easy-to-read format. A veteran newspaper and magazine writer and a longtime South Florida resident, she has written for The Miami Herald, The Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida Travel and Life, E Environmental Magazine, Dog Fancy, Cat Fancy, US Architecture and Earth911.com. Send your cheap tips to her at info@fortlauderdaleonthecheap.com.

Living on the CheapMiami on the Cheap is a member of Living on the Cheap, a network of websites published by frugalistas, journalists and consumer advocates. Find practical advice on saving money on groceries, travel and shopping, plus tips from our experts on how to live the good life for less at Living on the Cheap.

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