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Not your average date night

Posted by Rachel Kossman  November 15, 2011 08:17 PM

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Yesterday, a friend sent me a text message asking for date ideas. She's seeing a new guy, and is sick of the same ol' dinner and a movie routine. Her need for creativity struck me at a perfect time, as my boyfriend and I are also finding ourselves stuck in the same rut. That, and we're broke, and want to go out but want to avoid spending money.

Aside from purchasing as many Groupons as possible (which is obviously my favorite trick!) I've brainstormed a list of basic, but awesome, date night ideas that won't break the bank for all you love birds out there.

play pool, without getting wet
Last year, I went on a great date to Jillian's in Fenway. We put our name down for a pool table, then grabbed drinks and appetizers while we waited. By drink two, we were loosened up a bit, playing pool in the back room. If you're with a relatively new date, it's a perfect excuse to flirt, bet, and get a tiny bit touchy-feely.

Other places to play billiards around Boston are a bit scarce, but check out Flat Top Johnny's in Kendall Square or Kings in Back Bay.

If you're feeling gutsy, opt for bowling instead - Sacco's in Davis Square has phenomenal flatbread pizza, awesome beers and candle pin bowling and is perfect for a group or double date. Regular bowling lanes are also available at Jillian's and Kings, and at Boston Bowl in Dorchester.

finale.JPGget sweet
Make your sweetheart take you out for dessert instead of dinner! I recently introduced my boyfriend to Finale, and he's totally obsessed. Their 6 or 9 piece dessert sampler (pictured) is to die for, and the Hot Toddies with hot chocolate are also fabulous - my favorite is the Almond Mocha, and he loves the Spicy Especial.

If you are brave enough to face the North End crowds, head to Mike's Pastry or Modern Pastry, both on Hanover Street, and share some cannolis. Or, if you want to be trendy, opt for cupcakes at Sweet on Mass Ave, or try and catch the Kickass Cupcakes truck.

If you're feeling cheap and aren't too cold, go for froyo instead - there are a dozen places scattered around the city - including Berryline on Newbury and Boylston, Berry Freeze in Coolidge Corner, boYo, Red Mango, and the beloved Pinkberry. Check out this list on Yelp for all the links.

get your skate on
This is the ultimate cliche, and it may not be Rockefeller Center, but skating on the Frog Pond in Boston Common can be pretty damn romantic. For $14 a person - $5 admission and $9 for rental skates - you can drift and glide and show off your triple lutz. Bring a warm coat, your thick gloves, a blanket and a thermos of hot chocolate (sneak some Baileys in there too). Once you've turned in your skates, find a bench to sit on and use the cold weather as an excuse to snuggle. Sounds perfectly romantic to me, and I hate the cold!

Due to the unusually warm weather, the scheduled Nov. 18th opening of the ice has been cancelled, but this one can definitely go onto your calendar for a December date night.

don't eat the worm
If you can handle your alcohol well, consider scoping out a Mexican restaurant in the city that serves up flights of tequila. These samplers, which usually come with 3 - 5 shots, are perfect to share, and a great way to taste some different, and exotic, tequilas. Sushi-Teq, at the InterContinental hotel, has five pages of their menu dedicated to the different tequilas they carry and a whole other page listing their various flights, which range in price from $20 - $85.

Looking for other restaurants that serve flights? Check out Papagayo, also in the seaport, Ole Mexican Grill in Inman Square or Masa in the South End.

samadams.JPGfree beer!
Well, sort of. If you & your significant other are beer lovers, consider checking out a local brewery. The well known Sam Adams brewery in Jamaica Plain offers free, hour-long tours six days a week. Enthusiastic Sam lovers explain the brewing process, then fill up your sampler glass - that you get to take home! - with tastes of the seasonal brews and classics. Plus, you can take the orange line, so if you drink a bit too much, you don't have to stress about driving home. Or, hop on the free shuttle to Doyle's instead, where if you order a Sam you get to keep the souvenir glass it comes in. What's not to love?

Harpoon Brewery in the seaport, accessible via the silver line, offers tours and beer samples for $5. Tours leave at 2 and 4 PM on weekdays, and every half hour for most of the day on the weekends. Or, if you're willing to travel, check out this great gallery with other local Massachusetts and New England breweries.

laugh your butts off
Tried and true, get yourselves tickets to an improv or comedy show in the city. In Cambridge, Improv Boston has shows seven nights a week - tickets range in price from $10 to $16, less with a college ID. Improv Asylum in the North End has a free show on Sunday nights. Score! Plus, laughing means endorphins, and endorphins make you happy, so you're bound to have a good time, right?

Like these? Think they're lame? Have great ideas of your own that you and your beau stick to? Comment & tell me!

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

About the author

Rachel Kossman is a California girl and New England transplant who graduated from Northeastern University in 2011. She has a penchant for discovering new restaurants and bars, devouring Mexican food, More »

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