Dating can wreak havoc on the wallet (the heart too, but you don’t need heart to pay off credit cards). Lucky for all of those looking for love on an attainable budget, Pittsburgh has plenty of activities that don’t break the bank. So delete that “Want to just come over and stare at each other?" text and dust off that $20 bill for one of these 15 cheap Pittsburgh dates.
Get creative on the Northside
Take a stroll (walking is totally free) down Jacksonia and Sampsonia Way to visit the wonderful, happy world that is Randyland and then the beautiful City of Asylum House Publications. These colorfully painted homes are also conveniently close to El Burro, a great burrito joint, and a park. Public art + burritos + park = love.
Ice skating, a classic cheap date
Pittsburgh loves ice skating. It helps that winter lasts for 52 weeks. Try some partner skates Downtown at the PPG Place Rink or the Schenley Park Rink. Skating is $4 per person at Schenley.
Keep your date laughing at open mic comedy
Every Thursday night at Hambone’s Pub in Lawrenceville, aspiring stand-up comedians take the stage to try out jokes. The laughs are free and the beers are cheap -- it’s a match made in heaven.
Smack some balls at the North Park Batting Range
Impress your date hitting slow softballs or fast baseballs. Twenty bucks gets you 130 attempts to knock the balls out of the park.
Rent a bike and take to the trails
Healthy Ride rents bikes for $2 per half hour. Grab two bikes and explore the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, which has plenty of spots to stop and make out.
Cheer on the Washington Wild Things
Sports often have a high ticket price, but not in the minor leagues! Minor league baseball is some of the best -- check out the Washington Wild Things for $5 a pop.
Buy all of the meats and cheeses for a picnic for two
Browse the cheese at Pennsylvania Macaroni Company in the Strip District, and then head over to Parma Sausage to get your meat fix. Pack up your finds and picnic by the river. Allegheny Riverfront Park, by the Convention Center, is a quaint spot to feel all of the feels.
Get old-timey at an old-fashioned soda fountain
Klavon's, an old pharmacy in the Strip District, passes out sundaes instead of meds these days. The early 1900s décor remains. Cozy up in a snug wooden booth while sharing a banana split to the tune of $6.
Sing your heart out at karaoke
There are several great bars that offer up karaoke nights. Try Caliente in Bloomfield on Thursdays and the Smiling Moose in the Southside on Wednesdays. For the price of a beer special, you and your date can embarrass yourselves. Did someone just request “I Will Always Love You”? Yes, you did.
Go up and up and up
Be a tourist and ride the Monongahela or Duquesne Inclines. These classic pulley cars take you to the best views in the ‘burgh on top of Mt. Washington. A ride is $2.50 each way.
Reel in your date with independent film
Pittsburgh Filmmakers screens independent films at Regent Square Theater, Harris Theater, and the Melwood Screening Room. Tickets are $8 or $9 depending on the theater, plus, you’ll be that guy or gal who takes his or her date to independent films. That’s some rom com material right there.
Pick a pumpkin
Drive about two minutes outside of Pittsburgh and you will basically be at a farm. Several farms, like Soergel's and Trax, have pumpkin festivals where you can pick your own pumpkin. Pick a cheap one.
BYOFood and get a cider
Buy a growler of cider from Arsenal Cider House in Lawrenceville then chill out in its cider garden. Bring your own food, down your growler, and make a night of it.
Tour a few landmarks
Explore Downtown Pittsburgh with the help of Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation. Every Friday at noon, a tour is free. This is a perfectly reasonable excuse to skip out on work.
For even more date ideas, check out 25 Actually Great Pittsburgh Date Ideas.
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Laura Zorch is a Pittsburgh writer who knows about every free or close to free activity in town. Follow her @eatpgh where she eats around town with her three pals.