Cheap date ideas: Celebrate New Year’s on the cheap

Few things are sweeter than bringing in the New Year with that special someone. Giving your spouse a smooch on the lips at the stroke of midnight or grabbing the hand of the date you’ve chosen to ring in the New Year with is something you won’t soon forget.

Ahhh, how romantic. But really, does it have to cost $100 at a nightclub or involve overwhelming crowds? I say not, and with that, I offer you these cheap New Year’s Eve — and New Year’s Day — date ideas. As always, the cheap date ideas are $40 or less:

The Ultimate House Party

It shouldn’t cost you more than a bottle of wine to crash the neighbors’ house party, or make good on an invitation from a friend or colleague. House parties are a lot of fun, with the music and merriment on full-blast all night. You don’t have to worry about the party closing, standing in line outside waiting to get in or paying to park. Don’t have an invite yet? It’s not too late to pull together a house party of your own, although it will cost you more. You can save by providing the snacks and asking everyone to bring their own drinks — closed containers, of course.

Here They Come!

Auburn rolled through the parade in 2007. Photo: Curtis Compton

Auburn rolled through the parade in 2007. Photo: Curtis Compton

I’ve never gone to a parade I didn’t like, weather aside. Cold temperatures could be a damper on the Chick-fil-Al Bowl parade, but if things hold up, it could make a for a wonderful afternoon of free entertainment. It’s also a great date idea. Drag your honey into the streets downtown to see the floats and marching bands march their way through the city streets from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. today, Dec. 31. Here’s a look at the parade route.

Traditions Galore

There are numerous cultural and religious traditions marked by people around the globe to celebrate the New Year. They are varied, but all point to starting the year with a clean slate and bringing in good luck. In my family, it’s tradition to make a pot of blackeyed peas. In Puerto Rico, children throw pails of water out the window at midnight the rid of the home of evil spirits. In Chinese culture, homes are cleaned spotless and gifts are exchanged on New Year’s Day. You and your partner can take a journey around the world on New Year’s Eve, mimicking a variety of traditions as they are celebrated throughout the world. It would fun, informative and ultimately, pretty cheap.


What New Year’s Day or New Year’s Eve would be complete without football? Bowl games are as much a part of the holiday as anything else, and in my opinion, couples should acknowledge that. Or maybe it’s just because I’m a football fan. No matter the case, I am rarely an advocate of sitting at home in front of the television — unless it’s the NCAA Final Four, the Super Bowl or college bowl season. There are a few intriguing games, too. Florida State’s legendary coach Bobby Bowden takes to the sideline for the final time on Friday in the Gator Bowl; Florida’s Tim Tebow plays his last collegiate game, going against Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl; and on New Year’s Eve, we have Tennessee and Virginia Tech in our own backyard at the Chick-fil-A bowl in the Georgia Dome.


Emory Woods and Jen Hayes bring in the New Year at the 2009 Peach Drop. Photo: Hyosub Shin

Emory Woods and Jen Hayes bring in the New Year at the 2009 Peach Drop. Photo: Hyosub Shin

Well, we can’t completely ignore the Peach Drop in Underground Atlanta. It’s the closest thing Atlanta has to Times Square on New Year’s Eve. More than 16,000 people are expected to gather to ring in the New Year, one we are all hoping will smile on us and greet us more warmly than 2009. This year the event features Morris Day and The Time, and will go from 5 p.m. until 4 a.m. Navigating through the crowd won’t be easy, so be sure to check out Jamie Gumbrecht’s Know Before You Go tips ahead of time. Did I mention that it’s free?

How will you celebrate New Year’s Eve? Do you mind paying for an event? How much is too much? What are your favorite New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day traditions?

For more on the Atlanta dating scene, you’ve got to read the Misadventures In Atlanta blog; always juicy, always informative.

Follow me on Twitter @atlbargains or on Facebook at AJC Atlanta Bargain Hunter

One comment Add your comment

BongWater Slurpee

December 31st, 2009
12:19 pm

“Hey baby, how much you charge for a date?
$20?!! Lets rock!!”