Cheap Date Ideas: MLK Center | Martinis & IMAX | Improv | Live music | Workout

Need a cheap date idea? We’ve got you covered with a slate of fun and inexpensive ideas offered weekly. The only criteria is that the date comes in at $40 or less. As is usually the case, most of the ones you see here are well below that — as in free. So bundle up and go have some fun with your sweetheart.

Visit the Martin Luther King Jr. King Center

The King family has been in the news a lot in the past year and for the most part, the news was not good as the siblings squabbled in court. As the MLK holiday approaches, perhaps a free visit to The King Center on Auburn Ave. will bring the vision of their father, Martin Luther King, Jr., back into focus. If you’ve never visited the King Center, or haven’t been in a long time, you and your date might consider a return trip in coming weeks. Additionally, there will be a host of activities commemorating the holiday. Most will be free.

Slip away for live music

Let’s say you just met and you want to keep things light. Here’s an idea: slip away for a mid-day date downtown. Ok, it’s the middle of the week, which makes this a tricky date to pull off. But the object of your affection may just be impressed by your creativity. Every third Wednesday, the Rialto Center of Performing Arts hosts a free live music hour. You can bring your own lunch or pick up one there for $5 each. On Jan. 20, jazz artist Gordon Vernick will play from noon-1 p.m. If you really want to impress, bring along a nice picnic lunch in a basket.

If you’re craving live music, but can’t exactly stop what you’re doing in the middle of the day to go hear it, don’t forget about the free show Jan. 11 at Five Spot on Euclid Ave. Bill Sheffield takes the stage and doors open at 9 p.m. It, too, is free.

Rise and Shine

If you’ve read enough of my cheap date ideas, you know I try to find at least one option that will allow you to get physical. No, not like that. I mean to get up and get your body moving with a little exercise for fun. This week’s idea does require an early rise, but that just means you’ll have even more of the day to horse around if you choose to. Earlier this week I featured a free boot camp opportunity. American Boot Camp is offering free workouts throughout the metro area. The workouts generally start at the crack of dawn and you can expect it to be cold. On the flip side, you and your partner will get in some robust exercise and make yourselves more heart healthy.

Tickle My Fancy

There are some hot spots for comedy around the city, and on most weeks, you can discounts for shows. You won’t find any this cheap, though. The Basement Theatre is a relative newcomer on the block, having been around for just five years. But there’s nothing old about the jokes. This improv comedy house will keep you and your date rolling and I guarantee a good deal — buy gift certificates from Halfoffdepot.com for $5 each. There are only 20 certificates available for the Buckhead location, but at even at the $10 full price, this is a good deal for a big laughs.

Martinis & IMAX

Always one of Atlanta’s most popular date destinations, Martinis and IMAX at the Fernbank Museum is always affordable. There’s an even sweeter deal than usual. Uncovered by Jenn from Atlanta on the Cheap, Q100 Insiders can buy one ticket and get one free. Tickets are $12, so this comes in well below our $40 maximum. How do you become an Insider? It’s easy. It takes about five seconds to fill in your name and email contact information, and you’re in. That’s not much of a sacrifice for a deal like this. Get the details on the shows and hours by reading my colleague Jamie’s blog post on InsideAccess.

To see nearly 100 more Cheap Date Ideas, click here.

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

50 comments Add your comment

BongWater Slurpee

January 7th, 2010
7:43 am

Is the MLK center even open or have the MLK kids completely bankrupted it.

Fred

January 7th, 2010
12:39 pm

The King Center? Very historic, but romantic?

j

January 7th, 2010
12:43 pm

Enter your comments here

Rana Cash

January 7th, 2010
1:31 pm

@Fred, Does a date have to be romantic. Let’s say you went to a Hawks game or to ride go-karts or to play golf..Romantic? Probably not. Fun? Most definitely. Now, I am looking for cheap date ideas for Valentine’s Day, heavily leaning toward the romantic. Any ideas?

Val

January 7th, 2010
1:38 pm

Enter your comments here

Todd - Dacula

January 7th, 2010
1:55 pm

BongWater Slurpee, you are a foolish idiot. Please crawl back under your rock. If you want to live with the rest of us, get a clue.

Rana Cash

January 7th, 2010
1:59 pm

Hey folks, Let’s try to stay on topic. If you have great ideas, please share them. Thanks!

CrossFire...

January 7th, 2010
2:03 pm

Julie… atleast you know who the attacker will be and not being killed by crossfire in the hood when you are walking down the street ! How romantic is it to sit next to a tomb and a cracked up buliding that is almost in ruines.. I can think of some other romantic places around the city such at the Peidmont park, Botanical Gardens..

Crime

January 7th, 2010
2:05 pm

Crime is everywhere good or bad parts of town. Just all enjoy the places that make you feel the most loved. Whereever that might be for everyone.

BPP

January 7th, 2010
2:21 pm

Centennial Park has outdoor ice skating for $7/person and $2 for 90 minutes of skate rental. Add the romance by finishing off at the top of the westin for a drink and a pretty fantastic view of the city.

TH

January 7th, 2010
2:23 pm

Get in Shape Bootcamp offers free classes on Saturdays at Stone Mountain at 8am and Piedmont Park at 10am.

BPP

January 7th, 2010
2:45 pm

Check out the Centennial Park Ice Rink… $7/Person $2 skate rental. You can add the romance by finishing off at the top of the Westin for drinks with a fantastic view of the City.

Common

January 7th, 2010
2:57 pm

Crossfire…please learn how to spell and use the english language before posting comments.

T

January 7th, 2010
3:08 pm

you could also take your date to IKEA for a swedish meatballs dinner w/ a side of mac & cheese and then spend the evening walking amongst the $2 spatulas and $25 office chairs.

TG

January 7th, 2010
3:43 pm

I think my dating life would end if I started asking dates on 6am workouts in the winter and started taking them to the MLK center!

Fred

January 7th, 2010
3:49 pm

Hey T, you would have to put the Meatballs from IKEA together yourself first.I guess that could count as cooking your date dinner…

Tinytam

January 7th, 2010
4:06 pm

Dave and Busters is doing half off games on Wednesday’s and my hubby and I love doing date night there! You can have some fun and eat if you’d like.

Stirg d'Nahsif

January 7th, 2010
4:25 pm

Church (and you don’t have to wait until Sunday). Most churches with large congregations have activities everyday. A gospel concert or bible study would make a fun date and it wouldn’t cost a lot of money.

Lou

January 7th, 2010
4:39 pm

ChurchHill Grounds next to the Fox offers wonderful jazz on thursdays at a reasonable price, $7.

D

January 7th, 2010
5:08 pm

Do they serve food at Imax, and if so what kind of food?

Rana Cash

January 7th, 2010
5:27 pm

@Lou What a great idea. Thanks for the tip.
@ D They do serve food. You might try checking the site for the menu. I just remember it being overpriced. You’d be better off getting dinner ahead of time.
@ Stirg A gospel concert is another good idea
@ Tinytam You know how to have, don’t ya? :-0

Candi B

January 7th, 2010
5:42 pm

How about Noche on Monday evenings? The Vinings location has $1 tacos (grilled steak, lobster, or marinated chickedn just to name a few). And the Virignia Highlands location has $10 all you can eat tapas. Plus both locations have $3 vodka drinks, and $5 margaritas.

E

January 7th, 2010
11:19 pm

Hey “BongWater Slurpee,”

The King children can never bankrupt the King Center. The center is now operated by the National Park Center.

E

January 7th, 2010
11:26 pm

BTW, Thurs. comedy night at Taboo 2 in Sandy Springs is the perfect cheap date. If you get there between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., you and your date can pig out on $5 “teaser” entrees that offer nice-sized portions. Comedians hit the stage around 9 p.m. Admission is free before 9 p.m. With $40, you and your date can party like rock stars.

EMJ

January 8th, 2010
8:08 am

My wife and I didn’t do an expensive first date. Met for breakfast at Thumbs Up, then went to the Botanical Gardens. It ended up working out pretty well.

Turd Ferguson

January 8th, 2010
8:08 am

Todd – Dacula

January 7th, 2010
1:55 pm

And E…

The king kids let the MLK center go to hell then extorted millions from donors THEN wanted to Park service to take over. You idiots need to by a vowel…that is if ya know what a vowel is.

*FLUSH*

*FLUSH*

DecaturCyn

January 8th, 2010
8:36 am

When my husband and I were ready to adopt dogs, we loved visiting shelters to look for our new fur kids. Go just to chat with the cats and pooches and remember to donate before you leave.

Hands On Atlanta has lots of projects that don’t require prior membership, like sorting children’s books or medical supplies for shipment overseas.

Everyone knows about the cool walking tours at Oakland Cemetery. Looking for something more informal? Stroll through Decatur Cemetery and visit the pond’s funny ducks and geese.

life on marta

January 8th, 2010
8:59 am

Isnt Atlantic Station the place to be on fri. and sat. nights?

snowluv

January 8th, 2010
9:11 am

can anyone recommend a good not too expensive place(comedy, restaurant etc) for a first date tonite-cold friday…lol..i’m coming from norcross- he’s coming from austell-wanna meet somewhere in bwtn there..And we are both new to GA!!! thnx….

E

January 8th, 2010
10:16 am

Dear “Turd Ferguson,”

With a bachelor’s degree and a career in journalism, I’m highly aware of the proper use of a vowel. On the other hand, I would suggest you use a spell checker and review the rules of grammar. Your sentence, “The king kids let the MLK center go to hell then extorted millions from donors THEN wanted to Park service to take over” has grammatical and spelling errors. Please take an English class before you post a comment that attacks someone’s opinion.
Besides, why are you–as well as others–making this message board a vehicle to launch personal attacks? Did you have a personal interest in the King Center? Did you use to work there and was fired? My statement about the King Center being operated by the National Park Service is fact. Yes, maybe there is some truth about poor management with the facility in the past. However, let’s act as adults and keep the attacks to yourself. It’s so elementary school.

Turd Ferguson

January 8th, 2010
10:29 am

LOL…E, just what is your interest in the MLK center? I bet you received your bachelors degree from one of those diploma mills like Clark U or MoeHouse…LMAO!

PS…The Natl Parks service wasnt in charge of the MLK center until recently.

joann

January 8th, 2010
10:31 am

To E:

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Honest

January 8th, 2010
11:08 am

An indoor picnic by the fireplace is nice, cheap and romantic

E

January 8th, 2010
11:18 am

????????????
What’s my interest in the King Center? I’m interested in the history lesson—American history, not African-American history—it provides to visitors.
When did we start talking about Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College? Oh, I get it. You’re assuming that because I support the King Center, I’m black. I got news for you son: The King Center is supported by all races. More news: Non-blacks attend Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College. The two schools even have non-black staff members. Really, I’m not fooling. How about that setup in 2010? Can you believe that some people of different races are living together, attending school together, working together, and starting families together? Yes.
Get out of your elevated pickup truck, step out of your mobile home, divorce your cousin, remove your white sheet, and join the world of educated, accepting, and loving adults. Oh no, I made an uneducated assumption on your race. I hope you can take it as well as you can dish it.
And for the record, I attended—and received—my degree from a college in Alabama with a majority white student population. However, the most important thing is that you receive a college education so you can better yourself, if that’s your goal in life.
And what’s your definition of “recently” because I’m pretty sure that the center has been in the hands of the National Park Service for at least two years. I’m not sure because I’ve only been here for about two years. Besides, it doesn’t matter if it was taking over yesterday or in 1996, the fact remains that it’s now operated by the National Park Service.
Anyway, I’m going to take the high road as a man and let you remain ignorant and foolish. I’ll pray for you because you are a complete idiot. Please don’t reproduce.

Rana Cash

January 8th, 2010
11:49 am

@Decatur Cyn Excellent suggestions. Volunteer projects are wonderful ways for couples to bond while providing a good service to the community.
@ Honest I second that.
@ Life on Marta Check out some of the deals I’ve written about Atlantic Station. Many of the restaurants there have 50 percent off entrees throughout the week
@ E I wasn’t familiar with Taboo 2 in Sandy Springs. Thanks for the suggestion.
And to everyone: The better we’re able to keep the discussion on topic, with cheap date suggestions, the more beneficial and entertaining it will be for all of us. This isn’t a political forum. Thanks!

Rana Cash

January 8th, 2010
11:52 am

@EMJ I LOVE Thumbs Up. One of my favorite Atlanta breakfast spots. And of course the Botanical Garden is always lovely. Check here for announcements about free admission on select weekends for Bank of America cardholders.

Turd Ferguson

January 8th, 2010
12:28 pm

E

January 8th, 2010
11:18 am

LMAO…Sure…

Turd Ferguson

January 8th, 2010
12:36 pm

PS…the MLK center was taken over by the Parks service due to it being in a dilapidated, ramshackled state due to the MLKids constant neglect, failing to perform basic upkeep and bascially stealing all funding to said MLK center.

Oh yes…I am white fellow and currently live with a black fem. SO yes I am able to believe your mixed races comment. Other than that you offer baseless fodder.

Referee-In Place

January 8th, 2010
12:37 pm

The Referee is here to take control. I want each one of you to go back to your corner and cool down. Once, I blow this red Whistle you will be allowed back in the middle of ring. Do you UNDERSTAND? “E” next time you come in the ring have on your shirt, no nudist allowed.

No Serious, I think everyone made valid comments if it is about the blog. All those who went off into deep end, without a clue go play in the snow.

Now, I went out on a date to fish. Yes, it was cold as heck. I had never thought of fishing, but it was fun and I really liked the guy.

Willx

January 8th, 2010
12:51 pm

Is the king casket still a floater?

DreamsMaterialize

January 8th, 2010
1:55 pm

Morehouse is a small liberal arts college that graduates approximately 400 students each year. How exactly is that a “diploma mill”? Morehouse has produces several Rhodes, Fulbright, and Marshall Scholars. The last president and alumnus, Walter Massey, was director of the National Science Foundation and is now the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Bank of America. Dr. King himself was an alumnus. Hardly products of a “diploma mill”.

Turd Ferguson

January 8th, 2010
2:22 pm

Thanks DM…you may now return to your slumber.

thrifty

January 8th, 2010
3:19 pm

@Rana Cash – I love the Botanical Garden too, but it is no longer part of the Bank of America promotion. This year, the High Museum, Millennium Gate and the Atlanta History Center are covered. http://www.museums.bankofamerica.com

DreamsMaterialize

January 8th, 2010
3:33 pm

The High used to be free for Fulton residents on Saturdays. I’m not sure if they’re still doing that.

Go cart racing at Andretti’s is great too.

There’s a pottery shop in Sandy Springs, and you can actually make your own pot, dish, etc.

Rana Cash

January 8th, 2010
3:38 pm

@ Thrifty…You’re right. They were the one place that ended its participation in that deal. Hopefully, many people were able to use it while it was around. It’s a great offer!
@ DreamsMaterialize As far as I know, the High is still free for Fulton residents on the first Saturday of every month. I’ve taken advantage of that offer more than once. Thanks for the other tips.

janet

January 8th, 2010
6:07 pm

Try the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell. They have a new indoor Discovery Center. Then have a lunch in Roswell. There are at least 30 restaurants on Hwy 9 ( S.Atlanta st, Alpharetta st, Alpharetta Hwy) which is 10 mins from the Nature Center. The name depends on where you are. In nicer weather, you could bring a picnic and enjoy it at one of the river parks after your visit.

masivatack

January 8th, 2010
8:35 pm

Per my experience, the food is definitely overpriced and resembles a cafeteria. I would eat before going & if memory serves me, the drinks are 8-12 bucks apiece. It is not what I consider a cheap date. Add in tips, and it’s like spending 50-100 bucks to see a movie.

masivatack

January 8th, 2010
8:36 pm

Woops, talking bout Martini’s and Imax

bs tech

January 11th, 2010
11:49 pm

well done and said e……ferguson you are truly a turd

Cathy

March 18th, 2010
7:28 pm

Wow,

Instead of everyone getting along and trading nice cheap date ideas some idiot had to make this about race and get everyone pissed off. Just think of all the great ideas that could have been posted. Now we just have this angry mess. Many thanks to the racist idiot who just couldn’t keep their mouth shut and ruined this post.