Valentine’s dates you can afford

Are you planning your Valentine’s Day outings? Here are a few specials around town worth noting:

Dinner, dancing and more are on tap for Valentine's Day. Here, Bob and Phyllis Kostelnik show off their dance moves. Photo: Alison Church

Dinner, dancing and more are on tap for Valentine's Day. Here, Bob and Phyllis Kostelnik show off their dance moves. Photo: Alison Church

Art, Dance and Live Music

The annual Valentine’s Day celebration at the High Museum is back. For $40 per couple, listen to romantic classical music, dance to Latin rhythms with salsa and tango lessons and enjoy other succulent treats. Champagne is available for an additional price. Considering the high cost of dinners around town, this is a budget-friendly way to enjoy the evening.

Wish Upon A Star

Lying under a sky with stars aglow does not lack for romance. Guys and gals alike enjoy star-gazing and you can do just that at the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, just a short drive north of Kennesaw. The museum features a beautiful planetarium in addition to unmatched fossil and mineral galleries. Whether you’ve dated for only a brief period, or you’re married with children, you’ll enjoy an afternoon here on Valentine’s Day. It’s $12 for adult admission and the planetarium is an additional $3.

Jazz It Up

Sure, you could go hear some syrupy love songs to celebrate Valentine’s Day. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, if you’d like to pick up the mood, try out Swing Night, the 5th Annual Valentine’s Concert at the Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville.The 17-piece Metro Jazz Club will deliver the big band tunes and the love songs that go with them. Special guest singers include Ann-Carol Pence and Glenn Rainey. At $20 per person, this show on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. won’t set you back much. You can add a pre-show dinner for two for a total of $95 (including concert tickets) at either McCray’s Tavern on the Square or Italia Cafe’. For the budget-conscious, though, you’ll want to do a less expensive dinner and instead put invest in the fun of the concert.

Singin’ In the Rain

While everyone else is running out to see the blockbuster movie, Valentine’s Day, at a local theatre, you can add a twist to movie night by going to a screening of the 1952 film, “Singin’ In the Rain” starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds. It’s classic and in a unique setting at the Earl Strand Theatre  in Marietta on Friday, Feb. 12. If you’ve never seen the movie, it’s a romantic musical about technology in the movie industry as two silent film stars of the 1920s take on acting in movies with sound. Tickets are only $7 and $8. It’s assigned seating, too.

Go For A Spin

Want to get physical? Here’s one way: You and your honey can go on a romantic bike tour around town. During the 10-mile ride, you’ll visit some of the city’s romantic haunts in downtown, Midtown and intown neighborhoods, and hear love stories. Your tour guide will also share funny statistics on love and marriage. The regular price is $50 per person, but if you purchase by Monday, Feb. 8, you can get it for $25 each through The Love Tour is available every weekend in February, but if you don’t want to use it then, you can use the discount for other tours like the Oakland Cemetery, Cabbagetown, the King Center, Virginia Highland, Ansley Park, Little Five Points and more.

Tickle Your Funny Bone

Want to break the ice on a Valentine’s Day date? Not everyone is in that candlelight dinner-love song place in their relationships. Still, you want that someone to know that you at least think he or she has potential, right? Here’s a great date idea then. Relapse Theatre, a comedy house, will debut the show “2 Across — A comedy of crosswords and romance” — on Saturday, Feb. 13. This promises to be a laugh-out-loud two-person play and your friends who’ve spent five times as much for other events around town will have to laugh it off when they find out you’ve paid only $10 each to get in.

Martinis & IMAX

The Fernbank Museum is a sexy spot any Friday night. That’s still the case on Feb. 12, when you can buy IMAX movie tickets for $12 each and listen to the live music. You’ll have to buy drinks separately if this is the option you choose. The museum does have a Sweetheart Package from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12, that includes a bottle of wine or champagne, two entrees, one dessert and two IMAX tickets to the film of your choice. Plus, there is live music offered by The Kayla Taylor Quartet. The cost is $75 for non-members and $65 for members.  Call 404-929-6400 for to get the Sweetheart Package.

Valentine’s In the Garden

Yes, roses are romantic. But, so are orchids, a flower just as elegant and beautiful in my opinion. I love being surrounded by them and it’s one of my favorite places to visit at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Spend Feb. 13 at the Garden from 7-11 p.m. and indulge in delectable chocolates, take in the live music and dancing and leave with a few giveaways as well. The columns of colorful flowers showcased in the Orchid Daze: Tower of Flowers will win her heart. Tickets are $30 per person.

“Oh, How I Love Thee”

Spoken Word Poetry, the language of love, is a sure hit on Valentine’s Day. Write some of your own or go hear the tender love lyrics of others to ignite some passion. Apache Cafe has Open Mic night on Sunday, Feb. 14, and admission is $7. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the event begins at 8:30 p.m.

War of the Roses

You’re never too old to play, are you? The folks at Play Date certainly don’t think so. On Saturday, Feb. 13, they’ll continue their tradition of board games, cards and other fun activities — some of which are throwbacks from your childhood. Hundreds of people fill the Grand Peachtree Ballroom at the Holiday Inn Select and play games from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. On Feb. 13, the battle is on: all of the men are given a single stem rose. If the man loses to a woman in a game, he has to give up his rose. At the end of the night, the women with the most roses are awarded prizes. How much for all this fun you ask? Try $10 each, plus $5 for parking.

Even cheaper dates

We’re well aware that love has no price tag. Likewise, you don’t have to spend a dime (or many of them anyway) to express your affection. Other date ideas include:

Light A Candle: Prepare a candlelight dinner at home. Let’s face it. Buying lobster tails and making them at home is a lot cheaper than having them at a restaurant. Dig up some new or favorite recipes and make a gourmet dinner for two right at home. Cost: Depends on what you make, but I promise it will be a lot less than anything you get a fine restaurant on Valentine’s Day.

Romantic Movie Night: Go to Blockbuster, order from Netflix or watch them on Hulu. It doesn’t matter where you get the movies, just come up with a list of some of your favorite romantic comedies and have a movie marathon. Make some popcorn to go along with it!

Back Down Memory Lane: Remember your first date? There was probably some anxiety, but there must have been a few sparks or you wouldn’t still be together, right? Why not visit that first coffee shop, restaurant or park to turn back the hands of time.

I Love That Song: Stretch out on the floor side by side, turn on the iPod and sing along and dance to some of your favorite love songs. The night will pass along with quickly with oldies but goodies that you’ll dedicate to each other time and again.

Poetry Reading: See her swoon when you read aloud tender poems declaring love and passion. Return the favor and if you’ve written poems of your own, that’s even better.

Splurge Dining

Atlanta Journal-Constitution dining critic Meridith Ford Goldman gave Social Resto a very good review, just one of the many high marks the tiny downtown bistro has received. Luckily, they are making it bit more accessible with a Valentine’s Day special that, though not cheap, is more affordable than the average $75 or more you might ordinarily spend there. A four-course dinner and wine pairing will be prepared exclusively for the holiday. The special is $55 per person and includes four glasses of wine, one selected to go with each course. The menu includes two first courses including Harissa shrimp bisque, three second courses ranging from cured salmon to raviloi (both homemade), four entrees such as scallops with risotto or luscious pan-seared duck breast and three stunning desserts.

Is your mouth watering yet?

If not, you should click here for a slew of other restaurant specials around town to celebrate Valentine’s Day, including specials at Morton’s The Steakhouse, 30 Tables, Amuse, Pizzeria Venti, The Sun Dial, Wisteria and more.

11 comments Add your comment

Dave The Wave

February 8th, 2010
9:22 am

I bet Bob and Phyllis have been together for a long time, have a wonderful family, and can really dance up a storm. They look good together. I’d love to see them dancing …

chicks love it

February 8th, 2010
10:12 am

I swoon my girl with Cap’t D’s fish and more. I really score with that nite out.

BongWater Slurpee

February 8th, 2010
10:51 am

Do you let her get the Captains Deluxe Super Fish Combo with extra pups?

Snellville Blogger

February 8th, 2010
10:59 am

A wonderful article, thank you for writing this. I will point people this way from my blog. Thanks for the great ideas and research!


February 8th, 2010
11:02 am

I think the shallow Victoria Beckham is posting here under the BongWater Slurpee pseudonym.

BongWater Slurpee

February 8th, 2010
12:02 pm

So when does Bob have to report back to “Trembling Arms” recovery center?

BongWater Slurpee

February 8th, 2010
12:08 pm

Phyllis is sporting quite the ugly hair piece.


February 9th, 2010
11:18 am

There is also a retro prom going on at the Ballroom Lounge below The Highland Inn this Saturday the 13th. For more info, check out! If you purchase your prom attire from The Clothing Warehouse in L5P you get two for one entry into the prom! Hope to see you there!

[...] at the Atlanta Bargain Hunter blog has done some legwork to find a solid list of free-to-cheap Atlanta Valentine’s Day date ideas, from the High Museum to Tellus Northwest Georgia Science Museum, from movies at The Strand to [...]

[...] Atlanta Bargain Hunter: Valentine’s dates you can afford [...]

thin wallet syndrome

February 13th, 2010
12:36 pm

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