It’s hard enough to find a date, but sometimes it’s even harder to afford one. Atlanta’s known for posh restaurants, luxurious venues and all-around expensive destinations, but there a few options that can fit nearly anyone’s budget.
Among a large group of free parks such as Candler, Grant, and Centennial, Piedmont park hosts many free events and offers plenty of space for a romantic picnic or a walk around the Clara Meer lake. Plan out a Saturday morning rendezvous and stop by the Green Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Take a stroll through Atlanta’s local farmer’s market at Piedmont’s 12th Street entrance and pick out some picnic provisions. Green Market offers fresh produce, juice, pasta, sauce, pastries and much more. Spread a blanket on the lawn, in the shade, or take advantage of the many sheltered pavilions with built-in grills and tables.
On Friday, April 19 through Sunday, April 21, check out Atlanta’s 77th annual Dogwood Festival at Piedmont park. A great event to bring a date, admission is free and over 250 artists will be on display. There will be live music every day leading up to the main event where Sarah Evans will take the stage on Saturday, April 20.
Piedmont Park also offers a free, enclosed 3-acre dog park for the animal friendly date. One of the great features of Piedmont’s Dog Park is that it’s leash free. Let the dog, or dogs, run and take a seat on one of the shaded benches or picnic tables.
Another, more concrete and less trees, option is Centennial Olympic Park. Centennial Olympic Park is one of the mostly widely recognized Atlanta landmarks. Visited by locals, travelers, and internationals alike, Centennial provides a backdrop of Downtown and the bustling city. Stop by Googie Burger and grab a hotdog and a milkshake, walk through the Fountain of Rings and walk a few blocks up Luckie Street and check out who’s playing at the Tabernacle.
The Fountain of Rings is currently under repairs but will be opened to the public again on Wednesday, April 10. Admission to the park is free, and the Tabernacle regularly has top-notch shows such as The Black Crowes, Soundgarden, Bassnectar and Paramore. Although tickets can get pricey, and big names sell out quickly, the box office is right off the entrance and a great impromptu date.
Fourth – year sequential art student, Gabriela Santelices, likes to take in some of the local cuisine on her cheap dates. “Café Intermezzo serves full pots of tea for $3.25, and has reasonably priced and delicious cake.”
It’s a great chance to experience an authentic European style coffee house, and even though most the entrées are under $20 sharing plate cuts the price in half. “My boyfriend and I go there, share a piece of pie and get two different pots of tea. You get to dress up and go out, so it’s a lot of fun,” said Santelices.
Try the turkey and Brie crepe, or goat cheese medallions, chicken spinach burger, the spicy tortellini alfredo or a portabella mushroom, Swiss cheese and onions omelette all for under $10.
Some students like to take their date on a walk around Little Five Points or Atlantic station. Window-shopping is free. “Walking around IKEA is always worth a laugh,” said Santelices.
Show schedules at the Tabernacle can be found here