5 Perfect Cheap Date Ideas For A Miami Night Out

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Hey there, lovebirds! If the season’s got you in a tizzy, we’re right there with you. Nothing says springtime like stepping out with a new crush, old flame, or man of the moment. Yet, sometimes your wallet doesn’t want to cooperate with you romantic enthusiasm. After all, there are swimsuits to buy, pedis to get – and the sandals, you guys. The sandals. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take your man out on the town. This city is full of date-y activities that’ll cost you next to nothing. If you're looking to dance your booty off or set up in a quiet corner to get close and talk, we’ve got loads of ideas for you. Whether you want a cheap spot for a perfect date, or a perfect date at a cheap spot (hey, whatever works!), here are some steamy and savvy nights out.

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BYOB At SoundScape Cinema Series

Miami is full of open-air movie venues, but at this one you can actually hear the film AND see it properly. Take advantage of the mild spring evenings and pack a picnic for the SoundScape Cinema Series. This season features such classics as Vertigo, From Russia with Love, and Mrs. Doubtfire. All this comes gratis, thanks to our fair city’s parks department. Come an hour early to secure a good spot and enjoy a leisurely dinner (who can concentrate on food when Mrs. Doubtfire is on, anyway?) As the sun fades, the film begins and sounds of the city fall away. Then it’s just you, your sweetie, and the stars. And Robin Williams in a dress. Sigh.

Soundscape Cinema Series, Miami Beach SoundScape ExoStage, Corner of 17th Street and Washington Avenue.

Photo: Courtesy SoundScape
van-dyke-slideThe Best of Both Worlds at the Van Dyke Cafe

Any SoBe regular is no doubt familiar with the bright awnings, green ivy, and glorious breakfast-all-day menu. But The Van Dyke has another trick up its sleeve. Or just up its stairs, rather. Right above the sweet café scene is one of the best venues for emerging musical acts. At its core, Upstairs at the Van Dyke is a jazz scene, but you’ll find local favorites of all varieties. For $5 you get a table, but for the true cost-conscious, standing is free. Split a ginormous Soufflé for Two ($14.50) in the café, then head upstairs. Grab yourself a dark corner, cozy up, and tune in.

The Van Dyke Cafe, 846 Lincoln Road (at Jefferson Avenue); 305-534-3600.

Photo: Courtesy The Van Dyke Cafe
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Live True Storytelling at Lip Service

You might not know it, but the ancient art of storytelling is so hot right now. So hot, in fact, James Franco is probably developing a platform for it right now. The Miami version of nuevo spoken word is all very back porch, late night, and moonshine on your breath. While nation-wide outfits may come for a visit, we’ve got our own local crew, Lip Service, rounding up the best of Miami’s raconteurs. Taking on gutsy new themes with every show, performances run the gamut from eloquent monologues, to stand-up comedy, to readings from a childhood diary. But they’re all true, local tales. No reservations, no dress code, and no more than $3 tickets at the door. That’s more than a bargain for what’s about to be your favorite evening in the 305.

Lip Service at the Miracle Theater, 280 Miracle Mile (between Salzedo Street and Ponce de Leon Boulevard); 305-444-9293.

Photo: Courtesy Lip Service
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DIY Bar Crawl in Brickell

The neighborhood’s known for some of the best dives in town, but even upscale watering holes offer a deal most nights of the week. A $6 PBR-Jameson shot combo at Blackbird Ordinary ought to get the ball rolling. From there, you’re a stone’s throw from raucous fun at local legend Tobacco Road, or the laidback, fire-lit scene at Fado, Miami’s favorite Irish pub. Either way, you’re wallet won’t feel a thing. By now you’re ready for a leisurely stroll (accidental hand-brushing not required, but strongly encouraged). Take advantage of the walkway, and take your time. You might end up at RedBar for a gallery night. You may pop over to Cavas for a free wine tasting. Or you may just keep on walking.

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Blackbird Ordinary, 729 Southwest 1st Avenue (between 7th and 8th Streets); 305-671-3307
Tobacco Road, 626 South Miami Avenue (between 6th and 7th Streets); 305-374-1198
Fado Irish Pub, 900 South Miami Avenue (at Southwest 9th Street); 786-924-0972.
RedBar Gallery, 52 Southwest 10th Street (between Southwest 1st and South Miami Avenues); 786-316-0303.
Cavas, 900 South Miami Avenue (at Southwest 9th Street); 305-372-8027.


Photos: Courtesy Blackbird Ordinary, Cavas, Fado, RedBar, Tobacco Road
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Free Pizza & Fierce Competition at Camp Ricochet

Sense of humor is one thing but there’s nothing more important to a successful relationship than encyclopedic knowledge of early '90s television. Skip the packed events at Abraxas and Sandbar, and give it a go at Ricochet’s trivia night. No cover charge and cheap-o drink specials galore (this PBR/Jameson combo is the new black, huh?), and the vibe is summer camp, spiked. Prizes for the night’s winners (meaning you, obvs) include bottle service and complimentary bar tabs. For the rest of the crowd, the drinks are cheap and the pizza is free. Pizza, we all know, is also a pretty important relationship factor.

Ricochet, 3250 Buena Vista Avenue (at Northwest 34th Street); 786-353-0846.

Photo: Courtesy Ricochet