4 Cheap Dates To Ignite Your Love Life—No Savings Required

Take a deep breath: The hard work is over, your tax return has been filed. Hooray! And, if you're lucky, you'll be getting a sweet little refund in the coming weeks. But, we want what's best for you in the long-term — so, save that check! We've done you a solid and planned four super-cool, cheap dates to impress any significant other. Read on to discover the best new ways to hit the town without mortgaging your future.
Catch a Woolly Mammoth Pay-what-you-can Performance
On the opening Monday and Tuesday of each new performance run, the innovative Penn Quarter theatre company offers pay-what-you-can tickets — all you need to do is get to the venue two hours before showtime, and, well, pay whatever you can! There are awesome productions and $2 PBRs on Tuesdays (yes, you can drink in the theater), and the staff decorates the lobby based on the theme of each play — part of what they call "The Lobby Experience." Decorations for a recent show about Burning Man involved pink fuzzy chairs, disco lights, and a general acid-trip atmosphere. Your next opportunity for a pay-what-you-can performance is May 27 and May 28, with the opening of Aaron Posner's Stupid F*cking Bird.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D Street NW; 202-393-3939.
Photos: Courtesy of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Gourmet Doughnut & Fried Chicken Tour
Gourmet doughnuts are clearly replacing cupcakes and macarons as the top treat of 2013, and D.C. has two new joints that present the ultimate sweet-and-salty fantasy: sweet doughnuts served alongside crispy fried chicken. And, even though it's absurdly delicious, this gastronomic delight is about as cheap as it gets — win-win!
At Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, rotating seasonal and artisan flavors, such as maple-bacon and lemon-passionfruit, are $2.25 a pop, and a side of fried chicken rings up at $5.25. For a totally indulgent date, we suggest stopping by Astro, then heading over to GBD, (short for "Golden Brown Delicious"), where the menu options are even wilder. Grapefruit-campari, key lime curd-filled brioche, and bourbon-butterscotch glazed brioche are all $2.25 to $2.75, with savory side options like fried chicken thighs, bacon-scallion potato salad, and creamed kale. If you need further inspiration, feast on this description of a GBD specialty: "Brioche filled with chocolate pudding, topped with milk chocolate ganache and Cocoa Krispies." Oh, yes.
Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, 1308 G Street NW, 202-809-5565; GBD, 1323 Connecticut Avenue NW, 202-524-4210.
Photos: Courtesy of GBD/Astro Fried Chicken & Doughnuts
Boat and Bike Rentals at Fletcher's Boathouse
If you want to truly feel like you're on vacation, plan a date around this charming boathouse and cove located on the C&O Canal. Situated between Georgetown and Bethesda on the Potomac River, the campground-like setup and scenic grounds will transport you out of the city altogether. Bike rentals are $7 per hour, and you can choose from some pretty rad vintage beach cruisers for a breezy ride down the Capital Crescent Trail. Canoe and rowboat rentals are $12 per hour, and a cozy double kayak is just $5 extra. Of course, if you want to go the really cheap route, a peaceful stroll along the trail doesn't cost a dime.
Fletcher's Boathouse, 4940 Canal Road NW; 202-244-0461.
Photos: Courtesy of Fletcher's Boathouse
Picnic at Yards Park and Root for the Nats
In case you've been living under a rock, D.C. has one of the best baseball teams around and home games are f-u-n. Even better, the stadium offers game-goers occasional $1 Monday and $2 Tuesday tickets. They sell out fast, so we recommend diligent site-stalking to stay on top of the latest deals. Even if you miss the $1 and $2 tix, for most games you can find prices starting at $10, plus accompanying promotions for super-cheap food. For the upcoming game against the Tigers (May 8), snag $13 tickets and you'll get $1 hot dogs. In June and July, don't miss the $1 ice cream nights. For a more thoughtful itinerary, pack a pre-game picnic and get cozy at nearby Yards Park — that's what we call a home run.
Yards Park, 355 Water Street SE, 202-465-7080; 1500 South Capitol Street SE, 888-632-6287.
Photos: Courtesy of Capitol Riverfront BID/Rex USA

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