You might be a cheap ass, but that doesn’t mean you don’t care. Paying rent is hard, and if you want to treat your boo but don’t know how to avoid breaking the bank, don’t sweat. 303 knows how fun saving money can be, and so we’ve compiled a list of cheap dates for two in and around Denver under $30 available Valentine’s Day weekend leading up to February 14. Your sweetheart deserves a dozen roses and some gourmet fettuccine, but sometimes late-night takeout tastes better after an inexpensive adventure out on the town.
1. Eat chocolate and receive a personalized poem
Where: The Source Hotel and Market, 3350 Brighton Blvd., Denver
When: Saturday, February 10 and Sunday, February 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Lowdown: The Source in RiNo is pairing up with six of the best bean-to-bar chocolate retailers in the state and will sell bars, truffles, spreads and more at a pop-up market for Valentine’s Day weekend only. This limited-time chocolate market will also feature Untouched Poetry, who will write on-demand poems on a vintage typewriter.
2. Plan a trip together
Where: National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt St., Denver
When: Saturday, February 10 and Sunday, February 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $16.76 for two adults if purchased in advance, $20 at the door
The Lowdown: Planning a romantic getaway is the perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day, so don’t miss out on the Denver Travel, Design and Food Festival. Register for prize giveaways including a European cruise and an eight-day African safari, taste Colorado’s homemade food creations and meet with interior design professionals in the area to make your home beautiful. This is the cultural festival you and your adventurous partner will be stoked about.
3. Snuggle with farm animals
Where: Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary, 8640 Dahlia St., Henderson
When: Sunday, February 11 from 1 to 3 p.m.
Cost: $10 for two adults
The Lowdown: Spread the love this Valentine’s Day to the animals. Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary near Commerce City is a sanctuary for homeless, abused, neglected, and slaughter bound animals in need of some care. On Valentine’s Day weekend, you can cuddle and feed pigs, goats and other animals who will love your special attention. Plus it makes a great excuse to snuggle up to someone else that’s special to you.
4. Get sushi and happy hour specials
Where: Den Corner restaurants (Izakaya Den, OTOTO Den and Sushi Den), South Pearl St., Denver
When: Wednesday, February 14
Cost: $8 and up depending on order
The Lowdown: Treat your date to happy hour and your favorite sushi rolls by visiting one of the Den Corner Restaurants on South Pearl Street. These high-end and sleek Japanese haunts each have special deals, so pick your favorite and make sure you stop in on Valentine’s Day.
Izakaya Den at 1487 A South Pearl St., Denver
From 4:30 to 6 p.m. (upstairs bar 5 to 6 p.m.), Izakaya Den offers happy hour specials including $5 house wines, $6 well cocktails, $8 signature cocktails, discounted beer and sake. Pair libations with izakaya-style snacks.
OTOTO Den at 1501 South Pearl St., Denver
OTOTO Den’s happy hour is from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and 9 to 10 p.m. The deal includes $4 draught beer, $5 desserts, $1 off well cocktails, discounted snacks and half-priced wine by the glass and hot sake.
Sushi Den at 1487 South Pearl St., Denver
During Sushi Den’s day and night happy hour, you can enjoy 2-for-1 hot sake and nigiri specials from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:45 to 6 p.m.
5. Party in a mansion
Where: 9950 East Gateway Dr., Highlands Ranch
When: Tuesday, February 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Lowdown: All ages are welcome to the Highlands Ranch Mansion for a Valentine’s Day party. Enjoy complimentary coffee, tea, sweets, music, dancing and self-guided tours of the home. It’s a laidback way to spend the day with someone you care about.
6. Watch people get married all day
Where: Webb Building, 201 West Colfax Ave., Dept. 101, Denver
When: Wednesday, February 14 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Cost: Free, $30 for marriage licenses
The Lowdown: Did you know that on Valentine’s Day, the Denver County Clerk’s office will host free marriage ceremonies for couples performed by judges and clergy as part of the You Have My Heart Valentine’s Day Celebration? Happy couples will get married all day, and you can witness the occasion and enjoy food and beverages. And who knows? Maybe you and your loved one are ready to make the next step.
7. Eat Indian food and exotic chocolates
Where: Saucy Bombay, 2616 East Colfax Ave., Denver
When: Wednesday, February 14 from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Cost: $3 for one box of two chocolate samosas, $11-$30 for food
The Lowdown: If you and your date love Indian food, check out Saucy Bombay, a fast-casual Indian dig on East Colfax. Authentic cuisine is cheaply priced, and for Valentine’s Day the restaurant is selling boxes of chocolate samosas (two samosas for $3). Using their signature dough recipe, Saucy Bombay’s chocolate samosas are sweet and gooey and filled with chocolate hazelnut Nutella and imported Belgian chocolate made from roasted whole cocoa beans. It’s a nice sweet treat after that spicy Indian food.
Editor’s Note: This section was corrected to reflect the accurate price of the samosas. It is one box for $3, not two boxes for $3.
8. Play glow-in-the-dark mini golf
Where: Monster Mini Golf, 8227 South Holly St., Centennial
When: Open from 2 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, February 14
Cost: $19.98 for two adults
The Lowdown: It might sound like it’s for kids, but glow-in-the-dark mini golf is actually a lot of fun and an inexpensive way to spend the night. Monster Mini Golf in Centennial features an indoor course with glow-in-the-dark monsters, an arcade and a DJ.
9. See a Wes Anderson film free of charge
Where: Bellwether, 5126 East Colfax Ave., Denver
When: Wednesday, February 14 from 7 to 10 p.m.
Cost: Free with $25 bottles of wine available
The Lowdown: The cozy coffee shop of Bellwether on East Colfax will be even more hipsters than usual since it’ll show Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom on a projection screen and serving bottles of wine for $25. There will also be Hershey’s kisses and specialty cocktails themed cocktails available all night.
10. Share pizza and wine
Where: Inga’s Alpine Tavern, 5151 Leetsdale Drive, Denver
When: Wednesday, February 14 at 7 p.m.
The Lowdown: Dinner for two has never been easier. For only $20, you and your date can enjoy pizza and a bottle of wine at Inga’s Alpine Tavern in Cherry Creek. The ambiance at Inga’s is gorgeous for a romantic dinner date, and you will even get serenaded with smooth jazz by the David Arthur Trio. There’s also $1 off all whiskeys.
11. See the butterflies at sunset
Where: Butterfly Pavilion, 6252 West 104th Ave., Westminster
When: Wednesday, February 14 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $30 for two adults
The Lowdown: Take a sunset stroll through the rainforest of the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster for the perfect romantic evening this Valentine’s Day. You’ll see creatures that you wouldn’t see during the day, dusk-blooming flowers and more.
12. Dinner, dancing and a show at Mercury Café.
Where: Mercury Café Denver, 2199 California St., Denver
When: Wednesday, February 14 from 5:30 to 11:59 p.m.
Cost: $20 for two adults to romantic comedy show or $16 for two to West Coast swing lessons and dance
The Lowdown: Valentine’s Day at Mercury Café sure is magical, and there’s a variety of things to do. Watch a show entitled Lovers, Split, Strangers: a Dark, Sick, Political Romantic Comedy, enjoy a candlelit dinner with flowers or later learn how to West Coast swing dance.
13. Ice skate on Evergreen Lake
Where: Evergreen Lake, Evergreen
When: During public skating hours
Cost: $14 for two adults
The Lowdown: Named one of the 10 most beautiful ice rinks in the world by CNN and Sunset Magazine, Evergreen Lake is the world’s largest Zamboni-groomed outdoor ice rink. Drink hot cocoa and sit by the fire inside the picturesque lake house after a day out on the ice. Call 720-880-1391 for ice conditions, or visit the recreation website for more information.
14. Go to the Loveland Fire & Ice Festival.
Where: 200 East 4th St., Loveland
When: Friday, February 9 from 5 to 10 p.m. & Saturday, Feb. 10 and Sunday, Feb. 11 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Lowdown: As the largest Valentine’s Day Festival in the nation, the annual Loveland Fire & Ice Festival is a grand way to celebrate the holiday with your sweetheart. With fire dancers, ice sculptures, fireworks and more, this carnival is worth the short drive from Denver and it’s something you won’t want to miss. For the complete schedule, visit the festival’s website.
15. Go for a winter hike
Where: Check out the best winter wonderland hikes here.
When: During park hours
Cost: Park admissions less than $20
The Lowdown: Although the mountains have snow, that shouldn’t stop you from making a hiking trip this Valentine’s Day weekend. Get your warmest coat and boots on and explore the outdoors with your S.O.