I'm not a huge fan of dating. Never really have been. Dating is hard and awkward. You meet, you flirt, you make plans and then you potentially empty out your savings account trying to decide, dinner after dinner, if you've met your match. The truth is, no one can make your dates any less awkward. But you don't have to go in debt looking for Mr./Mrs. Right. Check out my top 11 Denton date ideas that won't break the bank.
- Play some tennis
Price: $3 - $6
There is nothing better than being out in the sun getting some exercise. Plus a little friendly competition can cause some major sparks to fly. The Goldfield Tennis Center, located next to North Lakes Recreation Center, has nine super-nice courts with lights available in case you want to get your night game on. Don't know how to play? Fake it 'til you make it and just have fun!
- Caffeinate together at West Oak Coffee Bar
Price: $10 - $15
Nothing says "I love you" (or "I really like you", no pressure) like a steaming hot cup-o’-joe, am I right? Coffee speaks to me. And finding that special someone who understands that you can't be an actual functioning human being until you've had your morning coffee is priceless. West Oak Coffee Bar on the square is a hip new spot with an industrial bar vibe that serves their own creations of specialty cofftails ( I just made that word up...it's like coffee + cocktails...tell your friends). Try the current seasonal cortado...(the peanut butter pretzel one = amazing)!
- Drink wine on the Courthouse steps
Price: $20 - $50
Did you even know this was a thing? Start at Wine Squared on the Square, grab your favorite bottle (or glass) and head on over to the lawn (you can do that, it's allowed!), take a blanket and get ready for some pretty awesome people watching. Plus the courthouse is amazingly beautiful and romantic at sunset (hint hint). If you decide you want a little bit more of a quiet, less distracting setting you can take your date and bottle of wine back to Wine Squared and cozy up on their back patio.
- Hang out on the LSA Rooftop
Price: $20 - $40
Every Friday night, LSA Burger on the square has live music on their rooftop patio. For free, might I add. You and your date can enjoy a beer, a burger and fries and listen to some of Denton's best hometown artists. But make sure you arrive early. The show starts at 7 p.m. and seats go fast. Plus you won't want to miss the view of the square at sunset. Check out their nom-ilicious menu here.
- Go to a concert - At Dan's!
Price: $15 - $25
Denton is one of the best towns for live music and Dan's Silver Leaf has got it all. Some of my all-time favorite concerts have been at Dan's, plus I'm a huge fan of the wall-art (conversation starters, for sure). Denton really does host some very talented artists and you know, music can be a very bonding experience. Plus you can show off your music intellect during chat breaks on Dan's super-cute back patio.
- Not ready for a loud concert? Go see a play at Campus Theater!
This is super cool...the Denton Community Theater is presenting Mary Poppins, I repeat, Mary Poppins at Campus Theater during the month of April (squeeeeal!). Did you just start singing "Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go dowwwwn"? (Because I did.) Getting dressed up and going on a date to the theater is classic and romantic. Plus, you're supporting the local arts. It's a win-win, people! Buy your tickets here: http://www.campustheatre.com/events.php
- Go on a Kwest
Have you heard of Kwest? If not, you need to download it now (really, right now...I'll wait). It's a free app you can download and it will take you on a tour around your city. And guess what? There is one for Denton! This particular tour hits various locations around the square and is full of fun games, quizzes and challenges. It's a great opportunity for you and your date to do something different that'll keep you moving and working together. Plus, you'll learn all kinds of new stuff about Denton. And as you go through the Kwest, who knows, you might find a nice coffee shop or wine bar where you can fall in love. Awwwww! (Rumor has it...there's a new craft beer Kwest coming soon to Denton. Stay tuned...)
- Patio Beer and Food Trucks at Eastside
Price: $20 - $30
Sometimes (most of the time), I just don't want to get dressed up. And sometimes, the best dates are the jeans and t-shirt (ok fine, yoga pants!) kind of dates. Of course, I'm a woman and I definitely enjoy getting dolled up from time to time...it's romantic. But you know, those casual nights of conversation, drinking beer at a picnic table have their own magic. Eastside has over 80 beers on tap and a huge patio with...wait for it...food trucks! Perfect for weekday happy hour date and the patio is pet friendly so you can bring a furry conversation starter (woof!).
- Take a hike
Get outside, catch some rays and get some heart-healthy exercise in. I love hiking and have been known to have some of my best conversation on long hikes. Typically you have a pretty good chance of learning something new about each-other. And if you have pets, what a great opportunity to include them as long as they aren't complete wimps like my dog, George. Seriously, last time we went hiking I had to carry him the last half of the trail. Lazy bum. Try the Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center for this nature date.
- Spend the afternoon at a local festival - Denton Arts & Jazz Festival
Festivals are my jam and my friends, festival season is upon us (praise the heavens). And when it's a music festival, that's even better! Denton has a ton of local events but the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival is one of the best in the DFW area. Located in Quakertown Park, you and your date can wander the vendor tents, share a bag of fresh popped kettle corn and check out some of the most talented jazz musicians on the planet. Bring a blanket or some lawn chairs, you can even BYOB (everywhere except the main stage)! Festival starts April 29 and will last all weekend - check out the line-up here.
- Go on a brewery tour at Audacity Brew House
Price: FREE - except not the beer...you're gonna have to pay for that
First date? No prob...beer will help. Hundredth date? No prob....beer will help. I kid, I kid. But seriously, brewery tours are the best for dates. First off, you get to try specialty beers. Also, you can take a tour of the brewery and learn all about how they make the beer...then circle back to the tasting room where you can, yes, try more beers! Every Saturday, Audacity Brew House has free (that's right, I said free) tours and live music. Here's a link to their calendar so you can pick the best brewery day date for you.
Now get on out there, make good choices and don't forget to wear your smile! It's all up to you now.