Story by Natalie Jo Przybyla, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of Robert Stone
Let’s cut the crap: you don’t have any money. You can’t get that giftset from Pandora, or afford season passes to see the Tigers. But for now, for February 14, you’ll have to take a chance and hand them a gift with a bow and tag that reads, “It’s the thought that counts.” And if you don’t have money, well, that’s all that matters. So, without further explanation of the tragedy of being broke, here are some cheap and free date ideas so your partner forgets all about that $200 bracelet.
Rain, snow, or shine, the Rosa Parks Circle Ice Rink downtown costs only three bucks to rent skates. If you happen to have your own ice skates, that hopefully don’t still have Barbie on them like mine, it’s completely free.
While you two (or however many, I don’t judge) are downtown, it might be a good idea to hit up some of the art galleries. Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday this year. So unfortunately, the GRAM is not free like it is on Tuesdays, but it is only $7. Even better, the UICA is only $5 a pop, and is my personal favorite gallery in Grand Rapids. But if you want costless access to art you might not understand, LaFontsee Galleries on Lake Drive is always free and always awesome.
Not into art? English major? I got you. The kind employees of Barnes and Noble at Woodland Mall will never kick someone out for reading a book in the store. So, grab a romance like The Last Ride by Nicholas Sparks, or a non-romance like Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee; find a corner, and read, snuggled up with your pooh bear.
If you don’t read, first off: how did you get into college? Secondly, Woodland Mall also has a Celebration Cinema which has slightly older movies for only $5 a seat. I recommend bringing a purse or wearing a fanny pack in order to sneak in snacks. It isn’t an airport. No one will be patting down your boo but you. Oh— but onay on the PDAy, please. You may be a couple on Valentine’s Day, but no one wants to hear smooching during “Kung Fu Panda.”
In all seriousness, just being together can be a great time. You and your lover don’t need fancy cars or diamond rings, all of that don’t mean a thing (thank you Sugarland). What’s important is that you’re in this world together, at least for the time, and you care about each other. You can give them that bow, and tag, and an empty box, and if they really do appreciate you for all you aren’t worth, they’ll love you for it. And if you don’t want them to be completely empty handed, pull a Justin Timberlake and put— you got the picture.
About the Writer…