Updated May 2015
A big hello to all you cheapskate daters out there! I have a little confession to make. My title… is a big fat lie. Below my lovely little intro you WILL NOT find five dates that cost five dollars. You won’t even find five dates that cost one dollar! In fact, my unique Buffalo date recommendations are absolutely free. However, while I’m not a celebrity matchmaker or a personal dating guru, I would recommend stashing that $5 bill in your wallet anyway. A little memento of your day together will be well worth the money spent. So with five dollars in your pocket and your date in hand, let’s Step Out Buffalo for Five Buffalo Dates for five big ones!
Forest Lawn Cemetery
If you have never visited a cemetery for pleasure before- I’d highly recommend this one. Forest Lawn is noted as being, “One of the Most Famous Victorian Cemeteries in America.” It is the final resting place of U.S. President Millard Fillmore, Musician Rick James, Explorer Frederick Albert Cook (arguably the first man to the North Pole in 1908), and many former mayors of Buffalo. For the architecture buffs in the group, Forest Lawn Offers 15+ Mausoleums including the beautiful “Blue Sky” designed by famous Architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. Invest your $5 in cold bottled water for you and your date, as your day will be full of walking. For those of you who wish to walk less, but learn and spend a little more, Forest Lawn also offers guided walking ($15) and trolley ($25) tours on Sunday mornings throughout the summer months.
Trade in your expensive $20 movie date for an evening of Professional theatre in Delaware Park. Admission is totally free and always gives its audience great historic plays complete with sword fighting, epic battles, and some classic Shakespearian Comedy. Performances are Tuesday- Sunday and start at 7:30pm each night. Come early and invest your $5 in another Buffalo favorite- a Sahlen’s hot dog on the hill or, bring your own picnic and buy your date an SDP coffee mug to remember you by. Movies bring the drama but there is nothing quite like cozying up to your date on Shakespeare hill with a pizza, beer and 500 of your closest friends for a live theatre event. READ MORE
Allentown Treasure Hunt
Home of the Famous Allentown Art Fest, this kitschy portion of Buffalo is perfect for an afternoon or evening of window-shopping. Shop offerings range from cool coffee shops to hip little boutiques. Challenge your date to a treasure hunt with a $5 limit- race to find the oldest, funniest, crappiest, or most random item you can all at the intersection of Elmwood and Allen. If you each have six bucks to spare, bring your bikes along and head to Allen Burger Venture where you can utilize their bike valet and enjoy a cold beer on the patio.
In this writer’s humble opinion, Canalside is quickly becoming the pride of the Buffalo restoration. It’s website beams with pride about “750 events and 750,000 visitors annually” at the intersection of Marine Drive and Pearl St. Here you can enjoy the beautiful sunset walk past the historic naval shipyard. The gardens are beautiful in the summer months and the area features lush grass for picnicking, a war memorial for history buffs, a sand pit for your inner archaeologist and a beautiful view of the canal. Invest your $5 in an ice cream at Clinton’s Dish – little food shack near the water that offers breakfast through dinner with both deep-fried and even some healthier and vegetarian options at cheapskate prices.
For a little something different I’d recommend my alma mater. Make the drive to Lewiston, NY to visit Niagara University’s own little art museum. A gift of the Castellani family to the University, the exhibits feature a variety of art mediums including print, paintings, drawings, photography and sculpture from the 1850’s to present day. You and your date can pick apart a Picasso, indulge your senses in a Dali, revel in a Rauschenberg or be bowled over by a Basquiat. The museum also features a traveling exhibit, which rotates on a seasonal basis. Now until the end of June they are featuring, “Extraordinary Ordinary People,” an exhibition featuring artists whose motivations are rooted in their own cultural identity. On your way out, blow your $5 on a souvenir in the museum gift shop or leave it in the museum’s donation box as a thank you for an otherwise free day well spent. READ MORE
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