Cheap Thrills: Cheap Date
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Cheap Thrills: Cheap Date

Cheap Thrills is a new bi-weekly column filling you in on fresh ways to get your kicks in the city and on the cheap.
So, you finally made the move. You popped the question, fumbled over exchanged numbers, and set a date for a date―soon, but not desperately soon. Now it’s the day, and due to unforeseen circumstances (gas pumps, anyone?), your pockets are looking a little lonely for your big night. How is one to set up a stunning, unforgettable first date with nothing more than a couple coins ending in -oonie? Fret not, the dinner and movie fall-back plan is always apropos, even for the prudent.

Treat your date to a slurpee, freezie, creamsicle, or any kind of overlooked, yet convenient, heat-beating cool sweet. If it’s at all awkward from the get-go, you can always chat about your favourite flavours to break the ice. With your trusty treat, head over to the nearest corner and grab an always-satisfying street meat (“Oh! You don’t like mustard either?”), and sit your friendly fannies down on a welcoming bench in St. James Park ’round King and Church Streets. The park’s a gorgeous garden full of greenery, wrought iron fencing, and a fountain―just to make sure you’re watching the waterworks, and not having them happen to you.
2008_08_05cheap2.jpgIf you’ve got beef with street meat, take your healthy (and hungry) companion for a whole lotta sushi. With three locations, Mariko’s all-you-can-eat sushi buffet is always a safe bet at $14.99. Chow down on the cheap at either 551 Bloor Street West (at Bathurst Street), 353 Danforth Avenue (at Jackman Avenue), or at 355 Yonge Street (at Elm Street). And we’re not just talking California rolls here―dragon rolls, snapper sashimi, spring rolls, and all kinds of salads are included. It’s not gourmet, but it’s pretty good.
We’re hoping you’ve planned ahead and made the date for a Tuesday (it’s the new Friday), because when you stroll over to Rainbow Cinemas at Front and Jarvis Streets, the movies will cost you a convenient two toonies apiece. With prices like these, even Dutch-style dating can be thrown down the drain. That being said, Tuesday doesn’t mean cheap popcorn, so if you *cough* happen to have any in your bag, so be it (try it with M&M’s mixed in).
Splurged on dinner? We’ll forgive you―and so will the outdoor theatres. While the Harbourfront Centre‘s Free Flicks are finished for the summer, Yonge-Dundas Square is midway through their epic countdown of the most amorous movies of all time―Romantic Reels runs every Tuesday at sunset. It’s the perfect way to set your dating intentions straight without actually saying anything. Bring a blanket, a basket, and enjoy the privacy of the busiest pedestrian square in the city. Enjoy your flick, save your extra bucks for your own selfish expenses, and for god’s sake, secure yourself a second date!
Photo by smcgee.