Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and whether you’ve just started seeing your significant other or you’ve been going steady for a while, it’s your chance to show that you care. However, it can be stressful if your purse strings are snug this Valentine’s season, especially if bae keeps bugging you about V Day plans. Don’t trip, Romeo — you can still have a good time if you’re strapped for cash. Here are 20 things to do around the Valley this Valentine’s Day that will cost you less than two ten-spots.
1. JAPANESE FRIENDSHIP GARDEN OF PHOENIX
For just $7 per person (or $5 with a student ID), you and your S.O. can stroll through the relaxing and romantic footpaths of Phoenix’s Friendship Garden, which features flowing streams and more than 50 types of flora.
2. PHOENIX ART MUSEUM
Let bae know that in a room full of art, you’d still stare at them by enjoying a night at the museum together. Every Wednesday from 3 to 9 p.m., the Phoenix Art Museum offers free admission — and endless opportunities for you to snap a selfie with your sweetheart in front of some art.
3. SCOTTSDALE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
Spend the day in Downtown Scottsdale with your sweetie and check out high-quality art at a low cost. Admission to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCa) is only $10 and also offers a $7 student discount.
4. CAMELBACK MOUNTAIN
Tell your date to take a hike — with you, of course! Bring bae (and lots of water) and choose from Camelback’s two trails, Echo Canyon and Cholla, which are both about a mile long — and completely free.
5. SOUTH MOUNTAIN
Prove to your boo that you’d go to great heights for them by taking them to South Mountain’s 1,200-foot Dobbins Lookout. The view is spectacular any time of day, but particularly stunning at sunset.
6. TEMPE TOWN LAKE
Spend the evening relishing the lights reflecting off the water of this romantic reservoir, or stop by during the day to check out the boat rental deals.
7. THE STAND
This Arcadia spot specializes in burgers, fries and hand-spun shakes prepared from locally sourced ingredients. The modest menu boasts a 100 percent house-ground beef burger, hand-cut fries and a milkshake for about $10.
8. PAPAGO PARK
Punctuated with red rocks, saguaros and palm trees, Papago Park is the quintessential desert landscape and offers tables and observation points that are perfect for picnicking.
9. WEST WIND DRIVE-IN
At $7.50 per person, Glendale’s drive-in movie theater is cheaper than a regular movie, and you can bring your own snacks!
10. PHOENIX CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Phoenix Center for the Arts offers drop-in dance classes for beginners to learn the basics of a variety of styles. On Valentine’s Day, the center offers a $10 belly dancing class, which allows attendees to shake their booty with their boo from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
11. HEARD MUSEUM
The Heard Museum is dedicated to advancing the art of American Indians in a stunning Southwestern-inspired setting. Students can cop a ticket for $7.50 each and enjoy award-winning exhibits with their significant other.
12. MCDOWELL MOUNTAIN REGIONAL PARK
For a small fee of $7, you and your date can experience a sprawling desert sanctuary that boasts nearly 50 miles of multi-use trails with diverse desert views and wildlife.
13. LIVING ROOM LIVE AT W SCOTTSDALE
The W, a luxurious lodge in the heart of Scottsdale, offers live music every Wednesday evening in an intimate, lounge-like setting. The performance is always free, so you can save your cash for a craft cocktail for you and your cutie.
14. ZIPPS SPORTS GRILL
With locations across the Valley and unbeatable happy hour deals, Zipps is the perfect place for a V Day date. On Wednesdays, the bar and grill offers $4 bottles of beer and $2 slices of pizza, so you and your date can be satisfied and still have money left over for dessert. Conversation hearts, anyone?
15. UPTOWN FARMERS’ MARKET
Every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., you and your lover can grab some handmade goodies and homegrown grub from local farmers when they sell their wares off of Central and Bethany Home in Phoenix.
16. HALF MOON WINDY CITY SPORTS GRILL
Take bae to The Biltmore for Wine Down Wednesdays at this upscale sports bar. Every Wednesday, all bottles of wine, rose and Champagne are half-off. Usually priced from $18 to $38, the bottles allow both you and your date to get tipsy for under $20.
17. RIPARIAN PRESERVE AT WATER RANCH
This man-made lake nestled between Greenfield and Guadalupe in Gilbert is a great place to hang out with your crush in a low-key locale.
18. PIESTEWA PEAK
This 1.5-mile hike is suggested for more outdoorsy couples, as the trail can be tricky and tiring at times, but the scenery makes up for the steep trek. Extra points for sneaking a smooch at the top!
19. ‘A’ MOUNTAIN
Pack a picnic and hike to the peak of Tempe’s “A” Mountain with your paramour to soak in panoramic city views. The hike is free, but you may have to pay for parking.
20. ENCANTO PARK
If you’re looking for a walk in the park compared to a strenuous hike, Encanto Park is the perfect place to be entertained on a budget. Couples can stroll through the palm tree-speckled space, which features a picturesque lagoon and an amusement park.