So you've met someone nice, or at least you think so. There Insta profile seems to check out, but there's still a looming uncertainty. Do you try to impress them and spend a lot on a first date or stay frugal with your hard-earned funds?

Generally, the latter is the smarter choice, for the sake of uncertainty and, more importantly, for your wallet. So with that being said, you're probably asking yourself "Then where do I go or what do I do for this date?" Luckily, we've compiled a list of the best cheap date night ideas in Austin that will be sure to impress no matter how tight the budget constraints. 

The Austin Throwback Date: Sandy's Hamburgers and Peter Pan Mini Golf

Budget: $40-$45

Looking for a date night with a certain kind of nostalgic 50's romantic flair? There's something about that time period that creates an image in people's minds of the quintessential newly-blossoming relationship that many of today's dating cliches are pulled from.

Nevertheless, everything was cheaper back in the '50s, and this date night is no exception. Transport yourself back to old days of Austin and treat yourself (and potentially your date, depending on how it's going) to a Sandy's hamburger combo that refuses to conform with the ever-changing city of Austin. 

After that, walk off that tasty meal on Barton Springs Road all the way down to Peter Pan Mini Golf, a locally-owned Austin establishment since 1948. Not only is this date cheap. but it serves as a looking glass into the Austin that once was. Save some cash and take a trip down memory lane on this date night!

A Day on the Lake: Hula Hut on Lake Austin and Mozart's Coffee Roasters

Cost: $40

Setting a certain kind of mood is crucial to creating the perfect date night. You don't want to come on too strong like a desperate person, but, at the same time, you don't want to approach the night with a "too cool for school" lackadaisical attitude that does nothing but throw mixed signals to your date.

So what do you do? Easy! Take your date to Hula Hut and Mozart's Coffee on Lake Austin, and let the Lakes ambiance set a calming mood. Both establishments are a stone's throw away from each other, so the date night doesn't have to end after dinner (that is if it's going well).

Dive into some of Hula Hut's famous creamy jalapeno sauce as you get to know the person sitting across from you. Afterward, take a step over to Mozart's Coffee that not only serves amazing coffee and desserts but beautiful scenery as well.

This is a date night that will put your mind and wallet at ease. So worry about working on your conversation starters, not budgeting this date night, and visit Hula Hut and Mozart's Coffee. 

Fun in the sun while saving some: Barton Springs Pool and Holla Mode Ice Cream

Price: $20

The summertime is a time of sun, water, and, if you play your cards right, a newfound relationship. Why waste your time getting to know someone in a dark restaurant when it's bright and beautiful outside?

Start the date out by going over to Austins favorite swim spot, Barton Springs! Take a dip in the brisk water of the spring-fed swimming pool and sit out under the sun as you share stories and search for commonalities in each other's lives.

After you have swam up a bit of an appetite, take a short walk over to Holla Mode on Barton Springs road and watch as creamy Thai-style ice cream is laid out in front of you and rolled into delicious perfection.

This is a date that breaks away from primarily watching each other eat a full meal while providing each other dialog in between bites. instead, this date is more so an Austin adventure that won't leave you bankrupt. Have some fun in the sun with your date and check out Barton springs and Holla Mode.

Related content: New to Austin? Must-Visit Attractions in Austin

Pull up without showing out: Drive in date night at Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive In 

Cost: $35

Going to the movies for a date is kind of cliche, right? How about going to the movies for a date in a car? Now, we're talking! Get to know the other person as you watch a movie without distracting the other people around you. Good luck chatting it up in a regular movie theatre.

The Blue Starlight Mini Urban Drive-In theater is ideal for a cost-effective date night. Snacks can also be purchased if you really want to experience the whole movie theater experience. Drive into the Blue Starlight one evening and have a truly unique experience that will surely break the ice. 

Interpret art and your feelings towards your new friend: Date at the Blanton Museum of Art

Cost : $20

Are you the kind of person who doesn't really consider going to a football game a date? Or are you really trying to impress your friend of interest who might be what some call "scholarly?" 

In either case, a trip to the Blanton Museum of art will more than satisfy. The Blanton Museum of Art is one of the largest art museums in the U.S, so you'll have plenty of time to get to know your friend.

Collections vary from classic to contemporary and everything in between. Take your date out for a day of culture, class, and, more importantly, maintained wealth and a visit the Blanton Museum of Art.

Related content: Art Museums and Galleries in Austin

Dating is like gambling: you don't want to spend all your money in the first go-around. Save funds for rainy days or potentially second outings with your newfound friend, depending on how the first date went.

Find more things to do in Austin by registering on 512area, your free local guide to the Austin area.


Cover photo courtesy of Unsplash