20 dates under $20

12:30 PM, Aug 08, 2013

Take your date to enjoy sunset at the Ontario Beach Park in Rochester. (MARIE DE JESUS/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)/


Written By Jinelle Shengulette

Dating can take a serious toll on your wallet. There’s not much you can get for $20 these days, and coming up with an impressive date night idea that won’t exceed that amount can be challenging.

We’ve got your back. Below, find a list of 20 date nights that cost $20 or less.

Go canoeing

For a serene and picturesque date, rent a canoe or tandem kayak for an hour from BayCreek Paddling Center and paddle off into the sunset together. Head into Irondequoit Creek for a scenic ride among cattails marshes, wildlife and more, or paddle out onto the bay for a more challenging ride and a wide-open view of the bay area.

Where: 1099 Empire Blvd., Penfield; (585) 288-2830 or baycreek.com.

Cost: $17 for one-hour canoe or tandem kayak rental.

See a vintage movie

Watch two movies at the drive-in for less than the cost of one at an indoor theater. Go on a Tuesday night for Retro Night, featuring two classics, like Aug. 27’s pairing of The Big Lebowski and Anchorman.

Where: 1520 West Henrietta Road, Avon; (585) 226-9290 or vintagedrivein.com.

Cost: $8 for adults; $4 for ages 4 to 10; extra $5 to bring your own food.

Picnic in the park

Pack a picnic or grab some take-out from John’s Tex Mex (all lunch and dinner combos are less than $10 each) and head to Cobbs Hill Reservoir. From there, you’ll get a gorgeous view of the city skyline. After a bite to eat, head into Washington Grove Park, where you can hike and check out some interesting graffiti on two water towers on the north side of the park.

Where: Culver Road and Norris Drive.; cityofrochester.gov.

Pick some plums

Pay a visit to a local farm — try Hurd Orchards if you’re on Rochester’s west side — for some fruit picking. August and September are usually prime time for blackberries, plums, apples and more. After paying for your picks, plop down on the grass and feed each other.

Where: 17260 Ridge Road, Holley, Orleans County; (585) 638-883 or hurdorchards.com.

Cost: Cost of berries determined by weight.

Visit Chimney Bluffs

It’s a good hour drive from the city to reach this park — but you won’t see landscape like this anywhere else along Lake Ontario. Large, jagged clay rock formations line the shore. The park also provides picnic areas, grills, hiking trails, restrooms and more.

Where: 7700 Garner Road, Wolcott, Wayne County; (315) 594-6770 or nysparks.com/parks/43/details.aspx.

Cost: Free.

Listen to music, lakeside

Pack some snacks or stop by a Subway for some cheap eats on your way to this free concert series at Ontario Beach Park. In the month of August, you can catch party band Atlas, German and big band tunes from Krazy Firemen, or ’50s and ’60s rock group Ruby Shooz.

Where: Ontario Beach Park, Lake and Beach avenues; (585) 865-3320 or ontariobeachentertainment.org.

When: 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through end of August.

Cost: Free.

See stars, inside

Steal a kiss under the stars without having to swat away bugs. Visit the Strasenburgh Planetarium Saturdays in August for a Dave Matthews laser show at 8 p.m., followed by a Beatles show at 9 p.m.

Where: Rochester Museum & Science Center, 657 East Ave.; (585) 271-4320 or rmsc.org.

Cost: Laser shows: $7 and $6 for students, members and senior citizens; giant-screen films: $7, $6 for students and senior citizens, and $3 for members.

Walk on the beach

Grab your date and head up to Ontario Beach Park. Make Abbott’s your first stop; grab a cone or dish and head to the beach. After wading in the water or lying in the sand, take your sweetie over to the historic Dentzel Carousel for a whirl.

Where: Ontario Beach Park, Lake and Beach avenues; (585) 865-3320 or www.monroecounty.gov/parks-ontariobeach.php.

Cost: $1 per ride on the Dentzel; Abbott’s prices vary.

Watch the sunset … with a beer

If you’re looking for a fun yet relaxing summer spot, it can’t get much better than Marge’s. Visit this bar on the beach and bring your brew out the back door and onto the sand. Catch a band most Sundays and Wednesdays in August.

Where: 4909 Culver Road, Irondequoit; (585) 323-1020 margeslakesideinn.com.

Cost: A beer depends on what you order; you can also pick up a pizza and bring it to the beach there.

Go shopping

This Saturday morning date offers more than just a chance to shop for produce. The Public Market is a great place for people-watching, grabbing a breakfast empanada at Juan & Maria’s Empanada Stop, some coffee at Java’s at the Market and more. Stop by for the Food Truck Rodeo on Aug. 28 and Sept 25.

Where: 280 N. Union St.; (585) 428-6907 and www.cityofrochester.gov/publicmarket.

Cost: Free admission, so the cost is your food.

LOL

A surefire way to your date’s heart is through laughter. Suggest a Friday or Saturday night at The Village Idiots’ Improv Comedy Battle. During this event, improv comedians will vie for the hearts of audience members, who suggest subject matter and judge the performances.

Where: Village Gate Square, 274 N. Goodman St.; (585) 797-9086 or improvvip.com.

Cost: $5.

Raise your glass

Take a drive out to Canandaigua’s New York Wine & Culinary Center for a wine or beer tasting. Choose from flights of dry reds, dry whites or semi-sweets/dessert wines. A beer flight is also available.

Where: 800 S. Main St., Canandaigua; (585) 394-7070 or nywcc.com.

Cost: $7 to $10 for one flight of wine; $7 for one flight of beer.

Cheer the home team

See the Red Wings in action this season, and enjoy the summer air while you still can. Stay for fireworks after the games on Aug. 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31.

Where: Frontier Field, 1 Morrie Silver Way; (585) 454-1001 or redwingsbaseball.com.

Cost: $7 in advance for a reserved seat.

Feel like a kid again

A trip to Adventure Landing in Greece is a good way to break the ice with a date — you can have fun, keep things light and laugh together. Head to the batting cages, play two rounds of mini golf for under $20 or play in the arcade.

Where: 3340 W. Ridge Road, Greece; (585) 225-5093 or adventurelanding.com

Cost: $7 for one round or $8 for two rounds of mini golf; $2 for 30 pitches in the batting cages.

Go bowling

There are several local alleys to choose from. One is Clover Lanes, a 50-lane locally owned and family-operated bowling alley, for your next date. Loosen up before a game at the full-service bar. Added bonus: shoes are always free at Clover Lanes.

Where: 2750 Monroe Ave., Brighton; (585) 244-1484 or cloverlanes.com.

Cost: $5.85 per game; $15 an hour on Sunday to Tuesday nights after 9 p.m.

Spread your wings

Show your date your soft side at Mendon Ponds Park, where you can hand-feed chickadees in the nature preserve. There are 2,500 acres of woodlands, ponds and wetlands in this park and 30 miles of trails. Also check out Wild Wings, which houses and cares for 26 permanently injured, non-releasable birds of prey.

Where: 95 Douglas Road, Mendon; (585) 753-7275 monroecounty.gov/parks-mendonponds.php

Cost: Free, but donations are encouraged for Wild Wings.

Travel the canal

If you want to get a good look at the Erie Canal with your date, hop on the Colonial Belle, which holds 149 passengers. The boat has a fully accessible, enclosed lower deck and an open-air upper deck where you can take in the sights. For less than $20, you can sail on Sunday afternoon, and snacks will be available.

Where: 400 Packett’s Landing, Fairport; (585) 223-9470 or colonialbelle.com.

Cost: $9 per person.

Take an ArtWalk

Grab your sweetie for some city strolling along ArtWalk in Neighborhood of the Arts. This open-air museum, mostly contained on University Avenue from Alexander Street to Culver Road, features painted utility boxes, mosaic light poles, artistic benches and bus shelters, and more. Side step into Memorial Art Gallery’s new Centennial Sculpture Park. Stop into Starry Nites for a cup of joe if your feet get tired. Meander down Goodman Street in either direction for more art.

Where: University Avenue; cityofrochester.gov/artwalkextension.

Cost: Free.

Visit the tropics

A date destination best saved for a cold and rainy day, the balmy Lamberton Conservatory houses many exotic flowers and plants from around the world. Exhibits are changed five times throughout the year.

Where: 171 Reservoir Ave.; (585) 753-7270 or monroecounty.gov/parks-conservatory

Cost: $3 for adults; $2 for seniors and youths.

Stay in

Sometimes you just can’t beat a quiet night in. A date can absolutely include a couch, a remote, frozen pizza, a bag of popcorn and a movie. Drop by any retail store with a Redbox for a $1 new release.

Where: Your place or your date’s; Redbox.com