Date night is important to all relationships and helps keep a connection going. Couples married 50 years or just going on their first date can have fun together while saving money. There are plenty of options for exciting and cost-saving dates locally.

The Capitol Theater is a great date destination to catch the latest independent films and musical artists. Compared to other cinemas, Olympia Film Society has low ticket prices in a classic environment for viewing films fresh off the festival circuit and beloved favorites.

To save even more, join Olympia Film Society’s membership program for discount prices for every event at the Capitol Theater, usually about $3 off. A little-known secret is they sell gift certificates at the box office. Buy five certificates for the price of four, resulting in a “free” movie on the fifth screening.

For an exciting date night, Exit Puzzles Escape Rooms keeps participants immersed for 70 minutes as teams explore thematically decorated rooms for clues to solve the room’s puzzles and mysteries. The rooms feature custom-made puzzles, artwork, and interactive electronics, along with a visually striking set design.

Gabi's Olympic Cards and Comics
Gabi’s Olympic Cards and Comics is a great group date night experience. Grab some friends and have fun learning a new game together. Photo courtesy: Gabi’s Olympic Cards and Comics

Relax with a date at Gabi’s Olympic Cards and Comics and play fun board games for free. There is no pressure to buy anything, so chill in comfy couches and read comics together. Grab a yummy snack and a beverage from the cafe. For savings, join their loyalty program that gives 10 percent back on purchases.

For a creative date, Let’s Paint Olympia hosts painting classes complete with wine, beer, and hard cider as well as delicious snacks and wraps from Elyse’s Catering. Classes are $40 or $50 including all materials, step-by-step instruction, and one non-alcoholic beverage. The open studio offers a more affordable option and includes all supplies without the instruction. Prices range from $5 to $20. There is also a $5 an hour option that only includes paint and use of the space. For an artistic collaboration, try Date Night at Let’s Paint. For $40 per participant, paint one painting on two canvases by two painters with a complimentary non-alcoholic beverage. Military members save even more. Use the code MIL at online check-out or in the studio for 10 percent off.

Brunch at Tipsy Piano Bar
Dates can be at any time of the day. Bring a date to Boozy Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays at Tipsy Piano Bar. Photo courtesy: Tipsy Piano Bar

Hit happy hour at Tipsy Piano Bar from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. daily and all day Sunday. Get great deals on cocktails, beer, and snack size specials. Listen to live music several times a week in the cozy, dimly lit piano bar with New Orleans-inspired ambiance. Weekly specials include Tipsy Tuesday with $1.50 well drinks, $1 beef tacos and $2 chicken tacos, and Wing Wednesday with 10 wings for $7.

For a date night for competitive spirits, try Laser Fun Zone. With over 4,200 square feet of excitement in the arena, blast dates away and then hit the arcade for more fun. Weekly specials offer savings. Mondays get unlimited laser tag for $16.50 per person, for one and half hours. Wednesday is military appreciation with buy one game and get one free. One free game per person, up to five free games per military ID. Thursday’s special is buy two games get one game free for $13.75.

For a weekend date with a side of adventure, head to Tugboat Annie’s for the breakfast and kayaking for two package. Get two single kayaks and breakfast with coffee for $50. On Mondays and Tuesdays, grab lunch or dinner and two for one kayak rentals. Wednesdays feature live Irish music and see a fun magic show on Thursdays.

Bowling is a fun, affordable date night. At Aztec Lanes, don’t miss Friday’s Lightning Bowl with music and light show. Bring a date and bowl from 9:30 p.m. to midnight for $14 per person including shoes.

Exit Puzzles Escape Rooms
Let’s face it, date night has gotten a little boring. Movies and dinners are great, but they lack pizzazz. What dating needs, is a makeover. What better way to do that then to lock yourself in an escape room with your partner at Exit Puzzles Escape Rooms? Photo credit: Exit Puzzles Escape Rooms

Ever heard of the thrift store date challenge? Couples set a budget, usually around $10, and buy each other outfits to wear on the date. The goofier the better! Then head out, but first pick fake names for each other. When on the date don’t tell people it’s a joke and watch the funny reactions. For even more fun, take a photo and post to social media to challenge other couples.

Other low-cost ideas for a date night include packing a picnic and find a local park for couple’s time in nature. Grab some blankets and pillows and find a spot to see the stars together. Save on the cost of a dinner out and buy ingredients for a night at home cooking something special together. Date night doesn’t have to be expensive – just get creative.

Thrifty Thurston highlights inexpensive family fun in Thurston County. The weekly series focuses on family-friendly activities throughout our community. If you have a suggestion for a post, send us a note at For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and the surrounding area, visit our complete events calendar.

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