Being in love doesn’t mean you have to go broke when it comes to creative date ideas. Here are some fun date options that won’t max out the credit card:

1) Catch an early southbound train at Union Station and get off at San Juan Capistrano. Stop in at Starbucks for a coffee and pastry then venture over to the Mission and take in the beauty and history of this historical landmark. For lunch, grab some tacos and a soda at one of the  terrific Mexican restaurants before you head back across the train tracks to wander around the nursery and shops. End the afternoon with cocktails and appetizers at Sarducci’s and hop back on the train to L.A.

2) Go old-school and check out a double-feature at the drive-in movie theater! There are still a few in existence:                                                   

  • Vineland Drive-In Theatre (La Puente)
  • Mission Drive-In  Theater (Montclair)
  • Van Buren Drive-In Theater (Riverside)

3) Spend a romantic evening at Balboa Island. First share an early romantic dinner at Amelia’s, then stroll around the island and get an up-close look at the quaint cottages and monster yachts. Take the ferry across to the pennisula, ride the ferris wheel and play some arcade games then head back over to the island for a famous Balboa Bar: a square of vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate and nuts.

4) Get up early and do a day-hike date. You can’t beat the scenery and views at Griffith Park, Verdugo Mountain  or Temescal Canyon Loop!

5) Visit your local street fair. Monrovia has a great one every Friday night (my husband and I had our first date at this street fair!) and for less than $20 you can dine on a tasty rib and chicken dinner for two (Jake’s Roadhouse), listen to live music, shop for fresh produce, bread and flowers and finish the evening with dessert and salsa dancing in front of Merengue, the Cuban bakery on Colorado. (Gotta work off the barbecued food and sweets, right?)

What are you waiting for? Plan a romantic date this weekend for the one you love, and stay within budget!