January 29, 2021

20 Free Cincinnati Date Ideas For Romance on a Budget

Dating during a pandemic is difficult enough, but throw in the financial strain and it's a recipe for stress (the worst ingredient in a good date). But these date ideas are free and a little unique for when you're craving something more than watching Hulu with your boo. From self-guided mural tours to museum visits and virtual cooking segments from a local chef, here are a few fun ideas to keep the romance going on a budget.
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Sip, Bite and Stroll Your Way Through Findlay Market
Free to wander
While Findlay Market is free to wander, they do offer a free 30-minute guided tour bi-monthly to introduce you to special market vendors and recount tales of the market’s 160 year history. Grab a bite to eat — or groceries to make dinner later — and stop by Market Wines 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday for the famous wine tasting. For under $10 each, you can get hefty samples of four handpicked wines. 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Sip, Bite and Stroll Your Way Through Findlay Market

Free to wander
While Findlay Market is free to wander, they do offer a free 30-minute guided tour bi-monthly to introduce you to special market vendors and recount tales of the market’s 160 year history. Grab a bite to eat — or groceries to make dinner later — and stop by Market Wines 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday for the famous wine tasting. For under $10 each, you can get hefty samples of four handpicked wines. 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Explore Contemporary Art at Downtown’s 21c Museum Hotel
609 Walnut St., Downtown
The 21c Museum Hotel in downtown Cincinnati is one of the more unique hotel experiences you can have. You can reserve a free museum tour for your family, your date or for yourself for a night out. At 21c, there is art on the sidewalks, the elevators and everywhere in between. The hotel is also home to the restaurant Metropole, if you’re looking to splurge on your night out.
Photo via Facebook.com/21cCincinnati

Explore Contemporary Art at Downtown’s 21c Museum Hotel

609 Walnut St., Downtown
The 21c Museum Hotel in downtown Cincinnati is one of the more unique hotel experiences you can have. You can reserve a free museum tour for your family, your date or for yourself for a night out. At 21c, there is art on the sidewalks, the elevators and everywhere in between. The hotel is also home to the restaurant Metropole, if you’re looking to splurge on your night out.
Photo via Facebook.com/21cCincinnati
Take Your Pooches to the Park at Otto Armleder Memorial Park
5057 Wooster Pike, Linwood
The Otto Armleder dog park has become an unexpected hot spot for locals, with the wide green space providing a perfect socially distant area to stroll, play fetch with your pup, have a picnic, and, of course, watch airplanes at neighboring Lunken Municipal Airport take off. 
Photo via Facebook.com/ottoarmledermemorialpark

Take Your Pooches to the Park at Otto Armleder Memorial Park

5057 Wooster Pike, Linwood
The Otto Armleder dog park has become an unexpected hot spot for locals, with the wide green space providing a perfect socially distant area to stroll, play fetch with your pup, have a picnic, and, of course, watch airplanes at neighboring Lunken Municipal Airport take off.
Photo via Facebook.com/ottoarmledermemorialpark

Take an ArtWorks Mural Tour 
Since its inception in 2007, the ArtWorks mural program has been a boon to public art along the streets of Cincinnati. The nonprofit organization — dedicated to employing and training local youth and other creative individuals to achieve community impact through art — has created nearly 200 of them. Download or print a map from online and build-your-own tour.
Photo: Savana Willhoite

Take an ArtWorks Mural Tour

Since its inception in 2007, the ArtWorks mural program has been a boon to public art along the streets of Cincinnati. The nonprofit organization — dedicated to employing and training local youth and other creative individuals to achieve community impact through art — has created nearly 200 of them. Download or print a map from online and build-your-own tour.
Photo: Savana Willhoite
Learn to Cook With Free Facebook Live Classes From Arnold’s Chef Kayla Robinson
Kayla Robinson, head chef at Arnold’s Bar and Grill, posts biweekly cooking videos on such dishes as cauliflower tacos, sesame soy-glazed salmon and Italian meatball subs. The videos premiere live, but each class remains on Arnold’s Facebook page if you can’t make it for it’s live stream. Open a bottle of wine, pop on a cooking video, and date night is planned.
Photo via Facebook.com/ArnoldsBar

Learn to Cook With Free Facebook Live Classes From Arnold’s Chef Kayla Robinson

Kayla Robinson, head chef at Arnold’s Bar and Grill, posts biweekly cooking videos on such dishes as cauliflower tacos, sesame soy-glazed salmon and Italian meatball subs. The videos premiere live, but each class remains on Arnold’s Facebook page if you can’t make it for it’s live stream. Open a bottle of wine, pop on a cooking video, and date night is planned.
Photo via Facebook.com/ArnoldsBar
Consider the Stars at Stonelick State Park
2895 Lake Drive, Pleasant Plain
Ohio’s Stonelick State Park hosts a free star gazing event every Saturday night after dark. Dark skies and telescopes make perfect star gazing conditions for you and the center of your universe.
Photo via Facebook.com/StonelickStargazers

Consider the Stars at Stonelick State Park

2895 Lake Drive, Pleasant Plain
Ohio’s Stonelick State Park hosts a free star gazing event every Saturday night after dark. Dark skies and telescopes make perfect star gazing conditions for you and the center of your universe.
Photo via Facebook.com/StonelickStargazers
Become an Art Buff for the Day at the Cincinnati Art Museum
953 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park
Daily general admission to the Cincinnati Art Museum is always free, but currently guests are required to register in advance for free tickets/museum access. Anila Quayyum Agha’s popular All the Flowers Are for Me exhibit has returned to the Art Museum now until May 30, 2021. Tickets for special exhibitions, like the current Frank Duveneck: American Master  are $10 for the general public. Beginning Feb. 4, the museum will be open weekly from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
Photo via Facebook.com/CincinnatiArtMuseum

Become an Art Buff for the Day at the Cincinnati Art Museum

953 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park
Daily general admission to the Cincinnati Art Museum is always free, but currently guests are required to register in advance for free tickets/museum access. Anila Quayyum Agha’s popular All the Flowers Are for Me exhibit has returned to the Art Museum now until May 30, 2021. Tickets for special exhibitions, like the current Frank Duveneck: American Master are $10 for the general public. Beginning Feb. 4, the museum will be open weekly from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
Photo via Facebook.com/CincinnatiArtMuseum
Take in the View at Summit Park Observation Tower
4335 Glendale Milford Road, Blue Ash
The Observation Tower at Summit Park is a fun and free attraction in Blue Ash. On a clear day with stretching blue skies, you can see the city of Cincinnati in the distance. You can also see the Eiffel Tower at Kings Island, Mount Rumpke and Top Golf from the tip top of the 153-foot tower.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Take in the View at Summit Park Observation Tower

4335 Glendale Milford Road, Blue Ash
The Observation Tower at Summit Park is a fun and free attraction in Blue Ash. On a clear day with stretching blue skies, you can see the city of Cincinnati in the distance. You can also see the Eiffel Tower at Kings Island, Mount Rumpke and Top Golf from the tip top of the 153-foot tower.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Take a Chance with Virtual Speed Dating
We can’t forget about Cincinnati singles with this list. If you can’t find that special someone to share a picnic at Devou or explore Findlay Market with, there is now local virtual speed dating event every Friday night using Filter Off, a virtual speed dating app. You’ll be set up on three, 90-second dates, and hopefully, you will find your perfect match.
Photo via Cincinnati Speed Dating Eventbrite Page

Take a Chance with Virtual Speed Dating

We can’t forget about Cincinnati singles with this list. If you can’t find that special someone to share a picnic at Devou or explore Findlay Market with, there is now local virtual speed dating event every Friday night using Filter Off, a virtual speed dating app. You’ll be set up on three, 90-second dates, and hopefully, you will find your perfect match.
Photo via Cincinnati Speed Dating Eventbrite Page
Take a Breather at Smale Riverfront Park
166 W. Mehring Way, Downtown
Smale Riverfront Park is a great date destination for a jog, picnic and/or people watching. The park features a beautiful view of the Ohio River, porch-style swings, a human-sized chess set and multiple playgrounds. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Take a Breather at Smale Riverfront Park

166 W. Mehring Way, Downtown
Smale Riverfront Park is a great date destination for a jog, picnic and/or people watching. The park features a beautiful view of the Ohio River, porch-style swings, a human-sized chess set and multiple playgrounds.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger