February 07, 2020

25 Cute Cincinnati Date Ideas Under $25 That Are Actually Good

The Queen City is overflowing with cute date ideas that won't break the bank. From $10 wine tastings to $1 tacos and oysters, romantic treehouse picnics or duckpin bowling, there's plenty to do when you're ballin' on a budget.

Join the CityBeat Press Club

At a time when local-based reporting is critical, support from our readers is essential to our future. Support our coverage with a one-time or monthly donation.


Try Your Hand at Duckpin Bowling at Pins Mechanical Co.
$6 per person per game
This multi-level OTR entertainment bar features duckpin bowling, vintage pinball machines, ping pong, foosball and a rooftop patio with bocce ball and firepits. Duckpin bowling uses smaller bowling balls (without holes), smaller pins and smaller lanes than traditional bowling alleys. Games are first-come, first-served and are only $6 per person per game; no special shoes required. If there’s a line for a lane, happy hour runs until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and features $2 off signature cocktails, drafts and wine, so grab a drink while you wait for your name to be called. Giant Jenga is free and pinball and foosball only cost 50 cents per game. 1124 Main St., Over-the-Rhine.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Try Your Hand at Duckpin Bowling at Pins Mechanical Co.

$6 per person per game
This multi-level OTR entertainment bar features duckpin bowling, vintage pinball machines, ping pong, foosball and a rooftop patio with bocce ball and firepits. Duckpin bowling uses smaller bowling balls (without holes), smaller pins and smaller lanes than traditional bowling alleys. Games are first-come, first-served and are only $6 per person per game; no special shoes required. If there’s a line for a lane, happy hour runs until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and features $2 off signature cocktails, drafts and wine, so grab a drink while you wait for your name to be called. Giant Jenga is free and pinball and foosball only cost 50 cents per game. 1124 Main St., Over-the-Rhine.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Go on a Self-Guided ArtWorks Mural Tour 
Free
Each summer, ArtWorks and its apprentices put new murals up on buildings around the Greater Cincinnati area. Download a PDF of downtown and Over-the-Rhine murals at artworkscincinnati.org. 20 E. Central Parkway, Downtown.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Go on a Self-Guided ArtWorks Mural Tour

Free
Each summer, ArtWorks and its apprentices put new murals up on buildings around the Greater Cincinnati area. Download a PDF of downtown and Over-the-Rhine murals at artworkscincinnati.org. 20 E. Central Parkway, Downtown.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Sip on Some Vino During a Friday Night Tasting at Oakley Wines
$10 per tasting
Nothing says "date night" quite like a belly full of beaujolais. Visit this Oakley wine bar on Friday nights for their ever-popular evening tasting, where everyone from newbies to oenophiles can sample five wines for $10. The vino party happens again Sunday afternoon from 1-4 p.m. — same number of wines, same price. It also happens to be Sunday Sauce day, a “pasta pop-up party with chef David Jackman,” from 1-7 p.m. with rotating and creative pasta dishes, with varying price points. 4011 Allston St., Oakley.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Sip on Some Vino During a Friday Night Tasting at Oakley Wines

$10 per tasting
Nothing says "date night" quite like a belly full of beaujolais. Visit this Oakley wine bar on Friday nights for their ever-popular evening tasting, where everyone from newbies to oenophiles can sample five wines for $10. The vino party happens again Sunday afternoon from 1-4 p.m. — same number of wines, same price. It also happens to be Sunday Sauce day, a “pasta pop-up party with chef David Jackman,” from 1-7 p.m. with rotating and creative pasta dishes, with varying price points. 4011 Allston St., Oakley.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Visit Everybody’s Treehouse and Walk the Trails of Mt. Airy Forest
Free
Everybody’s Treehouse is an otherworldly, elevated structure buried in trees and seemingly snatched out of a fantasy novel. The structure is also fully wheelchair-accessible. 1212 Trail Ridge Road, Westwood.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Visit Everybody’s Treehouse and Walk the Trails of Mt. Airy Forest

Free
Everybody’s Treehouse is an otherworldly, elevated structure buried in trees and seemingly snatched out of a fantasy novel. The structure is also fully wheelchair-accessible. 1212 Trail Ridge Road, Westwood.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Score Some $1 Tacos at Tortilleria Garcia
$1 per taco
Every Tuesday, Tortilleria Garcia serves its tacos (with housemade corn tortillas) for just $1 each, all day. The restaurant’s menu consists of straightforward Mexican classics like tamales, burritos, housemade salsas and rotisserie chicken, in addition to tacos, plus classic tortilla shells that are available in two-pound packs so you can make your own inspired creations at home. 11774 Springfield Pike, Springdale; 5917 Hamilton Ave., College Hill.
Photo: Paige Deglow

Score Some $1 Tacos at Tortilleria Garcia

$1 per taco
Every Tuesday, Tortilleria Garcia serves its tacos (with housemade corn tortillas) for just $1 each, all day. The restaurant’s menu consists of straightforward Mexican classics like tamales, burritos, housemade salsas and rotisserie chicken, in addition to tacos, plus classic tortilla shells that are available in two-pound packs so you can make your own inspired creations at home. 11774 Springfield Pike, Springdale; 5917 Hamilton Ave., College Hill.
Photo: Paige Deglow
Take a Walk on the Wild Side at the Krohn Conservatory
$7 per person
Located in historic Eden Park, the Krohn Conservatory is an aluminum-and-glass Art Deco destination (in the shape of an upside-down heart) filled with more than 3,500 plant species from around the world. Permanent displays include a rare orchid house, steamy tropical room, succulent-filled desert space and a fun walk-through rainforest rock waterfall. 1501 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams.
Photo: Kellie Coleman

Take a Walk on the Wild Side at the Krohn Conservatory

$7 per person
Located in historic Eden Park, the Krohn Conservatory is an aluminum-and-glass Art Deco destination (in the shape of an upside-down heart) filled with more than 3,500 plant species from around the world. Permanent displays include a rare orchid house, steamy tropical room, succulent-filled desert space and a fun walk-through rainforest rock waterfall. 1501 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams.
Photo: Kellie Coleman
Visit the Foodie Amusement Park That Is Jungle Jim’s International Market
Free to wander
Jungle Jim’s is an amusement park for foodies, and not just because of its kitschy statues and animatronics. It sells nearly 1,000 different kinds of hot sauce, which makes the Aisle of Inferno (as it’s so dubbed) “the largest retail selection in the United States.” It’s pretty hard to miss — it’s the one with the giant fire truck on top of it. Stop by the bar to grab a glass of wine or a beer while you wander and indulge in several cheese samples. Or, grab ingredients to make a meal together. 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Visit the Foodie Amusement Park That Is Jungle Jim’s International Market

Free to wander
Jungle Jim’s is an amusement park for foodies, and not just because of its kitschy statues and animatronics. It sells nearly 1,000 different kinds of hot sauce, which makes the Aisle of Inferno (as it’s so dubbed) “the largest retail selection in the United States.” It’s pretty hard to miss — it’s the one with the giant fire truck on top of it. Stop by the bar to grab a glass of wine or a beer while you wander and indulge in several cheese samples. Or, grab ingredients to make a meal together. 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Stuff Your Face with Cheese at The Rhined’s Raclette Night
$12 per order
The Rhined is a little slice of cheese heaven located across from Findlay Market. The artisan shop stocks a collection of the best hand-selected domestic cheeses, plus wine, beer, nuts, olives and jams to accompany the dairy of your dreams. On top of their excellent selection of cheese, which you can grab to go by weight or eat inside on a curated cheese board, they also offer a specialty sandwich of the week, adult "lunchables" and their Raclette Night, where on Wednesday nights starting at 5 p.m., they heat and scrape raclette cheese (a type of Swiss) onto a selection of goodies like potatoes, veggies and charcuterie. 1737 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Stuff Your Face with Cheese at The Rhined’s Raclette Night

$12 per order
The Rhined is a little slice of cheese heaven located across from Findlay Market. The artisan shop stocks a collection of the best hand-selected domestic cheeses, plus wine, beer, nuts, olives and jams to accompany the dairy of your dreams. On top of their excellent selection of cheese, which you can grab to go by weight or eat inside on a curated cheese board, they also offer a specialty sandwich of the week, adult "lunchables" and their Raclette Night, where on Wednesday nights starting at 5 p.m., they heat and scrape raclette cheese (a type of Swiss) onto a selection of goodies like potatoes, veggies and charcuterie. 1737 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Partake in Some Friendly Competition at Arcade Legacy: Bar Edition
Free to play as long as you buy something to eat or drink
Arcade Legacy: Bar Edition is a gamer's paradise, whether you’re into vintage arcade and pinball machines or Sega Genesis. And even if you aren’t, the glowing screens and gentle ping of the machines is a perfect backdrop for a playful date night — especially if you and your beau go head to head in a digital battle to the death. In addition to games, the bar serves craft beer, cocktails, nachos and crazy hot dog creations (even vegetarian ones). 3929 Spring Grove Ave., Northside.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Partake in Some Friendly Competition at Arcade Legacy: Bar Edition

Free to play as long as you buy something to eat or drink
Arcade Legacy: Bar Edition is a gamer's paradise, whether you’re into vintage arcade and pinball machines or Sega Genesis. And even if you aren’t, the glowing screens and gentle ping of the machines is a perfect backdrop for a playful date night — especially if you and your beau go head to head in a digital battle to the death. In addition to games, the bar serves craft beer, cocktails, nachos and crazy hot dog creations (even vegetarian ones). 3929 Spring Grove Ave., Northside.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Double Down at Cancun and Western Bowl 
$3.95-$4.75 per game; shoe rental extra
It’s a two-for-one at Cancun Restaurante & Cantina and Western Bowl Strike & Spare — the establishments are connected by a doorway, making it easy to go from classic strip-mall tacos and tequila to classic bowling and beer. Since 1958, the glowing Western Bowl sign has been beckoning amateurs and pros alike to play on its 68 automatic lanes. With a Big Lebowski-esque atmosphere, the rates are reasonable (less than $5 a game), the snacks are cheap and the bar is fully stocked. Grab a pitcher of beer for $9 and get ready to bowl. 6383 Glenway Ave., Western Hills.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Double Down at Cancun and Western Bowl

$3.95-$4.75 per game; shoe rental extra
It’s a two-for-one at Cancun Restaurante & Cantina and Western Bowl Strike & Spare — the establishments are connected by a doorway, making it easy to go from classic strip-mall tacos and tequila to classic bowling and beer. Since 1958, the glowing Western Bowl sign has been beckoning amateurs and pros alike to play on its 68 automatic lanes. With a Big Lebowski-esque atmosphere, the rates are reasonable (less than $5 a game), the snacks are cheap and the bar is fully stocked. Grab a pitcher of beer for $9 and get ready to bowl. 6383 Glenway Ave., Western Hills.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger