30 Cute Cincinnati Date Ideas Under $30 That Are Actually Good

The Queen City is overflowing with cute date ideas that won't break the bank. From $7 trips to the conservatory to $1 tacos and tons of free options, there's plenty to do when you're ballin' on a budget.

*Note: Some locations may have COVID restrictions in place, so verify updates with them online or by calling.
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Double Down at Cancun and Western Bowl
$4.20-$5.65 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 (no more than $6 a game), the snacks are cheap and the bar is fully stocked. Grab a pitcher of beer and get ready to bowl.6383 Glenway Ave., Western Hills.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Double Down at Cancun and Western Bowl

$4.20-$5.65 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 (no more than $6 a game), the snacks are cheap and the bar is fully stocked. Grab a pitcher of beer and get ready to bowl.6383 Glenway Ave., Western Hills.
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.
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 thousands of 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. 950 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 thousands of 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. 950 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams.
Cuddle with Some Cats at the Purrfect Day Cafe
$15 per person 
Reserve a 50-minute session to cuddle with kitties in Purrfect Day Cafe’s cat lounge room. Roughly 15-20 adoptable cats hang out in the lounge room, and all can be interacted with. You may also purchase a variety of beverages, including beer, wine, bourbon, tea, coffee and soda. 
25 W. Eighth St., Covington.
Photo: Maggy McDonel

Cuddle with Some Cats at the Purrfect Day Cafe

$15 per person
Reserve a 50-minute session to cuddle with kitties in Purrfect Day Cafe’s cat lounge room. Roughly 15-20 adoptable cats hang out in the lounge room, and all can be interacted with. You may also purchase a variety of beverages, including beer, wine, bourbon, tea, coffee and soda. 25 W. Eighth St., Covington.
Take a Tour of the American Sign Museum
$15 per person 
Explore a museum featuring over 100 years of signage. This 20,000-square-foot museum has everything from pre-electric signs to beautiful art-deco neon signs to modern plastic-faced signs. 
1330 Monmouth Ave., Camp Washington.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Take a Tour of the American Sign Museum

$15 per person
Explore a museum featuring over 100 years of signage. This 20,000-square-foot museum has everything from pre-electric signs to beautiful art-deco neon signs to modern plastic-faced signs. 1330 Monmouth Ave., Camp Washington.
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; 4200 Aero Drive, Mason.
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; 4200 Aero Drive, Mason.
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 more than 1,500 different kinds of hot sauce plus hundreds of other sauces from barbecue to mustard that help spice up a meal. 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 more than 1,500 different kinds of hot sauce plus hundreds of other sauces from barbecue to mustard that help spice up a meal. 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.
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.
March Alongside Penguins at the Cincinnati Zoo
Penguin Days prices start at $8 per person
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is hosting penguin parades and special animal encounters this winter, through March 11. In order for the king penguins to go outside it must be below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. On warmer days, the zoo is offering penguin chats instead. 3400 Vine St., Avondale.
Photo: Mark Dumont

March Alongside Penguins at the Cincinnati Zoo

Penguin Days prices start at $8 per person
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is hosting penguin parades and special animal encounters this winter, through March 11. In order for the king penguins to go outside it must be below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. On warmer days, the zoo is offering penguin chats instead. 3400 Vine St., Avondale.
Sample Some Spirits and Take a Tour of Newport’s New Riff Distillery
$10 per person
New Riff offers three regular distillery tours and tastings: the Bonded Tour, the Barrel Proof Tour and the Distiller’s Tour. The Bonded Tour offers the best bang for your buck at $10. Guests can get a detailed look at New Riff’s distilling process “from grain to barrel” and then sample spirits made in house ranging from New Riff’s bourbon to their Single Barrel. And your ticket price can be applied to a gift shop purchase of $25 or more.24 Distillery Way, Newport.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Sample Some Spirits and Take a Tour of Newport’s New Riff Distillery

$10 per person
New Riff offers three regular distillery tours and tastings: the Bonded Tour, the Barrel Proof Tour and the Distiller’s Tour. The Bonded Tour offers the best bang for your buck at $10. Guests can get a detailed look at New Riff’s distilling process “from grain to barrel” and then sample spirits made in house ranging from New Riff’s bourbon to their Single Barrel. And your ticket price can be applied to a gift shop purchase of $25 or more.24 Distillery Way, Newport.