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Yes, you read that headline right. Love can be a costly investment BUT you don’t have to put a dent in your wallet to make your Valentine’s Day weekend a memorable one. Despite the ever-resurrected Twitter troll topic, it’s perfectly possible to entertain the company of the opposite sex for less than $200, especially here in Houston. And so, in the spirit of love (and with V-Day just two weeks away), we’ve compiled a list of 6 creative and affordable date ideas that won’t break the bank and yet still leaving a lasting impression with your significant other.

Explore the Arts

Jennie C. Jones CAMH

Show your cultured side by taking your date to see the exhibition of Jennie C. Jones, an artist whose paintings were inspired by the avant-garde jazz era. The Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston will feature eleven years’ worth of Jones’ work, with the same avant-garde jazz that inspired her pieces serving as a soundtrack for the evening. The museum opens at noon on Saturdays and Sundays, and it’s completely free to visit one of Houston’s best-kept secrets. 5216 Montrose.

Dessert Only

Red Dessert Dive

Most people often opt for a fancy fine dining experience on V-Day but that can be both pricey and chaotic. So why not opt instead to put a creative twist on the traditional date night experience, one that will not only score you big points with your boo but also satisfy your sweet tooth in the process. Consider stopping by Red Dessert Dive, a cute and quaint dessert bar located in the Heights district. Red has a wide assortment of savory bites and sweet treats that are baked fresh daily. Little known fact: the way to a woman’s heart is with cupcakes. 1045 Studewood

Scenic Love

Eado Houston

Houston’s rapid growth has resulted in several new additions and outdoor improvements being made throughout the city. Why not plan out a mini-tour through Houston’s East Downtown (Eado), The Heights, or Memorial City areas. Make it a day trip, and familiarize yourself and your company with everything visually appealing that Houston has to offer.

Brew & Bae

CupidCon Pub Crawl

Spending a day at the craft brew hub – and of course, taking in plenty of samples and tastes – could be the perfect way to please a beer-loving boo. A ranging of local breweries, including 8th Wonder Brewery, Karbach Brewing, and Saint Arnold Brewing, offer weekend tours that typically range from $8-12 per person. At such a low price of admission, you might even be able to splurge a little and take home a souvenir glass from your favorite spot.

As well, the annual CupidCon Pub Crawl takes place on V-Day Weekend this year. Kicking off at 3 PM on Saturday, February 13th, at Midtown Drinkery, the pub crawl allows you and your date to barhop through the heart of Midtown and embark on a mini-adventure together, for only $10 admission. Advance tickets can be bought here.

Cultured or Whatever

Texas Lunar

The Texas Lunar Festival annually takes place around the Valentine’s Day holiday, and 2016 is no exception. On February 13th, the self-proclaimed “Largest Asian New Year Celebration” returns to the city for its record 20th year. Celebrate Houston’s diverse cultures and the Asian Lunar New Year with an afternoon of dancing, international cuisine, and theatrics for only $6 per person. This experience can be a great way to impress your date by showing off your culturally enlightened side.

Live, Laugh, Love

Lafftown Live

The easiest way to win over a woman (besides cupcakes)? Make her laugh. A comedy show not only provides a chance to unwind and kick it with zero pressure, but it also lets you get to know your date’s sense of humor.

So why not take your boo to the weekly “Friday Night Funny” at LaffTown Live, whose Valentine’s Day edition kicks off February 12th at 10pm. Tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the door. 2401 Main St.

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