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Top 10 Date Ideas for Under $20 in Adelaide

Home > Adelaide > Free | Lists | Outdoor | Romantic
by Amelia Warrandyte (subscribe)
Walker. Coffee drinker. Writer.
Published September 10th 2016
Dating is tricky. What will you wear? What will you talk about? How will you escape if they have 12 toes and the same smile as the guy from Wolf Creek? It's all difficult enough without having to think about where you will go. Especially if your wallet is looking thinner than a knife. But, there is no need to panic. Adelaide is full of places to take your man or woman on a low budget - some are even free!

10 - Movies at West Lakes or Elizabeth

Image: Reading Entertainment /

Cost: $10 each.
The Reading Cinemas at West Lakes and Elizabeth are offering $10 movie tickets! You won't get a movie that cheap anywhere else. Reading do a fantastic job at maintaining their cinemas to a clean and comfortable standard so you won't hear your date complaining about melted chocolate on their seat. If you head to the West Lakes cinema, you can go for a walk along the lake afterwards and possibly see some rowers in action. Movie session times can be found on the Reading website.

9 - Art Gallery of South Australia

Image: Art Gallery of South Australia /

Cost: Free.
For those with an artistic mind, the Art Gallery of South Australia on North Terrace is a perfect spot for a date. The gallery has a collection of over 35,000 works of art, making it the second biggest gallery in the whole country. (Whip that fact out to impress your date!) Even if you don't have a creative bone in your body, the art will certainly give you something to talk about. After all, love is an art itself. Once you've finished walking around the gallery, you could check out the neighbouring museum or grab a drink at the Art Gallery cafe. To get more information about the Art Gallery, go to their official website.

8 - Hiking at Morialta Falls

Image: Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources 2014 /

Cost: Free.
You don't have to have muscles of steel to go for a hike at Morialta Falls Conservation Park. There are number of great trails that range from short & flat to lengthy & challenging. The car park off of Morialta First Falls Road is the best spot to begin your walk. If you're more keen on a gentle stroll, then the Plateau Walk will suit your needs, but for a longer walk, the Third Falls Hike may be better. The entire area is well signposted, so it's unlikely that you will get stuck in the wild with your date. Morialta Falls has some of the greatest views in Adelaide, which means you can't forgot your camera to take some romantic selfies! Maps can be downloaded on the Morialta Falls website.

7 - Mini Golf at Semaphore

Image: Semaphore Waterslide Complex /

Cost: $5 per person.
Mini golf always has been, and always will be, a classic date idea. It's the ideal way to really get to know your partner. Can they handle being beaten? How are they with anger management? The mini golf course at Semaphore is one of many around South Australia. It has been on the foreshore for over 30 years and offers nine holes for only $5 per person. Bargain! If you don't hate each other enough after finishing your game, you can go for a walk along the beach or jetty. The main street in Semaphore is also packed full of eateries if you get hungry. Some cheap spots include Sotos for fish and chips, or the kiosk next to the jetty for ice-cream. There's more info available online.

6 - Ice-cream or coffee at Henley Square
By User:Vmenkov - CC BY-SA 3.0

Cost: $10.
The newly renovated Henley Square is a buzz all seasons of the year. Although there are some pricey restaurants, you don't need to spend big to have a good time. Copenhagen has ice-cream or desserts around $5 and Cibo has coffee for under $5. If you head down there in the afternoon, you can do the 4km return walk from Henley jetty to Grange jetty and then grab your eats afterwards. You might even catch the gorgeous Henley sunset. There's just nothing more romantic than that.

5 - Picnic at the Royal Botanic Gardens
By Peripitus - CC BY-SA 3.0

Cost: Free. ($10-$15 for food)
The Royal Botanic Gardens off of North Terrace are a peaceful and scenic location to take your date. (But let them know that they're more beautiful than the flowers) Drop by a supermarket the day before and grab some drinks and bread to make a few sandwiches. Then, ask your mum if you can borrow her picnic rug and you're all good to go! There's no doubt your effort will be admired. The gardens also have a number of trails that you can go for a walk along before or after your lunch. Don't forget to check out the Bicentennial Conservatory and the Waterlilly Pavilion. If your date gets sneezy around flowers, remind them to take their hayfever tablets beforehand!

4 - Dolphin cruise in Port Adelaide

Image: Dolphin Explorer /

Cost: $8 per person.
The Dolphin Explorer cruise departing from Port Adelaide is surprisingly cheap. For only $8 per person, you can jump on the boat for a two-hour cruise along the Port River. If you're lucky you'll spot some playful dolphins jumping in the water. It's important to note that the water is very calm so there is no need to worry about your last meal coming back up all over your date. During the week is usually a quieter time on the cruise so you'll be able to sling your arm around your partner without any interruptions. Afterwards, you can take a stroll around the Port of Adelaide and use your leftover money to get a drink at one of the riverside cafes. The Dolphin Explorer website is where you can book a cruise.

3 - QuizzaMe quiz night

Cost: Free.
QuizzaMe quiz nights are the ideal date for a fun couple or a first date. The QuizzaMe quiz nights take place in various pubs and hotels across Adelaide including The Village Tavern on Monday/Tuesday nights, The Henley Beach Hotel on Tuesdays, The Angle Vale Tavern on Wednesday nights, The Esplanade Hotel on Thursdays, and more! There's always prizes involved if you and your date can work well together, and undoubtedly a lot of laughing if you're coming last. To get involved in the quiz, you just have to rock up and let the host know. No cost involved! You can, of course, buy a drink or meal from the bar if you want, but there's no pressure. For more information, check out the QuizzaMe website.

2 - Hire a free bike

Image: Adelaide Convention Centre /

Cost: Free.
Get active with your date and go for a bike ride around the city or along the coast. Free bike hire is available at multiple locations around Adelaide. Some of the most convenient spots to pick up a bike are at the Royal Adelaide Zoo, the kiosk next to the Torrens Weir, the West Lakes Library, the West Beach Surf Life Saving Club, and the Semaphore Steamtrain Kiosk. At whatever speed takes your fancy, this is sure to be a fun activity with a variety of things to see. If you start your ride at the West Beach Surf Life Saving Club, you can ride down to Grange and have a coffee or milkshake at the jetty cafe. The BikeSA website has more details on the bike hire.

1 - Breakfast, lunch or dinner in Hahndorf

Image: Hahndorf Old Mill /

Cost: $15 each.
Handorf is one of the greatest cultural and historic towns in Adelaide. Take your date to the Hahndorf Mill for a $15 buffet breakfast on Sundays or a $15 schnitzel dinner on Wednesday nights. The main street in Hahndorf is always packed full of things to see and do. Head to the Hahndorf museum before or after your meal to get a taste of German history, and have a peak in the unique shops and boutiques. Make sure you don't forget the fudge store for free tastings. Here's a more extensive list of what to do in Hahndorf.
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Your Comment
A great article Emma. It's good to see there are still places to go that don't cost and arm and a leg and still give couples plenty to enjoy.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|8057) 1599 days ago
Furiously making notes here Emma, thank you for a great article. Welcome to WeekendNotes too! :)
by Paula McManus (score: 3|3656) 1589 days ago
I enjoy your humour and insight Emma (great paragraph on observing temperaments in the Mini Golf at Semaphore). Which reminds me, it's been a long time since I've played mini-golf!
by Jenny Rossiter (score: 3|4184) 1568 days ago
A lovely humorous article, Emma - well done! And, welcome to Weekend Notes!
by Elaine (score: 3|7825) 1599 days ago
A great article. On the first one I also recommend the semaphore cinema (the Odeon) $7 dollar tickets (maybe $9 depending on time of year not sure) and semaphore is is great area to get coffe or go for a walk
by alice (score: 0|2) 1261 days ago
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