So Valentines’ Day this year falls on a Sunday, much to the chagrin of stressed out boyfriends gearing up for a high-pressure weekend that could potentially turn expensive.
More than one Singaporean guy is having nightmares of spending hundreds of dollars on a bouquet of flowers that costs 10 times more than it should and a meal at a posh restaurant where he commits every faux pas imaginable, only to have his date complain that it just wasn’t romantic enough.
Whether you’re going out with the girl next door or Ms High Maintenance, here are a couple of suggestions with a high romance and low cost factor.
Invite your date to go for a run or head to the gym on Valentine’s Day, and unless you’re dating Mr Ironman or Ms Ironwoman, don’t be surprised if your suggestion is met with zero enthusiasm.
Ice skating, on the other hand, is romance disguised as a sport, especially if your date sucks at it, because, as every bashful secondary school boy knows, it gives you the perfect excuse to offer, ahem, a helping hand.
Two-hour skate rental at Kallang Ice World costs $17.50 per adult—bring your own gloves and socks unless you want to fork out an additional $2. At Jcube, a two-hour session including gloves and socks costs $21.50.
Cafe hopping in Johor Bahru
What happens if your beloved is the sort of person who likes nothing more than prancing from hipster cafe to hipster cafe, sipping on flat whites and gazing at you across vintage-style tables, but you’re not about to pay for multiple $6 coffees and $20 eggs benedicts?
You head across the Causeway, of course. Johor Bahru is becoming a hotspot for hipster cafes—check out this, this and this guide. Other than the novelty of being overseas and the thrill of having to watch out for bag snatchers, you also get to enjoy much lower prices.
Premium movie date
So maybe both of you have been dying to see the new Monkey King movie, but going on yet another movie date is just so blah.
Well, upgrade the experience to a premium date at Cathay Cineplexes’ Platinum Movie Suites and your date gets first class treatment at a price that’s really not too expensive. You get huge, comfy seats in a posh setting (no idiots kicking your seat from behind), food, drinks and even blankets. It’s like watching a movie in the private living room of a very rich friend.
If you’re a MasterCard World or World Elite card holder, you get $5 off your movie ticket purchase and 10% off all food and drinks. Otherwise you pay $28 per ticket on Sundays. Book ahead to avoid having to compete with every other couple in Singapore.
There are few things that can leave your date more starry-eyed than a panoramic view of Singapore’s skyline as you clink your wine glasses and make a toast. But no, that doesn’t mean you need to suck it up and pay for expensive cocktails at One Altitude or C’est La Vie.
There are a ton of free-to-access rooftops in Singapore. So long as it’s not raining, you just need to lay out a picnic mat or groundsheet (buy them for $2 at Daiso), crack open a bottle of wine from the supermarket, buy some presentable-looking nibbles from the deli section at Cold Storage and you’ve got a winning formula.
My personal favourite rooftop is the Pinnacle@Duxton, which costs $5 by EZ-Link to access. Another good one is the 11th and 12th floor roof garden at Orchard Central.
Evening at the beach
Forget Sentosa. It’s going to be horrendously crowded over the weekend anyway. Instead, head to the more low key beaches at Pasir Ris Park or Changi, where you won’t have to fight huge crowds to get a seat by the sea. There are also some food and drink options, such as The Five Rabbits at Pasir Ris Park and Changi Beach Club. They’re not exactly cheap, but still a lot less expensive than a meal off a Valentines’ Day menu on Orchard Road.
If you have a tent or a laptop with a few good movies, bring them along, as these little touches can really add to the atmosphere. Just don’t forget to bring lots of bug spray.
What are you doing this Valentines’ Day? Tell us in the comments!
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