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7 Ideas for a low-budget first date

614now Staff



We’re only going to say this once so get your notepads and pens out: dinner and a movie is not a first date.

There are so many problems with this date set-up. It doesn’t provide room for conversation; are you going to talk over the movie? It’s unimaginative; remember your first ever date? It was probably dinner and a movie. And with a little research, you’ll find a plethora of first date options that are fresh, fun, and hopefully will lead to a second date.

That’s where we come in. Check out these 7 creative ideas to pull off the ideal first date on the cheap.

Watch Ohio State’s other sports teams

Football season is over; we’re sad, too. That being said, Buckeye sports never stops in this city. Whether it’s Chris Holtmann leading the men’s basketball squad or the top-15 ranked women’s ice hockey team, there’s options for all sporties. Splurge on nice seats, or simply enjoy each other’s company from the nosebleeds.

Coffeeshop Run and a Trip To The Local Record Stores
There are a plethora of options throughout the city so this date option has many paths to follow. If you are looking to spend a morning or afternoon Downtown, Upper Cup Coffee on Parsons Ave. is just a few blocks away from Spoonful Records. Alternatively, if you are near Clintonville or campus, Used Kids Record store is nearby and so is Babas Coffee for a cup of joe to kick start the date.

High Beck Free Ping Pong and Pizza

Who doesn’t love a free night out on a Monday? Belly up to the bar at High Beck in the evening where free Columbus-style pizzas will be served up throughout the night. While these pizzas aren’t gourmet, the interesting toppings that find their way out of the kitchen are proof that you can put just about anything on a pizza. And the ping-pong table in the back provides for some friendly-competition.


Laundry and Drinks at Dirty Dungarees

Dating is fun, but it can be time consuming. For an unconventional night out that will also allow you to get shit done, grab some quarters and take your date over to Dirty Dungarees. Pop in a load and sip your way through the spin cycle at this unique/bar laundromat concept—where you can sometimes catch a rock show—all while getting a revealing look at what makes your partner tick by completing one of life’s most menial weekly tasks. Doesn’t use fabric softener? Weird method for folding socks? Maybe they’re not the one…

P3 Magic Show on Tuesdays

This is a mandatory two-part date. Part one is obvious: watch the free magic show in amazement and disbelief. The second part is crucial: drinks afterwards with your date to figure out how the hell those tricks were actually pulled off. We can’t promise you’ll get to the bottom of the tricks, but keep sipping those cocktails and it’ll all work out.


The beginning of relationships starts with a lot of presumptions and it’s nice to get some confirmation in the early stages. No one wants to move in with someone only to find out they have an obsession with clown paintings. Take your date antiquing and thrifting to get a taste for their design eye, and find out if your styles are compatible.

Get Lost at The German Village Book Loft

While this is a fantastic affordable date option, be warned! The Book Loft Twitter account is savage and you aren’t the first, nor the last, to have the idea of bringing your potential partner to the bookstore. They can spot a first date from a mile away, and you might find yourself the subject of a tweet afterwards. C’est la vie!

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Arts & Culture

Virtual Experiences bring culture to our couch




Now that we're all stuck at home for the foreseeable future, we could use some entertainment beyond hours of Netflix bingeing. And yes, Carole probably did it*

WOSU Public Media has come to the rescue by putting together a list of local, virtual experiences to enjoy from the safety and comfort of your bunker. Here's a list of just a few upcoming events ranging from music to the arts.

Sunday, March 29
Columbus Symphony’s Russian Winter Festival – The Columbus Symphony broadcasts its Russian Winter Festival ll concert, featuring masterpieces by Prokofiev, Borodin, Rimski-Korsakov, and Tchaikovsky at 1 p.m. on Classical 101.

Columbus Goes Live – The Cyber Festival –  A virtual entertainment experience streaming across different pages to support local performers who are directly impacted by the critical shutdowns of venues during the COVID-19 outbreak. Join in and make history by supporting your favorite bands, comedians and performers in the Columbus area.

Why not a virtual bar?

Brewdog is even getting in on the act with its upcoming, Brewdog Online Bar. They plan to "open" for business at 6pm on Friday, March 27th. The bar plans to feature live beer tastings with our co-founders James and Martin and other beer experts, homebrew masterclasses, live music & comedy and more.

Brewdog will be sharing further details soon and a complete schedule of the events on their Twitter and Instagram accounts.

*Carole, as in this Carole.

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Things To Do

8 things to do this week that don’t involve human contact

614now Staff



It is a strange time to be alive, Columbus. With the concerns and cases of coronavirus on the rise, you may be feeling worried, fearful, and/or unsure of what to do.

In addition to washing your hands to protect you from the virus, you may want to consider being more of an inside person this week. To curb cabin fever, consider these eight activities to keep you occupied indoors.

Plan a getaway

Once the threat of coronavirus is over, which Gov. Mike DeWine assured would happen in yesterday's address, you'll be ready to get the hell out of Columbus. Consider planning a trip to one of the Scarlet Oaks cabins, Gervasi Vineyard in Canton, Yellowsprings, or the birthplace of bourbon!

Schedule a whacky road trip

Already have a vacation on the books and worked into your budget? No problem! Opt for a cheaper, shorter adventure with one of the destinations highlighted in our Worth The Drive series: Buckeye Express Diner in Bellville, Kewpee Hamburgers in Lima, Cincinnati's Hathaway's Diner, Dietsch Brothers chocolate in Findlay, and Waldo’s G&R Tavern.

Test your Columbus knowledge

You're sick of all your board games and you hate the idea of spending another weekend in front of the tube. Liven up your entertainment with Columbus trivia! What is the hottest month on average? What is Hilliard's median household income? What year did the Kahiki close? See how well you know your fine city.

Binge local podcasts

Not only do podcasts entertain, inform, and engage you, they're also great to binge while multitasking. Podcast + mopping the kitchen? No problem. Podcast + walking the dog? Easy. Podcast + julienning veggies? Careful… but definitely possible. Be sure to support local podcasters! We're sure you can find something that'll pique your interest in the list below.

Get hooked on knitting

What better time to dive into your hobby than a worldwide viral outbreak? And though cold weather is almost completely behind us, it's never too early to get a jumpstart on those Christmas gifts. Click the button below to learn more about where to find materials and resources.

Explore the pasta-bilities of a home-cooked meal

You’re probably hungry after all that knitting. Flex on the fam by whipping up a delectable home-cooked Italian meal. You'll have to slip out of the house to grab your groceries from famed local market Carfagna’s, but trust us, it'll be worth it.

Get hyped for Ohio State Buckeyes 2020-21 season

With no spring game to rev your engine pre-season, you may be feeling a Buckeyes football void right about now. To help plug it until the opener against Bowling Green on Sept. 5, check out old Ohio State hype videos below. O-H!

Read the latest issue of (614) Magazine

The physical copies of the March issue of (614) Magazine are flying off the racks, but you don't have to go out into the world to read it. To learn more about the Columbus esport revolution, the latest food and drink news, and other updates in the community, click the button below to read the digital issue.

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Things To Do

Listen Local: 10 Columbus podcasts to binge

Regina Fox



The thing with binging TV is that you have to be using two senses at once to be engaged: sight and hearing. That really cuts down on the possibilities of getting other things done simultaneously. But, podcasts on the other hand require only one sense—hearing—so the productivity possibilities are exponentially greater.

Podcast + mopping the kitchen? No problem. Podcast + walking the dog? Easy. Podcast + julienning veggies? Careful... but definitely possible.

That, plus the power of spoken word has the ability to inform, entertain, and inspire you unlike any other media.

Now that we've presented a great case for podcasts, consider subscribing to one made right here in Columbus.

The Rock Doc Chronicles

Interviews, Current Events, Entertainment

Being the on-call doctor to some of your favorite musical acts comes with a lot of stories. Dr Randy Sharma (@rockdocohio) sits down with some of his famous patients to discuss whatever comes to mind.

Ohio v. The World

Culture, History, Places & Travel

An Ohio History podcast, hosted by Alex Hastie.

Rogue Squadron Podcast

Culture, Entertainment, Hobbies

Star Wars Comedy, craft beer, gaming, and more. It’s the rowdiest podcast in the galaxy!


Culture, Entertainment, Self-Help

Columbus, Ohio moms Mindy Drayer, Mikaela Hunt, and Stacy McKay discuss everything relating to being moms and parenting on weekly installments of the Momcast.

Columbus' Entrepreneurs' Podcast

Business, Entrepreneur

Columbus Entrepreneurs’ Podcast is primarily for members of the Columbus, Ohio chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). The stories are inspiring and focus on core principles of EO, including speaking from experience instead of advice giving, building peer learning experiences, and focusing on the top and bottom 5% of our lives.


Entertainment, Hobbies

Chatimals is the nature podcast where information meets imagination. Each episode covers one kind of animal with an eye out for all the goofy, surprising animal facts.

The Sounds of Bustown

Culture, Entertainment, Music

A bi-weekly podcast featuring interviews about the musical creation process with people in the music scene in Columbus, OH.

Thrive and Connect

Culture, Self-Help

How to live your life in a more genuine, simpler manner and develop abundance in all aspects – yourself, family & friends, and business relationships.

Columbus! Something New

Culture, Entertainment, Places & Travel

Why do we do what we do? Why does C!SN exist?

  • To introduce listeners to local entrepreneurs and big thinkers
  • To be a conduit between community and events, museums, and new experiences
  • To be a value to entrepreneurs as we broadcast them to the world
  • To be a value to listeners as we expand their world and bring them new ideas

The Digital Analytics Power Hour

Business, Technology

Each episode is a closed topic and an open forum – the goal is for listeners to enjoy listening to Michael and Tim share their thoughts and experiences and hopefully take away something to try at work the next day.

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