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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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Things To Do

Where to get your Red, White & BOOM on this July 4th




It was a bummer to hear that Red, White & BOOM would be canceled and changed to a virtual format for 2020. However, that shouldn’t stop you from celebrating in a somewhat traditional sense. Even with one of the biggest fireworks celebrations put on hold, there’s still plenty to do around Columbus, fireworks or no fireworks.

We here at (614) know that given the modern-day circumstances, people have the choice to celebrate in whatever way they feel most comfortable. Below you can find three ways to celebrate–Local 4th of July events; Red, White & BOOM alternatives; and places where you can legally celebrate yourself.


Fourth of July Fireworks

West Jefferson July 4th Streetfest

When: July 4 at 10 p.m.

Where: Watch from home

Obetz Fireworks

When: July 4

Where: Watch from home

Fourth of July Activities

Neighborhood Bike Brigade

When: Various start times

Where: Dublin neighborhoods

Sherm Sheldon Fishing Derby

When: June 26 through July 4

Where: Any Dublin pond

Fourth of July Parades

Front Yard Parade in the Round

When: July 4 at 6 until 9 p.m.

Where: Your front yard

2020 Cruisin’ On The 4th of July

When: July 4 at noon

Where: Northbridge Ln., Columbus, OH 43235

New Albany 4th of July Parade & Festival

When: July 4 at 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

Where: Church of the Resurrection, 6300 E Dublin Granville Rd., New Albany, OH 43054

Other Fourth of July Events

Zoombezi Bay Family Movie Night featuring The Goonies

When: July 3 from 6 until 11 p.m.

Where: Zoombezi Bay, 10101 Riverside Dr., Powell, OH 43065


Red, White & BOOM was gearing up for its 40th anniversary before COVID-19 shut the mass gathering down. However, the beloved Columbus fireworks show will be hosting a virtual event over the first four days of July. The virtual campaign will air on NBC4.

Here are some of the events that will take place:

  • Highlighting the best Red, White & BOOM stories
  • Stories from local veterans inducted into the Ford Oval of Honor
  • Broadcasting the best Red, White & BOOM fireworks over the show’s 39-year history
  • Looking back on the tradition of parades honoring veterans


We here at (614) also know that setting off fireworks yourself is illegal. We also know that buying them within the state is legal (OK?).

So here is a list of places around Columbus you can buy fireworks from. What you do from there is up to you, but we advise you to stay within the law:

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Zoo Babies! We’ve got the photo cuteness




Start the ooo-ing and ahhh-ing, Columbus, because we’ve got Zoo baby pics!

A Masai giraffe calf, a sea lion pup, two red panda cubs, and a siamang (gibbon) baby—all recent births at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium for these endangered species. It’s a show of commitment from the organization how they were able to nurture these species populations at-risk for extinction and bring new generations of them into the world. 

“We are extremely proud to welcome these babies as they all represent hope for the future of species that are increasingly facing challenges in their native ranges,” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President/CEO, Tom Stalf. In the press release, Stalf detailed how special these births are as the threatened species received around-the-clock, top-quality care by the Animal Care staff over the three-month-closure of the Zoo, due to COVID-19. 

OK, no more waiting—get your fill of cuteness below with these Zoo baby pics!

Masai Giraffe Calf

“A Masai giraffe calf was born on June 28, 2020, at 2:29 p.m. to mother, Zuri, in a behind-the-scenes barn of the Zoo’s Heart of Africa region.”

Sea lion Pup

“During the early morning hours of June 25, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium welcomed the first sea lion pup ever to be born at the facility!”

Two Red Panda Cubs

“Two healthy red panda cubs were born at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, a welcomed addition to this endangered species.”

Siamang (Gibbon) baby

“On the morning of May 29, 2020, the Australia and Islands region welcomed a baby siamang. Mom, Olga, is being very attentive to her little one, whose sex and name have not yet been determined.”

Get information about conservation at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium here.

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City council aims to give youth opportunities this summer




Walking down Weber Rd. toward I-71 this week, something was happening that most probably thought wouldn’t for at least another year: a group of kids playing basketball and being mentored by adults.

With the 2019-20 school year canceled, children have been confined to home, with most basketball hoops being boarded up. Summer camps were postponed and parents were starting to wonder, “What am I going to do with all of this bottled-up, youthful energy that’s been bouncing against my walls for the past few months?”

That answer was partially given on June 15, when Council President Pro Tem Elizabeth Brown and Mayor Andrew J. Ginther announced legislation to provide funds to programs for Columbus youth. The $2 million in grants was supported by Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds. 

“Providing a safe place for our kids to learn and grow during the summer is vital for them and for working parents everywhere, and Columbus children deserve every opportunity to access enriching services that connect them to nature, wellness, and creativity,” Brown said in a press release.

In mid-June, the Columbus Recreation and Parks opened a select number of programming and camps with adjusted group sizes and increased safety protocols. With funds from the CARES Act, Columbus can expect to see more opportunities arise over the next couple of months.

To find a full updated list of programs that the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department will be offering this summer, click here.

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