Running out of ideas on where to bring your significant other? We’ve got you covered with this budget guide to dating in Singapore.
Let’s face it: dating in Singapore is an expensive affair. Especially if you’re in possession of the Y-chromosome, you’ll be expected to plan and pay for dates, which can easily add up to at least a few hundred dollars extra spending each month.
Unfortunately, not everyone has that much money to spare. Even if you’re earning a respectable income, with the rising costs of living (and dating), you may find yourself feeling somewhat strapped for cash in the long run.
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What to do then? Well, we at DrWealth are here to help: after scouting around, we’ve shortlisted these 10 date ideas that are fun, off the beaten track and better still, won’t break your bank. So go ahead, grab your partner and give these a shot. Have fun!
1. Be the chef for a day
Forget about the classic dinner and a movie date – that’s so clichéd and boring. Instead, impress your date with a special home-cooked meal enjoyed in the comfort of his/her home. Don’t worry even if you’re not a seasoned chef, because the food doesn’t have to be anything fancy – you could either wing it with a simple tenderloin steak, or whip up a fancy three-course dinner with soup, spaghetti Bolognese and tiramisu if you’re feeling more confident. All you need to do is to look up the recipes online, prepare the ingredients, then get to work.
What matters most is the amount of time and effort you put in. Your date will appreciate the thoughtful gesture, plus you get to spend quality time together before and during the meal.
Tip: Test out the recipes a couple of times before the big day, so that you can make adjustments or seek “professional help” (read: Mum) in advance if necessary. Also, just for laughs, throw on a “Kiss the Cook” apron so you can wheedle an extra smooch from your date.
Where: Home | $5-$50, depending on the ingredients required and complexity of the dishes
2. Picnic on a hidden island
Believe it or not, Singapore has 60 over islands, and some of these boast of turquoise waters, charming beaches and unspoilt coastlines comparable to those on nearby Bintan or Batam. If you find the commercialisation at East Coast Park off-putting, head on over to the less-known Southern Islands, which include Kusu Island, St. John’s Island, and the two Sisters’ Island.
Upon landing at your island of choice, start with a walk around to explore the terrain and discover the legend behind the island. Then take your pick of water activities, be it fishing, swimming or snorkelling. Finally, surprise your date with a picnic on the beach (brownie points if you remember to pack his/her favourite foods).
Tip: Arrive early at Marina South Pier (which is where you board the ferry to go to the Southern Islands) to check out the cool exhibits at the Singapore Maritime Gallery.
Where: Marina South Pier | $18 per adult for a two-way ferry trip (ferry schedule here). Free admission to the Singapore Maritime Gallery.
3. Chill by the bay
[Photo Credit: Chowch via Flickr]
Here’s a throwback to childhood days: kite-flying at Marina Barrage. Not only is it a relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of city life, you can also learn about Singapore’s efforts towards environment sustainability while enjoying a spectacular view of Singapore’s skyline.
As night falls, either stay on for an outdoor picnic under the stars, or take a short bus ride or leisurely stroll to the Esplanade or Marina Bay Sands (MBS) area for more eating options. If you time it right, you can watch the 8pm Water Show at MBS and the 9.30pm Light Show from across the bay, which happens every night. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you may even catch a free outdoor concert at the Esplanade waterfront promenade.
Tip: To make the most of this date, pray to the weather gods for a cool windy day.
Where: Marina Barrage | Free admission to Marina Barrage and for the water and light shows. Dinner cost varies depending on choice of eatery.
4. Go stargazing
[Photo Credit: Staylocalapp]
You’re already seeing stars when it comes to your loved one, so why not make a date to see actual stars with him/her? The Science Centre holds free stargazing sessions at its Observatory every Friday from 7.50pm to 10pm, plus a series of Astronomy 101 talks on the second Friday of every month at 8pm and 9pm.
Consider this your chance to pick up some useful science knowledge – intelligence is sexy – while getting a glimpse into the mysterious Milky Way.
Tip: Amazingly enough, faraway Jupiter, Saturn and Venus can be seen during this time of the year. Also, if you’re dating a literature lover, try quoting Lord Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty” to up the romance (or is it cheesiness?) factor.
Where: Science Centre Singapore | Free admission to the Observatory
5. Cosmic bowling
[Photo Credit: The Smart Local]
Night owls will love this one. Imagine bowling, but with a twist – you get to play with glow-in-the-dark balls and pins, against a “clubbing” backdrop of thumping dance music and flashing discotheque lights. What’s not to love? Better still, the 24-lane bowling alleys are open till 3am on Fridays, Saturdays and eve of public holidays and 1am on other days – perfect hangout to burn the calories after you’ve had a late-night prata supper.
Tip: The next time you feel like clubbing, try cosmic bowling instead. It can be just as fun but at a fraction of the price, because there’s no boozing involved (alcohol is ridiculously expensive in Singapore). Plus, your liver will thank you for living a healthier lifestyle.
Where: Orchid Bowl at The Chevrons, SAFRA Yishun, and SAFRA Tampines | $4.20/h during off-peak hours and $4.80/h during peak hours, with special discounts for members and students.
This is the first article in a two-part series on budget dating in Singapore. Read Part II here.