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Tucson dates that won’t break the bank

Budget+date+ideas+can+offer+couples+the+best+of+both+worlds+to+spend+quality+time+together+without+breaking+the+bank.
Brianna Golden
Budget date ideas can offer couples the best of both worlds to spend quality time together without breaking the bank.

In the midst of cuffing season in Tucson, you may be wondering what to do with your partner that won’t break the bank. Dates are an essential part of a relationship, but they can add up. Here are three affordable date ideas for you and your partner to enjoy.

Learn how to cook together

Exploring the culinary world with your partner is a fun way to get close and bond with them. Most cooking classes around Tucson range from $50-100 per person for a class, but the University of Arizona’s student-led group, Cooking on Campus, offers classes for $10

Advisor for Cooking on Campus, Caitlin McKenna, said that their goal is to provide students with basic cooking skills and help them gain confidence in the kitchen.

“That’s ultimately our big goal, is to show students how to approach cooking realistically and easily and to provide basic hands-on cooking classes,” McKenna said.

The group will hold three cooking classes during the spring semester in the Shantz Building in room 101. They offer dates in February, March and April and will be teaching how to make dishes like pasta with homemade red sauce, customizable egg omelets and sushi. All of their recipes are made with simple and affordable ingredients. 

“I encourage everyone, if you can, to sign up early and come learn how to cook,” McKenna said. 

Tickets to the in-person classes can be found on Cooking on Campus’ Eventbrite page. They also post their recipes on their Instagram for people to follow along. You and your date could try these nutritious recipes at home for free. 

Take a dance class together

Find you and your partner’s rhythm and take a dance class together. Get close and learn a ballroom style like salsa or waltz at Ballroom Dance Schools

Ballroom dance is a partnership dance meant for couples to embrace in closed dance positions, according to the Social Dance at Stanford website. It’s a fun way to get to know more about your partner and discover the dynamics of your relationship. 

“Couples’ downfall is poor communication and a lack of healthy boundaries,” Stacey Aldrich, co-owner of BDS, said via Facebook Messenger. “In Ballroom dancing, couples are forced to communicate what they need from their partner to make a step work.”

Ballroom Dance School is co-owned by Stacey Aldrich and her husband, Luke Aldrich. It’s located at 1980 W. River Road, Suite #140, inside of the Music in Motion Dance Studio.

BDS offers group classes Monday-Thursday for $20 per person. Tuesdays are their beginning ballroom dance classes, where they teach the technique and history of styles such as waltz, tango and more. 

Before taking a group class, they ask new participants to schedule a private 30-minute consultation for $20. This can include both you and your partner. In the consultation, they prepare you for how their group classes will run. 

Stacey Aldrich recommends taking a few private sessions with your partner first.

“The lead has far more responsibilities and throws him into a very uncomfortable situation too quickly. Once a few privates are under the belt, he has the skill he feels he wants to impress his partner and make some new friends,” Stacey Aldrich said via Facebook Messenger.

Stacey Alrich said to wear comfortable clothes that don’t drag, or clothes that you’d wear to the gym. She recommends getting dance shoes as well. To schedule an appointment, call or text (520) 261-5237.

Take a dog out on a field trip

Help the Pima Animal Care Center get dogs adopted by taking one on a field trip for a day or even overnight. 

PACC has been overwhelmed by the number of dogs they’ve been sheltering recently and ask for all the help they can get with getting these pups adopted. If you know your partner is a dog lover but they can’t own one, it’d be thoughtful to have them play with one for the day.

PACC’s Public Information Officer, Kayleigh Murdock, said via email that brief breaks from the shelter can release cortisol levels in the dogs, which ultimately causes the pup to be happier and more relaxed. 

“In addition to the benefits for the dog, day trips help PACC staff learn more about the dog and their personalities, which can help them find the right home. The day trips also help advertise the dogs through photos and through meeting people while out and about,” Murdock said. 

She said that even a quick nap on the couch is exciting for the dogs. Some recommended activities include taking the dog to a dog-friendly park, but not to a dog park to ensure everyone’s safety. Bookmans is a dog-friendly place where you could sit, enjoy a coffee and read with the pup and your partner. Treat the dog to a pup-cup. 

“People who have taken dogs on day trips have taken them to many of our local dog-friendly parks to enjoy hikes; Mount Lemmon is a favorite spot, too,” Murdock said.  

It is free to take the dog, and the process of signing up is easy. Murdock said that you could be out in less than 30 minutes with the pup. PACC is located at 4000 N. Silverbell Road. They’re open from noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 1:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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