Need a romantic date idea or a first date idea that is easy on the wallet? Take your date on a fall picnic. This is a great way to say “I love you” without breaking the budget, and it’s guaranteed to score you big points. Most people think of summer as the time for picnics, but one of the great things about the San Francisco Bay Area is the mild climate, making picnics possible almost year-round. There are many places around the city ideal for both romantic dates and first dates. Here are four cheap date ideas for a fall picnic:
Take her to the Marina Green just past Fort Mason on the waterfront. Here there is plenty of parking, large grass areas to spread out a blanket and shoreline access to the Bay. There is a great view of Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge and the harbor from this vantage point. While not always the quietest place around (it can get busy on weekends), it is convenient and very scenic. There are lots of places to picnic here, and if you are on a first date, there is plenty around for you to talk about (in case you get tongue-tied). While you are here, take a long walk along the waterfront. If this is your first date, you can get better acquainted. If this is a romantic date, it will give you the opportunity to share thoughts from your heart.
Golden Gate Park
Another popular spot is Golden Gate Park. Parking can be a challenge, but it will be worth the effort. The park offers many hidden spots for a quiet romantic date and lots of activities for a first date. There are large grassy areas for spreading out a cushy blanket to cozy up on. There are also trails and paths for romantic strolls, or bring your bikes for a fun ride together. Make a day of it by playing tourist and visit one of the attractions in the park.
Legion of Honor museum
This spot is a little more hidden. It is the Legion of Honor Art Museum. This is a great first date idea (or second, third or fourth) if your date is the artsy type. Skirted by a world-class golf course and an expansive Bay vista through majestic Monterey Pines, there are several places on the property to lay out a spread. Plan on spending the day including a visit to the art museum, and enjoy masterpieces from Rodin, Rembrandt and Monet. Also, check out the most recent offering of traveling art. These tend to be more contemporary and varied, offering works in other mediums such as photography and glass. Entrance to the property is free. Museum tickets are only $11 for adults – still keeping it budget-friendly. Your date will think you are very sophisticated and sweet for thinking of this.
If the day turns cold and wet outside, don’t despair – take your picnic indoors. Spread a large, thick quilt on the floor, spark up a warm fire, light some candles, break out the board games or a good movie, and enjoy the day.
You will certainly score big points when you show up to surprise your date with a picnic for your date together. Indoors or out, picnics are a great first date idea or romantic date idea that anyone can afford any time of the year.
Fall picnics are a great time for warm soups, cheese and crackers, fresh baked breads, and hot cocoa. Here are some ideas for your picnic date in San Francisco:
– Crusty San Francisco sourdough – get the small rounds and hollow out to use as soup bowls.
– Artisan cheeses (no cheese-in-a-can, please).
– Rustic crackers.
– Gourmet olive selection.
– Thermos of hot clam chowder, broccoli cheese soup or hearty beef stew.
– A big cluster of locally grown grapes.
– Bakery-style oatmeal cookies.
– Thermos of hot cocoa (don’t forget the marshmallows).
– Cold bottles of sparkling water.
Pack all the above in a rattan picnic basket if you can find one. This is much nicer than your Budwiser cooler. Also, Trader Joe’s is a great place to get quality items at budget-friendly prices.
Other things to take on your date
– A thick quilted blanket and a large plastic liner (in case the ground is damp).
– Mugs for cocoa.
– Table service for each.
– A small cutting board and knife.
– Cloth napkins (makes it more special).
– A good book of prose to read aloud (sounds cheesy, but your date will adore you for it).
– Sketch pad and pencils.
– Board games, Frisbee, bocce ball.
– Warm jacket in case the fog rolls in.