10 dates for less than $10


A bustling Pizitz Food Hall offers a wide variety of restaurant stands to explore (photo by The Pizitz).

Marin Poleshek, Managing Editor

With both the Sadie Hawkins dance and Valentine’s Day right around the corner, this very well may be the most romantic time of the year for HHS students. Whether you are searching for the perfect place to take your date or are simply seeking a fun time with friends, this list of local hotspots will steer you in the right direction. And, while we cannot make any claims, we think these unique activities may even secure a second date. 

1.) Pelham Civic Center, Ice Rink

Already missing the holiday season? Unpredictable Alabama weather getting you down? Take a trip to the Pelham Civic Center, Birmingham’s best venue for year-round ice skating. Located at 500 Amphitheater Road, this indoor center features two different rinks and a wide variety of public session times to choose from. Skate rentals cost $10 and are first come first serve.


The Birmingham Botanical Gardens welcomes visitors into its idyllic walls (photo by Marin Poleshek).

2.) Birmingham Botanical Gardens

As spring arrives, there is no better place to visit than the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. With over 65 acres of beautiful outdoor space to explore, this natural haven is perfect for taking pictures. Admission is free, making this a great place for budget-friendly dates. 


3.) Pepper Place Farmers Market

Operating from 7 am-12 pm each Saturday morning, the Farmers Market at Pepper Place is definitely something you should put on your date radar. Located downtown Birmingham, this market boasts over 100 tents and 10,000 visitors each week. All vendors are based in Alabama, with stands such as Hinkel’s Bakery and Alabama Peanut Co. drawing the largest crowds.


4.) Vulcan Park & Museum

While a museum might not be your first thought for a date, you can certainly make an exception for Vulcan Park. Centered around the iconic Vulcan statue, this spot offers a sweeping panorama of the city of Birmingham. The view is especially beautiful at night, however visitors can make the most of daylight hours with board games, picnics, and photo shoots. Tickets cost between $4-6 and include an elevator ride to the top of the statue. 


5.) Continental Bakery

This quintessential European bakery in Crestline Village is an ideal place to relax, study, or bring a date. With a rotating variety of breads, pastries and other confections, chances are high that at least one treat will strike your fancy. The bakery opens at 7 am, and the plethora of outdoor seating makes this a perfect activity for sunny mornings.


An inviting selection of handmade treats awaits hungry guests at Continental Bakery in Crestline (photo by Marin Poleshek).

6.) Local coffee shops

If tried and true is more your style, a coffee shop can make for an ideal date spot. Fortunately, Birmingham has a slew of cozy coffeehouses to choose from. Among the most popular are O’Henry’s and Seeds, however Red Cat and Caveat are stellar spots if you are seeking the road less traveled. Recent newcomer Santos Coffee, located downtown Homewood, is also worth the try. 

7.) Railroad Park

Another popular place for those looking to get outside, Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham offers over 19 acres of green space to explore. An expansive pocket within the heart of the city, this space is ideal for games such as frisbee and spikeball. If you prefer to take it slow, bring a blanket and stargaze in the evening hours.


8.) Pizitz Food Hall

Are you trying to take your date out to lunch, but aren’t sure what kind of food they like? The Pizitz Food Hall is the perfect place. Open Monday through Saturday from 11am-8pm, this hidden gem has 12 food stalls representing a wide range of cultures, styles, and flavors. Check out Broad Street Peaux Boys for Cajun-inspired fare, or pop into the Spun Cow for ice cream and fresh-spun cotton candy.


9.) Sidewalk Under Pizitz

Want to watch a movie with your date, but are tired of scrolling through Netflix? For a more unique film experience, visit the Sidewalk Film Center & Cinema. Located downtown Birmingham in the Pizitz Building, this venue features snacks, a lounge area, and comfortable theater seating. While it only offers a few movies at a time, tickets are affordable and the experience is something you nor your date will forget. 

Railroad Park offers a plethora of walking trails for adventure-seeking visitors (photo by Marin Poleshek).


10.) Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

If you’re craving ice cream but want to expand your horizons, Jeni’s is the place to go. Nestled in downtown Birmingham’s Pepper Place, this shop offers specialty flavors such as Coffee with Cream & Sugar, Brambleberry Crisp, and perhaps the most popular of all: Gooey Butter Cake. Scoops can be pricey, but if this sweet treat falls within your budget then it is certainly worth it.