My husband and I have been loooong overdue for a date night, we really, really needed a break from our little one. Living on one teacher’s income can make things like date nights seem frivolous, when in actuality they’re pretty important for maintaining sanity and connection.
With a not quite two year old, it seems I never go out these days. Thanks to social media’s vicarious advantage, I get to see all the trendy, cool places – you know – people with a life get to dine and hang.
I happened to notice that a local band I like was playing at a record store for FREE! I mentioned to my husband how much I would really like to go and he suggested, “Well, lets make it a date night.”
Sounds great! I called my mom to see if she can babysit that evening, sweet relief, she was willing and able.
Desperate is such a strong word, let’s say I felt strongly compelled, if not determined, to hit up a few places people without babies get to go while we were out. This is how our date went…
We started at The Rustic, a relaxed yet upscale home-style restaurant and live music venue with local flavor in uptown. It was fairly early so we sat on the huge outdoor patio in the “back yard,” where there is a small grassy area with a few outdoorsy games, Texas staples like horseshoes and bean bag toss, among others. The Rustic has a great stage, we were too early to catch the band that was scheduled to play that night but we watched them set up, which I enjoyed with pre-baby nostalgia.
Because it was early and we planned to hit other eateries later in the evening AND because we were on a tight budget, we shared an appetizer and a drink. Let’s face it, budget or no budget, I’m such a light weight these days, I can’t finish a drink on my own anyway.
Next stop, Centro-matic! The local band that inspired this date in the first place, played at Good Records, a locally owned, mostly new vinyl shop located on Greenville Ave.
It was such an intimate, great show. After the show we took our sweet time browsing this awesome record store. Downtime to flip through vinyl is such a simple luxury when you have young children. I LOVE digging through vinyl!
After Good Records, we walked just down the street to a neat little spot called The Truck Yard. This is a chill place to sit back as if you are in your best friend’s backyard, with the added advantage of a variety of food trucks and drinks at your disposal. Although we were there at night, it’s heavily shaded and comfortable during the day. The humorous trailer-park decor includes eat-in truck beds (pickup trucks with a tables), tables with lawn chairs, an airstream bar and a tree house. My husband and I bought some sliders to share and, you guessed it, some cheap but great Lone Star Beer to complement the setting. However, a variety of interesting craft beers and cocktails were also available. We stayed here a while enjoying the warm summer night until we had to admit to ourselves it was getting late and time to get home.
All and all, we probably spent between $25-$40 total and it was by far one of my all time favorite dates with my sweetie.
Know Before You Go:
- The Rustic has FREE live music most days of the week. Check out our Free Fun in Dallas calendar for artists and dates.
- With no Kids Menu and no changing tables, The Rustic is perhaps best reserved for date night.
- We love their farm-to-table approach that features Gulf seafood, steak sourced from local ranchers, dairy and produce grown by local farmers, Texas Craft Beers and Texas Wines.
- Good Records is independently owned and holds the Dallas Observer title of Best Vinyl Record Store (2015). They regularly host free in-store performances with really great bands, occasionally with free beer and food! We aim to keep track of their events on our calendar but you might keep an eye on their facebook page for last minute events & sales.
- The Truck Yard is 21+ after 9pm, they’re open M-Sat from 11am – Midnight & Sundays 10am – Midnight. They’re dog / pet friendly.
- The “Tree House” at the Truck Yard is an adult-only upstairs outdoor bar area, a great vantage point for people watching.
- The Truck Yard’s signature Philly Cheese Steak, which gets rave reviews, also includes a gluten-free bun option (you may want to double check with them on the ingredients / contamination, if you’re super-sensitive).
- Finally, the Truck Yard is also locally owned and we love that it’s a venue for local food trucks, too.
How To Get There
Keep your eyes open for free events and make it a date night!
We would LOVE to hear about your cheap date nights. What do you do to make getting away do-able and affordable with littles? We encourage you to share any ideas or suggestions for a budget friendly night out with your honey in the comments below.