Who said you have to save all the fun for the weekend?
Montreal date nights aren't only for the weekends. In fact, you might find the best way to treat your date (and yourself) for less is by heading to a mid-week movie or museum visit. Not only will you have to deal with fewer people, but you'll find ticket prices are often much lower. You also have less chance of ending your date on an awkward note if you decide to tap out due to work in the morning.
Cost: $14 for general admission (Concordia and McGill students get 25% off).
Where: Cinema du Parc, 3575 ave du Parc
Reason to go: This independent Plateau cinema posts its weekly schedule on Mondays so you can get first dibs on their latest screenings, whether it's a new arthouse flick, an international release, or a must-see classic. Splurge on some popcorn to butter up your date and then take a stroll to St-Laurent afterward to chat about what you saw.
Tuesday Drinks on the Canal
Cost: $13 for a cocktail, $10 for a mocktail.
Where: 22 ave Atwater
Reason to go: If you like big boats and you cannot lie, grab a sundown drink with your date aboard the Canal Lounge. The floating bar doesn't take reservations, so seating is luck of the draw, but you can't really go wrong. There are outdoor spots at the front and back of the boat with a picturesque view of the Atwater Market bridge. Inside, you're at the water's edge and can chat under the glow of the ship's ever-changing neon lights. Boat-ready cocktails include the Malibu Seabreeze with coconut rum, pineapple, and cranberry, or the Perfect Storm featuring dark rum, spicy ginger beer, and lime (both are also available without alcohol). If you get hungry, you can always order a sea-themed snack platter for two. At $25 it won't break the bank, plus the three-tiered charcuterie platter looks pretty impressive. Who knows, maybe you and your date's fingers will romantically brush as you both reach for the surimi crab or stuffed grape leaves?
Where: 380 rue Sherbrooke St O.
Reason to go: On Wednesday evenings, from 5 to 9 p.m., you can snag half-off tickets to see the Museum of Fine Art's current exhibitions (except the permanent collection). That means discounted entry to the main show, "Nicolas Party: L’heure mauve," which entails a walk through seven rooms filled with colorful sculptures, murals and paintings that are trippy AF. You and your date will have plenty to talk about between the fluffy apricot/butt wall and room of wide-eyed busts that looks like an Indiana Jones temple on shrooms. If you're loving the date and don't want it to end, you can always take a tour of the sculptures outside the museum and either walk up the museum's painted alleyway toward the mountain or head down Crescent for a bite to eat.
Where: 4801 ave Pierre-de Coubertin
Reason to go: You have stars in your eyes over your date, so take them to gaze at constellations. On Thursdays, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., you can catch two half-price shows in French and English at the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan for half price. Your discounted ticket includes back-to-back viewings of the double feature. If you catch the Celestial Chronicles show, you'll know how to read the night sky together on your walk back to the metro. Just keep in mind that the permanent exhibition is closed and if you're late you might not be let into the theatre.
Cost: $10 for DJ nights, $15 for live band nights.
Where: Salle Wellington, 625 rue Fortune
Reason to go: Work up a sweat with your date at this Sud Ouest swing dance night. The party starts every Friday at 8:30 p.m. with DJs playing their collections of danceable jazz. Once a month, you can move to the beats of a live band instead. If you need to learn the basics of the lindy hop or charleston, get there early for a dance class and then stick around to practice the steps. No food or drinks are served, so you can pack a picnic to enjoy. And don't forget to wear your old-timey best!