Around Town: Last minute Valentine's Day dates

Cheap dates that don't need a reservation for all of us last minute planners


Maybe you forgot. Maybe the restaurant was booked solid. Maybe you just got a date. Maybe your wallet is slimmer than your date hoped. Maybe you hate the holiday and want nothing to do with the normal cheesy stuff you’re forced into doing.

Whatever your reason, you’re stuck with nothing to do and nowhere to go on Valentine’s Day.

For everyone looking for something different to do this Valentine’s Day, The Spectrum’s got your back.

Here are some creative ways to celebrate the holiday on a tight budget and without needing any reservations.

And feel free to take all the credit when your date gushes about how well you planned the day – it’ll be our little secret.

New Skateland Arena

I’m going to bet you haven’t pulled on a pair of skates since the last middle school roller skating party you went to. But this Valentine’s Day you can lace up those skates at New Skateland Arena at 33 E Ferry St. in Buffalo for the Red Rover Roll, an adult-only skate. Admission is $5 and skate rentals are only $1. Music will be provided by Sike and DJ Reason.

First Niagara Center

Everyone knows heterosexual guys tend to hate Valentine’s Day, likely for the reason their girlfriends make all the decisions about what do on the Hallmark holiday, but Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about flowers, chocolate and romantic movies. Instead, take your guy out to watch some lacrosse. The Buffalo Bandits are taking on the Rochester Knighthawks at 7:30 p.m. on Valentine’s Day at First Niagara Center. The Bandits are currently 4-3 and the Knighthawks are 2-3. Tickets run from $20 to $39.

North Park Theatre

There may be no better motivation to have a nice and early breakfast in bed than going to see a classic ’80s romantic comedy at Buffalo’s prettiest cinema. “Say Anything,” directed by Cameron Crowe and starring John Cusack, will play at The North Park Theatre at 1428 Hertel Ave. at 11:30 a.m. on Valentine’s Day. Admission is just $5.

The Screening Room

If you’re a film lover celebrating Valentine’s Day in Buffalo, then you’re covered from morning until night. The Screening Room Cinema and Café in the Northtown Plaza Business Center at 3131 Sheridan Dr. is showing two romantic films – one will have you rooting for Audrey Hepburn while the other will have you on the edge of your seat. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” will begin at 7 p.m. and “Dead Again” starts at 9:30 p.m. If you stay for both films the cost is just $8, but one film is $6.

“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” stars Audrey Hepburn in one of the most iconic romantic comedies of all time. “Dead Again” however, is a romantic thriller filled with twists and turns as an accidental couple discovers their tragic past lives and the murder that ended their marriage.

The Screening Room is a unique dinner theater, meaning that seating is around tables, on couches or armchairs. You can also buy relatively inexpensive beer and wine, as well as popcorn and other light snacks, so be sure to arrive early to get a good seat and settle in with your date.

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Just because it’s too cold outside to spend much time in one of Buffalo’s many parks doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in a little nature. The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens’ new exhibit “Orchids” is a delightfully romantic way to spend the day inside with your lover or friends. Entrance is $9 and runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If crazy, flashing lights are more your thing, then Lumagination, which runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. is for you. Lumagination is new to the Gardens – the past few years Night Lights took over the Gardens – and visitors can participate in the exhibit by downloading Lumenplay and Play LED on their phones.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Not only is this the final weekend to see “Giving Up One’s Mark: Helen Frankenthaler in the 1960s and 1970s” and “Imperfections by Chance: Paul Feeley Retrospective, 1954-1966,” but the Albright-Knox is free to all residents of Erie County. Also currently on display are installations by David Adamo, “Arturo Herrera: Little Bits of Modernism” and “Robert Heinecken: Surrealism on TV.”

A stroll through the Gallery, hand-in-hand with your lover is a relaxing way to spend Valentine’s Day and if it’s a little warm out when you’re done, wander through Delaware Park or to Elmwood Avenue for drinks, dinner or a coffee.