Cheap date night ideas - $20 dollar date night

Cheap date night ideas! Join Christy Pessemier, and her willing guinea pig husband – as they scour King & Snohomish Counties in the Seattle area to prove you can go out as a couple and have a great time for under 20 Dollars.

Crazy Birds and Happy Hour

Hubby did an awesome job with last weekend’s date night…or should I say date “afternoon?” His idea: try out some places for Happy Hour. Since a friend and client of his recommended The  Alehouse and Eatery in downtown Bothell, that was where we were headed. But…Instead of parking right in front of the place in downtown Bothell, Hubby found a front row spot at the park in Bothell Landing. Aha! We were going on a walk first. Yes! It was still light outside at 5pm and it wasn’t raining (I am so done with winter). Kids were playing happily at the playground as we arrived. Getting out of the car, throngs of black crows swarmed the trees surrounding the park, and lining the banks of the Sammamish River. I had never seen so many crows in my life!

“This looks like something from an Alfred Hitchcock movie,” I said to Hubby as we walked over a scenic bridge, looking down on the beautiful River. Hubby laughed, “they’re everywhere!”

I guess it was Happy Hour for the crows, because they looked pretty happy, swooping about from tree to tree, cawing loudly.

A man in a fisherman’s hat stood on the bridge, looking up at the surrounding trees, speckled with black.“They do this every night at this time,” he said amidst the cacophony.

Bridge in Bothell Landing

We laughed, relieved to know they were just having a good time, but not planning on taking over the world.

After our leisurely stroll, we wound around a peaceful section of the Sammamish River Trail to the 102nd Avenue bridge, and followed it to Main Street in Bothell, only to find the Alehouse was…closed. It was Sunday afternoon, and Hubby realized they were closed on Sundays. Darn.

A quick stroll (so we wouldn’t miss Happy Hour somewhere else) back to the car, and we were on our way to Vivendo in the famous Country Village shopping center in Bothell. “I’ve been wanting to check out this place for a while,” Hubby said as we pulled in. By then, it was getting dark, which made the entrance and surrounding stores look very European, with the outdoor patios and white lights.

Javy seated us. He was friendly and very low key, which we appreciate. Our spot was right in the middle of two brick arched windows, looking into the main restaurant. It was quiet. We had the place to ourselves for a few minutes before people began to flow in.  I liked that. The privacy and affordable Happy Hour menu items woke us up to the idea that we need to try Happy Hour more often.

We ordered the Tzatsiki with pita bread  $3.99, Spaghetti Bolognese, $7.50 and a glass of the house wine to share, $4. Both of us were not very hungry, so this was perfect.

A brunette haired woman proudly set down a plate of fluffy, sliced bread with olive oil dipping sauce on our table. “I just made this today. It’s a mix of white and wheat bread…fresh!” – she said with a European accent.

We smiled and thanked her. I loved that she made it herself and personally brought it to us. Talk about personalized service!

Hubby said a prayer, and we crossed ourselves like we always do at dinner. As we snacked on the tasty bread and dipped it in the oil, a broad shouldered, dark haired man walked over to us.

“Excuse me,” he said in a familiar accent. “I noticed you prayed before you ate, and you did the sign of the cross. Are you Greek Orthodox?”

After talking a few minutes, we came to find out his name is Prokopi, and he is a Greek immigrant, just like my Dad. Suddenly it became a small world, as we talked about the church he attends in Seattle – and our church in Shoreline, a different area of Seattle. Then, we were talking about where his family originated in Greece – and where my roots originate in the same country. How cool is that? We came to get a nice, romantic meal and ended up meeting someone we have a connection with?

This is what I love about living here. Bothell has welcomed us with open arms since we moved here a little over a year ago. This city, and the cities around us have such a conglomeration of cultures and people, there’s no way we could ever be bored…even on a $20 budget.

We gave a little extra for the tip, because the service from every person we came in contact with was above and beyond. The food was delicious, and portions were just right. All in all, it came to $21.41.

After our meal, we went through Country Village and looked around at all the stores – closed for the night. Piano music played in the distance from an outdoor speaker. Hubby meandered over to one of our favorite stores, Cranberry Cottage – an eclectic décor store, filled with treasures that always seem to catch our eye.

Hubby gestured to the table in front of the store, filled with select items, on display out in the open.

“It’s surprising that no one steals this stuff-AHHHHHHH!!” He jumped about three feet and yelled. He had forgotten about the signature Cranberry Cottage guard chicken, who always roosts on the display table by the door of the store. Thinking it was a replica of the real thing, Hubby ran right into it…and it MOVED! Coming off of the adrenaline rush, Hubby and I both almost passed out from laughter. The chicken was right on the edge of the table, jutting into the walkway, eyeing us and not amused. That was funny. It’s not every day you run into a live chicken, posing as a fake one.

Can you find the rooster?

We walked a few more minutes, and enjoyed the romantic surroundings of Country Village at night. It was peaceful and still. Usually this place is bustling with  people and activity. It was neat to see it in a different view, all lit up and closed down for the night. Even the ducks were settled down on the lawn  by the creek in the middle of the village.

That was the perfect way to end a busy week. We will definitely go back to Vivendo; and we’re looking forward to more Happy Hour specials and $20 date night afternoons.


  • Romantic appeal (atmosphere) – 5. Dim lights. European surroundings. Places to walk.
  • Food- 4. Good and satisfying.
  • Budget Friendly – 4. Yes, we went slightly over but it was worth it for the service. The Happy Hour menu was affordable and had a nice variety. Love that!
  • Fun and Unique – 5! Crazy crows, great walks. Personalized service, last minute change of location made it spontaneous, and the live chicken topped it all off!
  • Memorable – 5. Are you kidding? Definitely goes down as a historical date night in the Pessemier family.