Keith and I are blessed to have every-other-week date nights in this season of our lives. As much of a blessing as that is, it's also an easy way to drop $50 bucks or so between dinner and a movie. Because of that, there are not many weeks that we go that traditional route, opting instead for a paddleboat ride, browsing at the bookstore, or eating pizza.
If you're in the mood for actual "entertainment" though, there are lots of free or almost-free options if you live in a town with a university or even a high school. We have enjoyed going to a free choir concert at Christmas and several $5 plays at the local high school. The municipal band plays in the park during the summer, and an art gallery hosts live music on Thursday nights. We've attended high quality classical strings performances by music professors and there are often sponsored guest lectures open to the public as well. If you've a craving for some culture, forget the $60 tickets to a concert or Broadway show, and check out the homegrown talent in your area.