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The idea of date nights can be really scary for couples. It seems like you have to spend a ton of money to make it the best time ever, and that's just not feasible for everyone.
Well, I'm here to tell you that there are plenty of ways to have an amazing date while also being able to save money. In this post, I'll give you 25 fun date ideas for you and your significant other.
Idea #1: Go on a Picnic
Who doesn't love a picnic? Pack up your favorite snacks and drinks, find the perfect park (with tulips) or beach to enjoy them at, sit on some blankets together, get lost in conversation during an epic sunset. It's the stuff of romance novels!
Picnics are great because they're easily accessible to pretty much anyone. All you need is a nice day, and most of us have that in our back pockets!
You can add some extra flair by having your food catered or bringing along a portable grill so you don't even have to pack up leftovers after dinner.
Idea #2: Go for a Drive
Just the two of you. Leave your phones behind and let the scenery guide your conversation. Try to make it a full hour (or more) with no distractions, just talking about anything that comes up naturally in conversation.
You'll find out things about each other that you might not have thought were possible after spending so much time together.
Idea #3: Play Board Games
Good old-fashioned board games are still around for good reason- they're freaking fun! Boardgame cafes are popping up all over these days, which is great because now we can enjoy our favorite pastime without having to clean up afterward or buy an expensive collection of pieces every time we want to play something new.
The same goes for card games like euchre or spades; they're easily accessible and always fun!
Something like trivia night would make a great first date or double date idea because it can be a great icebreaker. It’s a fun way to get to know your date and even some of your date’s interests. This is one of the cheap date night ideas that is a great go-to.
Idea #4: Go to the Local Park
Take a walk through the local park together, have a picnic on one of its many benches, fly kites. Play catch, run around with your dog if you have one. There are infinite things to do at the park that don't cost any money but can bring so much joy to both of your lives.
Idea #5: Go on a Scavenger Hunt
Scour the house looking for these objects in various rooms before going out for dinner. Give clues when someone is close but not revealing all the answers until they're back from getting ready (you'll need about 20 minutes).
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Write down where you hid everything so you can reuse this idea when you get back (unless it was an amazing treasure hunt and they found all of the items on time).
Idea #6: Have a Night In
If you're strapped for cash or just want to make sure your date night comes with a side of romance, turn the lights down low before he/she gets home from work that day.
Have some slow jams queued up on Spotify ready to go once dinner is over; light candles throughout the house while you wait for them to come home; set out wine glasses, pour some chardonnay or pinot noir into each glass, and light a couple of candles.
Watch a movie or binge a new series and just make a romantic night of it. It’s okay to spend date nights in and not spend more money than necessary on a fancy dinner. Movie night can be just as fun as going to a fancy restaurant.
Idea #7: Go to a Festival
Whether it's a small local festival or something huge like Coachella, festivals are great because there is always so much to do without having to spend money.
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There will be plenty of people selling food and drinks while you're walking around checking out the booths, but I recommend bringing your own snacks just in case! It saves some dough if one of you has a sensitive stomach that can't handle street fair grub for dinner.
Idea #8: Go to a Coffee Shop That Has a Music Night
This is a great date idea for those of us that don't always have the money to go out and see a band play or anything like that.
You can spend time discussing your favorite bands, maybe discover some new ones you'd never heard before- all while sipping on coffee without it burning holes in your pockets!
You could also go to a local brewery or another local bar around happy hour and get discounted drinks/appetizers.
Idea #9: Go Stargazing or Watch the Sunset/Sunrise Together
Most people these days are glued to their smartphones 24/hrs per day even when they're spending quality time with loved ones, so this one might be hard if both of you cannot put down your phones for five minutes together.
However, if you manage to find an evening where everyone remembers there's actually something outside worth checking out, go to the park, go stargazing (if it's not cloudy), or if you're both early risers- watch the sunrise.
Idea #10: Go to a Museum or Art Gallery
Whether your city has a free local museum day or some galleries in town have low admission prices during certain hours of the week, museums and art galleries can be very fun but also educational at times!
Check out what exhibits they currently have on display; maybe one of them is something you never would've thought to check out otherwise. Might as well try new things together when outside costs are so minimal.
Idea #11: Volunteer Together
Volunteering is a great way to give back and spend time with your significant other in the process. It's also free, which makes it even more of an awesome thing!
If you're religious or spiritual at all, try visiting your place of worship on Saturday or Sunday morning for their weekly volunteer hours; if not (or maybe they aren't accepting new volunteers), check out local food banks nearby that could always use some extra hands.
You could also volunteer at the local animal shelter for a few hours.
Idea #12: Cook at Home Together
If you think about it, money is really just an object that represents time. The more we spend on things and experiences, the less free time we have in comparison to when we were broke college students living off of ramen noodles and hot pockets (yum).
Why not cook at home together instead? It's a great way to bond over some food-related activities while also saving up for bigger ticket items down the line.
Idea #13: Go Out to Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but you can make it even more special by going out to eat!
It's a great date idea because not only does it give you some time for casual conversation and small talk, but breakfast food (eggs benedict or french toast) always sounds like a good option when we're hungry. Breakfast is also usually much cheaper than dinner.
Idea #14: Do a DIY Photoshoot
If you're both into photography at all, this is a great budget-friendly date idea. You can even theme it around your favorite TV show or movie and make some epic shots to use as profile pictures on social media (if that's something you do).
Find an area with good lighting where the two of you will be able to look like professionals without having to pay anyone else.
Idea #15: Go on a Hike
If the weather is nice, what better way to spend time with your significant other than going on a hike? You can find trails and paths in almost every state; it doesn't matter where you live! These usually aren't too crowded (since most people don't like getting sweaty), so if both of you are afraid of small talk this one's for you. Plus, there's something about being outside that makes us feel refreshed even when we're spending lots of energy climbing up steep hills or rocks.
Idea #16: Go Apple Picking
If you're not sick of fall yet, go apple picking! It's a great way to get outside and spend some time together before the weather gets too cold. If your significant other doesn't care for apples, they might be into pumpkins or oranges instead.
You can even plan out what kinds of pies or jams that will make with all those extra fruits at home if neither one of you are big on eating them by yourself.
Idea #17: Go Camping
Camping is a great way to bond with your partner since you're both outside in the middle of nature. It's cheap too, compared to most resorts or hotels that are much more crowded and busy anyway.
You can hike, fish, and go off-grid to get to know each other better without the distraction of social media.
Idea #18: Go to a Concert in the Park
Music is a great way to spend time together. You can go see your favorite indie band play for free at various outdoor events hosted by local parks or venues near you! These are usually pretty casual, so it's perfect if you're not too into dressing up all fancy-like.
It's also nice that they end relatively early compared to most concerts which run until midnight or later.
Idea #19: Play Mini Golf
Mini golf is a great way to spend some time outside and get in touch with your competitive sides. It's a great icebreaker and a great opportunity to spend time talking with someone and getting to know them without being in a stationary setting such as a restaurant.
Idea #20: Go Ice Skating
Ice skating is a great way to spend some time outside in the winter! It's cheap too, so if you're not looking for anything fancy it doesn't have to be. You can hold hands and skate around together without worrying about slipping or falling hard on the ice.
Idea #21: Go Bowling
Bowling is another classic date idea that doesn't have to be expensive. You can go bowling on a weekday if you're both free, or wait until it's less crowded on the weekends instead. It's also not so loud and rowdy like most bars, so there aren't as many distractions which makes it easier for conversation.
Idea #22: Play Video Games Together
If neither of you cares about going out all the time, play video games together at home! If your significant other isn't into gaming too much (or vice versa), now might be a good time to learn some new tricks from one another. It's also pretty cheap since there's no extra equipment needed.
Idea #23: Rent Bikes or Scooters and Explore Downtown
Renting bikes or scooters and exploring the downtown area of your city is a great date idea. You can have competitions to see who gets around faster for a little friendly competition. It's also nice being able to stop anywhere along the way if there are interesting stores nearby that catch your eye.
You can have some great one on one time while also window shopping for a couple hours.
Idea #24: Take an Art Class Together
Do you have any hobbies or interests that your partner doesn't share? Take an art class together so they can learn more about what makes you tick!
You might even discover something new in the process. It's also nice having a fun date night activity that isn't too expensive either.
If your partner doesn’t share your art hobby, taking a painting or pottery class could be a great way to give them some insight into the things you enjoy.
Idea #25: Go to a Local Sports Game
Does your partner like sports? Go to a local game together! The tickets are usually much cheaper than other places, and you can even split up to buy snacks. It's also nice because it's not too crowded since the stadium is smaller compared to major leagues or franchises.
Cheap Date Night Ideas
Going on dates doesn't have to be an expensive ordeal. There are plenty of things you can do that don't cost a lot and still give you quality time with your partner. The key is to be creative and think outside the box.
Time is much more valuable than the money put into it, and your partner cares a lot more about the time spent with you versus the money spent.
As a certified credit counselor and syndicated writer at MaxMyMoney, Max has coached over 250 Millennials to help take the stress out of money. When Max is not coaching, you'll find him reading financial books, indoor cycling, or visiting local pawn shops looking for swiss-made watches.