Dates don’t have to be expensive. In fact, they can be completely free. And cheap dates can be just as good or even better than expensive dates. Here’s why: they are usually more memorable. It takes no thought or creativity to plan dinner and a movie (well, picking which restaurant and movie counts for something), but cheap or free dates require additional thinking on your part. And those are the dates you’ll both likely cherish.
Keep in mind that the purpose of dating is to have fun. You can have fun when you spend a lot of money, but there are many cheap date ideas where you can have fun that require little or no money. Dating is also about companionship. You can be just as satisfied on your date walking hand in hand down the street window shopping as you can after spending more than $100 on a fancy meal.
The goal of dating is to develop an intimate relationship. Or if you’re already married or in a relationship, dating is important to keep the closeness and intimacy alive.
Here are 28 kick ass examples of some cheap date ideas to try:
- WATCHING FIREWORKS
Watching fireworks is a natural for dating. You get to handhold, sitting next to each other on a blanket under the stars. If you get there early enough, you can have time to enjoy a romantic picnic of cheese and grapes or chocolate-covered strawberries before the fireworks begin. When the fireworks start, it’s only natural to sink into his arms, listen to live music that might be playing, and just relax and enjoy yourselves. If you can find a secluded spot away from the crowds and still see the fireworks, even better.
- HAVE A PICNIC IN THE PARK
This cheap date idea requires only good weather, a blanket, and maybe some nice wine, crackers and cheese, or whatever food and beverages you both like. There’s something romantic about a picnic that makes this cheap date one to remember.
- GO TO A FLEA MARKET
There’s always something to see at flea markets, even if you don’t intend to buy anything. You can sit down with refreshment and people watch. But there’s bound to be something small that you can get for him (note what he has his eye on), and you might wind up with an interesting piece of handmade jewelry.
- VISIT A BOTANICAL GARDEN
Strolling through your city’s botanical garden with your honey makes a great cheap date idea. And some gardens actually have planned date nights designed just for sweethearts. Look at the calendar to see whether yours does. Date nights at botanical gardens often offer dancing under the stars too.
- FREE CONCERT
Many cities have free concerts in the park, making this a must-do cheap date idea. Check your local calendar to see who’s playing. Even if the band isn’t your type of music, it can still be a fun day or night out. And who knows, you might even find you like that music style after all.
- GET AN ICE CREAM AND PEOPLE WATCH
If it’s a nice night, take a stroll near an area that has an ice cream shop. Grab a table for two outside, enjoy your sweet treat together, and people watch. You can make up stories about the people you see.
- GRAB COFFEE
If the weather isn’t so nice? Huddle together under one big umbrella as you briskly walk to the nearest coffee shop. If there’s a fire going, sit near there with your favorite coffee treat and cozy up with your guy. Pick up a newspaper or magazine, and read through it together.
- GO ICE-SKATING
Whether you live in a cold climate with outdoor rinks, or you need to go to an indoor one, ice-skating with your guy is a cheap date idea you should try. You get to hold hands during skating. And you then get to take a hot chocolate break and snuggle.
- GO TO A DIVE BAR
It’s fun to go to a dive bar every once in a while. It’s a cheap date idea, and there’s usually bar games too, like darts and pool!
- GO TO A MUSEUM
Check the local museums to see whether there’s a special exhibit, lecture, or even a jazz/cocktail night going on. Museums always have regular collections, and that’s good for an inspirational date, but the special events can keep you coming back.
- ROCK CLIMBING
Indoor rock-climbing can be lots of fun. Challenge your guy to see who can reach the top first. When you get home, give each other a massage.
- THE SHOOTING RANGE
Want your guy to think you’re sexy as all get out? Suggest a date at the shooting range. He’ll find you super-hot shooting that gun, maybe even while you wear tight jeans and stilettos. If neither of you has ever shot a gun, ask an employee at the shooting range to show you how.
- THE BOOKSTORE
Browse the aisles at a bookstore for this cheap date idea, and show each other the books you find interesting. If one of those books is about different sex positions, well then, you have another fun date when you get home.
Here’s the fun part of this cheap date idea. Sit down to program the machine before he does. Instead of typing in his real name, use his pet name. That starts things off on the right foot. Try going to an alley that has special lighting for nighttime bowling.
- FRUIT PICKING
Head out to a local farm and pick fruit. You can do this date with just the two of you, or organize an outing with other couples. When you get home, make something with the fruit you picked.
- SING KARAOKE
It might seem corny, but after you have a beer or a cocktail, karaoke will seem pretty fun. And it’s free. You just pay for your food and drinks. So go ahead and show off (or humiliate yourself) together.
- PLAY TRIVIA
Most sports bars have a trivia night. This might be a fun and cheap way to get your geek on. Who knew you knew how many tentacles a squid has?
- JOG TOGETHER
But try not to turn this date idea into a competition. If you jog regularly, and he doesn’t, keep to his pace. If you like to jog wearing your headphones, give them a rest. Since this is a date, keep a comfortable enough pace that you can talk to him some during the activity. Afterward, you can both shower – and have great shower sex! Do this together if you’re already a couple, or shower separately if you’re not yet intimate, and meet back up for an after-jog meal.
- GO ON A HIKE
Pick a nice fall day, and hike to the top of a mountain (if you find one that isn’t too challenging). Shoot for a 45-minute walk or so for this date idea. When you get to the top, enjoy the view. The two of you can communicate without being distracted by anything. If you go around sundown, it should be romantic. Then, grab a beverage when you get back down.
- RIDE BIKES
If you don’t have bicycles, you can rent some. Plan a route, maybe to a park or beach, or maybe riding along a biking trail. You can take in some scenery or ride side by side as you enjoy the day. If you rent bikes, you might even see about renting a bicycle built for two.
- GO TO THE BEACH
If you’re fortunate enough to live near a beach, take advantage of it. (If not, there’s always a lake.) Morning, afternoon, and evening all make great times for a beach date. A morning walk or jog along the shoreline, an afternoon spent soaking up the sun laying next to your guy on the blanket (and rubbing suntan lotion on each other), or a romantic drive to the beach to watch the sunset at night all make wonderful dates.
- WINE TASTING
This is a good date idea because the wine tasting part is usually free. So you and your guy can taste several wines, find out what you like, and you’ll get some free appetizers to go with the wines, typically. If you choose to, you can always purchase a bottle to continue the tasting at home.
- PIZZA AND MOVIE NIGHT AT HOME
If you’re both tired after a long week, there’s nothing wrong with putting on some comfy clothes, ordering pizza, and curling up on the couch to watch a great movie. The important thing is that you’re spending time together. Just don’t get in the rut of only doing this kind of date. It’s important to actually go out sometimes.
- FARMERS MARKET AND COOKING DINNER
Go to a local farmer’s market together in the morning. You can browse the different vendors, picking up what catches your eye. Many of them can also suggest how to prepare food. When you get home, look up recipes you can make with the ingredients you have. Then make dinner together.
- A BASEBALL GAME
If you sit in the cheap seats up top, a ball game can be a pretty cheap date. Local teams are also pretty affordable. Grab a hot dog and a beer, and you’re all set.
- SIGN UP FOR A CLASS
Community colleges frequently offer classes that last 6 or 8 weeks. You can both learn how to cook, do martial arts, or whatever looks interesting. Make sure you sign up for something that neither of you knows how to do.
- GET A PSYCHIC READING
Pop into one of those houses you see that advertise psychic readings. Although you’re doing this just for fun, the psychic might tell you something pretty interesting. This will give the two of you something to talk about later.
- DINNER AND A MOVIE
And yes, you can still do dinner and a movie. Only make this a cheap date by first checking online deals for restaurants in your area. Hit up a matinee, which will likely be less crowded, too. See if your local theater has a discounted day, or check out a local 99cent theater!
A great date doesn’t have to be an expensive one. We hope we’ve inspired you with these cheap date ideas to get out and enjoy some great dates with your man.