You don’t have to be a high roller to plan and execute an exciting, rewarding date. Many men and women alike have found that some of the best dates are those that are heavy on thought and light on cash. If you find yourself with budgetary constraints with your next date looming, here are 50 great ideas that won’t stretch your wallet too wide.
1. A Date in the Park
Whether you live in a big city or a smaller town, there is likely a city park where you can spend some time. There, you can spend time taking in the sights, enjoying the animals, or even viewing a little bit of the local history. Most importantly, public parks are free of charge.
2. Planning a Picnic
Though it may feel cliché, a picnic is a good way to show your sensitive side without breaking the bank. You can buy some fruit for a few dollars, and sandwiches won’t break the bank, either. Pick out a meadow, and you will be good to go.
3. Ice Skating
Most cities provide the ability to do some ice skating. This will only cost a few dollars, and it can be a great way to get active with your date.
4. Playing Tennis
Tennis is one of the best date sports, as it’s something that men and women can play without much of a problem. Many cities and towns have free public courts, so if you have racquets and balls, you can play without spending a dime. This can also be a great opportunity to show off your skills.
5. Going to the Mall
Most people enjoy the mall, even if it’s just for the people watching. You can head there without spending much, and if you keep your eyes open, you can get some ideas on future gifts.
6. Fishing at a Local Pond
One of the keys to a great date is doing something that is both fun and interesting. Fishing fits the bill, and you can do it for just a little bit of money at many local ponds. You may have to bait the hook for your date, but this is a good way to show your ruggedness.
7. A Day at the Beach
If you are lucky enough to live near the beach, you can usually go there for free. Bring along a frisbee or some kind of ball to liven things up a bit. Just make sure that you have your beach body ready before you head down to the shore.
8. Lunch and a Matinee
It is a new spin on an old favorite. You don’t have to break the bank with dinner and a movie. Just do lunch and a matinee. This way, you can go to that nice restaurant on the cheap, and you can get those movie tickets for a discounted price.
9. Free Outdoor Movie Screenings
Some of the country’s biggest cities offer free movie screenings during the warm months. There, you can sit out on the lawn and enjoy some classic without spending a dime. This is a great way to experience a film without the expensive and stuffy theater setting.
10. Create your own Home Spa
A great spa date is the ideal choice for many women. You can save money by turning your own home into a spa. Just buy some oils, a nice bath bomb, and some candles. You can become the masseuse of your own parlor.
Making a collage or a scrapbook is not just the province of mothers anymore. If you and your date have been together for a while, you can put together a book of your favorite memories
12. Your Own Painting Night
One of the best ways to get to know one another is to paint together. Many places let you pay dozens of dollars to do this. You can buy a cheap bottle of wine and set up your own palate.
13. Bake at Home Night
Whether you love cookies, brownies, or something else, you and your date can turn your kitchen into a special bakery. Have some fun and throw a little bit of flour around.
14. Tour a Home for Sale
If you aren’t yet homeowners, then you might take a stroll through a home that’s on the market. Make sure it’s a home that you might like to own one day.
15. Explore a New City
If you live in a city, then go to a different neighborhood and check out the sights. If you’re not in a city, then drive to the closest one and do some people watching.
16. Volunteer Together
There is nothing like giving back in the community to build a connection. Go to a local soup kitchen together to spend a few hours. Work on a Habitat for Humanity home if you can find one. This won’t cost a thing, and you’ll feel great when it’s all over.
17. Taking a Group Class Together
You might benefit from learning something new. Maybe it can be yoga or perhaps you could take comedy classes. These won’t cost a lot, and you can bond in a unique way.
18. Take a Hike
If you are lucky enough to live near the mountains, then head there. If you just have a trail, you might benefit from feeling the fresh air there.
19. Take in a Little League Game
If you want to go to a baseball game without the cost of the big leagues, then you might go out and watch some little leaguers. This won’t cost anything, and you can get a few laughs along the way.
20. Running is for Lovers
Some couples like to spend time working out in the same gym. Others like to save money by going for runs together. If you both like to work out, then this can be a great way to kill a few minutes together.
21. Spending Time at the Playground
Who says that playgrounds are just for children? Why not spend an afternoon or evening at a local playground? Push each other on the swings or go down the slide. This can make you feel young again.
22. Bike Through Town
If you are lucky enough to own a couple of bikes, then you can start this date for no cost. If not, then you can spend a few bucks to rent a couple of bikes for an hour. This is a good way to stay active without having to go through a full workout together.
23. The Zoo is Cheap
If you have a zoo in your city, you can usually gain access for only a few dollars. If you happen to be in college, a number of zoos will offer free admittance on certain days of the week. This is a good way to spend an entire day with the one you love.
24. Museums on Special Nights
Some museums will provide patrons with one free night per week, or they might have certain exhibits that feature a reduced entrance fee. If you and your date are into history, artifacts, or just some cool architecture, then this can be a lot of fun.
25. Book Shops for Quaint Dates
Whether you have a small book store or you find a large one, you can spend hours sitting with your date in one of these places. You could both grab a book, read a few pages, then talk about what you read.
26. Local Jazz on the Cheap
You don’t have to live in New Orleans or Memphis to enjoy jazz. Many cities have jazz clubs where you can enjoy great music for free. Just grab one drink and let the music carry the evening.
27. Local Colleges and their Plays
If you can’t afford Broadway, then you should head for the next best thing. Many local colleges put on productions, and you can save a lot of money while still seeing a great show.
28. Take in a Local Speaker
If you and your date happen to be intellectuals, then you can spend an afternoon listening to a speaker that interests you. This becomes much easier if you live in a place with multiple colleges.
29. State and National Parks
Some national parks provide the most beautiful views your date will ever see. If you aren’t lucky enough to be near Glacier, Yellowstone, or Acadia, then you can head to your local state park.
If you and your date are to the point where you’re staying together, then you might volunteer to house-sit or dog-sit for your friends and family. This can be a great way to get a mini-getaway without having to spring for a hotel out of town.
31. Board Games are Made for Double-Dates
If you can round up another couple, then you can play board games at little to no cost. Games like Settlers of Catan and Monopoly can provide fun for a few hours, and if you add in some wine, they can be highly entertaining.
32. The Local Bar Trivia Night
There is nothing like a bit of competition to get the juices flowing. Go to a local bar, grab a drink, and play some trivia. If your bar doesn’t offer trivia, then maybe you can take in their bingo night.
33. The Kings of Karaoke
Just going to a bar isn’t too much fun, but when you add karaoke into the mix, your date will be much more entertaining. Try singing a duet with your date, and show off those impressive pipes.
34. Flea Market Afternoons
Everyone can find something they love at the local flea market. This is shopping with a twist, and you can leave with a car full of stuff without spending too much. As an added bonus, this will reveal something about your date’s personality.
35. Saturday Garage Sale Hunting
Get up early one Saturday morning and attend one of those garage sales that people are always advertising. You might find something cool to buy, and at the very least, you and your date will see some interesting people.
36. Roller Skating
If ice isn’t your thing and you don’t mind being surrounded by a bunch of kids, the roller skating rink is a great place to spend a night. Rent some skates, hold hands, and purchase some of the best pizza you will ever find.
For less than ten bucks each, you can play a round of mini-golf. Put a small wager on the match, and you might just end the night getting that back rub you’ve needed.
38. Picking your own Fruit
Go to the local apple orchard or strawberry farm, and see which one of you can put together the best looking basket. These fruit farms will often let you spend hours, and you will only pay the price of the fruit.
39. Brewery or Winery Tours
Many local breweries and wineries will offer tours for only a few dollars, and while you are there, you will have the opportunity to drink on the cheap. Alternate weekends with beer or wine depending upon your dueling interests.
40. Bowling on a Budget
You can rent shoes for a few dollars, and each game will only cost a couple of bucks. You can spend a great night at the bowling alley without breaking the bank.
41. Going to the Fair or Carnival
Indulge the child inside and ride a Ferris wheel. Spend some time eating cotton candy or play the carnival games. This can cost a little or a lot depending upon how much fun you want to have.
42. Test Drive the Nicest Car
Put on your best suit, head down to the local dealership, and take a great car out for a spin. This won’t work unless you are presentable and have decent credit, but if you can pull it off, you will have an incredible hour or more.
43. Haunted Houses and Hay Rides
As Halloween approaches, you might find cheap dates that will scare your date a little bit. Local haunted houses are a lot of fun, and some places around the country will offer cheap hay rides.
44. Luck Be a Lady
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have fun at the casino. Play the low-limit tables, drink for free, and spend the night with your date draped over your arm.
45. Getting a Psychic Reading
Have you ever driven by one of those psychic reading houses and wondered what goes on inside? Next time you’re on the hunt for a good date idea, stop at one of those places. For a few dollars, you can learn one version of the future.
46. A Blanket by the Stars
It costs nothing to sit out and look at the stars. If you are desperate for a great, romantic date, then grab some dessert wine and throw a blanket down on a clear night.
47. Visit your Childhood Home
If you happen to live close to where you grew up, take the time to visit your old stomping grounds. Take your date around your old street to show them where you learned to walk, talk, and everything else important in life.
48. An Underrated Coffee Shop
Chances are that a good coffee shop is waiting for you right in the middle of your town. Get up early one day and grab breakfast with your date at the coffee shop you’ve been meaning to try.
49. Attend that Local Cookout
During the nicer months, people will undoubtedly invite you to local cookouts. Take them up on that offer this time, and if you’re allowed, bring along a date. You might be surprised by how often you turn down free food and drink.
50. Breakfast in Bed
Early one morning, surprise your date with breakfast in bed. Breakfast foods are notoriously cheap, and you can score major points by cooking up a great meal while your date is fast asleep.