Cheap date ideas can be tough to think of. But if you’re struggling, you’re probably trying too hard. All it takes to create a great, cheap date is a light heart, a little entertainment and a chance at an out-of-the-ordinary experience.
Here are some tips for creating a great cheap date, along with 50 ideas to get your wheels turning about something inexpensive to do with your significant other:
Cuddle Up with Culture
Learning about things that genuinely interest you both is always fun, and finding new shared interests is a great way to strengthen your relationship. Here are some great cheap date ideas that involve brushing up on culture without shelling out much dough.
1. Check out art galleries and open studios, which exist all over the country and are a great way to learn about local artists.
2. Track down street performers, who flock to big cities every summer and can be incredibly entertaining.
3. Find farmer’s markets, outdoor food co-ops or other street fairs, which bring the nicest farmers and artists out.
4 Look for local musicians, who often play at nearby coffee shops and pubs all year round.
5. Go dancing at a local night club; after the cover the rest of the fun is free.
6. Play bingo, which can seriously be a lot of fun. Plus, the crowd it typically brings out will almost always make you feel young.
7. Find concerts in the park, which even small towns feature during warm months.
8. Take in a little amateur theater, which can be well-produced and fun despite the low cost of tickets.
9. Tour open houses and see how other couples have laid out, decorated and upgraded their homes.
10. Paint coffee mugs at a paint-your-own pottery place, and make something you’ll have for a long time.
11. Find flea markets to barter and bargain hunt for treasures together.
12. Go antiquing, check out all the old trinkets and see if you can talk the shop owner into giving you a deal on something you both want.
13. Take advantage of free museum nights, which are held at almost every museum monthly if not weekly.
14. Hit up the library, find funny books or thumb through coffee table books together.
15. Check out open mic or karaoke nights to hear people perform and maybe even join in yourself.
16. Take a one-day, creative class together to learn to paint, draw, sculpt or even whittle.
Create New Memories Outdoors
Adventure guarantees a sense of newness, and getting outdoors is a cheap way to bond day or night. Sometimes, the best cheap date ideas are ones where you get alone time. That’s one thing that makes getting outdoors for a free date perfect — alone time is almost guaranteed.
16. Go on a hike in the woods together and enjoy the quiet or do a nature scavenger hunt.
17. Bike ride together and turn around whenever the first person gets tired.
18. Go fishing, day or night and see if you can catch something together.
19. Find a hill and go sledding in the winter.
20. Have a camp fire dinner, even if you don’t camp, and make tin foil dinners and s’mores.
21. Take a walking tour of a nearby city to learn more about the area in which you live.
22. Go for a walk on the beach, one of the most stereotypically romantic free dates ever. (It’s a stereotype because it’s true.)
23. Try bird watching, which only takes a book and a pair of binoculars or two.
24. Hit the local swimming pool to cool down with all the kiddies.
25. Take a hay ride at a local farm.
26. Go fruit picking at a local farm or orchard. If you end up with too much fruit, you could always make your own jam.
27. Shop local garage sales for toys, albums and movies you had when you were younger.
28. Go mini-golfing and don’t even think about keeping score.
29. Try your hand at the batting cages.
30. Hit up the driving range for a $10 bucket of golfer’s fun.
31. Find the tallest point in town and enjoy the view.
32. Feed ducks at a local park.
33. Lay in the sun at a local park and watch the clouds or people walking by.
Spice Up an Evening at Home
When my fiancee and I moved in together, we started spending more time in our house alone. Rather than fall into the same boring routine every night, we started having stay-at-home dates. On these evenings, we agree never to fight or talk about serious topics. Instead, we try doing things that are out of the ordinary. Here are some stay-at-home cheap date ideas we’ve considered or tried.
34. Rent a couple movies, make popcorn and have a movie night.
35. Try cooking dinner together from scratch if you don’t typically.
36. Get ahold of a game of Twister and enjoy getting all twisted up together.
37. Get some board games or card games and play for kisses.
38. Have a carpet picnic indoors by candlelight.
39. Bake something together and feed it to each other.
40. Watch a whole season of your favorite show on demand or borrow it from a friend.
41. Make a pizza together and have it with beer or wine.
42. Grill out and eat outside, just the two of you.
43. Have a 2-person dance party to your favorite music.
44. Set up the tent inside and have a ‘camp in’
45. Play truth or dare. No other distractions required.
46. Create something together like a painting or a drawing or do a puzzle.
47. Watch old home videos that otherwise just gather dust.
48. Decorate for an upcoming holiday.
49. Research your ancestry together online.
50. Babysit for a friend and find out what having kids might be like if you don’t have them already. If you do, earn an I.O.U. from a friend for free babysitting next time.
Getting together, having fun, unwinding and strengthening your relationship doesn’t have to cost a lot. There are tons of great cheap ideas like those above bouncing around your head. Just make sure whatever you plan is something you can both genuinely enjoy and won’t just be doing for one another and you’ve got a successful cheap date idea, guaranteed.
Do you and your special someone have a cheap date tradition? Any cheap date ideas I didn’t mention above? Please share your thoughts below.