Nowadays, it is challenging to find quality time to spend with your significant other. But who says date nights have to be expensive? In fact, having a memorable and enjoyable evening with your loved one doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
Here are 100 super fun, cheap, or even free date night ideas you can try anytime to create lasting memories. Even better, you can ignite the spark with your partner without sweating about money.
1. Cook a romantic dinner together at home.
Here’s a great way to save money and show your partner how much you care. Light some candles, play some music, and make a delicious dinner together. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try a new recipe or just stick with your favorite comfort food.
Additionally, cooking dinner together is a great way to bond and save money.
2. Have your own Chopped competition.
Have you ever watched the TV show Chopped? It is up to the contestants to put together a meal using random ingredients. It’s the same thing you can do at home.
Organize a competition to see who can produce the tastiest meal from random ingredients picked by the other person. The catch is that you only use the food you already have in your pantry, fridge, or freezer.
3. Create a dessert of your choice.
Dinner should be eaten with the family as usual. When the kids are in bed, though, whip up your favorite dessert. There are many tasty desserts you can make, including cakes, brownies, cookies, milkshakes, ice cream sundaes, and banana bread.
You can even play a game of who can decorate the best cake, or who can make the best ice cream sundae the fastest. As long as you’re having fun, it doesn’t matter who wins.
4. Enjoy a movie night at home.
Enjoy your favorite movie while dimming the lights, making popcorn, and snuggling up on the couch. If weather permits, you can use a projector to watch a movie outside.
5. Treat yourself to a DIY spa night.
After getting a pedicure, you can enjoy a nice massage. As a result of your relaxed state, you may even feel like taking a nap afterward or going to bed early.
Among the other spa treatments you can do together at home are:
- Face or foot masks
- Milk bath
- Steam facial
- Milk bath
- Deep conditioning hair treatments
6. Go camping in your backyard.
Without leaving your backyard, you can pitch a tent, roast marshmallows, and enjoy a night under the stars.
7. Plan a patio date.
A cheap date night can be enjoyed on your patio or balcony during the warmer months. Simply add barbecued food or a carry-out meal, some party lights, and a few beverages, and relax. For ambiance, make sure there is music playing.
You can sometimes make date night more romantic by simply changing the scenery.
8. Watch the sunrise together while eating breakfast.
Who said dates were only for the evening?
Spend a romantic morning watching the sun come up over breakfast as you enjoy your time together. If you find it hard to spend time alone with your partner, this is the perfect date idea.
9. Take a moment to meditate together.
Couples who get zen together stay together — or at least avoid drama and fights that make staying together harder. Therefore, spend some time cultivating a meditation practice with your partner
10. Tap into your inner Van Gogh.
Go to the craft store and buy two canvases, some paint, and create your own masterpieces.
11. Install a Karaoke app on your smartphone.
It doesn’t matter if you sound like Beyoncé or a cat in distress, karaoke is always a good time! You can do it for no cost by searching the app store for free apps that you can download and sing along to. Alternatively, you can search for karaoke tracks on YouTube and blast them through some speakers.
12. Start a garden together.
Try planting a small garden in your backyard (or even on your balcony) together. It will be fun to watch your herbs, vegetables, and flowers grow over time. In addition to making something new together, this is a great way to spend some time outside.
13. Play a 20 questions game.
Enjoy a little fun while getting to know each other with the couples 20 question game. This fun idea for a home date can also be customized.
14. Brew your own beverage.
Try making your own beer, flavored iced tea, or soda by learning how to brew your own. Eventually, you might realize you have a talent and can brew your own beverage. And, who knows? Maybe it’s good enough that you could sell it as a side hustle.
15. Together, paint a room.
Would you like to upgrade a room in your home? Choose a new paint color together and get creative.
16. Complete a DIY project.
Work together on a simple DIY project. Whether it’s making a picture frame or building furniture, it can be as small or as ambitious as you want. Make your way to the hardware store to get your supplies and get started.
17. Imagine yourself in a movie.
You can relive your favorite moments from your favorite cheesy movies. For example, you could reenact iconic scenes from Casablanca, Jerry Macquire, The Princess Bride, Dirty Dancing, or The Notebook.
18. Have breakfast in bed with each other.
On weekends, take turns making breast breakfast in bed. Whenever your partner wakes up, pick out their favorite foods and feed them.
19. Share what you have learned with one another.
If you know something your partner doesn’t, and they know something you don’t, then you probably know something they don’t. A fun and cheap date night is a great opportunity for you to learn from one another.
20. Have a book club for two.
You should both choose a book you are both interested in and discuss it regularly over coffee or tea.
21. Share love letters with each other.
Write each other heartfelt love letters if you’re exchanging L-bombs in your relationship. Alternatively, if it’s not, send each other heartfelt letters, even if it’s just to say what caught your attention.
22. Come up with a bucket list together
It can be exhilarating to create a bucket list together because you’re looking forward to the fun part of your lives. If you want to achieve it, you can start a vacation fund.
You can make a bucket list vision board to add even more fun to the experience. Post a picture of everything you want to see and do on a board so you can look at it every day.
23. Set financial goals together
It may not seem sexy, but, since you’re on a budget, you can also talk about your financial goals.
The three types of goals you can plan for together are short-term, mid-term, and long-term. Depending on your goals, you may want to save for a house or start a side business with your partner.
24. Join forces to declutter.
Date nights can be fun and productive at the same time. Despite your best intentions, you haven’t taken the time to declutter your home.
While spending time together, you can declutter your home as part of your date night. Additionally, you can sell your stuff to make extra money.
25. Create a time capsule.
Embrace the idea of creating your own time capsule by gathering objects, letters, newspaper articles, and so on. In 10 years, you can uncover it by finding a fun place to bury it.
Explore the Great Outdoors
26. Go for a hike.
Don your sneakers, head to the nearest trail, and hike with your significant other. If you like sunrise hikes, you’ll get some great Instagram shots.
27. Plan a picnic in the park.
Enjoy a romantic picnic at your local park with a delicious lunch and a cozy blanket.
28. Enjoy a sunset stroll.
While watching a breathtaking sunset with your loved one, be awestruck by the beauty of nature.
29. Go for a bike ride.
Discover new paths on two wheels while exploring your city or neighborhood. In addition, you both can enjoy the fresh air.
30. Plan a canoe trip.
Visit a reservoir, river, or lake with a canoe or kayak rented from an outdoor store. Just in case you fall in, remember your swimsuit and life jacket.
31. Spend the day at the beach.
The beach is another great outdoor date idea – just don’t forget the sunscreen! Put on your bathing suit, sandals, and sunglasses, and head to the shore.
Surf lessons, boogie boarding, building sandcastles, playing beach volleyball, or simply lying on the beach soaking up the rays are just a few of the fun activities you can engage in at the beach.
32. Take a fishing trip.
Enjoy a catch-and-release fishing excursion together or take a turn at catching your own dinner. You’ll only need a fishing permit, a pole, and folding chairs to get started.
33. Embark on a ferry ride.
If you want a change of scenery, relocate your date to the nearest ferry. Consider an unexplored area for a longer day trip or a short round-trip ride for a first date in which you’re still getting to know each other — literally and metaphorically.
34. Go tubing on a river.
Spend an afternoon floating down a river on inflatable tubes.
Consider ice skating, sledding, or visiting a cider mill during cold weather.
35. Find geocaches in your local area.
A geocache is a treasure hunt that’s both exciting and free. Find geocaches hidden in your local area and try to find as many as possible.
36. Train together for a race.
Consider joining a running, swimming, or cycling race together. You can achieve your goals as a team by keeping each other accountable and training together.
37. Visit a farm to pick fruit.
Enjoy your bounty of fresh fruits at home and take them home for later for a delicious home-cooked meal or dessert.
Check out your bird-watching guide and binoculars to see how many different species you can see together.
How long has it been since you last looked up from your phone? Grab a blanket and search for your favorite constellation. The app Star Tracker can provide you with some guidance if you need it.
40. Feed the ducks at a park.
A nearby park offers duck feeding and nature viewing so you can enjoy a relaxing day. However, the best food for ducks is whole grains and seeds rather than bread.
41. Visit the zoo.
Many zoos offer free admission or discounted admission on certain days. There may even be a free local zoo near you. This is a great way to get your steps in while learning more about your favorite animals.
42. Play lawn games.
There is a wide variety of games available, such as miniature golf, flying kits, bocce ball, cornhole, frisbee, and playing catch. Get some competition going and place a friendly wager on the game.
43. Take part in a charity walk.
Taking part in a charity walk or run is a fun date idea that goes beyond the relationship. Walking, running, or jogging during the event will give you and your date a sense that you’re contributing to a worthwhile cause.
44. Clean up your neighborhood.
Do you want to make a positive impact on your community? Organize a park or street cleanup together for your next date.
Out and About
45. Enjoy a free wine tasting at a winery.
The two of you will enjoy an afternoon together. And you might discover a new favorite wine to bring home for your next date night at home.
46. Attend a trivia night.
You can test your knowledge of random facts at a local bar by signing up for trivia night. Cash prizes are typically awarded to winners, so you can split the pot — or save it for a special occasion.
47. Visit a nearby city or town.
Get a taste of a nearby city or town by taking a day trip there.
48. Do some window shopping.
Admire the window displays in a nearby shopping district. The two of you can even imagine what your dream home would be or what your ideal wardrobe would be like.
Or, if it’s bad weather, you can browse IKEA for home decor inspiration. While you’re there, you can even eat some Swedish meatballs for an affordable meal.
49. Discover walking tours near you.
Most big cities offer guided walking tours, either for free or for a fee. The tour is a great way to get out of your neighborhood and learn more about your hometown. It’s also a good way to discover new places for dates.
50. Take a look at street performers in your city.
In major cities, street performers provide great entertainment while you’re walking around. They are often found in busy areas.
51. Attend an expensive open house.
See if there are any open houses in your area and see if you and your date can afford the dream home you have always dreamed of. I would recommend putting on nicer wardrobes so that you fit in. Plus, it’s also fun to get dressed up.
52. Check out a new food truck.
You can enjoy delicious food on the cheap while exploring your city or strolling around a new neighborhood. It’s a win-win.
53. Take a test drive in the car of your dreams
Try out your dream car with your date at a local dealership and rev up the relationship. Perhaps you’ll actually purchase it-in which case, the date won’t be free, but you’ll still have a good time.
54. Attend a concert in the park.
You can sometimes attend for free, and sometimes you have to pay a small fee. No matter what, it’s worth it to hear some great music at night.
55. Visit your local library.
The library is full of fascinating facts and interesting books. Learn something new together as you browse.
56. Sample food at a market.
Are you hungry but don’t want to spend a lot on a restaurant date? Grab some delicious samples at a local food market or festival with your date. You can also shop at Costco on a low-key basis.
57. Enjoy a scenic drive.
Embark on a romantic drive through the countryside or along a picturesque coastline, enjoying the company of your loved one.
58. Go garage-sale shopping.
Start your day off early by hitting the neighborhood garage sales. Try to haggle your way to the most treasures by setting yourselves a small budget (say, $10 or $20 each). Or, you make some extra cash on the side by flipping the items you buy.
59. Attend a local carnival or amusement park.
Who doesn’t enjoy a stroll around a fair or buying a snack you normally wouldn’t eat? You can usually get in free to many local church festivals or carnivals; you just have to pay for the activities you want to take part in, like playing games or eating.
60. Visit an animal shelter.
Visiting your local animal shelter is an excellent way to spend some time cuddling kittens or puppies. As well as relaxing and de-stressing, you’ll also be helping these little guys who need love and attention before they are adopted.
61. Spend a night at a museum.
You can find out if your local museum offers free admission by checking their website — FYI, it’s usually it’s in the evening. You and your special someone can browse around the exhibits and pick out pieces that appeal to you.
62. Visit a local antique store.
Old objects have stories and history. Peruse a vintage store and discuss the past lives of the things you see for sale. Get as creative as you’d like for a good time.
63. Take a trip to a botanical garden.
Taking a stroll together through a local botanical garden is a great way to get to know each other better. If you love nature, this is the perfect date for you.
64. Get cheap tickets for sporting events.
Depending on the sport, there may be no or low entrance fees for high school, college, and club sports. Some pro teams even offer discounts for day games, seniors, or college students. Consider the current season and your interests when choosing a sport.
65. Watch a movie at a drive-in for a low price.
In the summer, many places turn their parking lots into huge drive-in movie theaters. Take a look at what’s available locally. There are so many cheap date ideas available, but so few people know about them.
66. Have a photo shoot.
Make the most out of the day by pretending you’re models for the day and having a photo shoot around the neighborhood or at home. Don’t be afraid to be creative with your poses and backdrops.
67. Enjoy a cup of coffee while strolling around a town square.
Is there anything better than coffee and conversation? A stroll across some nice scenery would be the perfect match.
68. Attend a local play.
A school or a college often puts on a play or a musical. The ticket prices are reasonable, and the proceeds go directly to the local organizations. Adding some entertainment to your local cheap date night is a great idea.
69. Check out the art gallery.
Check out your local art gallery and pretend you’re art critics for a day. On certain days, many galleries offer free admission or discounted rates, making it a great way to spend a couple of hours.
70. Take part in an open mic night or improv.
Whether you want to watch or participate, open mic nights or improv are fun. Alternatively, you can sing at a Karaoke bar. Or attend a comedy night somewhere.
71. Take a ride on a train or trolley.
When we’re always on the go, it can be nice to ride a leisurely mode of transportation somewhere. Whether you want to go sightseeing on a budget, explore a new place, or simply relax and let your mind wander, you can do it all.
72. Go ghost hunting.
Find out if there are any ghosts or paranormal activities at some local haunted spots.
73. Consult a psychic.
Ask a psychic to read your palms or tarot cards. There are probably some predictions you’ll both find funny. But, sometimes there is truth. A psychic, for instance, accurately predicted the hair color of his future wife and the number of children they would have together.
74. Run errands together.
How can running errands be romantic? One of the reasons is that you leave your kids with a sitter at home. Besides, you’ll have a blast strolling Target aisles or picking up groceries – just you two.
75. Volunteer together.
Make a difference in someone’s life by participating in a local charity or community event.
Tap into Nostalgia
76. Take a look at old yearbooks.
In retrospect, once enough time has passed, you’ll find that these hardbound keepsakes are actually quite funny and adorable to look back on. Take a trip down memory lane with your most embarrassing/funny/embarrassing/brag-worthy yearbooks.
77. Share embarrassing photos.
Trade some old photos with your date, whether they’re funny baby pictures or cringe-worthy high school graduation photos. Besides providing some good laughs, it will keep your conversation flowing and help you both see things from different perspectives.
78. Date night with arts and crafts.
When you were a kid, did you love making arts and crafts? Chances are, if you have kids, you have a lot of arts and crafts supplies. You can get creative by raiding kids’ paints, crayons, and art supplies.
Make paper plate animal masks and compete to see who can make the best. Or, painting landscape portraits with Bob Ross is a really fun way to make it extra fun. The key is to enjoy yourself, whatever you do
79. Create a slip ‘n slide.
Slip ‘n Slides are a summer must-have for kids. But, you can also enjoy this activity as an adult. Besides being a surefire hit, this silly date is a great way to cool off during the summer.
80. Plan a treasure hunt.
Find hidden treasures with your family and friends by placing clues around your home or neighborhood.
81. Play board games.
It’s also possible to get a little more adventurous with some strategy games or classics like Monopoly, Clue, or Risk. Alternatively, checkers is always a good choice if you want something a little less cerebral.
82. Go to the arcade for the night.
All you need are some quarters to have a blast at an arcade. To make it more exciting, place a bet on the person who is most likely to win the largest prize.
83. Play retro video games.
Switch on that Nintendo 64 and dust off those old controllers! Play Mario Kart, Mario Party, and all your favorite classics as Mario, Princess Peach, or Toad for the night.
84. Listen to your throwback records, vintage tapes, or mix CDs.
When you were dating, pick the albums that meant the most to you. Alternatively, if you’re dating, share songs that were important to you before.
85. Design and build a blanket fort.
Get in touch with your inner child by building an indoor blanket (or pillow) fort.
86. Fly kites or RC planes.
This is a cheap and fun way to get outside, get some fresh air, and feel like a kid again.
87. Have a water gun fight.
Get water guns out and have a fight. That’s all I have to say. What about a winter alternate? Have an old-fashioned snowball fight.
88. Go rollerblading or skating.
A local park is a great place to get good exercise; or, head to a skating rink. Ice skating is an excellent cold winter alternative.
89. Relive your first date.
First dates can be fun, romantic, and awkward at the same time. Think back on that first date and remember all the best parts.
90. Hide and Seek with a flashlight.
It’s no secret that children love to play hide and seek. It doesn’t matter if they hide in the same five places (and over and over again). Make this fun game even more fun by playing it at night.
Play hide and seek with flashlights only while the entire house is dark. By shining their light on you, the seeker will find you. In the dark, you can hide in so many places.
Go on a Double Date
91. Rent or borrow bikes to explore the city.
When it comes to seeing a city, what is the best method? Go for a bike ride. As a result, you’ll get some exercise and fresh air, and you’ll cover more ground. Plus, you have plenty to discuss with your group.
92. Do a taste test.
To compare food from three places, pick up the same kind from each. Consider pizza, cookies, or brownies that are small and inexpensive.
93. Complete a mystery board game.
You’ll have a blast playing these murder mystery games with your partner and friends. As one of the best cheap date ideas, this one is wildly popular and around $20.
94. Play Groupon roulette.
Among the things Groupon offers, some are definitely better than others. Why not give something new a try?
Take a look at the site and choose something you wouldn’t normally do, such as a dance class or a paint night. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone with your couple of friends.
95. Go bowling.
You’ll pay less if you bowl early. For up to five people, an hour of bowling at my local bowling alley costs only $20. There is an additional fee of $3 for shoe rentals.
96. Arrange a potluck.
Potluck dinners are a great option for a budget-friendly feast. Plus, it’s a great way to show off your signature dish.
97. Visit a dog park with your dogs.
Take your dog or the dog of a friend to the dog park. The exercise and extra attention will benefit your dog, as well as your socialization with other furry friends. You are basically on a triple date if you are meeting a couple who also owns a dog.
98. Get together and learn a new language, then make plans to go somewhere where you can speak it someday.
Couldn’t it be cool if you could converse with people from another country in their own language? As well as being fun and useful, learning a new language increases brain function and clarity as well.
Taking a class online or in person is an option for you and your friends. Once you’re ready, tell yourselves you’re saving up to travel to the destination of your choice, which will make for a memorable double date.
99. Have a yard sale.
Would you like to get rid of some things that are collecting dust with your friends? Join together for a yard sale. It will be fun to create the plan, decorate the signs, and host the event with your friends. As a result, your house will be less cluttered, you’ll have more money, and you’ll be closer to each other.
100. Make your double date a finanical challenge.
Ensure that each couple agrees to challenge each other to a date under $50 — including childcare.
Date nights are successful if you spend quality time with your partner, not if you spend a lot of money. The 100 ideas featured here will help you create cherished memories and nurture your relationship without straining your wallet.
So, what are you waiting for? Plan your next unforgettable date night now.
When it comes to dating, how much should you actually spend?
According to Cosmopolitan, men spend on average $80 on their first date. On average, people spend $50-$100 on date nights once a month, based on other sources. 58% of women, however, do not even want to go on expensive dates, according to Match.com.
What are some good cheap date ideas for a first date?
It’s possible to keep things low-key and affordable on your first date. For a cheap first date, try these ideas:
- Take a walk or have a coffee.
- Explore your neighborhood on foot.
- Take a picnic at the park.
- Visit a museum or art gallery.
- Enjoy a free concert or show.
- Go bowling or mini-golfing.
- Play board games or video games together.
- Observe the stars.
- Volunteer together.
Is there a way to make a cheap date more special?
You can still make your date special even on a budget. The following tips will help:
- Even a little bit of dressing up goes a long way.
- If you can, bring flowers or a small gift.
- Choose a fun activity that you and your partner will both enjoy.
- Be sure to think about the details, such as reservations and setting the mood.
- Invest time in getting to know each other and spending quality time together.
What makes a cheap date fun?
There are many ways to make a cheap date fun. Here are a few tips:
- Imagination is key. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box if you want to have fun on a budget.
- Keep the experience in mind. What matters most is having fun and enjoying one another’s company. There is no need to worry about spending a lot of money.
- Be spontaneous. Sometimes the best dates are the ones that aren’t planned. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of something that catches your attention.
- Work together as a team. You can have a lot of fun planning a date with your partner. Brainstorm ideas and pick activities you both enjoy.
- Ask for help if you need it. If you can’t come up with any ideas, ask your friends or family for suggestions. You might get some good ideas for a fun and cheap date from them.