You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a date awesome. Nowadays it seems like dating is super expensive. The average dinner date can easily be $50 to $100. Sometimes the cheap dates or even the free dates are the best ones. In this list of 20 cheap date ideas, you will find something for everyone. They won’t break the budget but they are still full-priced fun.
Each of these cheap date ideas will include a summary and then a link to my longer in-depth post about that date if you would like to learn more or read about my experience with that particular date.
While I am thinking about it, there are ways to do more popular dates, even cheaper. Browse Groupon, there are always great deals to be found there.
10 of My Favorite Outdoor Cheap Date Ideas
Next on the list is stargazing. There is something awesome about relaxing on a cool evening, on a hill overlooking the sitting, but a little away from the light pollution, and gazing up at the stars. You don’t even need a telescope if you don’t want to buy one or have one. Make it more special and plan it on a night when there is supposed to be a meteor shower. Read all about the Stargazing here.
2. Kite Flying
Next up on the list of 20 cheap date ideas is kite flying. Whether you head to the beach, the park, or in your front yard, kite flying is a really fun cheap date idea. You can buy a cheap kite, or better yet, spend some time together and make one. Find out more about this date idea here.
3. A Picnic and Walk in the Park
Time for one of the best and classic cheap date ideas, a picnic, and a walk in the park. Seriously, this is one of my favorite dates, and not because it is cheap. I just really enjoy going to a cool park, with some yummy food, good company, and getting to know that person better. It helps if the park is amazing. But you can do it pretty much anywhere you like. Read all about this date idea here.
4. Go for a Drive
Have a car and some gas? Then you can do this next cheap date idea. Going for a drive is a perfect way to explore and see some awesome sites, as well as get to know the other person. Maybe there is a State Park or National Park near you that you want to drive to, or maybe, you live near some majestic mountains or the beach. All you need is a road! Read more about this date here.
5. Laptop Movie in a Park
Movies are one of America’s favorite pastimes but can make for an expensive date idea with the prices of tickets. If you are planning on watching a movie for your date and you want to make it more creative, romantic, and cheap, do a laptop movie in a park instead. Set out a blanket and bring a laptop that has a DVD drive, or download a digital copy of it. Bring some popcorn, bottled drinks, and some homemade treats. Read more about this awesome cheap date idea here.
Do you want some fun homemade treat recipes? Make sure to check out my other website, In The Kitchen With Matt.
6. Visit the Hot Springs
Next on the list of cheap date ideas is to visit the local Hot Springs, if you have any within a reasonable distance. This date idea can be combined with the Scenic drive idea. Many places in the US and around the world have natural hot springs or commercially developed hot springs. Nature’s jacuzzi is what I like to call them. They are relaxing and make for a fun cheap date idea. Read more about it here.
7. Snow Cave
If it snows where you live, or you have snow within a reasonable distance, make a snow cave with your date. Not only is it a cheap date, but you also get some exercise, and it is so fun making it and going inside. And not to mention it is a nice survival skill to have. This works great as a cheap group date idea. Read all about the snow cave date here.
8. Provide Service
Next up on the list of cheap date ideas is providing service. If you and your date are in a “giving” mood, you could do a service activity together. Some ideas on how to provide service could be volunteering at a soup kitchen at Christmas time, or maybe you could set up a free car wash for a few hours.
You could go to one of your neighbor’s houses, maybe an elderly couple’s home, and do yardwork for them. And then afterward have a water fight to clean off. You will get some exercise and it just feels really good to help others. You can read more about this date idea here.
9. Visit Downtown
Don’t get to the city much? This cheap date idea is perfect for you. Grab your date and head downtown and check out the buildings, window-shop, and just walk around and explore the area. Read more about this fun cheap date idea here.
10. House Hunting
Another on the list of cheap date ideas is to go house hunting. Even if you aren’t in the market to buy a home it is fun to go to the new communities and walk through the display homes and look at the different floor plans. Or to go on a tour of the latest mansion to go on sale. Read more about this idea here.
10 Awesome Indoor Cheap Date Ideas
First up is Elevator Tag
I go the inspiration from this cheap date idea from the movie Serendipity. Basically, it involves a building with a few floors and a couple of elevators. The more you have the better the game. Each of you goes in one of the elevators and then you randomly pick a floor, hoping that you each pick the same floor. It is free and fun and can be done with just the two of you or in a group date setting. Read more about Elevator Tag here.
Is Scrapbooking dead in this digital age? It doesn’t have to be. Plenty of stores like Michaels or Hobby Lobby still carry loads of scrapbooking supplies. A fun and cheap idea for a date would be to put together a scrapbook with pictures of you and your significant other together. Most of the time, the girls are the ones interested in this (Shocking? Nope.). Surprise her by showing interest in it as well. Read more about this cheap date idea here.
3. Free Food Date
Next up on the list of cheap date ideas is the free food date. Basically, you drive around to all the stores you know give out free samples. Yeah, it’s simple, but it’s fun, it’s free, and you can bring some competition into the day; make a game out of it and see who can get the most freebies. A big store that comes to mind, that hands out samples, is Costco. Read more here!
Take your date to a place that has karaoke and show off your singing skills . . . or lack thereof. Whether or not you’re an excellent singer doesn’t matter. Is anyone really a good singer that does karaoke? There may be a few, but for the most part, it’s just fun to be up there and jam. This can also be done at your home and makes a great group date. Read more about the Karaoke Date here.
5. Explore a Museum
For a cultured experience, take your date and explore a museum. There are all sorts of museums you can go to, with interesting exhibits ranging from everything like Egyptian, dinosaur, and air and space.
Museums are great because you get to learn cool stuff about, well, cool stuff. Plus, you automatically feel kind of special and sophisticated going inside a museum, almost like your IQ just went up 20 points. For more about this cheap date idea go here.
6. Visit the Library
For a relaxing and intellectual evening, take your date and visit the library. Each of you picks out one of your favorite books, then find a spot on a couch and cuddle up for some reading. You could borrow a movie if you wanted, then go home and watch it with some popcorn.
Bookstores like Barnes and Noble are good for dates like this as well. You could get some food at the café there and then pick out a magazine or book to read. Read more here.
7. Questions Game
The questions game is a brilliant get-to-know-you type date and is very simple. It is pretty easy: each of you takes turns asking each other creative questions in order to get to know them better. I’ve done this on first dates a couple of times, and it works pretty well. Especially if you are having trouble thinking of something to ask or say. Read more about this date idea here.
8. Working Out at the Gym
Picture this: music fades in, and it’s one of the most iconic working out songs of all time, Eye of the Tiger. It plays with unabashed intensity; you smile at your date as you tie your shoelaces, and then take a long swig of water. You look across the yoga mat at her. Not many words are spoken; you just enjoy each other’s company as you burn the calories from last night’s glorious dinner and the slice of cheesecake you both felt guilty and not guilty about eating. Working out is a great cheap date idea! Read more about it here.
9. Visit a Planetarium
Before you judge, let me just tell you—a planetarium is cooler than you think. Taking your date to one is a great way to experience the universe. This activity is an awesome date idea, especially if your date likes astronomy. Check your local colleges to see if they have a planetarium. Or just search “nearest planetarium to me” in Google and you will find if there are any in your area. Learn more about this indoor cheap date idea here.
10. Truth or Dare Jenga
Relive childhood memories by playing Truth or Dare Jenga on a group date activity. This is a great free first date, but also fun for couples that have been together for a long time. And if you really wanted to you could skip the Jenga part and just play Truth or Dare, haha. It is definitely more fun in a group setting but can be done with just the two of you as well. Read more here.
I hope you enjoyed my list of 20 cheap date ideas. This list is not my whole list of cheap dates, but it will get you started. There truly is something for everyone. Maybe one or two or three of these ideas stuck out to you or gave you an idea for a different cheap date idea. Whatever the case, happy dating!
You can buy a copy of the book 101 Creative Dates: ideas, tips, and personal experiences from the life of a hopeless romantic here or visit the shop.