Being on a budget doesn’t have to ruin your fun.
When it comes to date night, you might think you may need to plan some extravagant, well-planned activity to impress your significant other. While those more elaborate date nights are great for special occasions, there’s so much more to the world of dates.
Fancy dinners out and evening movie tickets can add up quickly, especially if you’re wanting to impress the other person. In actuality, you may need to stick to a budget.
Dates are designed to help you enjoy each other’s company and often get to know each other more. And you can do that in many ways for free or cheap.
With a little bit of creativity or no planning at all, you can suggest a free or cheap date idea for you and your boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse. Choose from outdoor activities, indoor adventures, at-home celebrations and much more.
To help you get started on planning a date night that both inspires quality time while also keeping your wallet in check, here we share 65 date ideas that are cute, fun and cheap.
Whether summer, winter, fall or spring, there’s a lot to appreciate about being outside. Enjoy the great outdoors together with these cheap outdoor date ideas:
Take a hike – Find a park nearby and lace up those hiking boots to explore the beauty of nature around you, together. Be sure to help each other out over challenging terrain.
Ice cream – More affordable than a full-out dinner, ice cream dates are perfect for summer nights.
Bike ride – Grab your cruisers or rent a tandem and explore a park or city on two wheels.
Kayaking or canoeing – If you’ve got access to a river or lake, rent out some kayaks or a canoe and spend some time out on the water together.
High school sporting event – Whether you’re into baseball, football, soccer or any other school sport, you can often attend local high school sporting events for cheap.
Beach – Pack up your beach towels and sunscreen and spend the afternoon soaking up the sun in the company of each other.
Breakfast date – Choose to go out for breakfast rather than dinner. Bonus fun if you can sit outside on a romantic patio.
Play at a park – Channel your inner child and find a park to swing, climb and play.
Drive-in movie – Lay out in the bed of your truck or stay warm inside your car as you watch a movie together. Snacks are encouraged.
Outdoor concert – Find new and up-and-coming artists in your area and hear them play for cheap outside.
Pick some fruit – Depending on the season and where you live, gather up your own apples, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and more as you spend time together. You can also bake or cook with your produce once you get home.
Be a tourist in your own city – Experience your city together in a new way and check out the top tourist spots together.
Ice skating – Lace up your skates indoor or outdoor and hit the ice. Be sure to grab each others’ hands to stop from falling.
Baseball game – Whether it’s little league, college or pro, tickets to baseball games during the spring, summer and fall season are often quite affordable, depending on the teams in your area.
Picnic – Pack up sandwiches or go fancy with chocolate-covered strawberries and head outdoors to enjoy nature, the food and chatting with each other.
Bonfire – Whether at home or at the beach, gather up some wood, matches and sit around a bonfire talking and telling stories. A cozy blanket to snuggle up with during cooler nights is also a plus.
Host a BBQ – Invite some other friends over for a group date in your own backyard.
Trivia night – Put your fun fact knowledge to the test together by joining a trivia night at a local bar or restaurant.
Go out for happy hour – Time it right and get great discounts on food and drinks.
Stargazing – Grab a blanket and head outside at night to lay out and look up at the stars. Find constellations easily with an app on your phone.
Community pool – Cool off on a warm summer day by visiting a community pool. These pools often have low admission fees and are perfect for afternoon relaxing.
Visit a carnival – Find a local carnival going on near you for some affordable and fun entertainment. Be sure to ride the Ferris wheel together for a romantic moment.
Community cooking classes – Find a class in your area that demonstrates an aspect of cooking you’re both interested in. Stores and community organizations may have cheap or free classes – including samples!
Perfect for rainy days or when the weather turns too cold, these indoor date ideas are sure to bring delight and enjoyment for the two of you on your date.
Mall walking – Whether it’s a rainy day or just too cold to be outside, get some exercise while browsing storefronts at your local mall.
Coffee date – Discover a new or popular coffee shop in your area – or take a drive somewhere new – and try some java. The bill at a coffee shop is often much less expensive than at a typical restaurant, saving you money as you spend time together.
Antiquing – Explore old treasures and maybe be surprised to find something unique to add to your home.
Volunteer – Whether you and your significant other are into helping care for animals or spending time outside doing yardwork, find a local organization where you can give back to the community.
Stand-up comedy – Have a good laugh together by visiting a cheap comedy club.
Wine tasting – Visit a local winery for a tasting for the two of you. You may even find a new wine you both love, and you’ll get to use the knowledge you learn about wine to impress your friends, too.
Hit the gym – Achieve your fitness goals as you enjoy each others’ encouragement and company by joining a gym.
Try an open mic night – Showcase your talent with the support of your significant other along to join you.
Go to a movie during the day – You can often find better ticket prices when you go to a movie in the morning or early afternoon.
Plan your dream home at a home decor store – Walk around and dream up what your living space could look like.
Mini golf – Bring this popular past-time indoors with a course inside. Many locations have specials or discounts available for you to save even more on this affordable activity.
Museum – Find out when your local art or public museum have cheap or free days for admission tickets. Spend a few hours walking around and learning about something new.
Thrifting – Find new styles for yourself or for each other.
Explore dive bars – Especially if you’re in a larger city, there’s often a wide selection of dive bars you can choose from that offer cheap drinks and fun activities like pool or darts.
Rock climb – Fuel your adventurous side by finding an affordable indoor rock climbing venue. Be sure to help each other up to reach the top together.
Arcade – Channel your inner child and grab some quarters to spend a night playing games at an arcade. Bonus points for games you get to play together.
Learn a new hobby – Find YouTube videos or how-to books to help each other learn a new hobby that you can do together.
See a school or civic theatre performance – While the acting and music may not quite be Broadway, you can see a performance for much cheaper, together.
Teach each other something you love – Share your own hobby with your significant other by teaching them something you’re great at and love to do. Learn more about them by experiencing what they enjoy doing.
Look through old yearbooks – Laugh with each other recalling all the fond memories.
Roller skating – Lace up those skates and recreate your memories as a kid. Hand holding is encouraged.
Recreate your first date – Work together to coordinate each detail of that first magical night.
Bowling – Visit your local alley for a friendly – or competitive – game of bowling.
At Home Dates
For the home-bodies that just want to stay put, these fun and cheap date ideas can be celebrated right where you’re at.
Movie night – Take turns or decide together on the type of genre, pop some popcorn and curl up in blankets to watch a movie more comfortably – and affordable – than in a theatre.
Puzzle – This passive activity is a great way to chat while also putting together something beautiful.
Make bucket lists – Brainstorm and plan out what you want to do in the next year together.
Board game – Fuel your competitive side with board games you can play with two people. Choose new games or old classics to reminisce and enjoy the game.
Card game – Whether you have just a regular 52-card deck or a game like Uno, Phase 10 and more, fuel your competitive side with some card marathons.
At home wine tasting – Pick up a few discount wines at your grocery store or other affordable liquor store and create your own fancy wine tasting experience right at home. You might even find a new favorite.
Binge a new TV show – Grab some snacks and watch episode after episode.
Take personality tests – These online tests, like the Love Languages, are a great way to learn more about each other, completely free.
Be your own baristas – Create your own coffee drinks at home with fun ingredients.
Make your own pizzas – Bake up your own creations, better than take-out or delivery.
Make a time capsule – Put in things that remind you of this time and set a date to open it later.
Cheese tasting – Craft your own charcuterie board with a variety of cheeses to try and compare. Put on some smooth Italian music to add to the romantic ambiance.
Spa night – Pull out the facials, lotions and bubbles to create your own spa setting in the comfort of your own home.
Try exotic menus – Whip up something you’ve never made or tried before and go on an adventure with your tastebuds.
Cook together – Collaborate on the menu and work together in the kitchen as you whip up a new culinary creation.
Yoga – Relax and stretch by doing yoga together. No matter how flexible or talented you are.
Make a cake – Navigate the challenging task of baking and decorating a sweet dessert in the company of each other.
Plan out a vacation – Research and dream up a vacation you want to take together. Brainstorm ways you can save up for it and plan out some activities you want to do.
Paint and Sip Night – Plan your own artsy evening by pouring a glass of wine or two and painting your own creations on canvases at home. Follow your own creativity or watch a painting tutorial to create the same picture.
Plan Your Date Night
Avoid that moment of asking your significant other, “well, what do you want to do?” Being on a budget doesn’t have to limit your fun together. Use these 65 fun, cheap and cute date ideas and spend a day you won’t forget.