27 Inexpensive Date Ideas

By Nicole Tinkham

First dates are always new and exciting but when you’ve been in the relationship for awhile, things aren’t as exciting as they used to be. My husband and I believe that it’s important to still go on dates and we plan on doing so well into our 80’s and beyond. Every weekend we dedicate a night of spending time with one another so we don’t get caught up in our own world (for him that would be video games, for me reading). Some date nights all we do is kick back with a movie, others may be going out to a nice restaurant. Actually, these are the two things we do most often and, while fun, it gets old after awhile – which is why we need some new creative date night ideas! Oh, and because I’m always up for saving a buck or two, they also have to be inexpensive (that’s the hard part). Anyway, here are some ideas I’ve come across that are worth trying!

1. Mini-golf
This is first on the list because it’s actually our date for this afternoon! Mini-golf is always fun (especially when your husband is terrible at it and always gives you a good laugh). This was one of our first dates so it takes us back to that new exciting relationship feeling. Look for on Groupon for a discount. I have a coupon this time which makes it even more enjoyable.

2. Play board games
You probably have some old (or new) board games stashed away in the spare closet like we do. Whip them out for a game night! Our favorite game right now is Battle of the Sexes. If you have some video games you both enjoy, that works too. The sports games on Xbox Kinect or Wii are always fun.

3. Take a walk or hike
We will often walk around the neighborhood after work to get a little exercise and wear our dog out (or at least try to) but it also makes a great date. Instead of walking the neighborhood, head to the park or beach. It’s an opportunity to talk and enjoy a nice view.

4. Canoeing  
We don’t go canoeing often but the one time we did go was an absolutely amazing (and exhausting) experience. We canoed for hours, saw some wildlife (turtles, gators, and manatees), got our exercise, and it only cost about $25 to rent the canoe.

5. Fishing
I would love to spend a peaceful day fishing with my hubby. However, we don’t have any of the equipment or a fishing license.

6. Camping
Guess I’m on a nature kick but camping is another thing I’m dying to do with Justin. As long as you have a tent and sleeping bags (which we don’t) it’s an inexpensive getaway.

7. Fondue
Movie nights are far too common in our house but you can mix it up by having a special dinner or delicious snacks with it. We love our fondue set but always seem to forget about it (glad I just remembered it now).

8. Pet store visit
We have this pet store by us that has the most adorable puppies, hedgehogs, pigs, prairie dogs, rabbits, tortoises, baby gators, exotic snakes, and more. Every once in awhile we’ll take a look at all the pets we wish we had. Surprisingly, this keeps us occupied for quite awhile (probably more than it should).

9. Drive-in movies
Two things I love about the drive-in theater: 1. It’s only $5 per person for two new movies and 2. I’m able to talk throughout the whole movie (and drive my husband nuts). It’s sad that there aren’t many of these around anymore but luckily we do have one by us. The dollar theaters are also an inexpensive option but you don’t have the freedom to talk during the movie.

10. Brew your own beer
This has become a pretty popular trend but my husband doesn’t drink beer and I’m not sure what’s involved but I believe it’s a long process. I put this on here because we recently began making apple pie moonshine (using legal grain alcohol and adding the flavor). Right now we’re perfecting our recipe and we plan on trying new flavors in the future, maybe cherry pie?

11. The fair
It’s funny that I put this one on here since our fair is going on right now and we don’t plan on going. The fair is a great opportunity to feel like a kid again playing games, riding rides, and trying all the sweet treats. If you’re not careful though the fair can end up costing more than your rent (that’s about what happened last time we went which is why we aren’t going again for awhile).

12. Explore your own town
Just because you live there doesn’t mean you’ve seen everything in your town (or a nearby town). Take a walk downtown, learn about the history of the town, eat at new restaurants, and look for museums and tours to learn more about the place you live.

13. Window shop
Only do this one if you’re strong enough to walk through your favorite store and not buy everything you see. We like to explore Target and Best Buy dreaming about what to get for our future house.

14. Get ice cream
May not sound like an exciting night out but if you have an amazing ice cream shop it’s totally date night worthy. Sometimes you’ll find an ice cream shop in a cute little area where you can walk around.

15. Sit at the marina
Strolling around the marina and sitting by the water makes a romantic (and free) night out. The beach/pier is also a great option.

16. Take a drive
Great music and a long drive to nowhere in particular are some of the best times I’ve had with my husband. I love driving by expensive mansions wondering who lives there.

17. Make art
For Christmas a few years back, my husband and I painted ornaments as gifts for the family. We had a lot of fun and I think it would be nice to do a painting together for the house.

18. Stargaze
I’m surprised that we haven’t done this one before but I think it’s a great date idea.

19. Go apple picking
We haven’t gone apple picking but we have picked strawberries (even though Justin doesn’t like them).

20. Visit the flea market
It’s easy to get lost in the flea market on a Saturday morning. It’s fun to walk around and get some good deals.

21. Antique shops
Sunday mornings are the perfect time to grab a coffee and explore antique shops. Unfortunately, we rarely have the money to make any purchases.

22. Visit friends
We don’t get together with friends nearly enough but when we do, we could talk all night (thanks to Justin’s friend). It’s nice to be around other couples every once in awhile.

23. Volunteer
Volunteering is something I have yet to get Justin to do but maybe someday..

24. Read a great book
Have your own book club by reading the same book and talking about it throughout your reading. The only trick for us would be finding a book we’d both enjoy.

25. Palm reading
It may or may not be accurate but who cares, it’s all for fun anyway!

26. Bowling
Find the best deals through coupons and specials and go bowling together.

27. Explore the book store
You can take a look at books, read magazines and grab a coffee without buying a single book. This can give you some book ideas to get on your Kindle if you have one.

It’s funny how once you get started coming up with these date nights the ideas just keep flowing. I’m sure I’ll have more to add to this list the second I post it but I’m going to stop here and let you come up with some of your own. Please comment with your inexpensive date ideas below!

Source: My brain.

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