50 Surprisingly Fun Cheap Date Ideas

The weekend is right around the corner and we thought it was a great opportunity to share this fun weekend-ready post. For some couples, once they get engaged the ‘dates’ go right out the window, traded in for constant wedding planning. We say… bring on the date nights! Take a (temporary) wedding planning break once in awhile to remember why you’re tying the knot in the first place. Be spontaneous. Surprise him or her. They’ll love it. To give you a little nudge, we’ve rounded up fifty of the best cheap date ideas to try with your honey. However, there is one catch: you’re not allowed to talk about or think about anything wedding related while on your date. Deal? If you’re ready to get started… let’s begin!

P.S. We know weddings can get hella-expensive, so these are cheap dates designed to keep your budget in check. ;)

50 Cheap Date Ideas

1. Watch the sunset together.

50 Best Cheap Date Ideas

photo by lindsey k photography

Oh, and bring your pup. How cute is this?!

50 Best Cheap Date Ideas

photo by lindsey k photography

2. Spend the afternoon at your local farmer’s market.
3. Visit the zoo or aquarium. (Too pricey near you? Volunteer at an animal shelter and play with the pets.)
4. Date night in: rent a movie, buy popcorn and soda, and snuggle with a blanket.
5. Break out the board games for an indoor game night.
6. Find an outdoor concert with cheap lawn tickets + grab your lawn chairs for a fun summer date night.
7. Bike ride around town.
8. Plan a romantic dinner in for your fiance – cook, light candles, pour wine, and play romantic music in the background.
9. Plan a patio date in the summer: barbecue, add beverages (wine, iced tea), and enjoy the warm air.

10. Play putt-putt golf. Winner buys ice cream!

50 Best Cheap Date Ideas

photo by click chick images

11. Learn a new outdoor activity together (kayaking, gardening, canoeing, hiking, horseback riding, or sailing). Who knows – you may just find a new hobby you’ll love to do together!
12. Go bowling.
13. Take a cooking class together at a local parks and rec or community college. Have a friend who loves to cook? Ask them to teach you.
14. Go to a local museum. (If too expensive near you, head to a local historic marker and learn about your town. It’s all about learning something about history together.) You can sometimes score deals here.

15. Plan a picnic: fill a basket with wine, cheese, crackers, and a comfy blanket.

50 cheap date ideas: #15 plan a picnic

photo by eric boneske photography

16. Spend the afternoon at the beach.
17. Go on a road trip for the day. Map out your route, stop at anything fun on the way, and return home by nighttime.
18. Go thrifting: visit garage sales, flea markets, or estate sales and see who scores the sweetest deal.
19. Play paintball! (This is nearly free if you have your own equipment; if not, opt for a water gun fight instead.)
20. Hit up the arcade with handfuls of quarters.

21. Go to a local amusement park or carnival. (Local church festivals or carnivals are free to get in; just pay for what you’d like to do like play games or eat.)

50 Best Cheap Date Ideas: #21 go to an amusement park or carnival

photo by joe elario photography via de lovely affair

22. Find a bar with karaoke – and do a (likely hilarious) duet.
23. Go to a show to support a local band.
24. Take an art class together at a local parks and rec or community college near you. (Too expensive near you? Grab two canvases and paints and get to work. You may even create some pretty amazing artwork for your home.)
25. Go on a second “first date”. Get dressed up, drive separately, and pretend you’ve just met. Hold hands. Ask questions awkwardly. Get butterflies.
26. Go on a Geo-caching treasure hunt. Or, grab one of these gadgets. I’ve never done this, but it’s on my to-do list.

27. Go hiking.
28. Have a bonfire complete with marshmallows ready for toasting.
29. Fly kites or RC planes (if you have one). It’s a nice way to get fresh air and feel like a kid again.
30. Go to a drive in movie.

31. Go-karting. So. much. fun.

50 Best Cheap Date Ideas: #31 go-karting. awesome.

photo by lavida creations

32. Work on a (fun) project together. Buy supplies, figure out instructions, and get to work!
33. Volunteer somewhere. You’ll spend quality time together – and help out someone else. Cool.
34. Go out for ice cream. Huge, topping-crazed ice creams.
35. Play Bingo. It’s surprisingly fun, affordable, and you may even win extra money for your honeymoon.
36. Have a water gun fight. ‘Nuff said. (Winter alternate: have a snowball fight.)
37. Teach the other how to do something they’ve never tried: the guitar, a new card game, how to bake an apple pie, just as a few examples.
38. Grab tickets to a local college sports game (baseball, football, basketball).
39. Go to a jazz club. (Or make your own at home.)
40. Get hooked on a new TV series and have a marathon. (Note: I love the series available on Amazon Prime, try it for free right now!)

41. Go for a night drive. Pack up some good tunes and ride off into the sunset.

50 cheap date ideas: #41 go for a night drive

photo by eplove

42. Go to a club and dance your you-know-whats off.
43. Plan out your honeymoon. Spend the evening talking about where to go; once you decide, surf the internet to find attractions and things to do while you’re there.
44. Rollerblade at your local rink or around town.
45. Make reservations for dinner at a restaurant you’ve always wanted to go to. Get deals and save even more money.
46. Take a fitness class together you’d both enjoy. Or, buy a workout DVD, a challenging one (or even this!) to try at home.
47. Grab inflatable tubes and spend an afternoon on a river. (Cold weather alternate: go ice skating, sledding, or spend the afternoon at a cider mill.)
48. Learn how to brew your own beverage: try your hand at making cappuccinos, a flavored ice tea, or your own brewed beer. Become a coffee connoisseur and learn how to use a french press. You may find a new favorite.
49. Go on a restaurant tour – on the cheap. Stop in for an appetizer at a few different locations to try out some new foods.
50. Grab a few laughs at a comedy club or rent a funny movie to get rid of any wedding planning stress.

* * *

It doesn’t matter what the activity is… just have fun, take a break from stressing out, and enjoy spending some one-on-one time together.


So, we want to know…

What are YOUR favorite cheap date ideas?
Share them below!

Happy Planning!


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Emma Arendoski

CEO/Editor at Emmaline Bride
Blogger, author, wife + mother. I love coffee, DIY, handmade + all things wedding. Check out my books: "The Handcrafted Wedding" (2012) and "The Inspired Wedding" (2014). You can also find me blogging at Emmaline Baby.
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  • Josiah Silas Michael

    Yes, I’m broke so I’m going to go paintball and kayaking. You know what else is cheap if you already have your own equipment? Snowboarding and polo. YOU’RE WELCOME, POOR COUPLES.

    I really hate when articles have to pad their lists just to have a more impressive number in the title. If I’m “only buying games and food” then what is so cheap about the date? What do you think a date is supposed to cost that several of these are at least $50 and you’re calling that cheap?

    I can go out for sushi for under $50 but I wouldn’t suggest that it’s a “cheap date”.

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  • anita bose

    really cool and safe ideas..my brother had an innocent date with the lady with whom now he lives happily.

  • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

    Natascha, that sounds awesome! :) I’m so happy you liked the list. I am sure your fiance will love the surprise!

  • http://gabrieldilaurentis.com/ Gabriel DiLaurentis

    amazing list, gonna bookmark it and come back to it when I’ll have a girlfriend and some money in the pocket :)

    • Josiah Silas Michael

      You will need to save up for several of these “cheap date ideas”.

      “Make reservations to a restaurant”

      F/ck you, list.

      • happy cheapskate

        If you don’t like it, why are you still commenting on it?

        • Josiah Silas Michael

          Because I thought this was a discussion board.

  • Megan

    My fiancé and I have dinner dates, we eat get $5 or $10 and whatever’s in the apartment. I make an appetizer and dessert and he makes dinner. We have to make something new and can’t let the other figure out what we are making! (Hard to do in a one bedroom apartment)

  • Elle

    Some really good ideas there. I love the watching the sunset one…me and my hubby still do that sometimes. I may try to talk the hubby into doing the inflatable tube thing this summer. That would be fun and we could combine it with watching the sunset for a really cool date.

  • Melissa Leal

    Getting a movie from the local Redbox ($1.50) and watching it at home with some homemade salsa and chips! :) <3 We love being home comfortable with each other.

    • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

      Great idea, Melissa. I’m a fan of Redbox, too! Sometimes they even offer those free rental coupons, which is awesome. Homemade chips + salsa = perfect. Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

    Thanks for your comment. Sometimes, no, but at the go karting place by me there are often buy one get one free tickets. Look for coupons for go-karting or inquire at your local go-kart place to see what summer specials they have. You may be surprised!

  • mullai

    At the end of a tough day or week, instead of vegging on the couch, we’ll play a cheesy card game and music trivia simultaneously. Uno and an 80’s throwback station is our favorite. One point for a won card game, one point for the song titie, one point for the artist. Sometimes you’re concentrating so much on one that you lose at the other! Loser plans the next date night. Win/win!

    • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

      I LOVE this idea, @disqus_JBGkyhhfFz:disqus. Board games are a fun idea. I like how you mix it with 80’s music. Fun twist!

  • http://loverelationshipsadvice.com/ cali

    Great dating ideas! Thank you !

    • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

      You’re welcome, Cali! I hope it inspires your next date night.

    • benny

      yes i love them

  • laura

    take a nap together during the afternoon, outside on a swing (bed style) or just layout on a blanket or something. that is romantic to me.

    • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

      Ah, that sounds so romantic and relaxing. Or a hammock under the stars at night (in the summer), too.

  • Kristin

    Make dinner together. Perhaps try making a new recipe or an exotic food. It may not end up the greatest, but at least you two will have fun in the process!

    • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

      Kristin, That’s such a wonderful idea! :)

  • Kaitlyn

    Just last weekend for my birthday my boyfriend and I spontaneously went to the duck pond and fed the ducks late in the afternoon. It was just as much fun going and getting a bag of cheap bread, a bottle of water and fro-yo <3 Got to love the simple things

    • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

      Great idea, Kaitlyn! It’s been forever since I just spent an afternoon like that…. and it’s been a long time since I had a fro-yo. Simple things = the best in life.

  • Amanda

    I just want to thank you so much for all of these awesome ideas! My boyfriend and I are making our summer bucket lists right now and the list helped us both a ton! The drive in movie, water gun fight, hiking, and a jazz club were some of my favorites…Thanks!

    • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

      You’re welcome, Amanda! I wanted to update you: I crossed ‘jazz club’ off of my own list! And, let me tell you — it was AWESOME! I’m trying to cross off all of these from my own list, too. Hiking was a few weeks ago. :)

  • Nicole

    When I was with my boyfriend, we would go to Starbucks together a lot in the winter. They had this shelf with board games and books and we could sit there for hours playing Scrabble and talking. It was a lot of fun and only costs as much as the drinks you get.

    • Ella

      Wow this is such a cute idea!! I love this:)

    • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

      Nicole, I love coffee shops for date night! That’s awesome that Starbucks offers board games. A coffee shop, especially in the winter, is always so warm and cozy. One of my favorite to-go places!

  • Jessica Cook

    I love these ideas :) Im in college and share an apartment with my boyfriend, so I love being able to spend some time with him that doesn’t require breaking the bank. One idea that I had (if youre in a place that youre able to do this) is go outside before he gets home (or wherever you are) and wrap some trees in christmas lights (or some similar to it) and play slow music that you can dance to under the stars later on that night. Im not sure if anyone put this.. I didnt read all of them. This would also work great with a gazebo!

    • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

      That sounds so romantic for the holidays!

  • Hannah Crook

    These are all great ideas! Another great one is to have a bake off and then spend the night eating each others baking trying to decide who ‘won’. We’ve also done a night where we both got home from work and sat drinking wine and eating cheese in the backyard enjoying each others company. And when we first met, we went on a camping trip (brought our own food and hiked into the woods set up the tent, gathered wood and made a fire, a real camping trip) and then we set up the tent in the backyard so we could go ‘camping’ whenever we wanted.

    • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

      Ah, a bake off! Great idea. I’ll have to try this one at my next date night with my husband. I’ve been craving carrot cake. :) I like your ‘camping’ idea, too! Fun!

  • Kendall

    Thank you for sharing! Love these ideas! Also, line dancing is cheap and SO much fun!

    • http://emmalinebride.com/ Emma | Emmaline Bride

      Line dancing is a lot of fun (and, yes, cheap, too!) Great idea.

  • Tim

    All of these are great ideas! Im going to take this girl I just met out on a few of these rather than the normal “movie” or “dinner” date.

  • Megan

    There seems to be quite a few people bashing the cost but really I think any of the ideas could be cheap or expensive depending on how you go about it. The best memories aren’t way over planned and loaded down with all the just-in-case items that add up, start with the idea and wing it as if your date is the mission to do that and you have to figure out how.. its only expensive if you try to buy the date not make it happen together..

  • http://www.rixie4.blogspot.com Rixie

    Instead of museums, my husband and I like to go to the antique/auction houses. The last time we went, they had old cars, interesting art, an old carousel, a stagecoach, and an antique vampire hunting kit complete with wooden stake, holy water, cross, and even a small pistol with a silver bullet in case of vampires.
    It doesn’t cost a dime to get in and they are usually located in interesting parts of town.

    • emma

      Great idea, Rixie!


  • Kati

    My fiance and I like to drive to the top of the parking garage on a weeknight when the city isn’t has busy. It’s quiet and beautiful to see the sky as well as the layout of the city. Grab a blanket and sit on the hood of the car. Quite romantic :)

  • Jessica

    These are some really good ideas! A few I would add/elaborate on:
    Don’t just go dancing, try swing, salsa, or chacha. A lot of places in host a “swing night” once a week, and most of them have free lessons for a half and hour to an hour before. (Our favorite is swing dancing, the place we go only has a seven dollar cover charge for the whole night)
    As Amanda mentioned, bebe guns are really fun! (I always win, so that helps :) )
    One of our favorites- going out for only dessert. Pick a really fancy restaurant, or just a place well known for fantastic food, and get just dessert (usually the desserts are filling enough to stand alone, so we like to be a little naughty and skip dinner first).
    With a bunch of friends, play night games (ex: ships across the ocean, tag, ghosts in the graveyard, kick the can, anything you would’ve played in elementary school gym class). If you aren’t into the whole “outdoors” thing, we also play hide and go seek with friends- turn out all the lights in the house, and play until everyone is found.
    As the list suggested, taking your dog along is usually really fun, just be sure your dog is fairly well behaved, otherwise you might end up more frustrated and distracted than enjoying a romantic night. I have two dogs, and we often take them for walks around a local national park.
    Go to your neighborhood Goodwill- VHS movies are 50 cents (WAY cheaper than renting), and the old Disney classics are usually in stock. No VHS player? They have those too for between $5 and $15 (if you really want to splurge), but they will last forever. PLUS you’ll build a really great collection of movies you love.
    Make each other mix CD’s for the car (or the bedroom).
    Listen to a funny book recording (try the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich, Why We Suck by Denis Leary, or, for a little more childish humor- the Hank the Cowdog series (my favorite is “The One Eyed Killer Stud Horse”)). You can do this while doing something else, but laughing can really mess up your art, so watch out. It is a fun way to create memories, and you’ll both reference it for a long time afterwards.
    Draw each other tattoos. My sister and I used to do this all the time as kids, and it’s just as much fun with my boyfriend. Use a marker and draw on on each other’s backs, legs, and arms. Permanent marker washes off after a few days, washable marker, for the most part, will wash off as soon as you run water over it, but sometimes leaves stains, so don’t draw anywhere visible or anything too racy.
    Visit the local floral shop or greenhouse and look at all the plants and flowers. If you fall in love with one, you can even bring it home!

  • Amanda

    My boyfriend and I have come up with a few ideas of our own.

    We pack a picnick, and our fishing stuff and head to a park where you can fish for free. There are 3 near me.

    We bought two BB guns and had saved up soda cans and stuff and went into the woods to shoot. See who hit the most targets.

    We’ve bought clay, and made our own ornaments for our Christmas tree and just baked them in the oven and painted them afterwards. It was cheaper than buying a full trees worth of ornaments, and they’re all original!

    We’ve bought lego’s and both built our own things. (Good for a rainy day.)

    We each bought a square foot of white fabric(2 square feet total, but separate) and bought fabric markers, we drew on them and designed them, then framed them and hung them in our living room. Great conversation pieces… LOL

    We “ghost hunt.” We take my camera, go to different cemeteries or other dark places and take pictures and talk to “spirits.” We have caught a few things on camera. Its not for everyone, but it does pass time, and gives you plenty of time to spend some solo time with your significant other. He even jumped out from behind a tree, and scared me. I never ran so fast in my life…

    Those are just a few that we have come up with.
    We are on the look for some new things, and this site did give us a few things that we haven’t done yet. (:

  • Kate

    Would suggest grabbing old clothes and finding some mud and having a mud fight together. Memorable and hilarious.

  • Ellen

    Love the list! So many great ideas! And the comments with more suggestions are great too. :)

    All of these can easily be done inexpensively. If you think it’s too pricey, be creative and change it up a bit rather than complaining!

  • http://www.monica-salazar.com Monica Salazar

    Love this! I’ll be sharing it on my blog. :)

  • RandiLeanne

    This is a fantastic list! Thank you for sharing! I love so many options I don’t know which one is my fave!

    I second a few comments above that there are a couple datea that are a bit pricey but it always depends on your area; I’m sure I could do almost 80% of these for cheap :) & ‘cheap’ is different for everyone!

    A great date idea is yard saling! Always a blast & if u go with a specific list of items to find for your home, u really can save a fortune & spend an entire Saturday today together with your man :)

    Thanks again!!

    -Randi Leanne

  • Hannah

    Go to a coffeehouse that features local artists and listen them play.
    If it’s not too far, drive outside the city and have dinner under the stars.
    Have a paint war to make shirts together.
    Go downtown or to a park and have a photo shoot of each other.
    Plant flowers/ a tree/ a garden together.
    Watch an old foreign movie on silent and make up your own lines to the story.
    Watch a classic musical and sing all the songs together (if you’re into musicals and stuff like that).
    Bake cookies/ brownies for someone you know is sick (or just likes sweets).
    Pick out a nice outfit for each other to wear and go to an art museum (or any museum) or have a picnic.
    Create your own special “version” of spaghetti. Mix up the usual recipe with different spices, herbs, and other ingredients.
    Host a game of bingo at a nursing home for the residents.
    Pop in some Frank Sinatra (or a similar artist) and have a dance night in the living room.
    Have a movie marathon of your favorite movie series (or TV series).
    Go to the mall and create fun background stories for the couples you see (just don’t be creepy).

  • Candice

    I am soo enjoying this post, such great ideas. My husband and I like to pack a lunch and go to the park or community recreation center and either play basketball, or tennis, or we kick around a soccer ball. Our new favorite thing is to go to these new trampoline gyms and either free jump or join in on a game of dodgeball (most places run about $10/person). Afterwards we stop for some frozen yogurt. We also like to support our local artist so we look for plays or band/choir concerts from local colleges, high schools or community theater groups. You’d be surprised to find some great talent at some of these and we’ve seen musicals from Grease, Hello Dolly and Little Shoppe of Horrors. Another idea would be to go and watch a minor league baseball game in your area. A lot of these games offer great week day prices on tickets and beer.

  • Melissa

    Great and cute ideas! Some can be expensive but jesus people stop being cheap! Guys should be spoiling their girlfriends, not worried about every penny. If you really are worried about money to the point you’re getting upset about paying for a hot dog at a fair, then maybe you should not be getting married or having babies since you are obviously not financially ready!

  • Natasha

    My husband and I have been married for 10 years. Our first date was to a mandatory picnic I had to go to for work; playing putt putt, a small town carnival that night, and then we went to a local bar and shot pool. At least once a year we try to go to a small carnival or fair. Something about the funnel cake and corn dogs that just makes it worth it. It’s not a lot of money. Free to get in. You pay for the games you pay and the rides you ride. Bigger parks like Sea World (well in Texas anyways) lets military in for free.

    Other things you can do is go fishing, go to the lake and swim. Tube down the river, go to the wildflower areas, caverns, caves, hiking, capital buildings etc. We love taking the girls anywhere there’s fish or horses.

  • Chelsea

    My husband and I are expecting our first baby this year, and everyone says to do as much as you can and spend as much time together as possible before the baby comes. These ideas are perfect for doing just that! This list will definitely come in handy!!

  • Brittany

    Personally, I think these are great ideas and I can’t believe all the haters out there. All of these ideas CAN be inexpensive. For example, go to a museum — bank of america customers get free museum days like once a month or something, and there are small town museums that don’t cost much at all.
    Anyway, my guy and I like to snuggle up and watch Netflix or get together with friends to play board games and such, but these ideas are great, especially for broke college students like me!

  • Pam

    How about cooking together. Choose something neither of you have had and experiment. Different types of pizza or pasta are inexpensive to make. Lots of fun!

  • Mae

    Another idea that I’ve heard before would be to go to the local thrift store and buy for the other person an outfit and then wear it to a restaurant or something like that!

  • http://theycallmeturbo.blogspot.com/ Kari

    Love these ideas!!! My husband and I will be trying some of these for sure!

  • Cyndi

    Great ideas. – I have been married 27 years recommend dating at least once a month. When we were young and broke we picked on venue a year and bought the family membership and went at least once a month and always packed a lunch sometimes just p,b & j . These outings are still produce the fondest memories especially nice t hear our children talk about them now that they are young adults.

  • Abbie

    Since we don’t have any drive in movie places in our town, my fiancé and I bring a movie from home and a laptop, drive to a parking lot, grab a blanket and some hot chocolate, and enjoy a free date night out. Love these ideas! :)

  • Alycia

    Love these ideas. I don’t live near a beach, but I do live near the Rockies. A favorite for me is going to the mountains for a picnic and/or hike, or walking around an abandoned mining town in the area.

  • http://poorgradpoorstudent.com Jenni

    These are all great ideas for a date. True, some are obviously more expensive than others but I think the whole purpose of this post is fantastic. Too often do we slip into routines and take our loved ones for granted, whether it is wedding planning or just everyday life. It’s so important to do little things like this to remind us why we love each other. Can’t wait for more great date ideas in the future!

  • http://inkatheart.wordpress.com inkatheart

    The idea of a picnic is great, always romantic and relaxing. This list is helpful, thanks

  • Sean

    good ideas, here one I did for a blind date that was pretty fun… go and order a side at one place (like a side of fries), then go to another place for a burger, then a third place for dessert. depending on how you pull it off,it will be fairly cheep, and super fun!

    • http://emmalinebride.com Emma@EmmalineBride

      That’s a great idea, Sean! Thanks for sharing!


  • Jen

    Just wanted to add that watercolors are not a proper medium to use with canvas. The canvas won’t absorb the watercolor paint. You can either use canvas and cheap acrylic craft paint or watercolors with watercolor paper. All can be bought at a local craft store, such as Michaels.

    • http://emmalinebride.com Emma@EmmalineBride

      Thank you for the correction, Jen!

  • andika

    Interesting cheap date ideas, I am going to use some of these ideas, hope my relationship get better. Thanks

  • Jessica Lynn

    I think these are lovely ideas. There is pretty much something for everyone. It’s so sad to see so many disgruntled people commenting. Use some imagination! Of course not everyone lives near a beach; of course there may not be a cheap circus, zoo or themepark right next door; some people might not be fortunate enough to live near a drive-in… The point is that those are ideas if you DO live near them… Otherwise there are 47 other ideas for you to choose from. I appreciate this list because, while some of the ideas may not be “original,” as one less-than-kind reader pointed out, they refresh my memory and also give me new ideas while also reminding me that it’s the little things in life that count. Thanks again for the list!

  • Brittany

    I want to try #25. It sounds like it would be enjoyable and interesting!

  • http://www.thankful101.com Trina

    Some of my very favorite dates have been spent exploring our city’s neighborhoods on foot, or browsing in bookstores over a cup of coffee. We also like to carry a camera and document all the little things we saw together.

  • Julie

    I had a group of friends in college who would dress up for a croquet game and tea party in a local park (with “blueberry” boozy tea). Tremendous fun, super cheap. Couples baseball game. Dates can be great in a group, if you are partners! Frisbee golf. Go to a playground and amuse your inner child. Bonfire and make s’mores. There are lots of free events…..last week watched Olympian show jumpers competing for free! Pack a picnic for any of the things above, like gokarting, to keep the costs down…..

  • http://www.sarahscissorhands.com Sarah

    I went on a very cheap fun date:


    working out together:
    BIKE RIDES and stopping at every park to swing

  • Jen

    Great ideas ^_^ :) its the love between the two that matters :) that makes the real dates ^_^

  • http://www.mundodelamor.com/index.php?lang=english MdAmor

    Thanks for the list. Dates don’t have to be expensive to be fun.

  • Jam

    Backyard camping – tent, sleeping bags, and making pictures out of clouds, which will eventually turn to stars…by which time you’ll have swapped to finding constellations.

  • Allie

    Make a fort and watch a movie on your lab top inside! Grab pillow, comfy blankets, and some movie treats and it is a blast.

  • Lexy

    Wonderful ideas! Today my fiance and I are spending the day together after a long time of not doing anything and I had no ideas!! I love the idea of making up a picnic and since I am an artist, grabbing some of my smaller canvas and paints to just have fun with :) then maybe ending it with going to see Total Recall :) thank you for your help!

  • Evie

    These are lovely! Gonna try tick them off one by one! something me and my partner do is take a blanket up to the nearest (safe) Field, at night, lie down and watch the stars and look for UFO’s for a bit of excitement!

  • Chris

    My most romantic memory was of a free date I went on my first year of college. I pretended to sneak out of the house and met him in the parking lot of a store. From there we wandered and spoke of small things like our days and the weather. We ended up in the local cemetery… He lifted me on to one of the tombstones so we could talk and then after a while he helped me down so we could dance in the moonlight. He walked me home and we kissed on the doorstep like an old fashioned movie…

  • Marcus

    Go karting + food + drinks + misc. + gas + condoms + Altoids + games (because you never just go go karting) is like a $160-200 affair.

  • Amy

    If you live near a decent-sized city, then this is for you:

    Each of you picks a random bust stop/metro station to hop on, and you have to meet back up at a specific time and place. During your arbitrary adventure, see if you can find the most photographic scene, interesting place, or odd events. Make sure to document whatever it is you ended up finding, and share them together at the place that was the best find.

  • Carly


    Playing pitch and catch!

    Go to a batting cage!

    ~I am my jock father’s daughter, c:

  • http://yimiton.blogspot.com Onayimi

    Great ideas! I was once caught up in the rot of being an anxious fiancee but never again will I let it happen.
    I intend to add free bars where we can do Karaoke together (Even though we both really can’t sing! lol)

  • Karolynn

    My hubby and I go to a car shows and it is fun (if you like cars). Some have local bands playing and other activities. Depending on where you go you can get in for free and just pay for food or drinks, or bring your own picnic basket.

  • raggetagglegypsy

    For the thrifting idea, once when my boyfriend and I were at Salvation Army (favourite college hang-out :)) he suggested that we both pick out something we liked for the other to wear (wearing it was part of the deal). It was pretty fun, and I ended up with a dress I never would have chosen myself but that I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on!

    • http://emmalinebride.com Emma@EmmalineBride

      That’s such a fun idea! I love how you also have a keepsake from the date, too. Thanks for sharing!


  • Mama

    I was sent here by a bride I know. Just to encourage you — we thought things like these were too expensive when we were young and broke, engaged and as newlyweds. Then we had kids. Enjoy a date at least every week regardless of cost. Double dates count. Invite another couple to share a BBQ or rent a movie or learn about his favorite spot together.

    • http://emmalinebride.com Emma@EmmalineBride

      Thanks for your comment. Great insight! A weekly date is the best advice… I love the idea of double dates, too. Thanks for stopping by :)


  • http://www.bridalmusings.com Elizabeth | Bridal Musings

    Some really great ideas! Thanks for sharing, you’ve inspired me to be a little bit more adventurous with my date suggestions :)

    • http://emmalinebride.com Emma@EmmalineBride

      Thanks, Elizabeth! :)


  • http://www.aHeapeofLove.com/our-progress/ Brianne Heape

    A Redbox & popcorn. Or, a walk by the river. Sometimes, we go kayaking – which we love or fishing in the evenings. We like cheap dates. :)

  • Constantine

    Very appealing ideas for a date! But firstly I think I have to find a girl.

  • FluffyRhino

    Go to a local diner and play card games while drinking coffee. This is great for us since we have kids and don’t really get a chance to relax like this. Also, scrabble would be good for this. It sounds a bit odd, I know, but it’s really fun!

    Go to a local bar and play pool and darts.

    Go to a drive-in theater if you have one in your area, or drive somewhere secluded (a park or something) and prop a laptop of DVD player on the dashboard, then sit in the back seat and pretend it’s a drive-in. Watching the movie is optional.

    Our wedding anniversary is coming up, we’ll be going for a picnic at the park we had our ceremony at to celebrate.

  • http://www.adultsextoyscity.co.uk Brenda

    When I first read the title I thought “ugh” because of the phrase “cheap date” but you know what? there are some brilliant ideas in there that I’ll share with my man! thanks xx

  • http://www.cyclingshopnow.com Leonardo Ferreira

    I love the suggestions. I believe anything that can spice up love is time well invested. Good karma !!!

  • Sophia

    I like to go to the park and swing. :)

  • Audrey

    One fun thing I’ve loved doing is going berry-picking! There are a lot of organic farms around where I live, and we can go pick several different kinds of berries, sample as we go along, and have a lot of fun! A cute, fun date. And relatively cheap, depending on the place.

  • Danica

    Go to the library together and look at vacation or sexy books spy on each other through the shelves. Go on a picnic in a cave (did this first date)or other interesting place. Geo caching is a good one. go on a walk set up an easel and paint anything or each other. Go to your local humane society and walk the dogs great first date!

  • Kaci

    These are all cute and cheap – in my area, I guess it depends on where you live for some of the other people.

    If you don’t live near a beach – going to the river or a lake is fun, too. :)

    Doing silly things like sampling all the food at Costco, playing video games at Wal-Mart, and reading passages from books at Barnes and Noble make us feel like kids again.

    Thanks for posting!

  • http://inspiringpretty.com/ Claire

    good ideas. i’d love a drive in movie. haven’t done that in years

  • Cassey

    My boyfriend and I always go Geo-caching. It is alot of fun and great way to pass time. Go back and find one from before and see your names. its a good feeling (: plus its FREE!!! wheeee

  • Volc

    Dates that are not cheap on this list: 3, 11, 13, 14, 16 (if the beach isn’t a few minutes’ drive), 19, 21, 24, 31, 38, 45, 46, 48, 50.

    Agreed that this should be changed to “50 Romantic Date Ideas”. When you make a list of “cheap” dates and then include these ridiculous things it makes you look completely out of touch with things that are inexpensive. It’s too bad when people are looking for a good cheap date and come across a list including things that cost 50-100 bucks, not including transportation.

  • http://pranaworld.net Hengameh

    Thank you for sharing. Liked it, specially the water gun fight…

  • http://punk-logic.tumblr.com Christina Burton

    This is awesome. I had to send it to a friend who just paid way too much on a date. Thanks for making this list for cheap-o’s like me lol

  • Kat

    Ya, dunno how cheap amusement parks are… usually upwards of at least 30bucks a person… reaching a whopppppping 90+ for Major Parks like Disney. Not including the outrageous pricing once you get inside.. lol

    But cute ideas none-the-less

    • http://emmalinebride.com Emma@EmmalineBride

      Hi Kat,

      We were thinking more along the lines of small amusement parks… not really Disney or anything of that caliber. We also listed carnivals which are very affordable in terms of pricing. Plus, there usually isn’t even an admission fee… just pay for activities in which you participate (games, food, rides). Thanks for your comment and for stopping by!


  • Carrie

    Building a fort brings back fun memories, and guys love to show off their ability to “build”

    • http://emmalinebride.com Emma@EmmalineBride

      Fun idea, Carrie!


  • http://questioneverythinglove.wordpress.com Whatsername

    Half these ideas are pretty awesome, but a lot are not original or aren’t too cheap. Here’s one idea I came up with that is actually really cute: wake up early. Watch the sunrise from the top of a garage roof, on a vent, at beach, etc. and then get brunch at a diner.

    • http://emmalinebride.com Emma@EmmalineBride

      Thanks for the suggestion!


  • Ali

    great ideas, some of them are really exciting and cheap at the same time, thanks a lot.

  • Amber

    Only about half of these are cheap….horseback riding and kayaking are not cheap hobbies to partake in.

    • http://emmalinebride.com Emma@EmmalineBride

      Hi Amber,

      Thanks for your comment. Renting kayaks (or canoes) can be inexpensive for two people for an entire day (I’ve been to places where it’s around $20 for 4 hours). While it can add up if you do it every weekend, it’s still a great activity two people can do that isn’t necessarily expensive. I can see your point about horseback riding, which can vary greatly depending on the town.

      We welcome any suggestions you’d like to add to the mix, too!


  • http://bridesmaidjewelrysetsv.com/ bridesmaid jewelry sets

    Wonderful ideas:) Instead of saying “cheap date”, I would say “romantic date”..

    • http://emmalinebride.com Emma@EmmalineBride

      True. All are very romantic. :)