Are you looking for the best cheap date ideas? Going out and spending time together doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. And you can stay in, too! See our list of the most affordable dating tips for couples below + subscribe now for the latest.
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so we thought it was a great opportunity to remind you of these cheap date ideas. 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 a while 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? 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.
It’s amazing how often we, as a society, miss a sunrise or a sunset. It’s free. It’s the biggest, zero-cost light show that happens daily. And it makes a romantic backdrop for a nice cheap date with your honey.
2. Spend the afternoon at your local farmer’s market.
It doesn’t cost much, and you get to enjoy some fresh produce and shop local.
3. Try this adventure book.
It’s filled with so many fun adventures for couples! Buy once, enjoy the many (MANY!) date ideas in the book for years! Get it here.
4. Plan a cheap date night in.
Rent a movie, pop some popcorn, grab a favorite beverage, a few cheap boxed candies (usually around $1 each), and snuggle with a blanket.
5. Dollar store shopping spree.
This one’s fun: go on a shopping spree with your partner. Go to a local dollar store, but shop solo. Each person has to find five gifts for the other person. The total is $10, the fun is endless. The gifts you find are also pretty one-of-a-kind. ;)
6. Bike ride around town.
Optional: pack a picnic lunch to enjoy at a favorite spot.
7. Buy lawn tickets to a concert.
One of the best cheap date ideas — in my opinion — is grabbing a pair of cheap lawn tickets to a concert. It doesn’t even matter what concert it is! It’s summer, you’re outside, you’re listening to music on a blanket with your love, under the stars. You can even tailgate outside before you enter the concert so you can avoid those $12 beers!
8. Board game party
Break out the best board games and stay in! Order a cheap pizza and plan an indoor board game tournament.
8. Plan a romantic dinner in.
Plan a nice menu, cook, light candles, pour wine, and play romantic music. Your home = the best restaurant in town. There’s no reservation! No line at the restroom! The best pours of wine!
9. Patio date
In the summer, your patio or balcony becomes an easy cheap date night idea. Just add barbecued food or your favorite carry-out meal, add some party lights, a few beverages, and enjoy the warm summer air. Don’t forget the music for ambiance. Sometimes, just changing the scenery of your usual hang out (read: the couch) can make it feel more like a date night.
10. Putt-putt golf
You can usually find cheap putt-putt golf locally, or even get coupons for buy-one, get-one free tickets. Winner buys ice cream!
11. Try a new outdoor hobby together
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.
Bowling is probably one of the best cheap date ideas that is overlooked. Sure, you have to rent shoes, find a ball that fits your hand and isn’t too heavy, and the desire to add bumpers is strong, but you can’t do it because you’re a grown adult. ;) But still, I’ve never heard someone say, “I really wish I didn’t go bowling.” It is always a fun time.
13. Cooking class
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.
Go picnicking! Fill a basket or backpack with wine, cheese, crackers, and a comfy blanket. It doesn’t matter where you go: the beach, a park, or your own backyard. Get outside and enjoy a picnic together! (Tip: This blanket makes the huge difference between a fun time and a total hassle. Who wants to sit on the grass when it’s wet? This blanket keeps your behind dry, it’s a must-have, 100%. Get it here, you won’t regret it.)
16. Spend the afternoon at the beach.
17. Go on a road trip for the day.
I know this is a little pricier depending on the cost of gas, but you can find some local hotspots you haven’t seen yet. Pretend you’re a tourist and check out the local places your area is known for… return home by night!
18. Go thrifting.
You don’t even have to buy anything — it can just be fun to look! Visit garage sales, flea markets, or estate sales and see who scores the sweetest deal (or who finds the most unique item).
20. Learn how to make bread.
It’s cheap, it’s fun, and it’s a helpful thing to know how to do! Get a book and source your ingredients, affordably.
21. Hit up the arcade with handfuls of quarters.
Or even better: buy an old SNES and play your own favorite throwback arcade games.
22. Go to a local amusement park or carnival.
Fairs are always fun, even if just walking around and buying a snack. (Festival snacks are the best, I mean, elephant ear?! Hello?) Many local church festivals or carnivals are free to get in; just pay for what you’d like to do like play games or eat.
23. Find a bar with free karaoke.
Do a (likely hilarious) duet and break out of your comfort zone a bit.
24. Go to a show and support a local band.
Grab two canvases from the craft store, a bunch of paint, and go to town creating your own masterpieces at home.
26. Complete a mystery board game.
These murder mystery games are fun for couples to solve! This one is wildly popular and is under $20, making it one of the best cheap date ideas.
Hiking is free! Just find a trail and GO! If it’s too cold for that, opt for sledding instead. :)
28. Plan a bonfire date night.
S’mores are essential. Guitar music, optional, but encouraged.
29. Work on a fun project together.
If you’re a couple that works well together, this is a great date night idea. Plus, you’ll tackle one of those items on your long to-do list. Buy supplies, figure out instructions, and get to work! It’s a good teamwork building activity, too.
30. Go to a cheap drive-in movie.
Many places are turning open parking lots into huge drive-in movie lots in the summer. Look locally in your area. It’s amazing how these cheap date ideas are readily available, yet so many people don’t know these exist!
Spend an afternoon volunteering at a place together. You’ll spend quality time together – and help out someone else. Win-win.
32. Go to a local play.
High schools and local colleges often put on plays or musicals. The cost of tickets is affordable, and the money goes directly to the local organizations. It’s a great way to enjoy some entertainment and make it a local cheap date night.
If you have bingo at a local church, GO TO IT! Bingo is some of the most fun you can have, cheap, and you may even win money for your honeymoon!
34. Fly kites or RC planes.
If you have one, it’s a cheap way to get outside, get some fresh air, and feel like a kid again.
35. Complete a bucket list.
Make a bucket list and start crossing off the items. This box of cards can get you started!
36. Play frisbee golf.
You can go to a local park that offers it and rent their frisbees OR source your own. This beginner’s set will get you started.
37. Make ice cream sundaes at home.
Go to the market and pick up inexpensive ice cream and all the toppings. Then create your own ice cream bar at home. Toppings like sprinkles, maraschino cherries, peanuts, whipped cream, hot fudge sundae — whatever! It’s so much cheaper than getting ice cream out and it’s more fun to create your own.
38. Water gun fight!
Have a water gun fight. ‘Nuff said. (Winter alternate: have a snowball fight.)
39. Teach your partner something new.
Teach the other how to do something they’ve never tried: the guitar, a new card game, how to bake a favorite dessert… just as a few examples.
40. Grab cheap tickets to a local college sports game (baseball, football, basketball).
41. Binge-watch a brand new show!
42. Night drive.
Go for a night drive. Pack up some good tunes and ride off into the sunset. Spend time chatting.
43. Have fun planning your honeymoon.
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. Go rollerblading or skating.
You can get good exercise and do it for free at a local park; or, head to a rink. Cold winter alternative: ice skating! Hot chocolate, please!
45. Take a fitness class together.
46. Go tubing on a river.
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.)
47. Brew your own beverage.
Learn how to brew your own beverage: try your hand at brewing your own beer, making a flavored ice tea, or soda. You may even realize you have a talent and you can make your own best brew!
48. Local restaurant tour
Go on a restaurant tour – on the cheap. Stop in for an appetizer at a few different locations to try out some new foods.
49. Visit the zoo or aquarium.
Too pricey near you? Volunteer at an animal shelter and walk the dogs.
50. Have a laugh!
Grab a few laughs at a comedy club or rent a funny movie to get rid of any wedding planning stress. One of my favorite things to do right now is to watch stand-up comedy, you can browse popular titles here.
Want more? Try these cards you scratch off as you complete together.
And there you have it: the best cheap date ideas! 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!