Even when times you are hard you can have fun on a date. Whether you have a new squeeze or you’ve been married for forty years don’t let a lack of cash stop you from having a great time together.
Pick out a few of these free (or almost free) date ideas based on the time of year, the stage you are in your relationship and the kind of things you like to do and get dating!
People watching at a park
Aside from just watching people, you can have fun making up stories about those you see or imagine yourselves having the conversations they’re having.
Outdoor concerts or musical performances
Many cities offer free outdoor concerts. Keep an eye out for events in free newspapers, on local TV and pinned on noticeboards. In larger cities, you can also see many street performers. Stroll around an area where you know they tend to be and enjoy a free performance.
A great way to relax together – one which can lead to other things 😉
You don’t have to be professional in order to make your partner feel relaxed. Use scented oil, if you have it, turn down the lights, and put on soft music. You don’t have to both give and receive a massage on one date – take turns if that feels better.
Learn something new together
Learning together is bonding and there are many ways to learn something for free. Some schools or colleges offer free courses in order to raise awareness of the courses they offer. Youtube and other online sites offer plenty of free tutorials. You can learn anything from making your own rugs to calculus to creating your own miniature garden. Find something you’d both enjoy.
Teach each other a skill
Is there something you know how to do that you can teach him? Does he have a skill you’d like to learn? Teach each other!
There are loads of online games to enjoy free of charge. You can either play against each other or together against others on the web.
Movie at home
Snuggle together on the couch with popcorn, a glass of wine, and enjoy your own movie night. Agree in advance on what you’ll watch to save time (and last minute disputes!)
We are enjoying the US version of “House Of Cards” via Netflix together just now after getting to the end of all “The Big bag Theory” episodes currently out in a boxed set! Do either of you have a favorite series that the other hasn’t seen yet? This can be another fun way to spend an evening, or several evenings in a row, one episode at a time. Or maybe you both want to re-watch the last season before a new one begins.
Many festivals don’t require an entrance fee. Once you’re there, you can choose to spend money, or not. Just wandering around can be loads of fun. Find out in advance what’s available and what form the festival takes, for example whether you need a costume for a medieval, cowboy, or fantasy festival, which might make the event too expensive.
Decide On Your Dream Car
Visit a car show. Keep your eyes open for smaller car shows, which are often free, and enjoy looking at the variety of cars on display. Sometimes shows include a parade of cars, so make sure you get there on time for that. If there’s no car show near you, how about visiting an auto-dealer and test driving a car you and your man would love to own in the future, then making plans for how you’re going to buy one for real in a few years?
Flower and other types of seasonal shows such as Christmas Fairs are often free. Find out if city parks or areas of your town are going to have any kind of show or exhibition. Go without the intent to spend money, and just enjoy yourselves.
Although the purpose of a farmers market is to sell things, you can have a great date just looking around. Or go when you were going to go shopping for groceries anyway. You can find unique items, special deals, or just enjoy the sights and smells.
Museums and art galleries
Many museums and art galleries have a free admission policy or ask only for optional donations. Those that charge an entrance fee sometimes have free days. Take advantage of these and enjoy a cultural experience. Pick out your favorite piece or pieces and explain to each other why you made your choice.
Just looking doesn’t cost anything, right? This is fun to do on days or at a time when the stores are already closed. You can make believe you’re going to buy things, tell stories about items, or just enjoy the displays.
Be a tourist for a day
When you live somewhere that tourists visit, you can take the sights for granted. But going on a “tourist date” can be great fun as you see things with different eyes.
Take tour of a factory
Factories, wineries and breweries often have “open house” days where people are welcome to see how items are made and sample the products. My favorite – a chocolate factory I visited once as a student!
Youtube has a lot of karaoke songs which you can use to create your own home karaoke. This is great for a group or family date or just for the two of you to sing your favorites.
Pretend you’re having a long distance relationship and meet up over Skype. You can use the date to talk and get to know each other better or make it spicy.
You have to eat anyway, right? So why not cook a meal together and have fun rather than preparing it beforehand. Try a new complicated recipe or technique and laugh when it all goes wrong or keep it simple and just enjoy the food and the time you spend together. Or just bake a cake for dessert or have fun decorating cookies with icing for each other.
Visit a graveyard
Not everyone will think this is romantic, but many people find graveyards to be incredibly beautiful. Some graves are very old and some have beautiful headstones, with a wonderful sense of history behind them.
Feed the ducks
Are there ducks or swans near you? A couple of old bread crusts in hand, and you can have fun as a couple feeding them just like when you were a kid.
Soak up the sun
Take a blanket, some juice, and head out to a meadow. You can lie in the sun, talking or telling stories. Especially after a rainy spell or winter months, this can be a relaxing way to have a date.
Go on a walk in the forest
Walking together anywhere can be wonderful. The forest seems to add its own magic. See if you can name animal or plant species. Go in different seasons and watch how the forest changes.
For a slightly more vigorous date, you can plan a hike near you. Make sure you’re both wearing comfortable shoes and plan ahead so that you have food, drinks, and a map of where you’re going.
Head out on a clear night. Can you name the constellations? If you know a meteor shower or special moon will be happening, it’s a great time to plan a night-time date. Make sure you also have blankets to cover up with, as well as warm beverages if needed.
This is a lovely relaxing way to spend an hour on a sunny day, especially if it’s warm enough to lie on the ground while you enjoy the shapes you see in the clouds. What type of cloud are they? Can you make up stories about the clouds you see?
If you both have a sport that you enjoy, you can play together or against each other. You can choose to get competitive, or train for a marathon, for example. This could be an ongoing date idea, so you know you’ll have plenty of scheduled time together.
Create your own scavenger hunt
One of you can get creative and create a scavenger hunt for the other. The prize can be anything you like, such as a lunch together, voucher for a massage later on, a chore done or a box of your favorite chocolates.
Pack what you’re having for lunch, grab a blanket, and head out for a picnic. You can do this in your backyard, the local park or anywhere outdoors where you can sit and eat in peace.
Fly a kite/toss a Frisbee
If you don’t want to go all-out with a sports activity, something less strenuous like flying a kit or throwing a Frisbee is a great way to get moving out in the fresh air. As both take a bit of skill you can have fun learning together.
Go to a playground
If there’s a playground that isn’t filled with children, it can be a fun place to hang out for a date. Push each other on the swings, or see who’s better on the monkey bars. Relive your childhood together!
Go swimming in a lake or in the sea
Is there a lake or beach nearby where it’s free and safe to swim? Get some exercise and have fun splashing about. Take towels, blankets and coffee in a Thermos so you can get warm again when you come out, or sunscreen and a cover up depending where you live. If you have some privacy at the spot you choose, you may be able to get away with skinny dipping, and add some extra spice to the experience.
Splash in a river
Some rivers are safe to splash in, especially if you know the places where the flow is not too strong. It’s a way to cool down in summer months, and can be a challenge to try to get across without landing in the water. If you prefer to stay dry, sit on the river bank and watch the water flowing by.
Watch the sunset
You can watch the sun setting from your window, balcony or patio at home or find a local beauty spot to catch it. Great places are at the beach or by a lake, or from the top of a hill, but just about anywhere where you have some privacy to enjoy the falling darkness will work.
Watch the sunrise
For early birds, this can be a wonderful way to start the day. Find out what time the sun will rise and get up early enough to experience it together. This is great in the spring and summer months, when everything looks beautiful, the birds are singing and the day is just about to wake up.
Relive good times
Do you already have a lot of photos taken together? Do you have a box with memorabilia that you’ve saved from earlier dates and important events? Going through old photo albums and scrap books is a great bonding experience. Bask in those memories.
Over to you: How do you like to spend time together when money is tight? Please share in the comments below
What an inspirational list – thank you so much for sharing all of these great ideas! My husband and I will have fun trying some of them for our next dates. 🙂
Laurel Regan recently posted…Blogging from A to Z Challenge – Z is for…
I hope you enjoy them Laurel. Thanks!
Ana recently posted…What To Do When He Flirts With Other Women
What a great list! I really thought hard about trying to add one to your list. The only one I could come up with is Wine Tasting. In our area is can be free or $5 to taste. So if you can withhold from becoming a wine club member or buying a bunch it can be a cheap date. Glad I found you on the last day of UBC!
Emily Wilke recently posted…Top 5 Blog Posts for April 2014
Thanks Emily. I wish we could do wine tastings so cheaply here – it costs about $6 for a single glass in a cafe.
Ana recently posted…One Difference Between Loving And Liking
These are awesome ideas! I love the sun basking and picnic and outdoors ones haha so awesome! Thanks for posting! (Visiting from UBC)
Darci recently posted…Vlog Family Update
Thanks Darci. Just waiting for the weather to improve so we can do that too 🙂
Ana recently posted…Are Shared Interests Important In A Relationship?
Lovely ideas! Already did some with my partner, I’m up for all other items in your list.
maanneilaganlopez recently posted…Z is for Fr. Z’s Internet Prayer
Thanks, I hope you enjoy them! Look out for Part 2 today for more date ideas.
Ana recently posted…Are Shared Interests Important In A Relationship?
Wow so many fab ideas! I love people watching, I could sit for hours watching the world go by 🙂 xx
Emilyandindiana recently posted…Off To The Zoo With Our Little Monkey!
Thanks Emily. It can keep me entertained for hours too 🙂
Ana recently posted…Three Little Things From This Week