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$20 or Less Date Nights

Updated on May 19, 2020
JordanMullican profile image

Determined to always keep the relationship active, Jordan frequently searches for inexpensive dates for her and her fiance.

My fiance and I
My fiance and I

You Don't Have to Spend Big Bucks

You don't have to stop going on dates once you've found your forever friend, but you don't have to spend big bucks to go out either. There are so many ways to have a wonderful evening out for less than $20, and while they may all be simple, they still create memorable evenings. If you've been wracking your brain to find something to do with your partner or significant other without breaking the bank, I have just the cure for you here.

Chasing the sunset at Lake Michigan
Chasing the sunset at Lake Michigan

Dinner and a View

While the food doesn't have to be extravagant, I am willing to bet that your partner will be appreciative to have dinner resolved for the afternoon. With plenty of options on how to pull off dinner for less than $20, the views are typically free, with the exception of gas money of course.

Look for beaches, piers, parks, large hills-- the works. Each of these places can offer a quiet, serene setting for even the most simple dinner. You'll have the opportunity to talk, take pictures, eat, and go for a stroll all in the same location. Make sure to take a blanket to sit on, and a bag for trash.

Not sure how to handle dinner? Check out my short article on Couples Meals for Under $20:

Darn! Out-fished again!
Darn! Out-fished again!

Outdoor Dates

For couples similar to my fiance and I, outdoor dates are just as lovely as the indoor variety, and often preferred when given the option. Whether you are looking to involve some competition in your date, or just in search of a romantic landscape, outdoor dates can be a fantastic way to spend some time together.

Fishing can be inexpensive hobby, and nearly everyone has at least one small fishing area near them. Tackle is cheap, poles can be purchased as low as $10, and worms are free if you have the time to get them yourself. Taking poles together with a container of worms provides a calm evening, opportunities to talk, and the chance for a few moments of major excitement if you land a catch. If you have a competitive side to your relationship, fighting to see who catches more, or bigger fish is always fun.

Watching the sun set can be a romantic outdoor date night idea that can incorporate dinner into the evening. Whether you decide to find a pond or lake, sit at the park, or you have a gorgeous hillside near you, taking ice cream or wine to an area to watch the sunset is a spectacular way to end anyone's evening. This can be done as an end to a longer date night as well.

Our daughter and I putting a face mask on Scott, which I have also done on our alone date nights.
Our daughter and I putting a face mask on Scott, which I have also done on our alone date nights.

Indoor Activities

If you aren't a fan of the outdoors, or if the weather doesn't permit for an outdoor date, there are always indoor activities to fall back on instead.

Bowling can be a fun activity, and if you only want to play a few games, it's still less than $20 for an hour or so worth of fun. Socks are the only requirement, though I do recommend leaving the dress or skirt at home and choosing a comfortable pair of jeans to wear. Perfect for a couple with a competitive nature, this activity can be found cheaper during the week at bowling alleys that offer discount days.

Movie night at home, or night out at the theater? Both can be done for $20 if done correctly. Most theaters have matinee pricing during the week at some point, meaning that ticket prices are discounted in hopes to keep the theaters busy during the week. Going during the week also means you may not be packed into a theater with 100 different people, you may get the luxury of having your favorite seat in the theater.

Movie nights at home can be just as fun. Finding a frozen pizza to share, buying cheap snacks and candies from the local gas station or dollar store, snuggling up with a blanket and your favorite person has always been my preference over the movie theater. At home, you get to pause the movie if you need to run to the restroom, refill your popcorn, or answer the phone. Movies themselves can be purchased or rented for a small fee online or at your local movie rental store.

Another fishing date on a separate day.
Another fishing date on a separate day.

In Conclusion

In my personal experience, some of my favorite nights out with my fiance have been nights where absolutely no money was spent at all. While date nights are important for most couples, they don't have to break the bank each time. There are a multitude of activities and locations that offer simplistic beauty and serenity, and often times that change of scenery from your normal daily life or the inside of your home can be all that's needed to feel like you've had a special evening.


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