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Cheap Dates - 25 Dates for $25 or Less

Updated on June 19, 2013
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As couples plan for the perfect date night, buying new outfits, making dinner reservations, pre-ordering candies, picking out flowers, and more, credit card debt is rising, cash is dwindling, and stress is at an all-time high.

In today’s economy, it’s getting harder and harder to justify shelling out an exorbitant amount of money each time you go out. In some cases, couples are opting out of date night altogether, and in doing so they’re forgoing the quality time they really need with one another.

Well, lovelorn couples need not shy away from going out because there really is such a thing as a “cheap date.” Below are 25 dates for $25 or less that are romantic, adventurous and a whole lot of fun.

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For the Romantic Couple:

1. Dinner and a Movie – I’m not talking about the cliché, “dinner and movie” that costs a fortune. Rent the first movie you saw together or enjoy an old Oscar classic, then cook an inexpensive meal, or order a pizza. The key is spending time together. Estimated Cost: $15

2. Popcorn Flicks in the Park – Check your local paper, but most major cities offer free movies in the park for you and your honey to cozy up to. But, be forewarned; popcorn is not included. Estimated Cost: Free

3. A Walk on the Beach – Depending on the time of year or where you live, this date may get pretty cold, but walking along the beach at night is very romantic. Bring some hot chocolate or warm cider; you can even top it off with a bonfire, while roasting marshmallows. Don’t forget to bring a blanket for cuddling. Estimated Cost: $8

4. Musical Theater – There are plenty of college and local theaters that offer cheap tickets, just to get the seats filled. It doesn’t have to be a Broadway show; check your local listings to see what plays are in town. You’re sure to find a deal. Estimated Cost: $10 per person.

5. Live Music – Many restaurants offer free jazz, or other live musical performances, as long as you patron their eatery. Enjoy a relaxing drink or two while listening to some nice melodies, and snuggling up to your baby Estimated Cost: $25

6. Nighttime Picnic in the Park – It may sound odd to go to a park at night, but it’s actually very romantic. Bring a quilt, some cheap wine, cheese and crackers and spend the night looking at the stars. Estimated Cost: $14

7. Drinks and Dessert – After eating dinner at home, find a nice bar or lounge, preferably during Happy Hour, and splurge on a cocktail; share a dessert and soak in each other’s company. Estimated Cost: $22

8. Drive-In Movie – Bring back the days of yesteryear with this nostalgic date. Although most drive-in theaters are long since forgotten, with a little research you might be able to find one in your neck of the woods. Estimated Cost: $5 per person.

9. Wine Tasting – Brush up your wine palate with this charming date you and your sweetie will positively enjoy. Just make sure you come with stomachs already full. Some wine bars offer free tastings on certain days of the week, but you have to do your homework. Estimated Cost: Free-$12 per person.

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For the Adventurous Couple:

10. Bike Riding – Take a fun bike ride around the beach or through your neighborhood. If you don’t have bikes of your own you can usually rent one for an hour’s worth of fun. Estimated Cost: $6-$10 per person.

11. Go-Kart Racing – Experience the thrill of head-to-head racing, in a safe and controlled environment. This date will absolutely be a blast, especially if you’re a true competitor at heart. Estimated Cost: $12 per person.

12. Laser Tag – This is an entertaining and daring game that you and your partner will be talking about all night. This activity allows you to tag your beloved by using a hand-held infrared-emitting device. Fun, fun, fun. Estimated Cost: $10 per game, per person.

13. Indoor Rock Climbing – Forget attempting to climb Mount Everest. You can enjoy rock climbing that’s safe and fun. This is definitely an adventure you’ll be laughing about for years to come. Estimated Cost: $25 per couple.

14. Hiking – For those sports-minded couples who enjoy walking outside, in a natural scenic environment then hiking is the perfect date for you. Find a fun trail and pack a lunch for when the journey is complete. Estimated Cost: $11

15. Roller-skating – Relive the days of your youth as you skate the night away to your favorite oldies. This fun activity is a sure-fire way to connect with that special person and brush up on your skating skills. Average Cost: $7-$10 per couple.

16. Road Trip – A road trip is a great time to connect with your loved one. Depending on where you live, you can drive along an enchanting highway or a popular destination and enjoy the sites, while bonding in the car. Pack a lunch, and enjoy the ride. Estimated Cost: Other than gas, it’s free.

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For the Fun Loving Couple:

17. Game Night – Find an adult arcade that’s fun and inexpensive. Check the Internet for deals because oftentimes the facility will offer ½ off during Happy Hour, so you can quench your competitive thirst on the cheap. Estimated Cost: $10 per person, or pay as you play.

18. Bowling – You may throw a strike but you’ll never strike out if you choose bowling for your date night. So, dust off your skills, lace up your shoes and enjoy this always-fun atmosphere. Estimated Cost: $7 per game, per person (includes bowling shoes).

19. Miniature Golf – Enjoy an informal game of golf played on fun obstacle courses. Even the novice golfer will take pleasure in trying to impress their honey with a hole in one. Estimated Cost: $10 per person.

20. Karaoke – Many karaoke bars are free. You can dine in, or just have a couple of drinks while enjoying the entertainment, or come with your appetites already satisfied and sing a duet together. Estimated Cost: Free to $20.

21. Comedy Club – There are comedy clubs that hand out free tickets, especially if there’s an amateur comic trying to promote their act. Normally, there is a two-drink minimum, but there’s no need to buy expensive cocktails, just order some sodas and enjoy the laughs. Estimated Cost: $24

22. Sightseeing – Where do all the tourists hang when they’re in town? If in LA, it’s the Hollywood Walk of Fame; if New York, it’s Times Square; or if you’re in Greenville, South Carolina, try Falls Park on the Reedy. Be a sightseer, hang out, people-watch, hold hands, laugh, bring your camera and have fun. Estimated Cost: Free

23. Grab Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt – Enjoy a frozen treat with your sweetheart. You can’t go wrong with a sugary delicacy, especially if you share a supersized banana split or blizzard. Estimated Cost: $10

24. Local Amusement Park or Carnival – You can probably find a free church fair, or school festival, and enjoy the amusement. And, if you and your darling volunteer together beforehand you may even get free tickets to enjoy the rides. Cotton candy anyone? Estimated Cost: $0-$25, depending on how much or little you play.

25. Polo Match – Do something different, and take in a polo match. Observe this team sport played on horseback. There are plenty of matches that offer free general admission seating. Ladies, locate your best floral dress, and men pull out that blazer and tie for an enjoyable day outside. Estimated Cost: Free

Date night doesn’t have to be a wallet draining experience. It can be romantic, adventurous, fun and still be affordable. But remember, it isn’t where you go or how much you spend that makes a date night special, it’s having a wonderful time with the person you care for, and that advice is absolutely, positively free.

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    • Laurinzo Scott profile image

      Live To Write 13 months ago from Phoenix, Az.

      Very great hub... interesting ... definitely points to consider, once I find that someone... Nice!!!

    • Careermommy profile image
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      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi Laura, thanks for commenting. You've reminded me of a date I want to take with my hubby soon!

    • LauraAmsel profile image

      Laura Amsel 4 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Oooh, I love the Nighttime Picnic in the Park idea! Sounds like it would be a perfect date night.

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi AmandaJon, thank you for your encouraging words!

    • AmandaJon profile image

      Amanda Jones 4 years ago

      Cute date ideas, this was a really lengthy list! Great resource!

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi peachpurple, the beach along with the picnic sounds like the perfect date to me. Those are the most romantic and quality time spent dates around. Thank you for your comments.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      interesting dates. When me and my hubby were dating, we used to visit the beach and bring along picnic treats. Those were the cheapest dates we had. Wonderful tips you had listed. I sure would like to have the pub live song. Voted up

    • Careermommy profile image
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      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Thank you Nicole! I hope you get to enjoy some of them. (-:

    • Nicole S profile image

      Nicole S Hanson 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Very nice ideas! Lots of fun :)

    • Careermommy profile image
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      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi Insightful Tiger, you are definitely due for a date! Even if you just put the kids to bed and have movie night and wine at home, you and your hubby deserve it. Thank you for reading!

    • Insightful Tiger profile image

      Insightful Tiger 4 years ago

      You have so many great ideas in this hub. You and your husband must have a great time together! My husband and I haven't had a date in over two years. We are definitely overdue! I'm going to have to find a babysitter and try one of your great ideas for a romantic night together. Voted up and pinned for later use :) Thank you for sharing!

    • Careermommy profile image
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      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Ha Ha. I'm laughing at myself now. I know I found a $5 drive-in, in my neck of the woods, I hope the one in your area is not like $20!

    • kellyteam profile image

      Willette 4 years ago from Michigan

      you welcome. Thank you. Stop laughing at me :)

    • Careermommy profile image
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      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      LOL, yes I found some drive-in theaters that are charging only $5! LOL. You should research your area and see what you find for your date night tonight. Thanks for reading.

    • kellyteam profile image

      Willette 4 years ago from Michigan

      I really enjoyed this and I think we could do something from each category. but come on is the drive in really still only $5.00? Awesome hub. Thumbs up. Now let me go see where I can take my husband tonight?:)) Thanks!

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      Nakawill 4 years ago

      Great article with wonderful ideas! Looking at #10....We have bikes that we have not used in a long while and so I think its time we bust those out!

    • Careermommy profile image
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      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Thank you Ayanna for your comment!

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi Louise, thank you for the read. I'm glad you were able to get some ideas from this hub. It is often so difficult to plan the right, affordable date so I'm glad this was helpful!

    • Louise Lately profile image

      Louise Lately 4 years ago from London, UK

      Hi Careermommy! Really like this hub - I'm always trying to think of new activities for dates that don't cost the earth and you gave me some good ideas. Very well written.

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      Ayanna 4 years ago

      Great ideas, something more people need to think about doing. Even myself!

    • Careermommy profile image
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      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Thank you naturalife for the read, and kind comment!

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      naturalife 4 years ago

      Very interesting and great hub. I like the six activities you have for adventurous couple.