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Date ideas that are Affordable, Cheap or even Free

Updated on April 23, 2014
Poker with a twist
Poker with a twist

While still a staple date, there are only so many dinner and a movie dates you can have before the routine becomes a bit stagnant. Like life, we need change to keep our interests up and grow individually and as a couple. Below are some great date ideas that cost from free to maybe a hundred or so dollars depending on your preferences. Feel free to add some more in the comments section below and share your insights on what for you, has been a great date!

1.Make cookies: And when I say make cookies, this does not mean buying the already made dough and simply putting them in the oven. This isn’t making cookies, this is heating cookies. Make Cookies! Find a recipe that is exciting for both of you.

2.Play cards: Playing cards can be fun, but playing cards for keeps is even more fun. Play your favorite game best out of 3. Loser has to to…….(fill in the blank).

3.Movie night. Nothing wrong with a traditional movie night. Make it more exciting and pull a double feature. Set the tone that the night is going to be all about being snuggled together.

4.Home Improvement: Paint a Wall: Not just painting a boring wall for repair, but paint a wall your favorite color or something you’ve been wanting to try. Turn a plain wall into a purple accent wall, or sand and re-stain a favorite but beaten up furniture piece.

5.Game Night: (for him). Even if you don’t like sports, finding a game that is mildly meaningful to a guy and turning into game 7 fanfare can go a long way. Make it even more exciting and make 3 fun bets for the game. Something like, team with the most points, total points combined and then something silly, along the way. Come up with some prizes…or punishments for the loser.

Spa time or bath time is always more fun together.
Spa time or bath time is always more fun together.

6.Bath time: Depending on how close you are or how long into your relationship you are, an intimate, soothing, relaxing bath can be a nice treat to come home to.

7.Pizza Night! And not just ordering in pizza, that is easy peasy. Find a local pizza parlor and physically go their for some late night pie. It will totally make you feel like you’re a kid again.

8.Go for a walk in a park or around the neighborhood – not only good exercise, it basically forces you to talk. Great for after work during the middle of the week when options for excitement may be a bit more limited.

9.Come up with and share 20 funny facts about yourself you think your partner may not know about you. Grab a bottle of wine and take turn sharing stories.

10.Plan a vacation. Sometimes getting together to look up vacation spots and planning a trip together can be fun. Come to the table with the goal in mind and respect each others input. You may have differences of what you want to do, but ultimately, doing something together should be all you need.

wild things
wild things

11.Go shopping together for one outfit each for a future dinner date. Plan a dinner date for some time in the future and go to each other’s favorite stores and pick out something for each other to wear.

12.Hot and steamy movie night: find a movie a bit more….sensual and plan for some sparks to fly. Often times we let the craziness of our days get in the way of connecting, sometimes a jump start is just what you need.

13.Road Trip – find a town or place within an hour or two and take a quick half day trip. Plan a nice lunch and checking out some local shops for some walking around. The goal is to do something you haven’t done before, but do it together. That’s the best way to learn about your mate.

14.Beach! Go to the beach. Don’t have a beach, go to the pool, don’t’ have a pool well, check out some other ideas. Bathing suit fun is always a good time.

15.CoffeHouse music. Check the local musicians floating around your favorite coffee-shop and plan to spend an hour or two chatting and listening to music.

cooking class
cooking class

16.Festivals! As the weather warms, chances are an ethnic festival is heating up. Go try some yummy festival food and do some people watching.

17.Video Games: I’m not talking fancy video games, I’m talking video game Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune or Family Fued. Most of your favorite game shows are made for Playstation or Xbox. Play a best of 3 tournament….winner takes all (you decide the prize).

18.Sporting Event: find a local sports game, NBA, MLB, or minor league team, and dress up to support the team.

19.Cooking Classes: not all cooking classes are about technique. Some cooking classes are more about the BYOB and food than about the process. These can be fun and easy to explore food together.

20. Painting with a twist! There are becoming an increasing number of studios where you can bring a bottle of wine and walk through a painting with a trained professional. Typically pretty cheap but fun and you’ll be surprised that you can actually paint something halfway decent.

21. Concerts: check your local venue and see when some of your favorite artists are coming to town. Music and good company always makes for a good night.

22 Strip Anything. From Poker to Rummy, to any game. Turn the competition into a naughty treat. You decide the pace, but losing sometimes is more fun.

23.Play Tennis or Go to the driving range. Not a lot of skill is required, and this could easily pass an hour or two. Equipment costs are minimal, and court time is often free.

24.Go to the Movies….traditional, easy, but still enjoyable.

25.Picnic: Clean out your snack drawer, or stop for some treats, grab a deck of cards and be on your way.

Grow your relationship through gardening.
Grow your relationship through gardening.

26.Volunteer somewhere: Habitat for Humanity, or other charitable organizations often have events you can sign up for an help.

27. Plant Flowers. Go to your local nursery and buy some pots and flowers to spruce up your pad. You don’t need a lawn if you live in an apartment, various plants can grow about anywhere under most conditions.

28.Plan to watch the sunset. On a clear day, pick a spot with a good view and plan to meet up for the sunset, from there whatever you do next will likely be a bit more enjoyable.

29.Go Camping. Grab a tent, some things to make it more comfortable and head out into the wilderness. Don’t have a park nearby, use your backyard. Still don’t feel like leaving, make a pact to avoid using electricity….(no TV or internet).

30. Find a Playground. Not in a creepy way, but in a fun, kid way, find some swings to sit and talk.

Comedy Clubs are good date spots
Comedy Clubs are good date spots

31. Zoo goes the animals. Go to the Zoo. I don’t care how many times you’ve gone, seeing a tiger or Koala bear is always something to see. Find out what your favorite animals are and go hunt for them.

32.Stay up late challenge. Plan on staying up as late as you can, but plan on sleeping in. First one up in the morning cooks the other breakfast….or lunch if that is the case.

33.Mini Golf, or Go-Karts. Reminds you of your childhood, but just as fun with someone you love.

34.Museums – most museums rotate exhibits through so there is always something different to see. Check out some fine art and be sure to use the corny phrase….girl, that art is ffffffine.

35.Comedy Clubs – what is better than laughter after a long and tedious week. Check out the local comedy club for an evening of fun.

36.Movie Marathon. With Netflix and online media, it is easy to find oh lets say….all 8 Harry Potter movies, or watch an entire season of your that show you never watched but always wanted to.

37. Read a favorite book together. Find a book you both like and take turns reading it to each other.

blind food tasting
blind food tasting

38. Puzzles! Nothing like the frustration but enjoyment of building something together.

39.Blind Food Tasting – go to the store separately and pick out 10 food items. Don’t’ tell each other what you got and blindfold your partner. Take turns feeding eachother an guessing what you’re eating.

40. Cook-off challenge. It’s a throwdown. Pick a food item and battle your partner in the test of taste. Without telling someone who made what, have a third taste your treats and pick a winner.

41. Full house naked cleaning. Want to get the whole house clean? Strip down to your birthday suit and try to clean the whole house. Split rooms, or do it together and see how long you can resist. You may not make much progress on the cleaning side.

42. Drive-in makeout. What brings you back to your teenage years than making out in your car. Find a private and safe place to pull over and swap some spit.

43. Try and draw each other. If you fail there, try and draw something else.

44.Mystery Date. Come up with some date ideas and pick from a hat. You won’t know what your evening has in store until you draw.

45. Go to an arcade, Dave & Busters or other interactive adult oriented facility. Games, food and fun. What more could you ask for.

46.Food-Truck hunting. Hunt down your favorite food truck for lunch. Typically not in the same place every day, stalk your food truck for that food craving.

47. 3 Restaurants in One Night: Start off at a happy hour and grab a tasty appetizer, then move on to a different restaurant for dinner and finally onto a third place for dessert. You could end up having your favorite dish for every course.

48. Cheap date: Find the cheapest 3 items plus a drink for dinner. Search the dollar menu’s, or look for some ramen noodle. Each person has to eat the others picks. The cheapest date wins.

49. Wine Tasting or Brewery tour. Mixing alcohol with a date can turn any date into the unknown.

50. Go to Church. Find a Bible Based church or something more general and listen to some good music and feed the soul. Things like this could help bring you closer together on a spiritual level.

51. Share your own! Drop a comment below and share your favorite date idea.

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    • amandaruthart profile image

      Amanda Ruth B 2 years ago from Los Alamitos

      love this list! My fiance and I do many of these dates!

      Also I work as one of the instructors at Painting With a Twist. We do specific date night paintings so people don't go home with two of the same painting, but two canvases that they put together to make bigger image! It's one of my favorite nights at work. Thanks for sharing!