120+ Free or Cheap Date Ideas


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The process of dating and finding your true soulmate and love can be expensive.  If you are currently dating, then you know this to be true. The cost of things like extravagant dinners and going on unique excursions can add up quickly.

When I went on 42 dates in 18 months, my dating costs I calculated totaled over $2,500!

However it doesn’t have to be that costly.

Check out this list of 150 free or cheap date ideas for the frugal-minded person.

Favorite Cheap Date Ideas

cheap date ideas

Healthy and Active Cheap Date Ideas

1.  Go for a bike ride around your neighborhood.

2.  Go for a walking tour where you live.

3.  You could also drive to another neighborhood with very exclusive homes and go for a walk there.

4.  Spend the day at a park nearby and play a game of badminton.

5.  Go rollerblading and show off your moves to your date at the park.

6.  Take a jog at a gym, park, or neighborhood.

7.  If you go to a park that has water access, consider going for a canoe trip or kayak trip.

8.  Grab your rod and reel and go fishing.

9.  Go bike riding at a park.

10.  Find an open spot of land in a park and play a game of frisbee golf.

11.  Grab your timberlands and go on a hike.

12.  Go to a golf driving range and hit golf balls.

13.  Take up a physical activity together such as running, aerobics, or losing weight in general.

14.  Go to a gym and play basketball.

15.  Find a health center and go swimming.

16.  Find a tennis court and play a game of tennis.

17.  Check out meetup.com and see if there is a cool fun activity you could do with your date.

18.  Do babysitting together.  Use sites like care.com to register.   Not only will you be making money, but you will also be able to spend time together while babysitting.

19.  Go swim in a lake.

20.  Feeling the need for speed, take your date for go cart racing.

21.  Hit some balls at batting cages.

22.  Play game of twister.

23.  Challenge your date to a game of kickball.

24.  Show off your golf putting skills with a game of miniature golf.

Romantic Cheap Date Ideas

25.  Have a spa day for you and your date.  You could either go somewhere or do this at home .  Be sure you include romantic items such as candles, oils, and your favorite foods as well.

26.  Bake a cake together.

27.  If holidays are fast approaching, consider baking holiday treats such as cakes and cookies to give away as gifts to family and friends.

28.  Go to a midnight movie.

29.  Make breakfast in bed for your date.

30.  Play board games together.

31.  You could complete a puzzle together.

32.  Get ice cream together.

33.  Go out for breakfast so you can receive early bird specials!

34.  Sharpen up your blades and take your date ice skating (climate dependent).

cheap date night

35.  Make your own hot chocolate recipe.

36.  Go to a coffee shop and tell your date about your goals in life.

37.  If you have old photos, consider putting them together into a movie or a DVD together.

38.  Have a contest and see who can put together the best tasting and cheapest meal at home and feed it to each other blindfold.

(Be sure to check out our list of over 270 cheap meal recipes for families!)

39.  Do a coupon challenge:  Spent some time collecting coupons to see if you can put together a date that won’t cost you anything!

40.  Pick out a bunch of romantic movies, 3 or 4, so you can watch them at home all at once.

41.  Have fondue together.

42.  Camp inside your house with sleeping bags in a tent if you’re not privy to the outdoors.

43.  Give each other facials.

44.  Plan a dream vacation.  Hey it doesn’t cost any money to plan so why not?!

45.  Buy a couple bottles of wine and do wine tasting at home.

46.  Make ice cream sundaes.

Home Improvement and Fun Cheap Date Ideas

47.  Build a bird house together.

48.  Make a bird bath fountain for your house.

49.  Turn your household waste green and make a compost.

50.  Do gardening and landscaping together.

51.  Pick a room in your house and  redecorate it.

52.  Clean out the garage together and sell some of your useless junk to make some money.

53.  Perhaps one of your rooms in your house needs a fresh coat of paint?  Paint a room together.

54.  Want to be more healthy?  Make garden boxes with your date and start planting your own produce in your backyard.

(Be sure to check out our list of 185+ frugal living tips for more home improvement ideas for cheap dates!)

55.  Redecorate your backyard and patio with outdoor lighting.

Craft and Self Improvement Cheap Date Ideas

cheap dating ideas

56.  Take classes at your local community college and become authors.

57.  Research out home brew kits and experiment with making your own alcoholic beer and wine.  If you’re not into alcohol there are also other mixes available that are alcohol free.

58.  Look for cheap classes and learn how to make a craft together.

59.  Take up a hobby together such as painting with acrylics and oil‘s.

60.  Go to the library and check out books together.

61.  Also take a look at DVD’s and CD’s as well that you can check out of the library.

62.  Pick an activity you both love and learn how to turn it into your own business.

63.  If you like to read, take your date to a bookstore.

64.  Make chocolate together.  There are all kinds of recipes out there for different types of chocolate that you can make at home.  You can make chocolate covered nuts and fruits.

65.  Look at old photo albums.

66.  If you and your date are interested in real estate, consider going house hunting for exquisite properties as something fun to do.

67.  Make candles at home to sell on Etsy.

68.  If you like alcohol, make your favorite drinks at home and surprise your date by a blindfold drink exchange.

69.  Learn a new skill together and watch reference videos on YouTube.

70.  Refurbish a piece of furniture.

Outdoor and Nature Cheap Dates

71.  Consider going on an outdoor picnic with your date.

72.  Fly a kite together.

73.  Go on an overnight camping trip at a park that lets you camp there.

74.   Stargaze at the park:  Pick up a cheap telescope and take that with you on your date.

75.  Play frisbee together.

76.  Have a barbecue.

77.  Like to be outdoors?  Go stone hunting together.

78.  Take up bird watching.  You could go to a local nature preserve to do this (or even simply staying in your neighborhood would work as well).

79.  Go garage sale shopping.

80.  Be sure to check out estate sales in your neighborhood so you can discover possible treasures.

81.  Invest in a decent digital camera and go somewhere together to take pictures of landscape or landmarks.  Consider selling them down the road for extra money as a creative way to make money.

82.  Depending on the season, consider picking fruit such as apples, blueberries, and strawberries, at a local farm.

83.  Go to your local farmers market.

84.  Go sledding together (climate dependent).

85.  Pick a couple hours and go ice fishing (climate dependent).

86.  Make a snowman together (climate dependent).

87.  Build your very own snow castle (climate dependent).

88.  Make a campfire in your backyard and roast marshmallows.

89.  Do a camp out.  Camp out in your very own backyard.

90.  Get some sidewalk chalk and draw pictures on your driveway.

91.  If you want to invest a little bit of money, buy folding bicycles.  Consider going somewhere you  have never been before and taking your bikes with you to explore that area.

Culture and Entertainment Cheap Dates

92.  See if there are any working dairy farms by you and go on a tour.  Maybe you will get to milk a cow.

93.  Look for concerts in your community.  My community host these during the summer months and they are a lot of fun.  Bring lawn chairs, snacks, and a blanket and you can talk and listen to music all night long.

94.  Try to plan a going out of town vacation by using public transportation or other cheap transportation modes available.

95.  Go to a local car dealership and test drive your favorite car or test drive the favorite car of your date.

Cheap Date ideas For Couples

96.  Go antiquing at an antique store.

97.  If you like pets, consider going to your local animal shelter and spending time with some animals that could use some love and affection.

98.  Go house sitting with your date.  Check out sites like trustedhousesitters.com to see if there is an available house you could houses sit at.

99.  Find a local brewery and take your date to happy hours and score some free drinks and score some drinks on the cheap.

100.  Go to an art museum.

101.  Consider helping your community out and volunteering together.

102.  Do a food tour of your three most favorite restaurants in your neighborhood for drinks one night.

(If you both have kids, consider making it a family date and check out our list of over 125+ kids eat free restaurants!)

103.  Take a day trip on the train.

104.  Go out to ballroom dancing one night.

105.  If you’re looking for a completely new cheap dating adventure, then go to drag Queen bingo.   A local community where I live has it regularly and it’s very popular.  (TIP:  You don’t have to dress in drag to go!)

106.  Own a pair of bowling shoes?   Why not go bowling then!

107.  If you live close to an international border, consider spending the day and exploring a new place and town.

108.  Drive around your neighborhood to look at Christmas lights.

109.  Make Christmas ornaments as gifts for family and friends.

110.  Do a trivia night at a local bar.

111.  Do you think you’re funny? If you want to show your skills off to your date, then take your date to an improv comedy night at a comedy club.

fun cheap date ideas

112.  Go to karaoke somewhere so you can show off your vocal skills.

113.  Check out membership stores and get free samples all day.  Think of stores such as Walmart Sam’s Club  and Costco.

114.  If you have a zoo membership, consider taking your date there.  Often times, the zoo memberships will get you into other zoos as well so be sure to check out if your membership has partnerships like that.

115.  Attend wine tasting with your date.

116.  Tour a city virtually through drone videos posted online.

117.  Get some friends together and go to an escape room with your date.

118.  Attend a book reading.

119.  Go to a bar that plays jazz music live.

120.  Take in a street art fair.

121.  Go to an arcade.

Awesome Fun Date Ideas

Going on dates doesn’t mean you have to spend tons of money.  As you can see, there are tons of cheap date ideas out there that you can do with your date.

If you are trying to learn how to save money as a high school student, you definitely want to take advantage of these epic cheap date ideas.

Whether or not this is your first date or your hundredth date with your partner, these creative ideas will always continue to impress your partner.  These creative and romantic cheap date night ideas are guaranteed to make your date swoon with affection.

Have a date idea?  Drop us a comment below and we will add it to this list!


Looking for more ways to save money in life?  

Check out our  Saving Money Guide:  Saving Money Strategies That Work 


BG Vance

For over 20 years, BG Vance has been a leader in public and personal financial management. He's developed and managed public budgets in excess of hundreds of millions of dollars. He is passionate about the FIRE movement and was featured in the Detroit News in 2001 about saving for retirement. Through the years, he's assisted families and individuals with getting their finances on track. He holds an MPA, is a licensed Realtor, and is currently working on a book about personal finance.

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