30 Cheap & Fun Date Ideas
Have your date nights turned into a routine dinner and a movie? Remember how much fun you used to have when you first started dating? I asked friends for suggestions and came up with a list of 30 great date ideas.
Download and print the checklist!
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Here are some ideas to bring fun back into your dates — without going broke!
My husband and I do bike dates. After riding our bikes for an hour or so, we stop at KFC and get it to go. Then we ride to our local park where we eat and play Yahtzee. It’s alot of fun. ~Suzanne
You can put a different twist on the ho-hum dinner date by having one spouse kidnap his/her mate. I did this one time—kidnapped my hubby from work (I set it up ahead of time with his boss). Made him get into the car and I started driving. He didn’t know where we were going. We drove for well over an hour and pulled into a lovely lake-side park (I had scouted out the location weeks earlier). Then I pulled a picnic basket, packed with all his favorites, out of the trunk. I even stuck in a loaf of day-old bread for feeding the ducks. ~Connie
Sometimes we like to send our kids to the grandparents, and get our favorite take out and watch movies at home. ~Erin
Star gazing. Watch websites like space weather or NASA’s Hubble pictures for a good event coming up. Plan ahead for a clear night, get blankets, binoculars, and, perhaps, a picnic basket of yummies and spend an evening under the stars with your love. ~Robert
A local arboretum has night hikes once a month & then go for coffee & donuts. ~Lisa
As recent newlyweds, the hubs and I have discovered that dates don’t have to happen exclusively at night. We combine a picturesque drive with either a picnic or a meal at a restaurant (often one from Diners, Drive Ins and Dives) depending on the budget and time constraints. We bring along the camera and take lots of pictures. Even if we only have a couple of hours, we make the most of them. ~Kathleen
One time I surprised my husband by taking him to the local high school basketball game. It was winter and I just wanted to get out of the house without spending a lot—and the school was three blocks away. We had toddler children, so we aren’t plugged into HS sports at all, but it was fun to watch the antics of the high school kids and cheer on the school that my girls will eventually go to HS at. He totally didn’t see that one coming. ~Tabitha
Barnes and Noble. Read to your heart’s content. ~Trisha
A ballroom dance class. Bowling. Museum. Arcade/billiards. One of those ceramic paint-it-yourself places. Live music (usually free at parks in the summer). ~Sandra
One year, I had talked about wanting to take ballroom dancing, but our funds were really low. My husband downloaded a bunch of free music into a playlist and found dance steps online, printed them, and put them in my stocking for Christmas. Free and thoughtful! Can even do it after children are in bed if you can’t pay babysitter! ~Sarah
Our inexpensive take on dinner-and-a-movie dates has been fast food and then browsing through the free stacks of movies at the local library for a fun show to take home. Popcorn and chocolate milk round out the night with a fun but inexpensive treat! ~Arlene
You know i’m super girlie and I know this sounds so redneck but going to a shooting range. Sometimes doing something boyish isn’t so bad. They have pretty guns to choose from and they have targets that you can play games on like battleship or hangman. ~Liz
We often play miniature golf. Loser buys ice cream! ~Carrie
A walk, that’s what I want, a nice long walk and some conversation. ~Jennifer
Riding 4 wheelers or horses. And my son just got a Rzr, which is really cool. ~Pam
We usual will go out to eat and then go to a local park with walking trails and we walk together and talk. ~Beth
Going to the gym then hanging out in the pool & hot tub. ~Naila
Can’t do this everywhere . . . but one of my favorite dates in the winter is a day on the snowmobile with my husband! It’s so beautiful and peaceful. I love it!! ~Denice
Rent snow shoes and go for a walk! Beautiful, peaceful and a great form of exercise. ~Jane
We’ve gone to a Home & Garden Show and then had dinner and talked about what we dreamed we could do; same with going to an RV/Camping Show and talked about “when we retire.” ~Cindy
This takes some advance planning/saving: Take your piggy bank that’s been collecting loose change for a few months, empty it into a Coinstar machine, and collect the cash. The challenge is to do on your date something fun that will be covered by whatever amount of money you came up with…no more. One time we went to Walmart and each person had to choose the most random, funny item that cost half the amount of money we had. We compared, then the winner got to choose a place for dessert or some other small treat. We still have a couple of the items we’ve found! ~Alison
Hubby and I will just jump on the motorcycle and take it somewhere new on a sunny day. We have also (when we were younger) taken the car and driven through some residential developments and “dream” with each other what our favorite house would be. ~Kelly
We love looking around in flea markets and antique stores together, so sometimes we’ll each take a small amount of money (like $5 each) and we’ll pick something out for each other. We have to be sneaky while we’re shopping so the other person doesn’t see what we buy (kind of like Christmas!) Then we drive somewhere else and swap gifts–maybe over a cup of coffee or a shared dessert. You can end up with some really random stuff this way (and some fun memories!) ~Jayna
We like to go to local museums and use the coupons out of the entertainment books. ~Celena
Oh, that’s easy—something active. Like tennis, racquet ball, biking the Big Dam Bridge, or working out together is fun and can be quite romantic and physical. Always a hit with Jon and I. ~Jennifer
My husband and I have great fun when we each take a digital camera and head outdoors for a photo shoot of nature, architecture, etc. In fun, we compete for who can take the best shot. We spend little or no money, and in the process, we find new ways to look at everyday things–including our marriage. ~Diana
My hubby and I may go on an eagle sighting excursion … maybe something similar in the great outdoors. ~Ellen
Community theater is great (and usually free if you volunteer to usher or help with concessions!). Also, a neighborhood coffee shop with (or without) board games. ~Helene
My husband and I love to go to a pottery painting place and make mugs for each other (with hidden messages) or paint project that takes contributions from both of us (we made a turn table with several tiles) and we’ve made all kinds of things. It’s relaxing, we can talk while we do it, yet it’s not face-to-face which is WAY more up a masculine alley! ~Carla
God, thank you for the ones I love. Give me the creativity to spend time with them and creatively invest in those relationships.
Little Book of Great Dates: 52 Creative Ideas to Make Your Marriage Fun (Focus on the Family Books) by Erin & Greg Smalley
Generation NeXt Marriage: The Couple’s Guide to Keeping It Together by Tricia Goyer
Date Your Wife by Justin Buzzard
Moms! I recommend Treasury of Bible Stories so much, I want to gift one of my readers a copy!
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