It’s not always easy to plan a night out with that special someone, with all you have to do on the farm timing can be tricky. So when it works out that you can finally go on a date, don’t let your financial situation be what holds you back. After scouring resources, we asked our friends, neighbors, co-workers and even our mother-in-laws, what their favorite budget friendly excursions for date night were. Here’s 50 budget-friendly date ideas to get you started:
1. Pack a basket (or a backpack or even a brown sack) and go to a park for a picnic.
2. Throw a blanket on the floor inside, or on the grass outside and have a picnic.
3. Go on a drive, hike, run, bike ride, etc. in search of her (or his) favorite wildflowers. Pick one or two of each kind and take them home to press them into a dried flower keepsake (check with your local laws on wildflower harvesting first).
4. Check with your local museums to see if they offer a “free” day.
5. Catch the afternoon matinee at a movie theater – tickets are usually half of what the evening shows are.
6. Send her (or him) on a scavenger hunt and pretend that you have no idea what is waiting at the end – yes this will take advance prepping and planning on your part, but it will be worth it to see them having fun.
7. If you are sports fans, find the high school version of your sport and go watch a game.
8. Take an early morning or late evening walk in the park when the sun is either rising or setting to allow for the lighting to change the scenery as you walk through it.
9. Take him (or her) fishing. Even if they don’t know how and especially if they do. (Check with your local Division of Wildlife regulations and get a fishing license or daily pass if you need to).
10. Go to a penny arcade.
11. Locate the historic section of your town and go on an “expedition” to try to uncover at least ten things you did not already know.
12. Attend an open mic night or even better, write a poem and read it to your significant other at an open mic night.
13. If you sell at the farmer’s market go there as a patron, visit the vendors and tell them how you met. Listen to some live music and grab a snack.
14. Go to a book reading at the library.
15. Fly kites on a windy day together.
16. Grab a couple of baskets, go to a local u-pick farm, and pick to your heart’s content. Take your goodies home and make smoothies to relax with.
17. Check the local schools to see if any are having a band/choir/drama event.
18. Make a date as volunteers for an evening (or morning) at your local charity.
19. Go to a local senior citizens, Veterans Administration or USA Dance event.
20. Have a themed night: like 50s night or Zombie Fest. Dress up and go out or stay in and watch movies – as long as you stick to the theme.
21. Go on a random drive that is directed by predetermined items like turn at every blue mailbox or on every street that has the word ‘wood’ in it’s name.
22. Throw a blanket on the lawn at night and star gaze- or even space junk gaze, you would be surprise at what you can see when you just look up.
23. Test drive a car.
24. Have a coupon date in which everything you do must have a coupon used to get it.
25. Have a photo night – let him/her be your muse and become a master photographer extraordinaire shooting the world renowned model, (insert your significant other’s name here).
26. Draw your loved one’s portrait – and then invite them to do yours as well.
27. Make something together. Whether it’s baking cookies, putting together a shelf or installing a programmable thermostat. Create something together.
28. Have a spa night for both of you complete with a long soak in the bath and massages for each other.
29. Hit the carnival when it comes to town.
30. You are never too old or too long in a relationship to play a game of 20 questions!
31. Take $20 and go yard sale-ing but pretend you are Indiana Jones looking for some lost treasure.
32. Swap hobbies for the night. Pick something that you do very well and have your partner do it instead and vice versa. Be ready to give (and get) helpful reminders throughout.
33. Go to Amateur night at a local comedy club. Admission is usually a one or two drink minimum. If you are feeling really adventurous be sure to sit right up front.
34. Have an “I remember when…” evening. Get a bottle of wine, grab a blanket, snuggle up on the couch and start remembering (and sharing) the earliest parts of your relationship.
35. Have an “I never told you this….” evening. See above but instead of “I remember”, find something you never actually told your partner but should have or wanted to (like that time when he made you the key lime pie – and he didn’t know you hated limes… and he still doesn’t know, or that time he sent you the sexy text message that your best friend read by mistake while borrowing your phone).
36. Go people watching. Humans are an incredibly interesting species if you just take the time to sit down and watch them. It is amazing at how different, yet how similar, two people can be at two different moments in time.
37. Write each other a love song and then sing it to one another. Wine helps with this one.
38. Go to a local antique mall. There are usually several vendors with old and unique items that are bound to get the creative juices flowing and conversation rolling.
39. Go to a local conservatory or greenhouse and look at the flowers and plants. Try to impress one another by seeing who can accurately identify more flora.
40. Go to the forest. Take a hike, ride a bike, go kayaking, take some horses, grab the dog, whatever – just go to the forest. There is nothing better than being surrounded by big, strong trees with a graceful canopy of leaves letting the sunlight shimmer through. Except for when you share it with someone you love.
41. Go to your town’s “lover’s lane” and sit in the back seat listening to an audio book. Making out is optional.
42. Go to a playground. The swings are great for all ages, and the slides are too.
43. Go on a walking tour of your city and find various pieces of public art. Most local art museums have a walking guide available free of charge.
44. Go play bingo at a Bingo hall.
45. Go to a driving range or play miniature golf.
46. Make a time capsule, just don’t forget to write down where you bury it so you can find it again in a few years.
47. Have a “Story of my life” night. Get a dry erase board and some markers and take turns drawing your own story of your life, include how you two first met.
48. Dance in the rain, get thoroughly soaked and then take a hot shower together and snuggle up for some classical movies.
49. Make a finger-painting together. Go to a hobby store and get a plain canvas and a cheap starter set of paints and make a finger painting picture together. Don’t forget to sign and date it when you are both finished!
50. Recreate your favorite romantic movie scenes. A few good places to start include that moment in Say Anything where John Cusack is outside the girl of his dream’s window holding a giant boombox above his head that is playing “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel and that moment in The Princess Bride when Buttercup realizes that The Dread Pirate Roberts is really her beloved Wesley.
Whether rain or shine there is always something that can be done for date night (or date morning) that does not have to break your bank. Pick one or two things and start making memories that will stand the test of time. Who knows, they may even outdo some of those more fancy themed dates everyone keeps carrying on about!