Ten Fun Free Date Night Ideas for Couples on a Budget
Dating – it’s exciting, energizing, fun, romantic… and it can become very expensive. Whether you’re planning your third date or have been in a relationship for years, you should never rule out a cheap, or free date. While it may be hard to come up with exciting, free date ideas, that doesn’t mean saving money won’t be fun! In fact, some of the best dates can be the ones where money was the last thing on your mind.
Killer Date Night Ideas for $0
Struggling to come up with a free date for you and your boo? Don’t worry, I’ve done the work and research for you.
- Game Night – If you and your date enjoy video or board games, having a nice night in with a bottle of wine and some gaming options can prove to be a great evening. Personally, my boyfriend and I enjoy a nice game of Scrabble or Catan (though be warned – this can end in a fight if you’re both competitive).
- Visit the Zoo – Go online and look up information about your local zoo. Some zoos offer days or times with free admission, and this can be a fun experience for you and your partner. If you are a New Yorker like myself, you may be aware that admission is free all day on Wednesdays, 10am-5pm!
- Check Out a Local Museum – While not all museums are free, there are plenty that do offer free admission. Often times there will be a discretionary donation you can make (which you can even offer up as low as a quarter), but those are optional. Living in New York, there are plenty of museums that are free to the public – The American Museum of Natural History, the Met, and the Museum at FIT are just a few examples.
- Go to an Open Mic Night – This one is a personal favorite of mine, though I don’t utilize the option enough. Going to an open mic night is a great way to get some free entertainment and potentially start a weekly routine with your partner. The best part about open mic nights is you never know what to expect – sometimes the acts are so great that you may feel as though you’re witnessing a future star in the making, while others flop. Either way, this is a great option to keep things fresh and do something fun for free.
- Go to a Free Concert – This one can vary based on location and availability. Being in New York, I have the availability to go see free concerts multiple times in a week. Unfortunately, this does die down as summer comes to a close. For example – in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, there are free summer concerts for everyone to attend. This past summer I have seen Patti LaBelle, The National, Father John Misty, Courtney Barnett, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, and Mac DeMarco. While you have to pay to get into the fenced in portion of the venue, it is free for anyone to plop down a blanket and have a picnic as the concert is going on.
- Get In Shape – Get in shape with your partner and go out for a jog, a bike ride, or a walk. Having someone to get fit with is a great motivator and, on top of that, is just a great bonding experience. My boyfriend and I love to play sports together. Since moving to the city we have not had the chance to really do so, but when we were living in the suburbs we did all sorts of things! We shared a gym membership, played tennis daily, hit golf balls at the range, played some soccer, tossed the lacrosse ball around, shoot hoops – you name it. If you’re not the athletic type, I say don’t knock it ‘til you try it!
- Get Those Artistic Juices Flowing – Get out some pencils and some paper and spend sometime drawing. Whether you want to see who can draw the other person better, or you want to do your own thing and compare when you’re done, having a relaxing evening drawing or painting can be a blast! Or, if you’re more musical, jam on some instruments or come up with a song. Either way, this is a great way to save some money and be intellectually stimulated at the same time.
- Read to Each Other – This tip may be better for a long term couple, and this is something that I’ve been wanting to do. While most of us have the shows that we binge watch together, most of us don’t read the same books. Pick a story you both might like to read and have an evening taking turns reading to each other. Get into the story, share your thoughts and opinions, come up with predictions of what might happen next. This is one I want to try out, and I think it is a great way to spend a night in!
- Go Window Shopping – While the idea of going shopping and not spending any money may be strange to some, I find it is a fun way to spend a few hours. Taking a trip to the mall with my boyfriend has always been a fun way to spend an afternoon. Going into stores we enjoy, trying on some clothes, taste testing samples in the food courts – it’s all a good laugh. Since moving to the city, I have really missed these days, and it gives me a pang in my heart. I highly recommend this one – though be warned, you may be tempted into making a purchase!
- Go to the Beach – this one may not apply to all of us, but for those of you who have a beach nearby (whether it is a bay, ocean, or lake). My absolute favorite date memories have been the post-work summer beach dates. I miss these the absolute most. After a day of working, I would drive to my boyfriends house with a bag of beach ready attire. We’d have a bottle of wine (optional) and go to the beach. State park beaches (Ours was Robert Moses) are free after 4pm on weekdays, and free after 6pm on holidays and weekends. We’d lay down our blanket, play some volleyball, watch the sunset, and enjoy the peace. It doesn’t matter which day of the week you go, it will always be a good time.
Skip The Bill!
If you’re like me and always like coming up with new and unique date ideas, but don’t have the budget, these tips will certainly help you! If you are willing to spend a little more than $0, view my blog on 10 Dates Under $20 For Budgeting Couples.
If you have a fun and free date idea, please let us know in the comments, or ask me for advice! I look forward to hearing about how your free dates went!
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