8 Fun & Cheap Date Ideas

When’s the last time you had a proper date night? Maybe it was just a few days ago or maybe you’ve never really had one, and that’s a shame! There are plenty of fun & cheap date ideas to get you and your significant other out of the house for a while and you don’t have to break the bank every time you spend quality time together.

So whether you need something to spice up a quiet time in your life or you’re just hungry for another idea to add to your pile of date night ideas, you won’t be disappointed!

So what are our fun & cheap date ideas?

1) Get out and about

Sometimes a date doesn’t need to be a complicated ordeal full of pre-planned ideas. Pick an area you like and go for a walk. Maybe there’s a nice bike route nearby that you’ve been wanting to try, a string of shops you never have an excuse to visit or you fancy climbing a mountain on an epic hike. You might just discover something you never knew existed in your area! This is one of my personal favourite cheap date ideas, you really get to know your date and you get a breath of fresh air.

cheap date ideas - beautiful bike route
Scenic + beautiful bike route

2) Relive your younger days

You might be embroiled in the rigmarole of adult life but there’s always time to revisit things you enjoyed in your childhood. Grab your partner for S’mores and grilled hot dogs. Hang out under the stars. Crash overnight for a scary movie marathon. Play a few silly board games. Just steer clear on Monopoly unless you’re looking for a way to end date night on a sour note.

cheap date ideas - videogames for two
Reliving your younger days | Playstation for 2

3) Exercise together

Getting into the mood for proper exercise can be a real pain. But, you can turn it into pain for two depending on how you exercise. You’ll probably want to skip the gym for this one and seek out alternative forms of keeping fit. Yoga classes are great for flexibility and getting used to one another when you’re not looking your most serious, while dance classes let you learn something new while getting into shape. You can even play out all your childhood fantasies of a romantic dance scene after a few dozen classes or so.

cheap date ideas - running brooklyn bridge
Running in NYC as a couple

4) Go for a beach outing

We may not all live on the coast, but most of us live near bodies of water and are able to partake in aquatic merriment. Floating trips and cookouts, when paired with swimming, fishing or skipping rocks and shooting the breeze, make for a low-stress outing. You don’t even have to dress up for a fancier date, either.

Proper beaches and lakefront visits offer a chance to take boating trips, water skiing outings or jet ski trips, but you might end up with an aching wallet if you go that route. You’ll lose some of the intimacy of a lazy float down a river or a cookout under the stars, too! Expensive isn’t always better, cheap date ideas can be much more romantic.

cheap date ideas - couple lakeside
Fun + Cheap Date Ideas | Couple sits lakeside

5) Go on a taste-testing trip

Chances are there are more coffee shops and bakeries than you’ll ever have the fortitude to visit during the work week, but a quiet weekend is a lovely time to try out-of-the way eateries. Mom and pop establishments often have food made in ways you won’t find in larger chains, for better or worse, so you’ll just have to hunt them down if you want eating experiences that don’t mesh with the norm.

cheap date ideas - tasty treats for a date
Enjoying a selection of tasty treats! Doughnuts + eclairs galore!

6) Take in the arts

Large towns and small cities alike often have hotspots for artsy types to congregate, and that’s good news for you and your budget. Art crawls, local theatre productions and acoustic coffeehouse performances let you soak in a little culture while you get to know someone better.

You might be tempted to show off your performing skills at a karaoke bar or other open mic event. Make sure your partner is interested in these kinds of shows before dragging them along! Secondhand embarrassment is a rough time to sit through if your performance doesn’t exactly land you a spot on the next season of The Voice. This makes this idea one of our riskier cheap date ideas, for the adventurous only!

cheap date ideas - art gallery
Observing some beautiful art in an art gallery

7) Go rummaging for books

Libraries, bookshops and coffeehouses with convenient nearby book repositories make for a quiet way to chat about interests. Losing yourself in a story is fun… but sometimes it can be even more entertaining to talk about your favorite worlds and writings with someone who has similar interests. Plus, you’ll get a good idea of what your significant other enjoys without the pressure of coming up with examples over dinner. Organic conversation is always nice to have every now and then. This can become one of our more intellectual cheap date ideas.

John Waters has a famously risque saying about what not to do with people who lack a bookshelf at home, but we’ll paraphrase it instead: If your partner isn’t into the arts, find a different one or introduce them to something outside of their comfort zone!

cheap date ideas - books outside
Find books with your partner!

8) Go for a picnic

It’s a classic standby for a reason. With a low cost barrier to entry and a chance to get out of the house on a nice day, picnics fit into the realm of fun & cheap date ideas just as naturally as they should. If you aren’t exactly a gourmet chef, finding a local takeout place or a guilty pleasure diner can always make up for those of us who burn water when we try to boil it.

No matter what you choose, any date night you spend with someone special is worth the price of admission. If you both enjoy your time together, there really is no wrong way to go out for a date.

cheap date ideas - picnic outside
A makeshift picnic – a great cheap dinner idea!

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