May 5, 2013

50 Free or Inexpensive Date Ideas

Thomas and I love our dates!  I guess we're still in that newlywed phase where we want to spend every bit of free time together, but there's nothing wrong with that! :)  One of the benefits of not having cable is that we're always looking for fun and creative things to do, so I thought I'd share some of our favorite dates!  

One good thing is that a lot of these are kid friendly, so our future children can jump into many of these with us! ;)

1.  Pull out your sheets and make a fort together!  We love doing this, and we play board games, eat treats, and sometimes watch a movie! 

2. GAME NIGHTS.  Oh my, we do these at least two times a week! 

3. Have a dinner picnic at a park when the sun is setting.  

4. Have a lunch picnic.

5. Go to the circus.  We were fortunate to be able to go for free last year because Thomas got tickets through work! 

6. Have an at home coffee shop date - or if you're like us and don't really drink coffee, have hot chocolate or apple cider! 

7.  Take a day trip to the beach or to a lake! 

8. At home movie nights.  You just can't beat 99 cents for a DVD from Red Box or Blockbuster.  Make some fun treats, add some snuggles, and you're good to go! 

9.  Drive around and look at houses together.  There's a few ways we like doing this - looking at ridiculous mansions that we will never in our life own, looking at old houses and talking about how we would fix them up, and looking at little, realistic future houses! 

10. Go for a run together! Bonus points if it's pouring outside. 

11. Go for an evening walk to the closest fast food restaurant for ice cream, and then walk back home.

12. If your apartment or neighborhood pool is open anytime, go for a late night swim when it's dark out!  There's usually nobody there, and it's fun when the pool is all lit up! 

13.Go kayaking or canoeing! Google places around your town where you can do it either free or cheaply.  

14. Bake your favorite treat together!

15. Look for historic towns near your city.  Take a day trip to explore, and be sure to pack a picnic for lunch! 

16. Take a trip to the book store together.  Browse the books for something that looks interesting, and sit next to each other on the chairs to read.  

17. Go to college or high school sports games!  Depending on the college, it might not be too expensive, and high school games are typically $5/ticket or less.  


18. Re-visit the spot of your first date and reminisce on the earlier years!  We've done this every year since our first date! :)

19.  Play sports together, and make up your own games!  We love going out to play soccer tennis, see who can hit the cross bar with the soccer ball first, hit targets with a frisbee, etc. etc. 

Train for a race together, even if you start with a 5K.  We love spending our mornings or evenings (when we just can't make it out of bed early) running together and chatting about everything and anything!  Our best conversations usually take place on a long run!  

21. Cook breakfast and eat in bed together! 

22. Explore the state parks in your area! We still have so many left to check out near us.  

And while you're at it, pack a picnic!  You may have realized by now that we are always picnicking together... 

23. Go to a park and feed the animals! You all know this is another regular for us!  We constantly go to the pond to feed the ducks, and my nature loving husband feeds the turtles from his hand.  

24. Go pedal boating! We were able to do this very inexpensively through a small park near us!   

25. Evening walks.  Try to find new parks and places to explore.  

26. Snow day?  Play in the snow and make snow cream! 

27. Go to a mini zoo together!  The one I found for us to go to was free! 

28. Go for a bike ride. 

29. Cook together!  We love making Indian food together...or maybe we just love eating it after cooking it. :) 

30. Use coupons, Groupons, or for a night out for dinner!  We recently got an awesome deal for a restaurant that just opened up near us!  It was buffet style, and they cook your food in front of you! 

31. Surprise your significant other and meet up with them on their lunch break at work!  

32. Have an indoor camping night!  You could be legit and use a fireplace, or you could just be cool like us and use candles to roast marshmallows for s'mores! 

33. Get dressed up super fancy and have an at home fondue night!  We followed dinner with lighting some candles and dancing in the kitchen. Totally cheese? Yes! But so much fun.

34. Festivals - I can't say enough that you should Google things going on in your town on the weekends!  You never know what you're going to find.  We've hit up quite a few free festivals - some that are fun, and some that are not so much! 

35. Search for free concerts in the park in your town!  We haven't gone to one yet, but we are going to try to take advantage of some this summer! 

36. Go berry picking and bake something yummy together! There's a park with tons of wild blackberry bushes near my parents, and we used to go every July to pick berries!  We are hopefully going to go strawberry picking soon! :) 

37. Go hiking! 

38. Work on a project together! This is hilarious, but in college we decided to paint a collage together of all of our dates and experiences together...didn't get too far before Thomas's family's cat tore it to shreds, but we had fun working on it together!  We are currently working on another little project, which I'll share soon! 

39. Go to an aquarium. 

40. Find a pretty spot where you can lay down on a blanket or sit on a bench to watch the sun rise or set together. 

41. Be spontaneous and make something completely unhealthy late at night! 

42. Join a Bible study together.  We learn so much and grow so much closer spiritually as a couple.  It's so nice to have deep conversations as we complete our "homework" together every week.  

43.  Have a Youtube marathon!  We can sit for hours together watching baby and puppy videos! 

Um favorite right here - 

The rest of these are seasonal dates!

44.  Go to a fair.  The state fairs are pretty pricey, so look for a county fair near you.  

45. Paint or carve a pumpkin.  Be sure to bake the seeds! 

46. Corn Mazes.  Look for Groupon deals! That's why we went!:) 

47. Brainstorm and make your Halloween costumes together!   This could get expensive, so try to use things you have at home! 

48. Find your tree and decorate it - Obviously the tree is going to cost money, but if you were planning on getting one anyways, it all works out! :) 

49.  Make a gingerbread house together! You can buy a $10 kit from AC Moore with a 50% off coupon for $5! 

50. Drive around in your pajamas with hot chocolate to look at Christmas lights! 

What are your favorite free or inexpensive date night ideas?


  1. It's nice to see all these great dates together!

    We've done many of them while dating and newly married, but many of them can be harder because of the kids naps or the kids not doing so well with picnics. I'm sure as they get older we'll be able to do more of these things again with the kids.

    We love going to parks and zoos. They are always fun! Love your pictures too!

  2. Such a fantastic list! Thanks for the great ideas. Now that our kids are getting older, a lot of these things would make for a great family-day-out all together. I love all of your pictures too. Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a wonderful post, Caitlin! It serves not only as inspiration for others, but also as memories for you two...You two are such a wonderful inspiration to young people...Thanks for sharing! : )

  4. I love looking into your married life without kids. We only had a month of married life before I was pregnant with John-Paul and I feel like I don't know what marriage without kids is like. (Not that I regret that for a moment!!) We always say we'll spend so much time together travelling and having dates when the kids are grown - that's the benefit to having them young!

  5. Love this, Caitlin! Number 16, the bookstore reading date, is a favorite of ours. When we first started dating, we went on tons of nighttime rosary walks around our college campus, so we still try to pray the rosary together a few times a week when we go for walks!

  6. Beautiful post!
    And beautiful pix... You two are so cute.

  7. The list is great, but the pictures are even better! I love that you document EVERYthing!!!

  8. I <3 this list. Some of these my husband would totally go for! :) I might have to implement a few! Thank you! CUTE PICTURES!

  9. Awesome post, Caitlin!! You two are a beautiful testament to marriage!! When kids do enter the picture, I have no doubt you guys will know how to keep the romance going!!

  10. Awesome list! Honestly, so many of these things are things we do anyway, we just don't call them dates. Now that we have a kid though, we need to relish the times we get away!

  11. You guys are adorable! Thanks for the date night ideas.

  12. Cute ideas! Your picture backgrounds look familiar. You must live in the Cache Valley area.

  13. In the summer, we like to go to the beach around 4 am and watch the sun rise with a breakfast picnic!

  14. Small things can even give you lots of happiness and the example is here.. :)

  15. Just wanted you to know that you were featured in our ULTIMATE Date Idea Round-up today! Thanks for sharing your date ideas! XOXO, The Dating Divas

  16. Very interesting post!! I really liked it. Your 50 date ideas are impressive. I know what is the feeling of dating someone who is very special for you. Your picture remembered my first date with my wife about a year ago. I was very worried at that time, but I found five romantic date ideas in the source. At that time, I have money issues as well and used their second idea to make cake and decorate with different flavors of cream together. That was the very happy moment of my life. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post.

  17. Oh my gosh, you two are adorable... like heart meltingly adorable! Love the pics along with the ideas! Thanks!!

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  19. These ideas are so perfect! You guys are such a cute couple! Love the pics 😍❤️

  20. Hey,love to see you.What incredible ideas!!Thanks so much :)I married my spouse only five months prior, and its so miserable to say (type) yet we've truly begun getting sluggish in our dates!Everything gets SO occupied!So thank you for some superb ideas.
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  21. another cute date would be to do charity work. or make Christmas gift bags for the homeless and hand them out to people in need

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  24. This is sick. He looks 15 smh you're a pedophile

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  27. well it is an useful information for the couples who love to hangout on limited budget. I have seen one more list of free date ideas where you can to treat your loved one to a special date without emptying your wallets.