Dates don’t have to be expensive and over-the-top. Sometimes it is the simplest and most inexpensive dates that are the most fun, whether it’s your first date, or you are in a long-term relationship and just want to spend some time together without the kids.
Here are 50 free or cheap date ideas where being on a budget isn’t a barrier to having fun together!
1. Make a backyard bonfire
Perfect on a cold night, build a roaring fire, roast marshmallows and snuggle up together.
2. Visit a museum
Find a local museum that offers free or cheap admission and spend some time together roaming the exhibits.
3. Go op-shopping
Set yourself a limit (like $20 each) and search op-shops to see what bargains you can find together!
4. Learn something new together
Whether it’s a local free community class or an instructional YouTube video, learn a new skill or hobby together.
5. Visit the library & read together
Visit your local library for new books to read, then curl up on the couch together while you both read – or even read aloud to each other.
6. Go stargazing
Turn your eyes skyward and enjoy the beauty of the night sky together.
7. Pack a picnic
Pack a picnic with your favourite yummy treats and drinks, and head out somewhere to enjoy it together.
8. Visit the beach
Whether just for a walk or a day trip, being near the ocean together is cheap and romantic!
9. Scavenger hunt
Have a little fun with a scavenger hunt around your house or local area.
10. Take a cooking class
Is there a cuisine or a particular dish you’ve always wanted to learn to cook?
11. Go for a bike ride
Strap on your helmets and hit a local bike path together.
12. Fly a kite
Not just for the kids! Grab a cheap kite from somewhere like Kmart and head out on a windy day to fly it together.
13. Games night at home
Put on soft background music, light some candles, pour a glass of wine and turn off the TV to enjoy a night of games together. Monopoly, UNO, poker, card games…the possibilities are endless!
14. Make something together
This can be cooking, woodwork, gardening or a DIY project around the house. YouTube is a great resource for ‘how-to’ videos!
15. Breakfast date
Going out for dinner can be expensive, so swap it for breakfast!
16. Have a hit of golf
It doesn’t have to be at the local golf course either – mini-golf or a golf driving range are a lot of cheap fun!
17. Visit a wine cellar
For wine-lovers, a trip to a wine cellar (or a few!) is a great chance to try wines for free and learn more about the wine-making process.
18. Watch a sunrise or sunset
Pair sunrise or sunset viewing with a picnic and you’ve got a perfect, cheap date!
19. Go camping
If you love the outdoors, then pack the tent and camping supplies and find a quiet spot to get away together.
20. Go on a hike
Strap on your boots and find somewhere to go for a walk together, whether it’s a hiking trail in a National Park, or even just around your local neighbourhood.
21. Work out together
Get the endorphins pumping while you get fit! Plus having a work-out buddy can be incredibly motivating.
22. Trivia night
Head out to the local pub or bar and test your wits together at a trivia night.
23. Have a movie marathon at home
Grab the popcorn and snuggle up on the couch together for a cheap movie marathon!
24. Be a tourist
Become a tourist for the day and discover more of your local area, or head just out of town to somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit near home. Hit up your local visitor centre or tourism board for ideas, and to find out if there are discounts for locals.
25. Give each other a massage
Give each other a massage, complete with scented oil and soft background music.
26. Learn to dance
Sign up for a local dance class, or check out videos on YouTube and learn a new – and fun! – skill together.
27. Do a puzzle together
Jigsaw, crossword or sudoku, grab a puzzle, comfy chair and a drink as you figure it out together.
28. Go for a drive
Ever passed a road or street and wondered where it went? Or perhaps there is somewhere you’ve wanted to visit? Hop in the car and go check it out – and getting lost is half the fun!
29. Go for a swim
If you don’t have a pool in your backyard, visit your local public pool, swimming hole, beach or lake. Or set up a slip-n-slide in the backyard for some slippery fun!
30. Cook something together
Instead of going out for an expensive dinner, cook your favourite dinner together, complete with music and candles!
31. Visit an art gallery
Check out exhibitions from local and up-and-coming artists at an art gallery in your area.
32. Check out a local sports match
Visit a local sporting club and cheer on from the sidelines! Tickets are generally a lot cheaper (or even free) than the big professional games.
33. Go fruit picking
Get out in the sunshine at a local orchard or farm and pick your own fresh fruit to enjoy together.
34. Comedy night
Head out to a comedy night at a local club, or set up a comedy night at home thanks to Netflix and enjoy a good belly-laugh as a couple.
35. Go out for ice cream
For a cute date idea, visit your local ice cream shop and enjoy a stroll while you eat your delicious treat.
36. Find free events in your area
Search for free events in your local area on Facebook or a local gig site. Depending on your area, there can be anything from festivals to movie screenings in the park.
37. Coffee at your favourite coffee shop
If you have a favourite coffee shop, then a ‘coffee date’ together is a great budget date option.
38. Visit an arcade
Go old-school and hit a games arcade for a fun session of playing all those games you loved as a kid.
39. Have a spa day (or night) at home
Raid the bathroom cabinet and pamper yourselves with a spa session in the comfort of your own home.
40. Go bowling
Strap on those bowling shoes and enjoy a high-stakes game of ten-pin bowling.
41. Go through old photos or watch your wedding video
Pull out the photo albums and old videos, and reminisce over the past.
42. Have a wine and cheese night
Buy your favourite cheese board treats and a bottle of wine, and enjoy a cheese and wine night at home.
Like a scavenger hunt, but without the work of setting it up! Visit Geocaching to take part in the world’s largest treasure hunt.
44. Complete a relationship quiz
While a bit corny, relationship quizzes can often provide an insight into yourself and your partner. Try one like The Love Language Quiz.
45. Karaoke night
No matter your singing skills, karaoke is a cheap fun date! Head out to a local karaoke night or host a karaoke night at home.
46. Go fishing
If you love to throw a line in the water, head out together to a favourite fishing spot. You may even be lucky enough to catch dinner!
47. Visit a farmer’s market or food festival
Spend time together while enjoying delicious food and produce.
48. Paintballing or nerf gun war
Paintballing is a fun (and sometimes competitive) date! Or if the budget doesn’t stretch enough to pay for a paintballing session together, load up some Nerf guns and battle it out at home.
49. Go to an author reading
Bookstores and libraries often host author readings and ‘meet the author’ sessions, and they are usually free (and sometimes even have snacks!). Plus you may discover a new author or book to read.
50. Find coupons for cheaper nights out (birthday freebies)