Are you in a dating slump? Avoiding date night because you’re broke? Are you paying off debt and think spending money on dates is frivolous? Maybe you think frugal or free dates are boring or a waste of time, so why even bother? But spending time alone with your honey is important. Don’t shrug it off because you’re on a budget. Date nights don’t have to be an elaborate expensive night on the town. Here are some free and fun date ideas that you’ll actually want to try.
Why you need Date Nights
Don’t wait till Valentine’s Day to make date night a priority. Dates are important in any relationship. Remember when you first started dating? You couldn’t wait to see each other again. You thought your heart would leap out of your chest!
Rekindle those early dating butterflies by scheduling at least one date night a month. Even if you’re broke, find fun and creative ways to reconnect. In fact, date nights are an opportunity to reconnect, talk about your lives, away from everyday stress, the kids and the household. Getting on the same page, talking about what’s been going on, or just simply enjoying each other’s company is the goal.
Make it a point to talk about your dreams and financial goals. If you’re paying down debt, motivate each other to stay on track. Discuss why getting out of debt is so important. My hubby and I used to take long walks in the park when we didn’t have money to spend on dates. We talked about our financial progress and how much we had paid towards our debt snowball. We dreamed of how our life would look debt-free. Looking back at it, some of those free and fun date nights in the park were the most memorable ones we’ve had.
Discussing how we were working towards the same goals strengthened our relationship. We reconnected more on those date nights than all of our paid weekend getaways or vacations. Surprisingly, now that we’re debt-free, we still challenge ourselves to have a free date night every now and then.
Remember the main idea is to have fun together. Above all else, it’s not about how much you spend, but how you can keep the fires burning. Think outside of the box for fun and free date night ideas.
Easy Tips For Free Date Nights
The easiest way to save money is by avoiding eating out. Prepare your meals at home or pack a picnic lunch or dinner. Dining out is likely the most expensive cost on most dates.
Opt for day dates. Going out in the day can still be fun and romantic, and most of them can be free. Some dates are better experienced in the day too. Because of this, change your perspective, and schedule some “day” dates instead.
Plan out your dates way in advance. You may score free admission or find free festivals by researching and planning in advance.
Offer to watch another couple’s kids in exchange for babysitting on your date night. You won’t have to pay a babysitter, and both of you can sneak away without the added expense of a babysitter.
Free Date Ideas
Free Date Outdoor Ideas
See a Free Concert or Movie in the Park
Find out if your local park is offering free concerts or movies. Enjoying a local band or watching a movie outdoors is even more fun when it’s free. Bring food, chairs, and a warm blanket and snuggle up while enjoying the festivities.
Hike or walk at a new park or location
Explore a new park or hiking trail. Both of you can explore your new surroundings together. Make it a point to reconnect by going device-free. Put away your phones and just explore and talk. We often get so caught up in our own lives and daily routines that we often forget to ask each other how we’re doing.
Feed the ducks at the park
Grab some stale bread and feed the ducks at the park. Take a stroll around the lake and bring a picnic lunch to enjoy after.
Work out together
Walk, jog or bike together. Try a new sport and scout out a new location to explore. Have fun getting healthy together.
Walk your dog together
Take your pet along with you for a long scenic walk. Your fur baby is probably the only third wheel you won’t mind having on your date.
Free Fun Date Ideas You can do at Home
Movie Night In/Binge Watch a TV Series
Rent a movie from the library or watch something on TV or Netflix. The trick is not to act like it’s a normal night in. Make it special by getting quirky and creating a theme night. Dress up in character, find props around the house, or create a menu that complements the movie or show you’re watching.
Have a Game Night
A little competition on date nights is healthy and fun. Play a card or board game. If you both love video games, give yourself permission to play all night. Prepare fun snacks to munch on all night. When my hubby and I first met, we used to stay up all night and play Street Fighter and Mario Kart when they were first released on Nintendo. (And yes, if you know when they were first released, we’re that old).
Have a picnic in your own backyard
Who says you have to leave your house to have a picnic outdoors? Spread a blanket in your backyard or relax on your front porch. Just changing your usual dining scenery will make it mysterious and fun.
Cook a new recipe together
Eating in is a simple way to save money. Why not make it a part of date night? Choose a new recipe to whip up together. Check out this article from the AllWomensTalk website, Date Night Dinners You can Make Together. There’s a great list of simple and easy recipes that you can make together. You’ll have to work as a team to create your culinary masterpiece. You just might be surprised at each other’s culinary skills.
Camp out in your backyard or in your living room
You don’t have to leave your house to have a fun campout. Put up a tent if you have one, or make an old fashioned one out of bedsheets and chairs in your living room.
Read or listen to an audiobook together
Instead of relying on TV, why not find a book that you can take turns reading out loud to each other? Or find an audiobook that you can listen to together. Snuggle up on the sofa and relax. You’ll have something to talk about after too.
Start a series podcast
Find a podcast the both of you will enjoy. There are so many different podcasts out there. Mystery, romance, story-telling. You name it. Snuggle up on the sofa or sit outside and listen to it together.
Dream and plan your next epic vacation
Choose your dream vacation and research it together. What landmarks do you want to visit? What activities do you want to do? Are there any dishes you two want to sample? Don’t worry about how much it will cost. Just have fun and give yourself permission to dream together. You might be surprised at what your significant other is interested in.
Make it more exciting by creating your night centered around your vacation destination. Create a meal from your vacation destination. Get goofy and dress up like tourists or in clothing reminiscent of your destination. No one will see you so why not have some fun with it?
Make a cup of tea or coffee and just sit outside and talk
We often forget about the simple things in life. Dates are simply a way to spend time together and reconnect. They don’t have to be expensive or exciting each time. Why not just sit outside, enjoy a drink, and have a conversation? If you’re busy raising little ones at home, this is the easiest way to find time for a quick date night.
Other Free Date Ideas
Visit a museum for free
Most museums offer free admission on specific days or specific times in the day. Google free museum admission near me. You’ll be surprised how many museums offer free admission to local residents.
Day Tour a Small Nearby Town
Make your own scavenger hunt with free famous landmarks in a small nearby town. See how many you can visit in a day. Make sure to pick a park as one of your destinations, so you can relax and have a picnic lunch.
Visit your local library
I know this one sounds weird, but you can find all kinds of free events and activities. Some even offer free museum tickets that you can reserve in advance. You will be shocked at how many free opportunities you can find at the library. While you’re there, pick up a movie or find a book that you can read together.
It’s fun just to hang out together and people watch at the mall or park. Just sit together, relax, and imagine backstories for the people you see. See who can come up with the craziest stories.
Geocaching is a fun interactive outdoor treasure hunt. You’ll use your phone to find small hidden treasures called “geocaches” that others have hidden at different locations. Visit geocaching.com/play and register for a free basic membership for more information.
Go to the beach
Pack up the car, bring a large blanket, some chairs, and a picnic lunch. Relax and enjoy the day together, or take a walk down the beach or pier.
Final Thoughts on Free Fun Date Night Ideas
Date nights strengthen your relationship. Don’t skip out on date night just because you’re on a budget. There are so many free and fun date ideas. Get creative and think outside of the box. First of all, dates don’t have to cost a fortune. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home! Remember dates are simply a way of spending time alone together and will keep the fire burning. Best of all, most of these free dates force you to work together, try new places or adventures together. Happy Free Date Night!
If you have any good ideas for free date nights or if you try any of these ideas, please share your experience. I would love to hear about it.