So maybe your money is tied up in the stock market or a new down payment and the budget is a bit tight. Or, maybe those dividends are rolling in and you've got a little extra on hand. Regardless of your budget, you can still impress your date with fun ideas that range from free to extravagant.
10 Free Date Ideas
If you've got no budget at all for dates, fear not! These date ideas are a fun way to save money with your significant other.
1. Gallery Art Shows
Lots of galleries have free admission and shows that can make for the perfect date night.
Look up galleries in your area and check Eventbrite or other sites to see when shows are coming up. You'll get to impress your date with how cultured you are, and more often than not enjoy some free wine or hors d'oeuvres. And the best part? It won't cost you a dime.
2. Have a Game Night
A tried and true classic, having a game night is a free and fun way to hang out with your significant other and get a little competitive.
Dig out your favorite board games, deck of cards, or use the internet to have a fun night in.
3. Go to the Beach or a Lake
If you've got a beach or lake near you, take advantage! Most beaches and lakes are free, so bring a couple towels and spend the day relaxing by the water.
4. Take a Hike
While you're probably hoping your date won't say this, taking a hike is a fun, free way to enjoy each other's company (and get a workout while you're at it!).
Plot out a hike route for you and your partner to take in the scenery - just don't forget to pack snacks.
5. Go to a Farmer's Market
No shame in being one of those couples - taking a stroll through the farmer's market on a Sunday morning is the perfect way to enjoy whatever season you're in. And, of course, free samples from local producers or bakeries never hurts.
6. Take a Scenic Drive
Sometimes it's nice to not really do anything at all with your date and just enjoy each other's company and a view. So, to save a buck, take your date on a scenic drive (or, if you live in a city, take a stroll through your favorite neighborhood) to soak in the views.
7. Tour a Vineyard or Brewery
Surprisingly, a lot of vineyards or breweries have free tours - which provide the perfect opportunity for you to wine and dine your date for cheap.
While not all brewery or vineyard tours have free samples, many do - so make sure to check beforehand and keep the date 100% free (although many breweries have discounted prices with the tour as well).
8. Go to a Free Night at a Museum
Perusing some world-class art or exhibits is a classy and fun date - but too often, museums can cost you a pretty penny.
Fortunately, most museums have a free night that can turn into an impressive date without costing you anything. Check out your local area to find out when your museums have a free night.
9. Go to IKEA Together
Believe it or not, moseying through the Swedish wonderland that is IKEA has actually become a popular millennial activity - and can actually be a fun, free date.
However, as a disclaimer: if you don't buy your date some of their famous meatballs, there may not be a second date.
10. Take a Picnic to the Park
Take advantage of the nice weather and pack up a nice picnic for your date in the park. Not only is the park a free locale to enjoy each other's company, but throwing a blanket down with some wine and cheese is sure to impress your date and keep things romantic (and inexpensive).
10 Cheap Date Ideas
If you've got a bit of spare cash but the budget is still tight, check out these cheap date ideas that won't have you shelling out too much for a good time.
1. Go Bowling or Ice Skating
If you want a charming throwback to your high school days, take your date to a bowling alley or an ice-skating rink.
And with generally very reasonable prices, bowling or skating is a Godsend for cheap dates. Check out your area for the best prices and dust off those moves on the rink.
2. Go to the Movies
An oldie but goodie, taking your date to a movie is a classic and fun way to spend date night that won't cost you your mortgage.
And, lots of cities often have free outdoor movies during the summer, so be sure to check out public screenings to save even more.
3. Go to a Comedy Club
Nothing is better than making your date laugh - so why not take them to a comedy club? With lots of cheap comedy club nights to choose from, you'll not only be laughing at the event but all the way to the bank, too.
4. Take Your Dancing Shoes to a Dance Hall
Want a cheap but fun night out on the town with your partner? Try finding a cheap dance hall or bar and dance the night away.
For those NYC locals, check out some of the best dance locales to bust a move.
5. Explore a New Bar During Happy Hour
Everyone loves a good happy hour - your date is undoubtedly no exception.
Do some research and try out a new bar during happy hour with your partner - not only will you keep the cost reasonable, but you'll get to explore your local restaurant scene.
6. Go Thrift Shopping
Going thrift shopping is the millennial version of window shopping - only, you can actually afford what you find.
Hit up some thrift shops with your date and pick up something that catches their eye - chances are it is well within a cheap budget!
7. Hit the Club(s) and Go Mini Golfing
If you've got a knack for golf (or even if you don't), taking your date mini golfing is a classic and cute date idea that won't cost you too much dough. With most entries at around $10 or so, there are plenty of cute courses for you and your date to explore.
Check out your area for the best deals.
8. Go to a Concert
There's nothing quite bonding with your date over a shared love for a band - so why not discover one together?
Keep an eye out for new bands coming to town and take your significant other to the next hot show for a fun (and usually cheap) night.
9. Go on a Coffee Shop Crawl
If you are a caffeine lover, why not explore your neighborhood's best roasts?
Take your date on a coffee shop crawl and sample the best brews, snacks and lattes your area has to offer. And, with most drinks and treats costing around $5 or less, you'll be saving a pretty penny.
10. Relax With Some Yoga
If you need a little "namaste" in your life, try taking your date to a yoga class.
Depending on your area, there are plenty of cheap studios and classes to choose from - and, you can bond over a good sweat session and a clear mind.
7 Other Fun Date Ideas
If you're one of the lucky ones who has some extra cash to spare, try treating your date to one of these other ideas that are a bit more extravagant.
1. Take a Cooking Class
Nothing is quite as picture-perfect as cooking as a couple (read: flour on your date's nose, the smell of your creation in the oven, cute aprons, etc.).
So before you plan your next date, try taking a cooking class together. Although prices may range upward of $100 to $200, the experience (and food) are well worth it.
2. Dress Up for a Nice Restaurant
Nothing beats the classic fancy dinner.
Treat your date to a luxurious dinner out at a nice restaurant to shake up the take-out routine.
3. Go to a Play or Opera
If you and your date are patrons of the arts (or even if you're just looking to try something new), check out local plays (or operas, if you live in a city) and experience some good old fashion entertainment.
And, your date is sure to be impressed.
4. Take a Dance Class
Want to sweep your date off their feet? Bond over taking a dance class together.
While prices vary greatly (most are around $75 to $100), you can find a dance style that fits you and your partner's.
5. Go on a Helicopter Tour
If you really want to pull out all the stops, take your date on a helicopter tour (especially if you live in a city like New York).
Although it will likely set you back several hundred dollars, your date won't be forgetting the experience any time soon.
6. Get a Couple's Massage
Is your partner stressed or tense at work? Relax and loosen up with a romantic couple's massage.
And, nothing is sure to please your partner like some stress relief.
7. Take a Boat Ride
Give your significant other the royal treatment with an elegant boat ride (and maybe throw in dinner, too).
If money is no object, splurging on a river cruise is the perfect way to treat your date to a special evening.
The Bottom Line
Regardless of your budget, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your date's company - whether that be by taking a picnic to a free park, going bowling, or taking in the view on a boat.