These 20 fun cheap date night ideas will help you have a great time without ruining your budget! Each date costs $20 or less and many of the date ideas are even totally free. Yay!
For years, we struggled to have dates, especially once we had children. Between our busy schedules, tight budget and lack of babysitters, it was just incredibly hard to do with any sort of consistency.
Often it would go months between dates and we were doing well if we got 3 or 4 in each year. It was a big source of frustration for both of us!
When we moved a year ago, we finally decided to get serious about making date nights more of a regular thing! So we put our heads together and came up with a plan.
And I’m happy to say that for the last 9 months or so, we’ve been enjoying a date night at least once a month. It’s been SO good and so fun!
One thing that really helped us make it happen, was to swap babysitting with two other couples. Once a month, we babysit for the other couple and once a month they babysit for us.
This means that we don’t have to pay for sitters or go looking for someone reliable and trustworthy. And that alone has been huge in making consistent date nights a success!
Something that we were still struggling with though, was coming up with fun date ideas that didn’t cost a lot of money.
We’d get our date scheduled but then would often drop the ball on actually planning what we were going to do until the last minute. And then our minds would go blank and we’d struggle to think of anything to do other than go out to eat!
Well, I finally got smart! We had a date scheduled for this week and I decided to sit down and come up with a big list of low-cost date ideas that would be easy for us to do.
That way whenever we were planning a date, all we would need to do would be to look at our list and take our pick!
And then, of course, I just had to share them with you! Because I know that we aren’t alone in struggling to come up with fun cheap date ideas that don’t break that bank.
The great thing about these date night ideas is that they should all be able to be done for $20 or less…and many of them are totally free! And you can’t beat fun date nights for free, right?
At any rate, I hope that they help you enjoy some fun inexpensive cheap dates together too!
Fun Cheap Date Ideas
Things to Do Outdoors
1. Explore your City | Go on a Walk
Take a stroll around your neighborhood. Head to a new area of your city and have fun exploring! The only rule, of course, is that you have to hold hands! 😉
Want to make it more interesting? Try doing an outdoor alphabet scavenger hunt while you’re at it.
2. Go on a Picnic
This is such a simple, but fun way to enjoy just hanging out together! Sometimes, to change things up we’ll grab a Domino’s pizza or some subs instead of packing all of our food.
Then I just need to throw together a salad or some fruits|veggies and we’ve got a quick, delicious meal! Since I mostly cook all of our meals from scratch, this is a real treat for us!
3. Go Hiking
Even if you’re like us, and aren’t super outdoorsy, hiking or walking trails can be a fun way to spend time together! Several of my best date memories actually involve times when we did this.
Love treasure hunts? Geocaching together is the perfect thing! Don’t know what I’m talking about? Learn how geocaching works here.
5. Go for a bike ride
Grab your bikes and go for a ride!
Don’t own bikes? Lots of cities offer cheap and easy bike rentals anymore, making it a fun way to explore your city. And of course, you can always borrow from friends too!
Inexpensive At Home Date Ideas
6. Game Night
Pull out some good old-fashioned games like Uno, Scrabble or Monopoly and play away! Just don’t let competitiveness get the best of you! If you’re like us, that might end up being a bit of a challenge! 🙂
7. Go Through Old Photos
Taking a walk down memory lane is always fun! Pull out old pictures from before you were together and share your stories with each other.
Or reminisce about your early years together as you look at photos capturing life then.
8. Put Together a Puzzle
Turn on your favorite music, grab a puzzle and see how fast you can work together to complete it! If you need some inexpensive puzzles, this cat one or this beach one looks fun to do!
9. Take an Online Quiz
Want a fun way to learn to know and understand each other better? Try doing an online quiz like The Love Language Quiz or the Enneagram Assessment.
10. Get in the Kitchen
Have fun making a favorite recipe, or peruse Pinterest together and choose a new one to try!
11. Movie Night at Home
Want to keep things low-key? Go for the classic movie night at home date and make it special with a fun snack that you wouldn’t normally splurge on!
Want to take movie night up a notch? End it by giving each other massages! The techniques in Melt Couples Massage are amazing!
Other Fun, Simple Date Night Ideas
12. Hang out at a Coffee Shop
Grab a coffee (or smoothie or chai!) and hang out talking with the one you love.
This is especially perfect for those dates when you feel like you have lots of catching up to do or have specific things that you want to discuss together!
13. Free Museum Night
Many museums and attractions have free days|nights when they allow anyone to visit for free. Check to see when the tourist spots in your area have their free days and go and enjoy some local culture!
14. Head to the Bookstore
Most Barnes and Noble stores have spots where you can sit and read and they typically also have a Starbucks inside too.
We love to browse for books, grab a dessert or drink to share and then sit and enjoy our books together. We’re both book lovers, so this is an easy-to-do favorite inexpensive date of ours.
15. Visit Open Houses
Google “open houses near me today” and then choose a few to go check out. It’s a great way to get ideas for your own home or even just to get a feel of what kinds of houses are in your area.
16. Go Out for Dessert
I love going out to eat, but it can get pricey so quickly! So sometimes, we’ll just go out for dessert instead.
It keeps things inexpensive but lets us still have the fun of eating out.
17. Take a Drive
Hop in the car and go explore somewhere new. Or just enjoy the scenery in a local rural area.
If you don’t feel like talking much, pop in your favorite CD or listen to an audiobook together.
Not sure where to find inexpensive audiobooks? I love Scribd! They offer access to thousands of audiobooks for just $8.99/mo. Sign up for Scribd here and get a free 30 day trial!
18. Let the Deals Rule
Watch for restaurant, event and activity deals on Groupon and plan your date around that!
I also recommend signing up for restaurant email lists|savings clubs and you’ll occasionally get good coupons like buy one, get one free offers as well.
And if it’s close to your birthday, a number of restaurants like Red Robin and Ruby Tuesday offer a free meal around your birthday, which is another inexpensive way to eat out and have a date.
19. Bowling | Mini Golf
It’s usually fairly easy to find bowling and mini golf for pretty cheap. Go play and see who has the most skills!
20. Read Together
Choose a book together, then snuggle up and take turns reading it out loud to each other.
For extra fun, make some Warm Vanilla Custard or a homemade caramel frappe or peppermint mocha frappuccino to sip on while you relax.
Looking for more date night ideas? Check out this list of 52 completely free date ideas!
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These are all great ideas! We are a military family so my husband is sometimes away for weeks at a time. When he returns home, date nights are a must at least once a week even if we just sit on the couch and catch up on our shows. I agree date nights dont have to be costly and you’ve definitely highlighted some amazing alternatives for us to try out:) Thank you!
Glad it was helpful, Toni!
These are such great, fun ideas! I especially love the idea of getting in the kitchen together to create a yummy dinner!
And I’m sure you’d come up with something amazing and tasty too! 😉
These are all great and simple ideas! My husband and I love going for a walk, hike or a drive. We always seem to be able to have great conversations during that quiet time. Thanks for all of these ideas!
Yes, quiet times together can be so good, especially when you are in the stage that we are in with little children and get very little quiet time together that is actually conducive to talking! 🙂
We have issues finding babysitters, too. I may have to look into babysitting swapping.
I hope you can find some other families to swap babysitting with Melanie! It’s been so key in helping us be able to have dates regularly.
We look forward to date night every Friday. now that our kids our older it is much easier. It is difficult coming up with something to do all the time. This is a great list!
A date once a week? That sounds amazing and I think it’s so great that you do that! I’d love to hear some of your favorite date ideas too, if you get a chance. With all that experience, I’m sure you have some good ones that I didn’t think of! 🙂
I love finding posts like these. We are always looking for creative things we can do with one another.
Glad it could help, Alli!