Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

69 Financially Conscious (Okay, Cheap) Date Night Ideas

Taking your significant other out on a date is a fundamental part of getting to know one another. You’re testing the waters, and you want to see if they’re into the same things you are. People significantly change when thrown into social situations.

Take me, for example, I avoid them at all costs, and I have to pump myself up to do anything where there are loads of people. I remind myself that I’m the NPC in these other people’s lives, as they are in mine. What they do doesn’t affect me.

My boyfriend and I have our ups and downs like anybody else in the world. But one thing that we don’t lack is wanting to be with each other. I genuinely enjoy his presence. Even at my most introverted, his is the face that will make me smile and get me out of my head.

We’re both trying to dig our way out of the financial holes we got into before meeting each other. He likes to bust my chops, asking where I was ten years ago. Down the street, apparently.

Here are some ideas if you’re in a financial rut like we are and don’t have a lot of spare cash to splurge, but you need some fresh air and want to change things up a bit.

It’s the little things in life that we forget mean just as much as a $1000 dinner, some expensive new gadget, or an overseas trip.

Find joy in those little things with your lover.

  1. Biking
  2. Boardgame night (you could even make this a group event where everyone brings a game)
  3. Dollar pizza, Big Gulp spiked with rum
  4. Dollar store date: $5 to find something interesting for the other person to use, wear, play with, and then see what you can do with them
  5. Geocaching
  6. Glow in the dark golfing or bowling
  7. Hammock snuggling
  8. Hookah lounge
  9. A movie that neither of you has seen and a homemade dinner
  10. Take in a local museum that you haven’t visited before
  11. Check out a planetarium
  12. Rearrange a room
  13. Splat painting like in The Princess Diaries, where they have balloons of paint hanging on the wall above a canvas and they take turns throwing darts to burst the paint
  14. Stargazing and booze
  15. Subs, hike, and picnic
  16. Thrift shop plates, baseball bats in the desert (exactly how it sounds, but clean up after yourselves!)
  17. Walkthrough the park
  18. Watch planes take off at the airport
  19. Window shopping at the mall
  20. Wine, pumpkin carving, and a movie
  21. Make a pillow fort and eat homemade s’mores
  22. Bake your favorite dessert together (and then eat it afterward, of course!)
  23. Go to your local shelter and ask to play with the animals. Donate money, treats, or pet supplies.
  24. Build a sexy scavenger hunt for the other person to solve, for slow-motion foreplay.
  25. Put together a classic movie marathon featuring specific actors or specific director; I recommend Keanu Reeves
  26. Indoor rock climbing
  27. Go to a farmer’s market
  28. Make something creative together, like a poem or a song.
  29. Go to a book store and buy each other a new book that you think your partner might enjoy
  30. Day hiking: somewhere local or take a drive somewhere.
  31. Kayaking or canoeing.
  32. Beach Day: pack a lunch, drinks in a cooler, and post up at the beach to soak up the sun
  33. Plan and cook a fancy meal together.
  34. Buy a game like croquet or badminton, or borrow one from someone, and set it up at the local park.
  35. Groupon Night: go Dutch on a Groupon activity
  36. Easter egg hunt
  37. Natural hot springs trip with champagne and a sunset
  38. Crafting
  39. If you live near old towns, consider visiting old churches nearby
  40. Take a class together: CPR training, pottery, salsa dancing
  41. Volunteer
  42. Netflix Roulette: one person closes their eyes and directs where the other person clicks on the Netflix menu (“up” “down” “right” “left”) until the other says “stop!” Commit to watching 15 minutes of the show/movie. If you don’t like it, start all over again!
  43. Local cultural festival
  44. Hot yoga
  45. Visit elderly family members who don’t deserve to be lonely
  46. Reverse dinner: start with dessert, have your main course, and then a salad or an appetizer
  47. Giant slip and slide in your backyard or local park
  48. Wine/beer/spirit tasting or tour
  49. Live music/performance
  50. Taco crawl: go to an arbitrarily chosen amount of Mexican restaurants and eat one taco and possibly a beer at each place
  51. Participate in a 5K for charity
  52. Batting Cages
  53. Tennis
  54. You pick one fun spot in your town that you’ve never checked out (tourist attractions, nature area, etc) and your partner picks one, and you spend the day or evening checking them out together.
  55. Shooting or archery range
  56. Learn a new language
  57. Sign up to be extras in a movie
  58. Guided meditation, you could use YouTube or an app
  59. Progressive Dinner: start with drinks at a lounge, an appetizer at a restaurant, dinner at another restaurant, and then dessert at home or grab a cheap ice cream cone at McDonald’s.
  60. Day road trip
  61. Sing karaoke
  62. Go to an arcade and see who can get the highest score
  63. Go-Karts
  64. Have a picnic at night in a place that you’ve don’t normally go to, like your backyard or close to the beach in the summer
  65. Roller skating or skateboarding
  66. Go to Build-a-Bear and build a themed bear for each other
  67. Make your own photoshoot
  68. Find a cheap piece of furniture on Craigslist and spend an afternoon fixing it up together. Keep it or donate it.
  69. Have afternoon tea

What looks good to you? Try one, try two, try them all. I’m sure something would be suitable for you.

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