Not every couple is made of money. If you’ve found love, but don’t have a ton of cash in your date night fund, don’t worry. You’re not doomed to countless nights spent bored on the couch. With the following creative date night ideas, even the tightest-budgeted couples can have a good time:
- Peruse Art Galleries
If you live in a city or near a town, there are likely art galleries in your vicinity. Take the time to check out free, local options. Share your opinions on the different pieces and make up stories about the artist’s mindset during the works’ creations. You don’t have to be super artsy to find fun in that.
- Enjoy Live Music
The summer is a particularly great time for music lovers – the live music scene can finally be expanded outdoors. Not only can you hit up favorites bars and restaurants for live entertainment, but you can also catch free – or inexpensive – performances in parks, on outdoor patios and more.
- Create a Photo Shoot
It may sound corny, but gathering friends for a double-date photo shoot is a free, memorable way to spend a day or evening. Dress up in fancy clothes, strange costumes or your simple, normal garb. Take turns photographing each other and, at the end of the night, you’ll have a stack of cute couple photos.
- Explore New Recipes at Home
Part of the fun of eating out is exploring new food combinations and trying things you wouldn’t normally try. Do that at home to save some money. Split the preparation among yourselves, get out your finest china, set up some candles and enjoy.
- Set up Movie Night
A night out at the movies can be pretty costly these days. With the snacks, the beverages and the tickets, you can drop a nice dinner’s worth of cash. Rent a movie or turn to in-home streaming for some free cinematic enjoyment. Don’t forget about the popcorn and munchies.
- Eat Appetizers Out
While multiple courses at a restaurant can break the bank, enjoying some appetizers won’t be nearly as pricey. You can still enjoy some yummy eats, share good conversation and get out of the house.
No matter where you live, there are probably volunteering opportunities nearby. You can walk dogs at your local ASPCA, serve food at a homeless shelter or explore other options that correlate with your values. At the end of the day, you two can share meaningful time together and make a difference in the world – for free.
- Babysit Together
Have friends with children? Dedicate a night to playing house. Make dinner together, play games with the kids and pop in a movie. It will be fun to share the evening together, and your parent friends will get a night to themselves, too.
- Appreciate Nature
There is free beauty all around you. You can take a walk around a nearby neighborhood or lay a blanket out for stargazing. Stroll through local gardens or simply set up some chairs on the lawn. If it’s a nice evening, just getting outside will be pleasant.
- Hold a Game Night
Maybe it’s not the most romantic option, but you can invite friends over for some competitive fun. Get out the drinks and snacks, and enjoy some charades, board games, card games and whatever else suits your fancy.
- Take Advantage of Free Events
Local libraries, universities and community centers often hold events that are free to the public, such as concerts, classes and lectures. Investigate options in your area and take a chance on something you think could be fun. Worst-case scenario: You will have spent an evening doing something stupid with your honey. No harm done to your financials.
- Swap Spa Treatments
OK, so maybe you’re both not totally taken with the idea of manicures and pedicures; or maybe you are. If not, there are other services to be exchanged – namely, massages. Give each other full-body massages – with oils for zest – and then crawl into the tub together. Unwind in the warm water with bottles of wine in hand.
- Tackle a DIY Project
Whether it’s a simple relationship mural or a more involved furniture creation, taking on a DIY couple craft or project can be a fun way to spend an evening. There are also DIY seminars offered at Home Depot and Lowes that could, if given a chance, be entertaining.
- Sing and Dance
Create a playlist comprised of songs that are important to you two as a couple – your special jams. You’ll undoubtedly know most – or all – of the words. Dress up in something special, and enjoy a few dances together. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even make up your own choreography and try to memorize the moves.
- 2-Person Fight Club
I lift weights on the daily and as corny as it sounds I really do embrace the saying, “a couple that works out together stays together.” When going to the gym isn’t an option for you both, try signing up for a martial arts or boxing class together.
There you have it: a guide to enjoying date night while on a budget. As you can see, the best things in life can cost no money at all.
Image via Shutterstock