cheap date night ideas

Cheap Date Night Ideas for Couples

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Trying to keep the spark alive in marriage takes effort. There are so many tasks on our never-ending to-do lists that it just seems like one more thing we need to check off. One more commitment when we’re already overcommitted!

Date night doesn’t need to be a big production, I promise. You can even do date night at home! Quality time is so important to a marriage that it is worth the effort to plan a regular date night.

Cheap date night ideas can be romantic and over the top or last minute. Creative date night ideas abound on the internet. You don’t need to be at a loss for a great cheap date night idea. Date nights can be on a budget, you just need some creativity and a spot on your calendar.

Check out this extensive list of the best cheap date night ideas. See which one (or two or more!) sound like fun and make it a date!

One drawback of long-term love is that many couples allow dating to fall by the wayside. The two of you can easily fall into a routine and into the mind-set that just being together is enough. However, continuing to ‘date’ your long-term love will help your relationship go the distance.

–Laura Berman

More than 170 Cheap Date Night Ideas to Inspire You

  • Go on a picnic
  • Go hiking
  • Hang out at a coffee shop
  • Visit the museum on a free or reduced admission night
  • Go through old photos of the two of you
  • Head to the bookstore and browse
  • Put together a puzzle
  • Take an online personality quiz together
  • Go to a model home and take a tour
  • Go out for dessert
  • Explore your city or neighborhood by taking a walk
  • Cook a meal together
  • Take a scenic drive
  • Play board games
  • Watch a movie together on the couch
  • Go geocaching
  • Buy a Groupon and try out a new experience
  • Go bowling
  • Go mini-golfing
  • Read a book together
  • Listen to your throwback records, vintage tapes or mix CDs 
  • Go out to breakfast
  • Watch the sunset or sunrise
  • Celebrate the anniversary of when you met, got married or started dating 
  • Take a dance lesson 
  • Attend a local minor league game
  • Volunteer together
  • Test drive an expensive car (But don’t buy it!)
  • Go to an open mic night
  • Go for a run together 
  • Camp at a state park
  • Drive to see the autumn leaves
  • Go berry or apple picking
  • Visit a public garden
  • Grab a cup of coffee and stroll around a town square or downtown area
  • Go to a concert in the park 
  • Walk a nature trail 
  • Feed ducks at a pond
  • Eat takeout by candlelight
  • Have a picnic on the floor in the living room
  • Make drinks and sip them on your patio
  • Stargaze from your backyard
  • Make milkshakes, floats or fancy ice cream sundaes at home
  • Sing karaoke 
  • Do a taste test
  • Rent canoes and go out on the water
  • Dress up and go out to eat on a dollar menu 
  • Go to a drive-in movie theater
  • Eat ice cream in the park
  • Borrow or rent bikes to do some sight-seeing
  • Make a bonfire and roast marshmallows
  • Go antiquing or thrifting together
  • Take a ferry ride
  • Go window shopping
  • Relax in a jacuzzi
  • Learn something new (YouTube videos are an excellent resource!)
  • Ride a train or trolley
  • Visit the library
  • Play paintball
  • Write out your goals as a couple
  • Make an at-home spa day
  • Play video games at an arcade
  • Go on a brewery or winery tour
  • Attend an author’s reading at a local bookstore
  • Go to a carnival
  • Take a cookie or candy factory tour
  • Have a wine and cheese night
  • Go to the gym
  • Try out a new local diner
  • Go to a foreign film
  • Go to a comedy night at a local club
  • Attend a local art show
  • See a psychic
  • Go to a rock climbing gym and scale a wall
  • Go ice skating
  • Go roller skating
  • Sign up for trivia night
  • Be a tourist in your own city
  • Attend a local high school game
  • Play on a playground
  • Have an alphabet scavenger hunt
  • Play a game of HORSE or 1-on-1
  • Hit some balls at a local driving range or batting cage
  • Play racquetball or tennis
  • Stroll through a college campus
  • Swim a few laps together at your local community pool
  • Throw the Frisbee around in a nearby park
  • Try out a yoga class at a local studio
  • Watch planes take off and land at the airport
  • Enroll in a community education class together.
  • Find a poetry reading in your area
  • Go to a local record or music store and browse the shelves for new genres or musicians you haven’t heard before
  • Listen to a concert by your community band or orchestra
  • Sit in on a presentation or lecture at your local library
  • Go to a performance at your local high school or college
  • Visit a historic site in your area. 
  • Browse the farmer’s market
  • Head out to happy hour for a drink, and maybe even make a meal of appetizers while you’re at it
  • Look up lunch-hour specials at restaurants in your area and pick a spot to have a lunch date
  • Pick up your favorite pizza and eat it in the park
  • Take advantage of BOGO meal coupons for local restaurants
  • Participate in wine or beer tastings at your local liquor stores
  • Browse a home-improvement store and brainstorm some renovations you’d like to do in the next year or two
  • Scope out new home furnishing possibilities at different furniture and home goods stores
  • Wander through an antique store and come up with backstories for some of the more interesting treasures you find
  • Go to the zoo or aquarium
  • Fly a kite
  • Collect shells at the beach
  • Go fishing
  • Participate in a local astronomy club’s stargazing event
  • Play with the puppies and kittens at your local animal shelter
  • Research birds in your area and go bird-watching
  • Drop by any local estate sales in your area
  • Bake each other’s favorite types of baked goods
  • Challenge each other to a video game competition
  • Dip fondue
  • Do crosswords or other types of brain puzzles
  • Ever play the game Name 5? Take turns calling out categories and seeing if the person can name five things that fit (five Tom Hanks movies, five pizzas topics, etc.)
  • Go camping in your own backyard
  • Grill a pizza in your backyard
  • Listen to a new podcast together
  • Look through travel brochures and plan your next vacation
  • Invite friends over for a game night
  • Make a fancy popcorn recipe and eat it while you watch a movie
  • Put together a time capsule that you can bury in your backyard
  • Snuggle in a backyard hammock
  • Look through your old yearbooks
  • Try your hand at Google Roulette (plug random words into a search engine and picking an activity from the results)
  • Visit a hobby store to pick out supplies for a project you can work on together, like a vacation scrapbook or a model car
  • Watch your wedding video
  • Do a photo scavenger hunt
  • Seed bomb a special spot
  • Explore a nearby town or city
  • Go on a ghost hunt
  • Visit the local planetarium
  • Buy lottery tickets
  • Write a bucket list
  • Play bingo
  • Visit your local Ikea
  • Do a happy hour bar crawl
  • Go to a pet cafe
  • Visit a local fair
  • Take in an amateur animal show
  • Play frisbee golf
  • Go to Costco or Sam’s Club and eat free samples
  • Go on a sunset picnic
  • Try a new cuisine neither of you has eaten before
  • Look for fun science experiment videos on YouTube and try them yourselves
  • Attend a Meetup group and enjoy a new activity
  • Attend a local fundraiser
  • Forage for edible plants and berries
  • Go ziplining
  • Buy coloring books and crayons and color them
  • Go to a rodeo
  • Go to a car show
  • Build Lego kits together
  • Go to the shooting range
  • Play 20 questions
  • Have an entire evening by candlelight
  • Park on a hill and look at the city lights
  • Take a bubble bath together
  • Donate blood
  • Go to an escape room
  • Make a blanket fort
  • Make a time capsule
  • Paint a room
  • Wash the car
  • Take online compatibility tests
  • Watch a local band perform
  • Play pool
  • Play strip chess (or strip any game)
  • Find massage videos on YouTube and practice on each other 

Final Thoughts on Cheap Date Night Ideas

Wow, that was quite a list, and I bet that there are more ideas for cheap date nights. You may run across more searching the internet, or you and your honey may come up with your own. As long as the two of you are together and having fun, the possibilities are endless!

Marriage and even more importantly a successful marriage takes time and nurturing. The investment you make in your relationship today will pay great dividends towards a great marriage that will have friends and family asking for the secret to your success. And you can say with confidence that cheap date nights were definitely a factor in building a great marriage!

What is your favorite cheap date night activity? Let me know in the comments below.


Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.

Charles Dudley Warner

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