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50 Fun and Cheap Date Ideas!

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I never knew how difficult it would be to go on dates with my husband once we had a kid! We are lucky to get in a date every month or two! We decided that we would try to have a date night at least twice a month. Since it can be hard to find a sitter, I decided to compile a list of dates you can plan and do at home as well as out on the town, without breaking the bank!

We’ve done a lot of these dates and have had a blast! I’m sure you will too!

1. Make your own fondue. Use a fondue pot (or crock pot) and dip fresh fruit, cake, cookies, marshmallows, and pretzels in melted chocolate. Try this delicious recipe!
2. Make homemade pizzas together. Try our Easy Pizza Crust Recipe and choose your own toppings!
3. Fly kites. You can usually find them at the dollar store!
4. Try a new sport together. My husband is an avid snowboarder, so we hit the slopes! It was so fun to see him doing something he loves, even though I had quite a few wipe outs!
5. Have a game night. Pull out all of your board games for a friendly night of competition. Be sure to have some treats for the occasion, like our Gooey Almond and Coconut Chex Mix.
6. Be a tourist in your own city. Find what tourist attractions are in your city and spend the night acting like tourists, which includes taking cheesy pictures!
7. Go rollerblading (if the weather is bad, try an indoor skating rink). We found ours at a thrift store for just a few bucks!

8. Explore. Rent a four wheeler, snowmobile, scooter, waver runner or something you can do a little exploring on. You can often find deals online for cheap rentals!
9. Go to a thrift store. Each person gets $5 to spend! See who ends up with the best item(s)!
10. Have a picnic. If the weather doesn’t permit, lay out a blanket on the floor and eat in the living room!
11. Go see a play. Whether at your local community theater, high school or a big production, there is plenty of entertainment available!
12. Stargazing. Pack a blanket, pillows and food, like our Ham and Swiss Poppy Seed Sandwiches or Chili’s Copycat Salsa, and go somewhere to see the stars. Do some research before and look for constellations.
13. Go to a park (if weather permits). Swing on the swings, play frisbee, or feed the ducks!
14. Check out a local museum. They usually don’t cost much, if anything, to get in!
15. Have a “crazy dinner.” Each person gets $5 (or whatever amount you decide) to spend on any food item at the grocery store for dinner. Come home and prepare your meal! You might end up with some random food!
16. Make ice cream sundaes. Head to the store and buy some vanilla ice cream and your favorite toppings. Relax and enjoy your tasty treat!
17. Go to a local sporting event. Luckily, sports are going on year around! Grab some snacks and head out to the ball game!
18. Treasure hunting. Head to the ATM and get out $10-$20. Drive around to some local yard sales and see what you end up with! There are tons on the weekends!
19. Go on a bike ride (if weather permits). If you don’t have a bike, check the classifieds for a great deal! You could even pack a lunch!
20. Have a living room camp out. Make a tent out of blankets, watch a movie and sleep out on an air mattress. As you can see, we had a little visitor!
21. Love Languages. Take The 5 Love Languages Test to see how to improve your relationship. End the evening with our Easy Chocolate Dipped Strawberries!
22. Go for a swim. Head to a local pool and relax in the pool and hot tub!
23. Have a coupon date. Only eat or do activities you have coupons for. We used our local coupon book from the mail and went to the driving range and dinner for about $12 total! You can also check out our newest sponsor, Coupon Lynx, for some great deals!
24. Volunteer. Sign up to volunteer at a soup kitchen, retirement home or somewhere that could use a helping hand!
25. Go to a local fair or carnival. Be sure to bring some cash to play some games!
26. Take a free factory tour. You would be surprised what factories are around you! We toured a cheese factory and had free samples at the end!

27. Visit the zoo. If you don’t live near a zoo, go somewhere to see your local wildlife.

28. Take a drive. Get out of the house and take a drive. Take a look at nature or local scenery! For example, changing leaves in the fall, flowers blooming in the spring, etc. You might want to bring some Muddy Buddies in case you get hungry!
29. Have a movie marathon. We were able to get the Back to the Future Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy for less than 10 dollars each online (both my husband’s choosing)! You might want to have some of our Snickers Popcorn to munch on!

30. Wii Game Night at home (or any other gaming system). Grab some food and drinks and stay in for the night playing your favorite games! Make some wagers on any sports you might be playing. We occasionally have a cute, little third wheel on our dates. :)

31. Go bowling. To make things a little more difficult, try different styles like only using your opposite hand, “granny” style, eyes closed, etc.
32. Make indoor s’mores and read campfire stories. If you don’t have a gas stove, you could light candles to cook your marshmallows over! As you can tell, I was pretty excited!
33. TV show marathon. Pick a TV show and get a whole season’s worth of DVDs (or use Netflix, you can get the first month free) and watch it together! Of course, you’ll need some popcorn so try our Cinnamon Bear Popcorn Recipe!
34. Theme night. Pick a theme for the night and center everything around it. For example, Mexican night. You could eat Mexican food and go salsa dancing! Our Chili’s Copycat Skillet Queso would be the perfect addition to your evening!
35. Try a new restaurant. We usually end up eating out at the same places. Pick somewhere neither of you have been and try it out! Who knows, it might be a new favorite!
36. Take some lessons. Try taking a lesson for a couples dance, pottery or a cooking class!
37. Restaurant hop. Go to a different restaurant for each course of the meal. Make three stops for an appetizer, main course and dessert. Take turns picking where to go!
38. Have a spa night. Since your husband/significant other probably isn’t into manicures or pedicures, you could try massages, bubble baths, etc. You can buy some white towels and robes to make it really official (I found my white towels for $3 each at Wal Mart.).
39. 20 questions. Write a list of 20 questions to ask each other or find one on the internet. Go over your answers afterward. Here is a list of 20 questions for married couples.
40. Make breakfast together and eat it in bed (you could do this while the kids are still sleeping). We love french toast! You can check out our Recipe Index for some delicious breakfast ideas!
41. Exercise together. Attend an exercise class at a local gym, take a walk or jog together or do something active!
42. Go for a test drive. Head to your nearest car dealership and test drive your dream car!
43. Take a hike. This website will show you places near you to hike!
44. Breakin’ records. Read through the Guinness Book of World Records together, and find something the two of you could potentially achieve as a couple and then do it together as a cheap date.

45. Visit a bakery. Go to a local bakery and pick out a treat for each other.

46. Cook a meal together. Find a recipe you’ve never tried and make it together. Be sure to include some dessert, like our Chili’s Hot Fudge Molten Lava Cakes!
47. Write a bucket list. Make a list of things you want to do before you die and go do one to cross it off the list!
48. House hunting. Tour some homes and plan out your dream home!
49. Restaurant at home. Find recipes from some of your favorite recipes online, create a menu and have a lovely meal at home! Here is our Olive Garden Date Night and menu (recipes included)!
50. Go to the arcade. Get some quarters and head to your nearest arcade! Play some games and buy prizes with the tickets you win.
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  1. says

    What great ideas!! Thanks so much :) I married my husband just five months ago, and it’s so sad to say (type) but we’ve really started getting lazy in our dates! Everything gets SO busy! So thank you for some wonderful ideas.

  2. says

    Wow, so many great ideas!! Thanks for this list – you definitely got me thinking outside the box for date nights. With 2 little kids we find it is hard to fit in dates – but so important! Thanks again!

  3. says

    You have some great ideas here. We are empty nesters moving 1000 miles away from family this year, I want to try a lot of these. Great way to reconnect and refresh a relationship!

  4. says

    Great ideas! So glad to see you’re incorporating date nights early on in your marriage. After 33 years and having had regular date nights for over 25 we say “YEA!” Date nights don’t make a marriage better, but they give you the time needed to make marriage better. This is why we started our blog, and we love encouraging new bloggers to do the same.
    Blessings to you and your husband!
    Debi – The Romantic Vineyard

  5. says

    I love all of your ideas. :) I’ll definitly bring them up to my boyfriend – I’m sure he’ll go for most of them. We’ve been together for a year and a half – we have a TON of fun together but our “fun-ness” has faded a bit since my new job schedule is the polar opposite of his, but we have weekends together. USually we stay at home or go out for dinner at the same places. These are great ideas, thank you! :)

  6. says

    Wow! Awesome ideas! Thanks so much for sharing my husband and I are expecting a little one in May and I was worried about our date nights not being fun but I’m excited to do all of yours ;) BTW y’all are so cute! The pics are great!

  7. says

    Love these ideas! We’ve done a lot of these and always have a great time, but I would like to add one… Laser Tag! Hubby and I went one weekend and it was probably the funnest date we’ve had!

  8. says

    Woah, so many ideas. I like a lot of these. I’m single, but some of these are great friend or family “dates” especially the seeing a play (which I LOVE plays) and being a tourist in your home town. I’m starting to check out more in my area, and I want to keep doing it!


    • Heidi says

      I agree, some may not be the cheapest ideas. But take, for example, the idea of going to three different places for appetizers, dinner, and dessert. You could knock off 2-3 ideas from this list and make it into one fun, random date night. Instead of going to restaurants, why not cook dinner together at home and just go out for appetizers or dessert. Or do it all at home: Take a favorite appetizer, (salad and breadsticks from Olive Garden or chips and salsa from a Mexican restaurant), a favorite dinner (burgers and fries from Chili’s or lasagna from Olive Garden), and a favorite dessert (or dressed up ice cream or frozen yogurt) and make your own at home. You still have random meals, you can cook it all together (or go out for frozen yogurt/ice cream and a nice evening/night walk together) and you can make as much/little as you want as healthy as you want for as cheap as you want.

      You could even turn it into a whole random weekend. Friday night could be Italian and wine night. Saturday could be steaks, fries, and beer. Sunday could be a mix of whatever’s left (tortellini, fries, and Miller Light/White Zinfandel, anyone?) and board games or movies. The possibilities are endless!

  9. says

    ^ I have to agree with Molly — some of these aren’t what I would consider “cheap”, BUT there certainly ARE a lot of wonderful ideas to take from this list! I tell my friends all the time that date nights are a “must” for every couple — no matter how busy your calendars are. WE are the priority. Not just for OUR relationship, but to teach our son how to have a happy and healthy relationship when he grows up. Thank you for posting this. I’ll be saving this link :)

  10. says

    These are all the things my husband and I do, normally with out calling it a date or anything else. We just made our life this way. Everyone always mentions how we have such a great marriage. I never thought about it, until I read your blog. Maybe if everyone just lived spontaniously like we do, always looking for something fun to do together, then they’d have the same kind of marriage. It does get hard with kids, but even when thier included, we make our own time, with small kisses, a rub on the back, a whisper in the ear etc… married 24 years, 4 daughters and happy as ever… :) Thanks for sharing and reminding me how special my life is.

  11. says

    Being 50+ and dating exclusively for some time now has made dating stale….dinner and a movie. I LOVE these ideas. They can fit any age, income and social bracket. I copied them onto different colors of paper, and picked up a glass canister at Dollar Tree and decorated it with some cute stencils. So we will draw a slip each Sunday night and based on the slip, it will determine which day the “date” will take place. We picked out our first “date” slip on Sunday which was go to the Thrift Store. So we are headed to Goodwill tonight. I am so excited!!! I love shopping there and he has never bought anything at a Thrift store. So this will help us both get outside of our comfort zone (I have NEVER Rollerbladed & he loves it) and have some fun. I will let you know how it went. :-)

    Hugs to everyone.

    Brenda in St. Louis

  12. says

    How do you get your husband to do any of these things. Because mine doesn’t seem to want to get off the couch and he hurts me when he never wants to do anything with me.

    • Patty says

      Pick something he will love to do…that he can’t resist. And even if you don’t like it be a good sport about it.

  13. says

    Making breakfast and eating in bed before the kids are up???? Who are you trying to kid!!! It works much better after the kids are grown and gone :)
    You do have some awesome ideas in there though!

  14. says

    Molly, you said (and MrsB agreed) “but a LOT of them don’t fit into the category of cheap date ideas”. That’s nonsense. I’d say at LEAST 45 of them are cheap or free ideas. Maybe 47. Out of 50? I’m a big-time cheapskate and I think all of these ideas are appropriate for the Fun & Cheap Date list.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Olive Tree, this really depends where you live. Australia is one of the most expensive countries in the world and it seems to me like things that are often cheap or free in the US definitely aren’t here! Zoos, ice-skating, restaurants (especially restaurant-hopping and eating 3 courses each) would not be classified as ‘cheap’ in most places. Out of those ice-skating would be the cheapest at about $15 each. Even bowling can cost upwards of $12 each per game unless you get a bowling alley that has cheap nights or something like that. Sports events are the same too unless you’re looking at a local club game rather than a professional level game (Australia’s university sports scene is nowhere near as big as it is in the US). An evening lesson of nearly any description (dancing, pottery, cooking, etc) would also probably cost $20+ each. Even doing a sport can set you back a bit unless it’s the type of sport where you can just buy an el-cheapo ball and bat or something like that. Any snow-related sport is definitely Way. Out. for most Australians.

      There are a lot of really great cheap suggestions here, and I don’t know where Molly is from, but the statement that many of these suggestions are not exactly cheap isn’t ‘nonsense’.

  15. says

    Great writing skills buddy but That concert tickets is very expensive. I cant afford that. That ios a good show you know. So I like the competition between bloggers. The nest bloggers will win that tickets concert. Really good competition.water coolers

  16. says

    Shovel snow or clean snow off your car but.. cram yourselves into one jacket. You could amend snow into any project. LOL At that thrift store trip buy a BIG jacket or shirt and learn how to work together.

  17. says

    I love these! & I knew when you said “local cheese factory” that you two were Aggies :) Then I scrolled down and saw a gameday shirt! Go Aggies! :)

  18. says

    Please, please don’t waste the time of a very busy car sales person to test drive your dream car (unless you can afford said car and are planning on buying) You may be taking away a sale from a serious buyer…trust me car sales are a hard way to earn living don’t waste someones ability to provide for their family on a “cheap” date night.

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  20. Ngah Benoit says

    Wow, I love talking and learning more about Love and Relationships and discovering sixsister today has made me so happy. I love point 41, the Exercise together stuff and I’m definitely going to try it out. I own a Love Blog ( and I and very impressed with what I have read here today. Great job and keep up.

  21. Dale Doire says

    Thanks, six sisters! My wife and son are going out of town for a week while I stay behind and work. I have this weekend to spend with them and I’m very excited to try some of these ideas. I have no doubt that this list will enrich the time we have!

  22. Emily says

    Thanks, there are some really great ideas here! I am not married but have been dating the same guy for 4 years, so to change it up a bit we recently planned a ski / snowboarding trip (I haven’t gone in years) and bought two board games for the apartment. I like the hiking idea and take a drive idea, going to add to the list!

  23. jen says

    How do you get your significant other to do any of these things with you? I can’t even get my guy to eat with me, much less cook or go look at garage sales.

  24. Sandi says

    Love the ideas! After 20+ years of marriage keeping a marriage fun and fresh is always a priority.
    We have done a couple of other things that were not on the cheap side but the memory was so lasting it made the saving worth it
    1) a day of white water rafting (and I dont really swim, one of the biggest highlights of our lives ever)
    2)Pack a lunch in a basket and go on the arts & crafts tour of your local county craftsman stopping in a field to eat and cuddle enjoy the sun while talking about the beautiful wares you viewed.
    3) spend a day canning a chilli sauce or salsa together with agood bottle of wine, nothing like learning this together.
    4) take a afternoon cooking class together
    5) buy 2 canvas from the $ store and each paint a pc of original art for your wall together ( I cant draw a circle but thats the whole fun) the paints are under $1 pc at $1 store
    6) Spend a rainy day curled in both of you pick your all time secret movies and watch together.

  25. Angel says

    Thank you so much for this great list of awesome and cheap dates. I needed a date idea, I did some brainstorming, and I figured out what we are going to do.

  26. says

    I actually made an app for this scenario. Try EpicDate, it’s on the iTunes App Store and Google Play!

    It’s a game you can play when you’re on a date. Here’s how you play:
    1st: Pick one or more rules for you and your date (My favorite is “Use meow in every sentence”).
    2nd: Each player enters a secret message for their date. Flirting helps ;).
    3rd: Try to follow the rules, if you break a rule you get 1 strike.
    4th: If you get three strikes you lose and your date gets your secret.

    You even get a few creative topics to keep the date lively and legendary.

    Hope people find it fun!

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