15 Simple and Cheap Date Ideas

Dating can still be inexpensive without skimping on the fun

    1. Wii Sports Gamer Night
    Wii Sports contains a variety of adrenaline-boosting games like bowling, boxing or tennis that are sure to bust out your date's competitive spirit. For an extra twist, add another couple and now it's a Wii Olympics!

    Photo Credit: ginnerobot
    2. Disposable Camera Photo Op
    Set aside the Smartphones for a day and play around with a cheap disposable camera. To really distance yourselves from technology, bring the camera along for a hike in the woods and photograph each other and the scenery. The anticipation of waiting a few days to view the finished product could even set you up for date number two!

    Photo Credit: marlinsgirl93
    3. Animal Lover Day
    Visiting a local animal shelter allows you and your date to show homeless animals some love, or if you already have a dog bring it to either an indoor or outdoor dog park. The constant cuteness factor of all the dogs ensures that there's never a lull in the conversation!

    Photo Credit: Luke Ma
    4. See How Things Are Made at a Factory Tour
    A brewery or winery are usually the choice winners, but there's also plenty of other fresh options like aircraft assembly, pottery or even candy-making. Find something that interests you both and you'll probably even leave with a complimentary souvenir. Search for ideas in your area at

    Photo Credit: Guillaume Paumier
    5. Farmer's Market Meal
    Going to the open-air market for fresh, local food and then bringing it home to make a simple meal is like a two-in-one date. Not only are you saving money, but you are also supporting local farmers and will be more likely to find organic ingredients.

    Photo Credit: Jamie McCaffrey
    6. Scout Garage Sales for Hidden Riches
    As the saying goes, one man's junk is another man's treasure. Surprisingly, scouring through other people's seemingly useless stuff is a fun way to learn about what your date values. Make a game of it by setting a price limit to see who can find the best buy!

    Photo Credit: Eastlake Times
    7. Seek Local Music at an Intimate Venue
    There's almost always a local artist practically begging for an audience at their show, which for you means a night of entertainment for a cheap cover charge. Since concerts usually begin later in the evening, you could also save money by preparing dinner at home beforehand.

    Photo Credit: FunGi_(Trading)
    8. Picnic in the Park
    It's a bit uncomfortable to stuff yourself while sitting on the ground anyway, so it's okay to keep the meal light with fruit, wine and cheese.

    Photo Credit: Karen Roe
    9. Match the Season Outdoor Activities
    There's rarely a lack of things to do outside no matter the season, so make it match! If it's fall, go pick apples or pumpkins. In the winter, take advantage of the frigid weather and try skating, ice fishing, snowboarding or sledding. Just make sure it's something you'd both enjoy and the fun will flow on its own.

    Photo Credit: joiseyshowaa
    10. Camp Out in the Living Room
    Let's admit it, not many people are fond of sleeping on the cold, hard ground while pondering what animal is making that howling noise outside the tent. Plus you'll avoid the outdoor park fees and can even roast marshmallows in the fireplace.

    Photo Credit: Quinn Dombrowski
    11. Stargazing
    This common date is ideal because it gives you two a chance to communicate and wonder openly about the universe. Make it more comfortable by putting blankets in a truck bed and downloading a free astronomy guide so you actually know what constellations you're looking at.

    Photo Credit: Timothy Boocock
    12. Teach Each Other Your Favorite Hobby
    Whether it be playing guitar or knitting mittens, it's an ego boost to teach a novice the skill that you're an expert at. Plus discovering your date's primary interests can determine your compatibility with the other person.

    Photo Credit: Oleh Slobodeniuk
    13. Theater for a Discount
    Sometimes performance theaters will allow people to attend the dress rehearsal instead of the actual show. They like the practice of a small audience watching, and you will get practically the same experience for a fraction of the cost. It'll seem like a private viewing you specially organized just for your date!

    Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver
    14. Dinner & a Movie With a Twist
    Sometimes it seems there's no way to avoid this classic date, so make it more interesting by setting a theme for the night. For example for the 1950's, take your date to a diner for a burger, fries and chocolate shake and then to a drive-in movie.

    Photo Credit: monkeywing
    15. Volunteer Together
    Giving back to a cause you both care about is equally cheap and rewarding. It also really puts the concept of money into perspective when you realize how valuable your time is to help the needy.

    Photo Credit: Feed My Starving Children (FMSC)