Just because money’s tight, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. All it takes is a little creativity and imagination. Check out these 10 ideas for cheap dates—and enjoy!
1. Grab a basket and blanket and have a picnic. Find a spot at the park, up in the mountains or even in your backyard (if the weather is too cold or wet, picnic on the living room floor). Pack light snacks, such as fruit, cheese and crackers. Bring a pack of board game trivia cards to spark conversation.
2. Get lost in the season by visiting your local beach, pool, pumpkin patch or Christmas tree farm. Walk around and reminisce about your favorite childhood memories of the season. Or this is a great way to start a new annual tradition.
3. Browse a nearby art gallery. Some cities even have entire neighborhoods devoted to galleries full of paintings, sculptures and crafts. If the timing is right, you could stumble upon some hors d’oeuvres. And while window shopping is always fun, try to find a small treasure (under $20) you pick out together.
4. Go on a geocaching treasure hunt. Geocaching is a real-world treasure hunt using your smartphone or other GPS device. Search “geocaching” to find websites that list items ready to be discovered around the world. Some are simple to find while others require an off-the-beaten-path adventure. If this is your first hunt, start with something that has a low difficulty rating.
5. Stroll through a nearby historic neighborhood and check out the architecture and historic sites. No matter where you live, chances are there’s an “old town” full of historical secrets. Visit your city hall for suggestions or search online for local history.
6. Search Groupon or other local daily deal sites for bargains on activities, such as couple’s massages, bike rentals or comedy clubs. Check out deals for new restaurants you’ve wanted to try, too!
7. Go on a hike. Pack some food and water and download a trail-finding app like AllTrails. The app will find different hikes, at a variety of distances and levels of fitness nearby or you can search a different area. Read the reviews from other hikers to help you decide which hikes are out of your league or well worth the effort.
8. While going to a concert at a nearby stadium is likely too pricey, check smaller local venues to hear local talent. In the summer, many cities host free concerts in the park. Search your local newspaper for announcements or check websites for event calendars.
9. Going to the movies these days can be quite the pricey outing. Some cities have discount theaters that show slightly older movies. Or buy discounted tickets at stores like Costco. In my area, the local shopping center mails a discount booklet every three months to surrounding neighborhoods that includes a pass for cheap movie tickets.
10. Grab a little culture on your date by looking for musicals or Shakespeare in the Park performances. You’d be surprised how talented the local theater groups are. Pack a picnic and a blanket and hum along or enjoy a little macabre Macbeth or laugh-out-loud Taming of the Shrew.
Photo Credit: jacoblund/iStock/Thinkstock