Inside: Over 50 inexpensive date ideas to bring the spark back into your relationship. At under $50 per date, your relationship will flourish and your budget will stay in-tact. (Some even include childcare!)
No matter how you slice it, dating in today’s world can be pricey. The average cost of a dinner and a movie is right around $100. If you’re a parent with small children, you’ll need to plan on setting aside another $50+ in the budget for a babysitter too!
In the days of being a dual-household income, these monthly splurges were within budget. But when made the life change of me to stay home full time to raise our children, we also chose to cut back on extras in our life. At first, we considered our date-night an “extra” that we could go without.
It didn’t take us long to learn that there was more value in those date-nights than we originally realized. We needed that one-on-one time together. But, we also needed to honor our new budget.
Here’s what we learned…
It was actually a LOT of fun to think outside the box when it came to our monthly date nights. And, coming up with 50+ inexpensive date ideas (we’re talking UNDER $50) was way easier than we ever thought it would be.
50+ Inexpensive Date Ideas:
1. A date in a box
We’ve tried out Night In Boxes and Escape the Crate and really enjoyed both and highly recommend!
With little to no effort on your part, your date box will show up in your mailbox each month. This idea takes the pressure off you and your s/o to do all the planning. Which is so key when both of you are crazy busy. Not to mention that this is a very cost
2. Cook dinner together
Again, you can take the pressure of planning out of the equation with an awesome home delivery box. One of our personal favorites is Hello Fresh.
One order will actually get you three meal options for $59, so it’s the gift that keeps giving all weekend long!. No meal planning or grocery shopping required! You simply open the bag with your meal ingredients, grab the directions and GO.
Pair it with your favorite bottle of wine and cozy up on the couch to catch an episode or two of your favorite shows. New to HelloFresh? Get $20 off your first box by clicking here.
Hey parents, no babysitter required! Tuck your sweet kiddos into bed, grab something delicious to drink, a cozy blanket, and your honey and head to the backyard and get lost in the wonder of the universe together.
4. Play a board game
5. Do a small home improvement project
I said small because it should be easy and fun! One night, after moving into our new house, Erik and I dove into changing lighting. And not just any lighting…but an intricate crystal chandelier with a million pieces for our daughter’s room. That, my friends, I do not recommend!
Trust me and choose something simpler. Paint a room, hang a few pictures or plant some flowers.
6. Watch an old, favorite movie.
The night is more about being together and connecting when you choose an old favorite to watch. You can find pretty much anything you could want on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. We’re also loving Disney+ for all of the classics they include as well!
7. Stroll through the park
A walk through the park is one of the simplest and oldest ways to connect and be present with the one you’re with. Being in nature is such a stress-reliever and a great way to get lost in the moment together.
8. Create a vision board
What are your family goals for the next 1, 3 or even 5 years? Have fun talking about your hopes and dreams and find pictures to inspire you and keep the dream alive! Then set an action plan of how to turn your vision into a reality together. For additional info on how to create a vision board as a couple, click here.
9. Teach each other something new and fun.
Erik was an amazing baseball player in college, and you know what’s crazy? We’ve never just thrown a baseball around together. Granted, my subpar athletic skills will probably drive him crazy….
BUT, it would be so fun to learn a thing or two from him about the sport that meant so much to him for so long. Get curious. What would you like for your spouse to teach you more about?
10. Create a photo collage.
Grab an inexpensive picture
We’ve had a Canon Selphy printer for over two years, and love it. It’s not cheap but has been well worth the investment.
11. Give each other a massage.
This is something so simple that oftentimes goes by the wayside. Human touch is so important…and it’s a great way for us to get to know our spouse, and their needs on a more physical, and personal level.
12. Have a spa night.
Not too far off from #11, but you can have some fun with this! Guys secretly love the thought of being pampered.
Indulge in a detoxifying face mask (my favorites are Purify & Glowify from EVER Skin) and an essential oil &
You can make this as simple, or as indulgent as you’d like.
13. Create a decadent dessert
Go ahead! Make the brownie. Then top it with ice cream, hot fudge,
14. Plan your next vacation.
When was the last time you sat down together to dream up your next
15. Watch your favorite TV show together.
Super simple. Very relaxing. And a great excuse to cuddle.
16. Roast marshmallows over a fire pit in your backyard.
So simple, and so much fun. Get creative and indulge in your inner child a little bit. Get lost in the moment.
Brunch—and mimosas—are always a good idea.
18. Church or synagogue
If your church offers childcare, there you go! Instant date! Sitting next to each other hearing God’s word for an uninterrupted hour has a way of making us feel stronger and closer as a couple…and more grounded as individuals.
19. Hit the gym
Have your husband spot you while you lift some weights—or work out side by side in your gym’s cardio theatre! Do your own thing and just meet at the water fountain to flirt a little.
20. Take a yoga class together
Admittedly, this isn’t one I’ve gotten my hubby to do with me quite yet…but I’m wearing him down slowly! I see plenty of cute couples at my yoga
21. Go bowling
Who doesn’t love to bowl? Especially now that the smoke-filled bowling alleys are a thing of the past…Grab something great to drink and make it interesting by putting some stakes on it! Whoever wins gets to sleep in that weekend while the other fields the 6 a.m. wake-up calls from the kids.
22. Historic tour of a
I’m always amazed by how many nearby towns offer
23. Have a picnic
Get fancy with a charcuterie tray and bottle of vino or sparkling water or throw some PB & J’s, potato chips and cans of soda into a lunch box! It’s all about that special one-on-one time you’re getting together here. One of our local YMCA’s offers childcare while visiting a local park, making this easy to do with a little planning on the front end.
24. Volunteer at a local animal shelter
There is something so incredibly special about giving love and affection to animals who really, really need it. You and your hubby will bond over your adorable, furry new friends—and just thinking about it will bring a smile to your face for weeks after the event.
25. Grab a coffee and go to a playground
If you want to go retro, like all the way back to your first few dates with each other, this should do it. Take it to the next level with a list of get-to-know
26. Play a game of HORSE
This is another date on the cheap that can be done at your local YMCA or recreation center, while your kids are having a ton of fun at the childcare center. Just like bowling, make it interesting!
27. Go for a bike ride at a local park
Again, take it way back to the simple and fun first few date ideas! This may be something you haven’t even done since then! Incorporate a picnic while you’re at it.
28. Take a stroll around a college campus
Any date that involves a leisurely stroll, good cup of coffee and opportunity for some quality convo and I’m a fan. This checks all three of those boxes.
29. Visit a local beach or pool together
30. Grab a drink and appetizer at that hip, new restaurant
Meals can add up quickly, but a great drink and an appetizer should make you feel like you splurged, and set you back very little. Get dressed up, and go to the coolest new place in town.
31. Hit up Groupon for ideas
Groupon offers the ability to get a lot for a little while introducing you to places you had never thought to visit before. You can usually find Groupon on Rakuten (formerly Ebates) as well, getting you additional cashback on your purchase (I’ve seen it as high as 10%)! If you’re not on Ebates yet, you’re missing out! You can read more about what it has to offer in my post, 4 Easy Ways to Save Money Without Even Trying. Then, click here to get $10 in Groupon Bucks.
32. Visit a botanical garden
Our local botanical garden has so much to offer. Be sure to pack a picnic to take with you as well! Dust off your fancy camera and grab some pics of the beautiful scenery…and each other.
33. Go to the zoo
Yes, this is a ton of fun to do with kids! But, imagine being able to watch your very favorite animals for as long as you darn well please…without having to keep a constant eye on each kid to make sure none of them end up in the penguin cage.
34. Pick fresh, seasonal fruit
Whether it’s apples or pumpkins in the fall, or berries in the spring. Take your fresh-picked produce home and make a delicious seasonal treat for the whole family.
35. Pick out cards for each other at the Hallmark store
Cards tend to perfectly say what we are feeling but find hard to put into words. After your walk or picnic in the park, stop by a local store and pick out cards for each other. Exchange them, read them, and then put them back! Trust me…you’ll have fun and the warm fuzzies will last long after you walk out of that card shop empty-handed.
36. Minor league baseball or hockey game
37. Concert in the park
A classic summertime date night. Take a blanket and some delicious snacks, and you’re all set!
38. Go canoeing
Canoeing is so relaxing. Just the two of you, a canoe, and some gorgeous scenery. There will be plenty of time to connect and have some fun as you row along.
39. Peruse a local farmer’s market together
Just like the zoo, this can be done with kids—but is so much more relaxing, even romantic, without them. If you can find some good childcare on a Saturday or Sunday morning, give this one a shot.
40. Miniature golf
Or putt-putt as the mid-westerner in me wants to say, is a light and fun activity that can be done on the cheap.
41. See a movie
You can opt for a matinee to save some cash or check out Groupon or your Entertainment book. Oftentimes, they’ll have specials on cinema cafes and other deals.
42. Paint pottery
Depending on what you decide to paint, this one can get a little pricy. Check out Groupon, Yelp or your Entertainment book for discounts. I’ve also found that if you go right after a major holiday, you can paint items for up to 75% off (and tuck the finished product away to enjoy for years to come).
43. Go ice skating or to a roller rink
Another seasonal favorite! Go ice skating and grab hot cocoa to warm up together afterward.
44. Go to a local high school football game
The brisk air, bright lights and sense of school spirit are magical. The thought of a high school football game is enough to give me butterflies all over again.
45. Go to a drive-in movie
If these still exist by you, DO it! Drive-in movies offer such a nostalgic sense of fun. And since the movies don’t start until after dark in the summer, you could totally take your kids—they’ll fall asleep in the back seat before the movie starts, and your “date” can begin!
46. Have a scavenger hunt
Just Google this and you’ll get a ton of PDFs you can print out with different scavenger hunt ideas.
47. Hit golf balls at a driving range
If you have clubs, this is a great low budget thing to do on a nice Fall or Spring day!
48. Go to a sports bar and root for your favorite team
So simple, yet when was the last time you actually got to do this?
49. Visit a museum
Bonus points if you attend a seminar together! When I was growing up, our local art museum had some fantastic seminars once a month, on a Friday night.
50. Walk around the mall
When was the last time you and your husband went to the mall JUST to enjoy it? Window shopping can be so much fun! We usually end up shopping for the kids, because we can’t help ourselves. But we have such a great time doing it.
51. Watch the sunrise or sunset
Get up early and experience the magic of the new day by watching the sunrise together. In a place where it’s better for watching the sunset? That works too!
52. Take a trip to IKEA
I totally stole all of my thunder for this one in the childcare section. But just to recap—dinner, a date
Who said coming up with inexpensive and fun date ideas could be a challenge? Not you! Be sure to snag the free printable list to tuck into your planner. Enter your info below to have it sent straight to your inbox, along with periodic updates and exclusive info not included on the blog!