Mer and I celebrated our 8 year wedding anniversary last week! We had an awesome time celebrating with a romantic and budget friendly date night. It was so nice to spend time together kid free thanks to some awesome friends who offered to kindly sit for us.
We don’t have date nights nearly enough folks. We try our best but, with his busy work schedule it’s often difficult to squeeze in a date night because we’re both too exhausted to do anything but get to bed early on weeknights. Weekends are often spent playing catch up with Margsy and taking part in different toddler activities which leaves little time for dedicated couple time.
We do try to squeeze in some alone adult time every other weekend which is such a wonderful way to reconnect as a couple. We’ve been together nearly 2 decades so a little quality couple time is a must even if it is infrequent!
There seems to be this huge misconception that dates need to be expensive to be fun which simply isn’t true. There are so many wonderful ways to spend quality time with your partner without spending a fortune folks. Yes, I’m absolutely telling you that you can totally date your partner on a budget and have fun too!
Our romantic anniversary celebration is the inspiration for this post. I’m very excited to share over 50 budget friendly date night ideas with you fine folks that help keep the romance alive. It is possible to date your husband or wife again, even years after you’ve married. It’s even possible to do it on a tight budget and have a wonderful time without spending very much money at all.
For those of you who are curious we recreated the dessert that was served at our wedding. We then took it to a local park and had a dessert picnic while we watched the sun set! It was awesome 😍
Here we go! Let’s talk free date night ideas!
50+ Free Or Nearly Free Date Night Ideas To Keep The Romance Alive
Have An Evening Picnic At Your Favorite Park
This is one of our favorite date nights. We pack a blanket and bring our own food and drink. We just love being outdoors and spending some quality time together.
Go For a Bike Ride
Bike riding is probably our second favorite way to sneak in some couple time. We love driving around and exploring new areas and being on the move. Dates that get you moving and exploring are super fun.
Spend The Day At The Beach
If you’ve got a beach close by you should totally schedule an afternoon date so that you can enjoy the water and spend time relaxing.
Be Tourists For The Day
Visit the next city or town over and pretend to be tourists for the day. Alternatively, drive to a city that isn’t too far away that you’ve never visited and be real tourists for the day. Explore the city and have fun!
Skip Dinner and Go for Dessert
If you do feel like going out to a restaurant, you can save some money by skipping dinner and having dessert instead!
Visit A Flea Market
Visiting a local flea market is a wonderful way to hunt for treasures! We have a blast looking at all the different items and trying to date them. We often don’t buy much at all but enjoy the looking process so much.
Go For A Hike
If you enjoy getting in some physical activity as a couple, you should totally head out on a hike!
Rent a Pedal Boat
Renting a pedal boat for an afternoon is pretty inexpensive and super fun. You can pedal out in the water and just float. It’s a great way to shut out the noise and just spend quiet time together.
Visit A Local Museum That Offers Free Admission
Most museums offer free admission certain times of year. If you can pencil it in to your schedule it’s a great way to do an activity as a couple for free.
Have An At Home Movie Night
If getting out is difficult then you can bring the date to you! Have an at home movie night. Make delicious movie theater snacks including popcorn and nachos and watch a romantic movie together!
Fly A Kite
You can buy an inexpensive kite or even make one yourself and have fun flying it together. Check out this awesome tutorial from Handmade Charlotte for an adorable DIY kite idea!
If you like scavenger hunts then this is a must try. If you’ve got a smart phone you’re good to go. The idea is that you and your partner would hide and seek geocache containers! So much fun and addictive too!
Take A Free Class At Your Local DIY Store
If you’ve got a Home Depot in the area you should totally inquire about free DIY courses they offer. These types of classes are usually offered free of cost and are a wonderful way to spend time with your partner and learn about DIY projects.
Find A Free Concert
During the summer months, free concerts are usually happening quite regularly in most areas. Have a look at your local community calendar and make it a point to visit with you partner! Nothing beats free live music. Pack some snacks and beverages to make it extra special.
Camp Out In Your Yard
If you have a tent or can easily borrow one, camping in your yard is a wonderful free date night idea! It’s such a great way to spent quiet quality time with your partner.
Hit Up An Amateur Night At A Local Bar
Local bars often have amateur nights once or more per month. It’s totally worth a visit to take in some live music for the cost of a drink!
Check Out Yard Sales
If you’re into garage sales then why not have a day date with your hubby and head out to search for treasures at local garage sales. You don’t necessarily have to buy anything! Have fun looking at all the items. If you find an awesome treasure then absolutely treat yourself!
During the summer months make it a point to take in local fireworks shows! We love doing this both as a date and as a family. We tend to blend ourselves delicious smoothies and head out to take in the show!
Have An At Home Game Night
If getting out is difficult why not have a competitive game night! Pull out your favorite board game after the kiddos are in bed and have fun playing together!
Work On A Puzzle
Visit a local thrift shop and buy the biggest puzzle you can find. Work on the puzzle together to spend some quality time together!
Pick Fruit At A Local Orchard
During harvesting season you can make picking fruit a date. Whether it’s picking berries, apples or even fresh veggies you’ll love spending time outdoors and picking your own food in the process!
Hit Up A Cosmetology School For Some Pampering
If you’re looking to get pampered why not visit a local cosmetology school to take advantage of the rock bottom prices offered for pedicures, manicures, facials and massages!
Go To A Drive In Movie
I love drive in movies! It makes me so sad that there aren’t many of these left but we’re fortunate to still have a drive in theater relatively close by. Pack some delicious snacks and snuggle up at the drive in!
Rollerblade Around Your Neighborhood
Rollerblading is another wonderful way to have an active date with your partner! If you’ve got a roller rink close by you can also try rollerskating.
Have a Video-game Competition
If you’re gamers why not have a video competition. From time to time we pull out our vintage Nintendo and have hours of competition to see who can beat the most levels in Mario Brothers.
Make a Time Capsule You Can Bury In Your Yard
If you’re feeling extra romantic you can take time to create a time capsule you’ll bury in your back yard. Fill it with sentimental items, photographs and notes that you can agree to dig out in 10 or even 20 years.
Watch The Sunset
Enjoy a picnic and watch the sun set. It doesn’t get much more romantic than that.
Stop By Open Houses In Your Area
If you’re obsessed with house interiors then you can spend a day on the weekend visiting open houses. It’s so much fun to see how other people decorate their homes.
Take a Drive And Purposely Get Lost
Sometimes, a long drive is in order. Drive somewhere without a map and purposely get lost. In most cases you’ll likely stumble across and adorable city or town that you can explore.
Cook A Meal Together
Cooking your favorite meal or trying out a copy cat recipe can be tons of fun. Cooking as a couple is one of our favorite things to do!
If you can get outside after dark and just lay on the grass or a soft blanket star gazing is an awesome way to spend quality time together. Bring some hot chocolate with you for a tasty treat to keep you warm on cooler evenings.
Take a Ferry Ride
Do you have a local ferry nearby? Why not take a ferry ride? They are so much fun and cost very little. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon.
Go On A Brewery Tour
Many breweries and vineyards offer free tours. Take advantage and visit with your partner for a fun filled afternoon.
Visit A Local Carnival or State Fair
If the carnival is in town or there is a state fair happening take advantage and stop in for a visit. You don’t have to spend a fortune on rides, games or food. Instead, take in the environment and people watch. The atmosphere at carnivals is so much fun!
Go To The Play Ground
If you’re feeling extra playful head to a playground and swing/slide to have a little fun. Let the little kid inside come out to play!
Rent a Tandem Bike And Go For A Ride
Tandem bikes are so much fun. They do take some skill but once you get it the ride is super fun. They’re relatively inexpensive to rent and can provide you with an afternoon of adventure.
Collect Shells At The Beach
If you live close to a beach, collecting shells is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon or evening with your partner. Take a few home and add them to your time capsule!
Build An Adult Blanket Fort
If you can’t get out of the house, build a blanket fort. Forts aren’t just for kids folks. String some Christmas lights in there and spend the night cuddled up to your partner.
If It’s Winter Play In The Snow
During the cold months you can head out and play in the snow. If you’ve got snow gear like skis, skates and snow shoes then head out on trails to spend some time doing an activity with your loved one. If that’s not your jam, you can build a snowman!
Pick Wildflowers Together
Stop and pick wildflowers with your partner. Bring them home and make a gorgeous flower arrangement with them!
Hit Up Local Open Mic Nights
Check local venues for when they are hosting open mic nights. Tons of bars and venues offer free admission to these types of events in exchange for buying a drink.
Create a Scavenger Hunt
Create a scavenger hunt for your partner and spend the day hunting down clues. Make the end prize something super sweet like a love letter!
Find a Cheap Psychic and Get A Reading
If you can find a cheap psychic in your area it might be fun to get a couple’s reading!
Cook A Fancy Meal Together
If you love to eat fancy food why not challenge yourself to cooking one together? Make an afternoon of it. Head to the local farmers market to pick up the ingredients, crack open a bottle of wine and get cooking.
Have a Trivia Night
If you love trivia you can have a trivia night at home. I’m sure you’ll end up having a few great laughs!
Reminisce Over Old Photos
If you have photos stored away somewhere in the house, pull them out and spend the night looking at them. Looking at old photos is such a wonderful way to reminisce about your life together!
Get Ice Cream Cones and Take A Long Walk While Eating Them
Treat yourselves to an ice cream cone and enjoy it while taking a long walk.
Hit Up Your Local Arcade
Save your quarters and head to a local arcade to spend the night playing videogames.
People Watch in A Tourist Hot Spot
Head to a local tourist hot spot with your favorite beverage in hand and start people watching.
Go Through Your Old Yearbooks
If you’re up to reliving your high school days, pull out your year books and tell each other stories about old friends!
Pack A Picnic and Watch Planes Take Off at Your Local Airport
If you’ve got an airport locally, pack a lunch or dinner and bring a blanket so you can watch the planes take off and land. Planes are so cool and if you can get close enough it’s truly amazing to watch!