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Fun and cheap date ideas can spice up any relationship.
Remember on your first date with your partner how you were so nervous you couldn’t stop smiling? You laughed hysterically at all their bad jokes and got the butterflies when you shared your first kiss.
Now you’re the no makeup, sweatpants-wearing, do-everything-together couple that enjoys Saturday nights vegging out and watching Game of Thrones.
There’s nothing wrong with Saturday nights in or GOT, but let’s face it — your relationship has become a bit…less exciting than it used to be. Date nights are expensive, and where’s the time anyway?
Don’t worry — there’s a solution. This list of cheap first date ideas for married couples and college students will spice things up. You’re never too old to have a fun time together!
Cheap Date Ideas Under $20
Date night doesn’t have to be boring or expensive anymore. Check out this list of 20 fun and creative cheap date ideas under $20 that’ll give your relationship a nice little boost.
Cheap Date Ideas For Married Couples
Cozy up with your planner and start penciling time to do the following with your spouse…
Who doesn’t love a little thrift shopping fun?! To make it even better, set a price limit and time limit to find the “perfect” gift for each other. You could make it funny, like a gift that has to do with an inside joke between the two of you. You may even find a hidden gem that your significant other will truly love.
2. Veg out healthy style at the farmer’s market
You’ll love exploring Farmer’s Markets with your man. Usually, there are fun samples to try and all kinds of delicious foods and fresh fruits and veggies to bring home for a great price. And, of course, it’s always nice to support local farmers. Depending on the Farmer’s Market near you, there may even be live music to enjoy.
3. Get your groove on at a live music show
You can often find free live music to enjoy, but paying a cover fee is worth it when the music is great. You could go and enjoy an appetizer and a drink, maybe even try out a few dance moves (if you’re not too embarrassed).
4. Fancy it up with a romantic dinner by candlelight
Rather than pay for a fancy dinner out, decide a dinner menu together and cook up a nice meal at home. Together you could go to the store to buy the ingredients, cook with some music to set the mood, and enjoy your delicious candlelit meal.
Don’t forget to use Ibotta to maximize your savings. Privacy is romantic, but saving money is plain sexy.
5. Make memories with a couples’ photoshoot
Do you have a friend who enjoys photography and wants a couple to practice on for free? Taking pictures together can make for a fun occasion and provide some memorable photos that you’ll treasure forever.
The men may not absolutely love taking photos, but they can’t complain when they get to sneak in kisses for the camera.
Cheap First Date Ideas
Whether you’re looking for a cheap first date idea or something to change up the mundane dinner and movie night, these are for you.
6. Unleash your wild side
The zoo or aquarium is a fun date any time of the year. During the winter, check to see if your local zoo offers a “Zoo Lights” event where all the exhibits and pathways are decked out in beautiful Christmas light displays. The aquarium may still be open to enjoy as well and is a welcome way to get indoors out of the cold.
7. Relax by the water with a lake or beach day
Lazy water days are one of the best cheap date ideas under $20. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a day soaking up the rays and cooling off in the water. To make it extra fun, bring a few floaties to lounge on in the water.
8. Get competitive with some go-kart racing
Depending on the day you go this date might cost more than $20, but it’s so fun! Some tracks offer $10 dollar races per person on slow days, but on a typical day, it’s closer to $20 per person for a ten-minute race.
The go-karts go up to 40 miles per hour and the course can be a bit challenging, which makes it the perfect date for a little bit of fun competition. Sweeten the deal with a little side bet. Winner buys ice cream after.
9. Savor the outdoors on a sunrise hike or sunset walk
Going for a short hike a bit before sunrise is absolutely beautiful and well worth the early wake-up call. The view from the top is incomparable as the sun goes peaks above the horizon.
If you don’t fancy hiking at the crack of dawn, go for a sunset walk instead. You’ll still have that quality time with your person and you’re sure to make some memories with a picturesque sunset as your backdrop.
Cheap Date Ideas For College Students
It’s no secret that college students have to get creative in order to have fun on a budget. These cheap date ideas for college students offer some great alternatives to steak dinners and expensive weekend getaways.
10. Cozy up by the campfire
If you love the outdoors, camping could be the perfect weekend date/getaway for you and your loved one. From fishing to swimming to roasting marshmallows under the stars, you’re bound to make memories that will last for years to come.
11. Throw it on back at the drive-in
A drive-in movie theater is way more fun than your typical movie night! Fill your truck bed or backend with loads of pillows and blankets, snacks, and drinks. Usually, drive-in movie theaters will play two movies a night so you’ll definitely get your money’s worth!
12. Take it out to the ball game
Chances are your husband enjoys watching sports, especially with you. Instead of cozying up on the couch to watch the game for the hundredth time, check for ticket sales. Find a sport the two of you enjoy and make a date out of it!
13. Explore a new place
If you’re an adventurous couple, this date idea is perfect for you! Visit a beautiful new lake, beach, mountain, landmark, town, or even shopping center (if that’s your thing) that you’ve never been to before. Dates get boring when you repeat the same ones over and over again, so it’s always good to switch things up a bit!
14. Fly kites on a windy day
Flying kites is not just for the kids these days. It’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy a windy spring day with your loved one. You can even make it a competition and see who can get the kite flying highest first!
15. Take your lunch outside
Pack up a picnic basket full of your love’s favorite foods and bring them on a surprise picnic, complete with a bottle of wine and a view.
Date Ideas For Couples
And here are a few more date ideas for couples to enjoy together…
16. Declare a fun war
Depending on your weather, have either a Nerf gun war indoors or a squirt gun war outside. This date idea is great for the competitive couple, and to up the stakes, you could think up a reward for the winner.
17. When in doubt – froyo
Although this date idea may be a little “basic,” it’s one of my most used go-to dates. Frozen yogurt is delicious and having a treat to sit down and talk over is a great way to slow down and have some quality time together. It’s also much cheaper than a dinner date night.
18. Practice your golf swing
If you’re both horrible at golf, even better! Get a bucket of balls at your local driving range and take turns seeing who can drive the furthest. No matter how rusty you are at the sport, you can still enjoy having some laughs together as you play.
19. Capture the moment
Choose a fun new place to explore and take a bunch of photos on your disposable camera to commemorate the day. For example, you could bring your disposable camera to a new cute town you’ve never been to before or on a beautiful hike in the mountains.
20. The ultimate creative date idea: laser tag
Laser tag is a blast for any couple if you’re looking for a fun and adventurous date. Pair up with your partner and take on the enemy together or play on opposite teams for a little extra competitive fun.
New and Cheap Date Ideas Keep Things Interesting
It’s easy to get caught up in your day-to-day routine and lose the spark in your relationship. But with just a little time and effort, you can keep that from happening (or turn it around if it’s already happened) without breaking the bank.
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