If you're feeling the penny-pinch in your budget, but still want something romantic, check out our collection of cheap dates. All it takes it a little creativity to come up with a long list of affordable dates. In fact, you can have just as much fun dreaming up your cheap dates as you will on the date itself! For those who need some inspiration, look no further.
Visit your Local Bookstore
Take a date to your local bookstore or coffee shop. It's a great place to sit and talk and it's cheap (think coffee and unlimited refills!). While there, check out their event schedule. Many book and coffee shops host book signings, lectures, poetry readings, and live music. Often these events are completely free to customers.
It's also fun to just window shop at local retail shops.
Check out the City Scene
Pick up your local newspaper, city guide, or check a website like CitySearch that lists upcoming entertainment and events. You're sure to find lots of events such as concerts in the park, local festivals, and more. Many of these events are completely free, while others may have a small fee.
Visit a Museum
For high culture at low-costs, head to your local museum of art or history. Be sure to check online for coupons or discounts (may offer discounts on their websites). You may want to call ahead as some mueseums offer 'free' days or additional discounts (i.e. students, seniors, etc).
Coffee and Dessert
Skip the expensive dinner out and instead head to your favorite restaurant for dessert and coffee. Depending on the restaurant, you can expect to spend between $5-$15 per person for dessert and coffee. Up the romance factor while saving even more by sharing a dessert.
Call your local bookstores for upcoming events, such as poetry readings or lectures. Poetry readings, in particular, are surprisingly romantic. Enjoy a cup of coffee together along with words of romance and inspiration.
While Broadway and touring shows can cost anywhere from $50-$100 (or in some cases even more!) per ticket, it may seem out of reach. If you have a local community theater, check out the performance dates as tickets are usually less than $20. If you have a nearby college or high school, check our their drama schedules as well. It may not be broadway, but it's sure to be entertaining!
Ice Cream Social
Taking your date to the local ice cream parlor is surprisingly romantic -- and cheap! Up the romance by sharing a malt (two straws!) or split a banana split!
Check out your local papers' events section. You'll find everything from mustic festivals to food festivals to flower and garden festivals. Spend an afternoon of fun together without spending much money. The majority of these festivals feature free entertainment, including live music, fun activities, cheap food, and lots of booth browsing.
Spend quality timne together giving back to your community. Volunteer at a seniors home, your local soup kitchen, or some other local charity.
Head to an upscale mall, flea market, antique store, or any other place you normally wouldn't shop and spend the afternoon browsing the wares together.
Garage Sale Hopping
Get up early on Saturday morning, grab the classifieds and some coffee, and spend the morning garage sale hopping. You'll have fun browsing through the tables. Remember, one man's junk is another man's treasure. Plan to each make a purchase for the other (set a price limit, such as $5 or less) and then surprise each other at the end.
Spend the afternoon at a local park playing frisbee together or flying a kite. Both are inexpensive to purchase and can provide hours o fun!
Picnic for Two
The classic picnic is big on romance and very easy on the wallet. Pack a blanket and a lunch: sandwiches, fruits, and drinks (maybe a bottle of wine?). Head to your local park or take a drive and stop at any scenic overlook.
Plan a home-cooked meal for your date, complete with candles and romance. Try making their favorite meal or check out our suggestions for romantic recipes for two.
Movie Night at Home
Pick up a couple movie's at your local video store and plan a romantic movie night at home. Pop some popcorn, cuddle up under a blanket, and settle in for a night of fun together. Check our ultimate list of romantic movies for ideas!
Settle in for a night under the stars. Bring out a sleeping bag or other blanket and a bottle of wine and spend the evening hours gazing at the stars and enjoying one another's company. Pick up a star and constellation guide at your local bookstore and try to identify them together in the night sky.
Have fun and challenge your brains with an old-fashioned game of scrabble, chess, checkers, or monopoly. Check your local thrift store for a variety of other board games. If you're without any board games, get a deck of cards and challenge each other to a game of Rummy or Hearts.
For fun and excitement without spending big bucks, head out for a rousing round of mini-golf. With one-round tickets averaging less than $10 around the country, you'll have a fun date that's easy on the wallet. Have a mini-competition with the winer picking the prize!
It's completely free, great exercise, and incredibly romantic with beautiful scenery. Our favorites are any trails that lead to majestic waterfalls. Check out trails.com for beautiful hiking trails near you.
Head out on the trails for an afternoon of biking together. Bring along a picnic lunch for a mid-day break. For something different, rent a bicycle built for two and ride around the city together.