If you’ve been looking for some new fun, cheap date night ideas, or maybe some fun at-home date ideas, we’ve got a great list of creative options for you. Whether it’s Valentine’s Day or you just want to shake things up a little bit on your normal date night, we have some options that you might not have considered in the past.
Add each of these options to your fun date ideas bucket list and refer back to these each and every time you’re trying to plan your special evenings. To plan the best dates, make sure that you have the time scheduled and set aside to be together. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first date or it’s been over one thousand, it’s important to plan fun things to do together as a couple.
Fun, Cheap Date Ideas to Try With Your Partner
1. Sign up for a scavenger hunt!
ScavengerHunt.com offers a wide variety of scavenger hunts in cities around the world. You and your partner can compete against other teams while you explore new parts of your own city. Learn interesting facts and find secret spots you may never have explored before.
Staying in? There are in-home scavenger hunts specifically designed for date nights! See your home like never before while you connect with each other and compete to top the high score. It’s just a unique and fun experience for a cheap date!
2. Get in the kitchen and try a new recipe.
With so many resources online to find new recipes, you don’t even need a cookbook to find a new recipe. Get all the ingredients you need ahead of time and make sure you have all the necessary kitchen tools. Put on a playlist and enjoy the process. It’s a great opportunity to work together on something and then enjoy the hard work together afterward.
3. Host a book club for two.
Hit up your local library and browse the shelves to find something that you both want to read. Spread it out over the next few weeks and set aside some time each week to discuss your thoughts on the book. Go to a coffee shop and chat. It’s such a great conversation starter and probably doesn’t happen very often that you are reading the same things at the same time. Some books have discussion questions you can find, but it can also just be a quick check-in to share your thoughts.
4. Head outside and try a hiking trail.
Check AllTrails to see what hiking trails you have in your area that might be new to you. Even if you are in an extremely urban area, there is probably a botanical garden to explore or something that is waterfront like a lake path or riverfront walking trail. Just getting outside with the intention to move and have a conversation is good for you. If you find one that you love, make a plan to hike the same trail in each of the four seasons and see how the scenery changes.
5. Check out happy hour specials near you.
If you plan out a pre-dinner date, you can take advantage of happy hour deals like 2-for-1 drinks or inexpensive appetizers. These specials are most likely to be available on weekdays in the late afternoon and early evening hours. Follow a couple of local spots on social media to see what current specials they have or do a quick search for the “best happy hour specials near you.”
6. Volunteer for a local non-profit organization or activity.
Spend some time together giving back. This is a free activity that will feel extremely good to do. There are always nonprofits and community organizations looking for volunteers. You can sign up to serve food at a shelter or organize donations at a drop-off site. You can even take a bag and pick up trash at a local park. If you’re animal lovers, consider taking some of the local animal shelter dogs for walks or playing with the cats. You’ll find many opportunities and it will allow you to connect to each other in new ways.
7. Set your alarms for a sunrise date.
If packed schedules make it difficult to schedule regular dates, it’s a great idea to try different times of the day that aren’t typical for a boring old dinner date. Try setting your alarms for an early wake-up call, grab some hot coffee and pastries and watch the sunrise. Most places are completely empty during those early morning hours compared to sunsets, so you can enjoy a peaceful moment together while welcoming a new day.
8. Cheer on a local sports team!
Tickets to any professional sporting event can be outrageously expensive and then you usually add in a few drinks, snacks, and parking and it just isn’t something most people can afford to do more than once or twice a year. Instead of the pro teams, try searching for minor league teams or college sports games in your area and grab tickets to their next home game. The tickets are usually quite a bit less and so are the extras.
9. Practice your photography skills.
One fun activity to do together is to set up a tripod and a camera (or phone) in the backyard and snap some photos together with the self-timer. Get dressed up or just be silly together, but with fewer big events over the last 18 months, you probably don’t have many pictures together that weren’t selfies in your pajamas. Another fun way to act as a photographer is to purchase two disposable cameras and take pictures with them all day while you’re out and about. At the end of the day, find a place that will develop the photos and you can share them with each other. It’s fun to recreate old photos for a walk down memory lane.
10. Settle in for some indoor camping.
This may seem weird, but most people are craving a change of scenery. So instead of sleeping in your normal bedroom, set up an air mattress and sleep in a different part of the house. Maybe you have a fireplace and you can do some indoor camping. Maybe you set up a tent in the backyard or the basement. If you have a guest room, you can set it up like a hotel and spend the night there with some breakfast in bed in the morning. It’s a creative way to have a little staycation.
11. Have an at-home beer or wine tasting.
Visiting wineries and breweries are always a fun adventure and it can sometimes be a cheaper option (depending on location and prices), but there is a way to do it for even less. Head to your grocery store or spot that sells beer and wine and buy a few items. You can find wine in smaller 2 serving bottles and some places let you buy a sample pack of beers. Set it up at home with fun glasses and sample a few options making notes and comparing favorites while you go. Plus, you don’t have to worry about a designated driver.
12. Visit a local farm or farm sanctuary.
Throughout each season, local farms invite people to come and visit for special events. Look up farms in your area that might have a seasonal event happening soon. In the summer, you can pick berries. Autumn brings pumpkin patches and apple picking. If it’s winter, you can pick out and chop down your Christmas tree. There are tons of options and it’s a fun way to get outside and get some tasty snacks or beautiful seasonal decor at the same time. There might even be some animals to pet.
13. Pack a picnic or grab some takeout.
Save some money and upgrade your views by taking your dinner to a local park or beach to enjoy outside. You can pack a few picnic favorites from home if you have the right ingredients and love some DIY. If that feels like a lot, you can also put in a takeout order and pick it up on your way to your location. Takeout can be a lot cheaper than eating in or getting delivery because you don’t have to pay any additional fees and you aren’t tempted to order more and sit at the table longer. Bring a deck of cards or just sit and chat on a blanket and enjoy the food.
14. Take movie night to the next level!
A night at the movie theater might not sound like the most glamorous date night, but there are many ways to make this classic date new and special. Try a theme where you can select a movie, snacks, and drinks that all fit. For example, you can do a spooky, Halloween movie with candy corn and pumpkin beers or pick a movie about weddings (like Wedding Crashers or My Big, Fat Greek Wedding) and enjoy champagne and fancy cake. Another creative idea for movie night is to make a drive-in theater in your driveway. Grab blankets and snacks and download a movie from Netflix on your laptop and get comfortable in your car without even leaving home.
15. Explore a new neighborhood on foot.
Change up your normal Saturday activities by checking out a new part of town. Try a new coffee place, get your groceries at a new store or just wander around a residential area you’ve never explored. One fun way to be spontaneous is by flipping a coin when you get to intersections and letting the coin determine which way you turn. Just seeing some new scenery and finding some new favorite spots can feel like a huge adventure.
16. Get competitive at classic board games or backyard sports.
Have a game night in your living room with classic games like Uno, Monopoly, or Sorry. Play some video games that bring you back to your high school days. If the weather is nice, you could also take that competition to a nearby mini-golf course or try a new sport like Frisbee Golf which are both inexpensive date ideas. A little friendly competition is healthy and you can make it interesting by placing bets and the loser has to buy ice cream or do the dishes at home. Try a new game each month and keep score or don’t.
17. Shop for treasures at a flea market.
There are some incredible places to find treasures at a great price. Flea markets, thrift stores, estate sales, and used bookstores or record shops are all great options. Grab $10 each and hit the aisles and see what kinds of treasures you can find. This is a fun way to bring home a souvenir of your fun day together without spending much money.
18. Stay in together, with a puzzle and a playlist.
Puzzles are great activities for a quiet night in because you don’t have to turn on the TV, but you have something to work on together. It’s incredibly rewarding when you complete one. Set out some snacks and turn on a playlist (or make your own to share) and enjoy a quiet night.
19. Take a class and learn something new.
You will find classes and tutorials for just about everything available online. Some are completely free and others cost just a few dollars. You can learn to bake something extravagant, take online dance lessons or even start learning a new language together. Whether it’s art projects you work on together or some kind of fitness class, it’s fun to do together and will give you something to practice with each other to continue to improve. Local museums are also doing some great online exhibits that you can watch and learn about together from home with your significant other.
20. Hit a local farmers’ market.
A great place to walk and be outside together is at the local farmer’s market. It can be a free date if you don’t buy anything. There are plenty of items to sample and explore. You can pick up any essentials while you’re there as well and even grab some items to try later. Each city has its own vibe, but many markets have live entertainment, coffee stands, and artist booths set up, so just go with the plan to move through slowly and take it all in.
21. Test your knowledge with a trivia night.
Many local bars and pubs host trivia nights on weekdays. You can usually find the schedules on their social media pages. Many games are completely free to join, but you are encouraged to order something from the establishment while you play. Plus, there are prizes for the best team and you might win a gift card to use on your next visit. Get a little competitive with the teams around you while you put your heads together and answer as much as you can.
22. Roast some marshmallows around a fire.
Check to see if the beaches near you or parks have bonfire pits that you can utilize for an evening. Grab some wood and some s’mores supplies and sit by the fire and enjoy the evening air. No scary stories are required, but the fire is the perfect place to chat and get to know each other better. Do some stargazing or just listen to the crackling fire.
23. Go on a geocaching adventure.
If you’ve never heard of geocaching, you’re missing out. It’s a treasure hunt where you are using coordinates provided to you on a free app to locate small hidden treasures. Once you find them, you log your name and date on a small log and rehide them for the next people. You’d be surprised how many of these are hidden all over the world and just looking for 2-3 in one adventure will take you to some incredible places. Make sure to download the app and read up on the rules. It’s simple and completely free.
24. Be a tourist in your own city.
Many urban centers have a selection of free walking tours. Guides will show you around the city center or tourist area and share stories of historical events and fun facts that you probably didn’t even know yourself. The guides are usually incredible and work only for tips (so make sure to bring some cash with you.) It’s a fun way to learn more about the things that make your city wonderful and unique.
25. Grab an online deal!
When you’re planning a fun date, it’s always a good idea to check savings websites, like Groupon, that offer limited-time and other incredible deals. You’ll often find incredible deals on couple’s massages, spa visits, and luxury car rentals. You can even get tickets to a local escape room. Companies use these websites to help fill openings in their calendar and get additional advertising, so they are great resources especially when you’re planning for an off time. Plus, taking a fancy car for a test drive and heading to the spa will definitely not feel like a cheap date.
26. Get out on the water.
If you live near a body of water, there’s a pretty good chance that there are some fun ways to make it a big part of your date. Go canoeing, rent paddleboards, slip into kayaks, or even take a boat tour of the area. Any one of these options can be a lot of fun and gives you some beautiful views. If it is winter, you could even look into ice skating if there’s a rink near you. Many places rent out skates and you can bring your old-school roller skating skills to the ice.
27. Belt out some love songs at a karaoke bar.
Look into some live karaoke spots in your neighborhood. Some bars have special nights with a host and some cities even have establishments where you can rent out a private room with your own microphone. This could be a fun double date as well where you can enjoy some laughs and good songs.
28. Take a bike ride and stop for ice cream.
Something simple like this can end up being the most romantic date. Rent a bicycle, a tandem if that’s your style, and find a good ice cream shop to stop for sundaes. This is one of the great first date ideas because it allows you to get out and move around and you don’t have to fill every minute with conversation. Do a taste test of ice cream flavors while you plot out your next date.
Frequently Asked Questions
Creativity is all you need to find some fun, cheap date ideas. Use things you already have and rearrange them in ways to make them feel special, or search for free or low-cost events in your area.
There are so many creative fun, cheap date ideas that can keep things intimate and interesting. Go for a bike ride or hike a nearby path then roast marshmallows as you sit near a small campfire.
On a first date, plan something a little different and more interactive than the typical dinner date. Try an app-led scavenger hunt, go geocaching, or cheer on a local sports team.