Plenty of people feel the pinch of economic times and look to ways they can pursue romance without it costing a bundle. While no one wants to appear “cheap,” especially on early dates with a new girlfriend or boyfriend, there are plenty of things to do that won’t break your piggy bank and will be thoughtful and romantic. Whether you are dating a spouse or long-term partner, or just starting a new relationship, inexpensive creative date ideas can be very satisfying, putting emphasis on thoughtfulness and togetherness, instead of on luxury and expense.
You may have to think outside the box a bit to come up with creative date ideas. The old standard of dinner and a movie will hardly do, when movies at night can easily cost $40-50 US Dollars (USD), especially if you add concession items, and dinner out can add up quickly. Lots of people don’t have $100 USD or more to spend on every date night. But who says movie night has to be so pricey, or that dinner has to take place in a restaurant? Especially in summer, your town may host free open-air movie nights. If these are available, consider packing a picnic (homemade says you cared!) and having a date in the romantic warm evenings that summer brings. This can easily bring date cost down to $20-30 USD for an evening, or less depending upon how well you can cook.
Picnics remain a means to many creative date ideas because they can take place in so many locales. A state or regional park may offer the perfect setting, and don’t forget that packed lunches or dinner may be perfect when you attend fairs, festivals, or free concerts. Locale may be just as important as picnicking, and it’s a good idea to get a sense of what is going on in your neighborhood.
Check your local paper for events to see which ones fit within your budget, and those that inspire creative date ideas. Well-organized cities and towns often have a variety of free or low cost events that will satisfy all your dating needs. Look for community sponsored events like local farmers markets and festivals, but also check out things like free days at museums, gallery openings, or free concerts. These all provide conversation points and are definitely more creative than the standard dinner and a movie. Don’t forget the benefits of things like walking, biking or boating in local parks as a way to enjoy time with another person.
If you want yet more creative date ideas, consider some of the following:
- Meet somewhere with a few of your favorite poems or songs and discuss them.
- Go wine tasting at your community’s best-kept wineries
- Have a swim at a community, apartment or privately owned pool
- Go out for huge and decadent ice cream sundaes
- Take a walking tour (self-guided) of some of the prettiest neighborhoods in your town or a town nearby
- Pull out the binoculars and bird watch at a local park or a bird sanctuary
- Tour a really expensive open house on the market and pretend you’d like to buy it
- Window shop at a very luxurious store or a very eclectic one
- Play darts at the local pub, or play any other sport in which you share a mutual interest
- Create a home cooked romantic meal together and have either a formal dinner or a picnic on the floor
- Reconnect with your inner child and play on the slide or swings at a local park
Let your interests and those of your date guide you toward more creative date ideas. You’ll also find great ideas in various books, which can help you when you’ve run out of creative juice. Don’t forget to let your date (or spouse) suggest some of the dating ideas; two heads are definitely better than one when it comes to developing creative date ideas that will be memorable and fun.