Your wedding day will be one of the most memorable days of your life. Whether you’re planning your big day now, or are happily married newlyweds, I think there’s something everyone can agree on: Weddings aren’t cheap. So, how can you have fun and make memories with your soon-to-be—or newly wedded—hubby and save money in the process? Here are 15 ideas for memory-making that are just as sweet as they are cheap.
Photography by Amanda Marie Studio
15 Cheap Date Night Ideas:
1. Get some fresh air.
Nature’s playground: You can’t get any cheaper than that. There are so many options for outdoor activities that will cost little to nothing. Research the area you live in for hiking trails, strap on some rollerblades, take a walk around the lake, head to the park, go fishing, or just go on a walk around the neighborhood—all of these options will give you and your partner a chance to not only connect further with each other, but also with nature.
2. Play games.
Do you and your guy have an athletic edge? Scope out your neighborhood for public basketball, volleyball, or tennis courts. If those types of games don’t interest you, try Frisbee golf, croquet, or kicking a soccer ball around or playing catch at your local park. If you live in a house, you can definitely just head out into your own backyard to reap its game-hosting benefits.
3. Play less physical games.
Twister anyone? Set up a game night and challenge your guy to a little friendly competition. Board games like Monopoly, Candy Land, and Sorry are classics, or you could dust off your old Sega or Nintendo and really go for a blast from the past. Loser does dishes for the rest of the week.
Do you enjoy helping others? What better way to help those in need than to do it with the one you love? Serve food at a homeless shelter, be someone’s mentor, or find environmental volunteering opportunities. If you love animals, go to your local Humane Society/animal shelter and volunteer to walk dogs. Again, you’ll be connecting with animals and nature while deepening your connection as a couple. Plus, who doesn’t love a cute dog? You can check out volunteermatch.org to hone in on your passions and interests to find the perfect opportunity.
5. Pick a random neighborhood and go explore.
If you’ve always wanted to head to a different part of town to see what it offers, this could be the perfect inexpensive date. Go to a place neither of you have been or have thoroughly explored and walk around, check out some boutiques, grab a cup of coffee, have a picnic in the park; whatever you do, it will be a fun change of scenery for both of you and a chance to experience a new place together.
6. Find a free/cheap concert.
Music lovers: Unite. In almost any city, especially on a Friday or Saturday night, there’s bound to be a free show (and drink specials) somewhere. Finding a musician playing at a pub or bar is a way more intimate setting than buying outrageously expensive concert tickets at a larger venue. Plus you might find a new, local artist who you can enjoy frequently. Also be on the lookout for open mic nights during the week. Some of the performers may pleasantly surprise you.
7. Go to a museum.
Often times, museums will offer a discounted (or free) rate one day during the week. It wouldn’t hurt to put down the iPhones for a night and experience a more real form of visual stimulation. If museums aren’t your thing, look to your city for what history it specifically offers. Visit your capitol building, or check out another of its unique landmarks. This could be especially fun if you’ve just moved to a new place and want to get a grasp on where you’re living—together.
8. Try geocaching.
This option is especially good if you’re trying to have a real adventure. This outdoor “treasure hunting” game is done by navigating a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempting to find the “treasure” hidden at that location. It’s a game played worldwide so anyone can participate. All you need is a GPS device (cellphones included!) and your thinking cap. Go to geocaching.com to get in on the fun.
9. Test drive your dream car.
A girl can dream, right? Grab your guy and head to your local car dealership and test drive a few of your favorites. Don’t get carried away though—let your partner take the wheel, too!
10. Plant something.
Another great outdoor option is to plant a tree, or maintain a garden. If you decide to plant a garden, that could be the gift (or date) that keeps on giving. It could be the first thing you make and care for together. Plus, this continues to save money in a big way: No need to buy produce when you can grow it in your own yard. You’ll have dinner options at your disposal all growing-season-long, which leads me to the next idea…
11. Make dinner together.
Eating at restaurants can be a fun, romantic experience, but turning into a ball of stress when it’s time to foot the bill quickly deflates that experience. Making dinner at home is more intimate, and if you’re cooking with food you’ve grown in your very own garden, it can double as a rewarding experience. For romance, set the table with things like flowers and candles, or take a more informal route and dine al fresco if weather permits. You can follow up your dinner with homemade dessert, and then get cozy on the couch for a scary/funny/action-packed movie marathon.
12. Teach each other.
Are you a master sculptor or have a knack for languages? Does your fiancé play an instrument or excel at surfing? Teach each other. When you’re both passionate about things, it means the world to the other to take an interest. Even if you aren’t great at that certain activity, you’ll not only get to try something new, but your interest will really show the other person how much you care.
13. Go camping in your own backyard.
This might seem silly when you have a house 10 feet away, but you’ve come this far, so why not grab your tent, some marshmallows, and a beer, and hang out under the stars. This gives you a chance to pull yourself away from the TV, and truly engage with and enjoy the company of your forever companion. If the great outdoors aren’t really your thing, but you still want to gaze at the stars…
14. Visit your local planetarium.
This could be the best of both of your worlds. If you’re not into sitting on the ground and looking up outside, try the planetarium. It still has the romantic appeal of stargazing, but with the comfort of being indoors. Many universities and museums offer this opportunity and admission is usually quite cheap—especially for students!
15. Go to the library or bookstore.
As we all know, the local library/bookstore abounds with love stories. Also, what’s more attractive than an intelligent partner? Poke around, read to each other, have a cup of coffee, and bask in each other’s thoughtfulness and brilliance.
What inexpensive dates can you come up with?
Can’t decide what to do first? Take five or 10 of these ideas and put them in a hat. Have your partner draw one, and then begin on your new journey together.
Have another cheap date night idea? Share it with us in the comments below!
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