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100+ Free & Cheap Date Ideas

Planning a Fun Date or an Event with Friends & Family? 

There's so much to do that you DON'T have to spend a lot of money on. You can have a cheap date without having to be one.

If you're on a tight budget or want to do something different for a change, this list has many options that will help you decide what to do with your significant other, family, or friends. 

  • picnic at park, lake, or backyard
  • cook fancy dinner at home
  • watch movie marathon that you all love
  • go on a bike ride
  • go to beach or lake
  • go to a high school, university, or community theatre performance
  • see a movie at the dollar theatre
  • go to a drive-in movie
  • have spa day at home (give each other a pedicure or massage, while listening to relaxing music)
  • work out (fun fitness DVD, yoga, go walking, etc)
  • play a sport (ultimate frisbee, tennis, basketball, sand volleyball, croquet, etc)
  • board or card games (Texas Hold 'Em, Catch Phrase, Apples to Apples, Battle of the Sexes, etc)
  • interactive games (Twister, charades, flag football)
  • hang out/catch up over a cup of coffee and a pastry at a local coffee shop
  • make homemade ice-cream, popsicles, cocktails, or ice cream sundaes
  • tour a museum
  • have breakfast and a movie (matinee or morning prices are much cheaper than a regular showing movie)
  • visit city hall or courthouse
  • go to a water park or amusement park (with coupon)
  • make a music video
  • host a wine / cheese tasting party (everyone brings a bottle of wine and something that pairs well with it)
  • do random acts of kindness for strangers or homeless people
  • browse an antique mall
  • volunteer at a charity, shelter, or organization
  • karaoke or piano bar
  • host a "Pot Luck" or "Bring Your Favorite Dish" dinner party
  • have a BYOB party (instead of paying big prices at the bars)
  • have an English tea party with pastries, hot tea in cute vintage tea cups, and croquet
  • camp in your back yard and look at the stars at night
  • have a bonfire/campfire and make hotdogs or s'mores
  • go fishing
  • tour a factory or brewery 
  • make tie-dye shirts
  • go to a rodeo
  • host a themed party (tacky Christmas sweater, masquerade, 80's flashback, luau, halloween costume, rubic's cube, black and white, etc.)
  • indoor ice skating (with coupon)
  • skeet shooting or go to shooting range
  • go to driving range or play a round of golf
  • go to batting cages
  • mini golf/putt-putt
  • go-cart racing
  • bumper cars
  • go to a local festival/fair
  • cosmic bowling with a large group (cheaper than individual)
  • have "Picture Day" and go to random places to take fun pictures of yourselves
  • go to a club or country dance hall that doesn't charge cover 
  • browse for fun things to do or places to eat
  • go to Happy Hour and get drinks at a restaurant or bar
  • do a bible study together
  • get items together and donate them or have a garage sale
  • go thrift store shopping
  • play FootGolf (
  • have a "picture day" at random places
  • SUPER unique and awesome date ideas:
  • 1 or 2 night camping trip
  • roller-skate
  • go watch a highschool or college sporting event (besides popular sports like football or basketball)
  • water balloon fight
  • checkers or chess tournament
  • go to a free concert/ local band
  • go storm chasing
  • go to places you’ve never been to in your own town
  • make a home video
  • watch home videos
  • geocaching
  • carve pumpkins, fruit, veggies, soap, or wood.
  • Have a Pinterest-making day/party (actually do the crafts, home décor, recipes, etc from your boards)
  • have themed dinner nights (italian, chinese, fondue, breakfast for dinner, hobo, vegetarian, western, pizza decorating contest, etc)
  • go to art gallery
  • cheap dance lessons (some places hold free salsa lessons), or on YouTube
  • go to a work out class (Zumba, yoga, cycling, kickboxing, self-defense, pilates)
  • go to vineyard and do wine-tasting/tour
  • go to the zoo
  • walk through botanical gardens
  • window shop at a mall or outlet
  • tour a local college/university
  • drive around and explore new/unknown areas of your city
  • buy a bottle of wine and pick out a puzzle to do together at home
  • have $15 budget and go do penny slots at a casino
  • act like a student in a large college class and learn something new (dare: ask the professor a question)

Check the newspaper or online for local events and festivals.

Remember to look for happy hours, restaurant specials, for activity discounts, and other sites for coupons. 


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