Love doesn’t have to cost a thing: 16 cheap date ideas for your next date

A couple bonding. Signs he respects you.

While it might seem romantic to drop a big pile of cash on a fancy dinner and get bottle service at a club, your pocketbook might not agree.

Instead of wowing your date with money, consider doing something a little more personal and affordable.

You won’t win hearts with cash anyway, so save it for a rainy day. Here are 16 affordable date night ideas that you can use now and in the future.

This list is also great for couples who have kids and don’t have a lot of money to throw at a date night. You don’t need a lot of money to have fun and we’ll show you how it’s done!

1) Take a bike ride in the park.

Some parks offer free or low-cost bike rentals. You can hop on a tandem bike and explore your local parks and trails.

It might take a bit to get used to riding tandem, but that just adds to the fun of the experience.

2) Head to the local pool.

Check the calendar at the pool for free or cheap nights. There are usually adult-only swims at public pools throughout the year and you can plan to leave the kiddos home for this outing.

3) Hop on the ferry.

Even if you don’t have anywhere in particular to go, a boat ride is still a boat ride.

Walk on for even more fun and then grab an ice cream cone on the other side of your ocean adventure.

4) Thrift store adventures.

Make your way to a local antique or thrift shop and see what you can find that strikes your fancy.

The best part – you don’t even have to buy anything! Just take in the fun experience together.

5) Give your time to someone else.

Why not volunteer together at a local animal shelter or join a group cleaning up the park? It’s a great way to get in your steps, get some sunshine, and maybe even get a kiss or two from the locals — animals, that is.

6) Stroll the museum.

You don’t need to get on a plane and visit the Louvre to appreciate good art.

Lots of local museums offer fine art and provide a great opportunity to learn a thing or two about your region.

7) Relax.

Who says you have to leave the house to have a good time? You can pop on a movie and curl up on the couch with some microwave popcorn any night of the week.

As long as you are spending time together, who cares what you are doing!

8) Play ball!

Literally. You can play baseball, or if that is not your thing, head to a local park and watch a game.

Whether they are little leaguers are major league players, there’s just something fun about being at a ball field so grab a hot dog and split a beer and enjoy.

9) Hit up the arcade at the mall.

Sure, you might be surrounded by kids and annoying teenagers, but you can still have a few laughs and save your tokens for that awesome water pistol you’ve got your eyes on.

10) Karaoke anyone?

At first you might be intimidated to try singing in front of your date, but just have fun with it. The key word is “try” – no one said you had to be any good at it.

Drum up a duet song so you don’t have to go it alone and you’ll be much happier in the end.

11) Go star gazing.

When was the last time you looked up at the stars? Pack a lunch and head to the park to take in the best views of the stars.

It’s best to be away from bright lights to see stars and don’t forget to pack some cookies or cakes for dessert.

12) Take a wine tour.

Or if you are a beer person, take in a brewery tour. It’s about more than the beer – or wine.

You’ll learn all kinds of things about the region and find out about different styles of brewing and more.

13) Go to a book reading.

Small town book readings are super fun and intimate. Whether you know the author or not, it’s fun to have people read to you so grab your cup of coffee and head to the local bookstore to hear from a published author.

14) Carnival rides are calling your name.

Big, established theme parks are quite expensive, but local carnivals are usually quite affordable.

Even if you have to drive to the next town over to visit one, it’s still going to be cheaper than hitting up a major theme park and you might have just as much fun as you would in more expensive places.

15) Work it out.

If either of you are at all into fitness, take in a workout together. The competition factor will kick in and you’ll have a great time and get your cardio in.

16) Go apple picking.

Rather than spend money, make money picking fruit at a local u-pick. This is obviously a seasonal activity, but if you live in an area that offers pick-your-own fruit locations, give it a whirl.

You can even take home some of the fruit you pick for free or a heavily discounted price.

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