Dating can be expensive if you choose swanky restaurants, court-side seats at professional sporting events or front-row tickets to ultra-hip concerts. Sometimes, however, the best dates are those that cost little money or no money at all. Win your date over with a thoughtful and creative date idea while saving your hard-earned money in the process.
Picnic in the Park
Prepare a picnic lunch of gourmet sandwiches, fresh berries and sparkling cider and head to a local park. Some parks offer free musical or theatrical performances that you can take in and afterward, end the afternoon with a romantic walk together.
Many museums, art galleries and botanical gardens offer free entry one or more times per month. This date idea also allows you to learn more about the city in which you live.
Local farms often have u-picks, where customers can fill up their buckets with fresh strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries during the summer months. In the fall, go to an orchard, take a hay ride and pick some apples. Eat your fruit fresh or take it home and bake a warm crisp to share with a cup of gourmet coffee.
Movie or Game Night
Rent a movie from your local video store and invite your date to stay in for the evening. Serve hot buttered popcorn, movie candy and soda as you cuddle up on the couch. Alternatively, check out each other's competitive side by playing board games together. Popular options include Monopoly, Scrabble and Battleship.
Ice Cream Date
Revisit a popular dating idea from decades gone past and take your date out for ice cream. To make the mood more authentic, look for an old-fashioned ice cream parlor in your area. After eating, take a walk through the streets together, hold hands and window shop as you go.
Bonfire on the Beach
Invite your date to the beach and build a romantic fire. Bring along marshmallows, chocolate bars and graham crackers to make s'mores and then take turns feeding them to each other. When it is completely dark and the fire is dying down, lay back on a blanket to stargaze or take a walk along the beach.
Sunday drives are casual and relaxing. Take your date for a drive through the country or along a beautiful coastal highway. Stop along the way to take some pictures of each other.
If you and your date share a similar passion, take time to volunteer for a cause. Charities are always looking for extra hands and you will build a stronger bond through work done together.
Nature Walk or Hike
Take a walk or hike in the mountains. Bring along a light picnic lunch and a book of poetry that you can take turns reading to each other.
In nice weather, partake in an outdoor game or activity with your date. Try a game of frisbee, mini golf or badminton, or go for a bike ride or rollerblading together.