If you’re anything like me and my man, you’re broke. It’s not easy finding fun activities and things to do on dates that aren’t expensive. Often this leads to Netflix binging on shows like Trailer Park Boys while eating Pad Thai, and it’s not pretty. Luckily for you, if you are like us or if you just want to save some money, we have already curated a solid list of awesome date activities and ideas that are free or extremely cheap.
We call it Ballin’ on a Budget. Have fun!
1. Go Hiking
Hiking is the bomb. It’s good exercise, you get to spend time in the nature, and you often get to see things and go to places that are really beautiful. The exercise isn’t too crazy so if it’s a first date you won’t be dripping and gross by the end. It’s also a good opportunity to bring along some drinks, hold hands, and get to know each other. You can learn a lot about someone from how they treat nature and there’s nothing like some nature magic to create some romance.
2. Star Gaze
This is one you can do in your backyard and, contrary to popular belief, all year long (hello cuddles)! If you live somewhere with light pollution this is a good opportunity to do a mini road trip/adventure to find some unpolluted star space. Bring along some blankets and a hot toddy and get ready for some snuggles and satellites.
3. Tour a local brewery/distillery/winery
Typically it’s free to tour these places and they’re usually really cool. Especially if you are like me and my man and have an almost unhealthy love of beer. The tours are always interesting and typically at the end you can enjoy a nice drink together.
4. Ghost Hunt
This is one I’ve yet to convince my man to do, but it’s on my list! If you are brave enough, it’s an awesome date activity. I do not recommend going in to any decrepit buildings, but old graveyards or older buildings that are still fully functioning and in one piece are excellent. If you aren’t sure how ghost hunting work,s watch an episode of Ghost Adventures. Ghost hunting is a good way to build up some endorphins and get close to each other.
5. Movie Marathon
Pick a cool movie series, make a ton of popcorn, and hunker down. Mad Max is a great series to marathon, some of the James Bond movies (you could do all and extend it to a multiple date marathon), and Star Wars are a few good choices. You could also do a genre marathon like cult classics or horror movies. It’s not a far cry from Netflix binging but it is more engaging and fun. Movies at home are a classic activity because you tend to make lots of inside jokes and get a good chance to smooch a little… wink wink…
6. Extreme Sports
Go mountain biking, climbing, rafting, snowboarding, skiing, or backpacking. You name it! Extreme sports are the bomb at all times and even more so with someone you love or are falling in love with. If you don’t do extreme sports that’s OK, because they can stress your budget. Float the river instead, go ride bikes on a bike path, or go camping. No matter what, you’ll be getting your body moving and having heaps of fun! There’s also this awesome psychological trick when wooing someone this way called the misattribution of arousal theory. Look it up.
7. Thrift Shop
You don’t have to be looking for anything and you don’t have to buy anything. Watching each other try on ancient Hawaiian shirts and prom dresses is hilarious. You might even find a ceramic swan you two must buy and have as your pet. It’s just way too much fun to goof off at a thrift store or two and it leads to some really good conversation.
8. Go Geocaching
I love to be outside and so does my man (just in case that wasn’t obvious). Geocaching is basically like treasure hunting combined with hiking. You can find info on geocaches near you online and then go hunting. It is awesome! This can be a cool way to see how you two work together and it’s free!
9. Cook together and/or learn to make drinks
First off, grocery shopping with your SO (significant other, if you don’t know) is really fun. I’m lucky I have my boyfriend or I would never buy real food. Pick a good recipe (I recommend Thug Kitchen) and/or a cocktail recipe and make a list of supplies. Go shopping. Go home and have a ton of fun cooking, or in my case observing! When you’re done you can enjoy what you made and snuggle up to talk or watch a movie.
10. Go to the Museum
I’m not talking the Smithsonian. Go to that weird hole-in-the-wall potato museum or the donation only car museum. The weird museums are usually free and you come across some of the most random entertainment. It’s fun to poke around and learn together.
What fun is a date without good conversation right? Even if you two are established, try playing the question game. Ask each other 20 questions. Not the traditional yes/no to guess an object game. Questions like, “If you could go back to any time or place, where would you go and why? Who would you go with?” There are lists all over the internet of questions to ask your SO for fun and to get to know each other and it’s really fun. I still learn new things about my man from playing this game. It’s great, give it a try!
Do you have any other fun Ballin’ on a Budget date ideas? What are they? If you try some of mine let me know what you thought!