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cheap summer date ideas

Cheap Summer Date Ideas

Discover awesome, cheap summer date ideas so you can enjoy this special day with your sweetie without breaking the bank!

If you’re like most of us, money is pretty tight. You may feel like you are not always able to spend a ton of money on your honey. But you can still have a wonderful summer date without spending a bunch of (or any!) money if you choose not to.


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53 Cheap Summer Date Ideas!

In this article you will find 53 fun, simple, cheap summer date ideas to help you have a great time this summer without spending a lot of money.



1. Find a deal on your sweetheart’s favorite summer pastime.

If you know there is something in particular that your sweetheart would love to do, shop around to find it at the best price. There are tons of discounts and coupons available online,  so Google them and see what you can find!

For example, you could find a discounted gift card to your favorite restaurant or movie theater. Or you might find a special two-for-one deal.


2. Go for a drive up the canyon and talk while you gaze over the city lights.

 I think that one of the most beautiful sights if you are inside a town are the city lights at night. Grab a blanket and some snacks and you are all set for a free and fun evening!


3. Have a barbecue in the backyard.

 Grill up your favorite meats, make kebabs, roast hot dogs, grill burgers—whichever you choose, it will taste even better when it is made together over the fire.


4. Make your sweetheart’s favorite dessert.

If cooking isn’t really your expertise but you like to bake, you could still dine in, but rather than making the dinner the highlight, make a simple dinner and make the main attraction dessert. Enjoy making your sweetie’s favorite sweet treat together.


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5. Host your own dance just for two under the stars.

Dish up a list of your favorite songs (including your song), and have a private dance for two under the stars. Romantic? Oui, oui!


6. Have a movie marathon in the backyard.

If you are movie buffs, enjoy some of your favorite box-office hits. You might even rig up a projector out in the backyard to enjoy the movies under the stars.


7.  Go to an outdoor movie.

Whether at the local drive-in or hosted by the community at the park, outdoor movies are an awesome summer activity! Bring your own popcorn and treats to the park, and you have a fabulous frugal, fun date!


8. Make heart-shaped sugar cookies, snickerdoodles, or another favorite cookie.

 Making heart-shaped cookies together is another fun, tasty baking option.


9. Make dinner at home, and go out just for dessert.

Another fun and relatively cheap summer date idea is to cook a favorite dinner together at home but to then go to your favorite restaurant for dessert. 

10. Give each other massages as another cheap summer date idea.

If one or both of you love massages and you are willing to be a little adventurous, then indulge each other with some extra touch time. Google massage techniques, purchase a couple of inexpensive scented body oils, and set the tone with dim lights, fragrant candles, and some relaxing music.


11. Look at photo albums together.

 Looking at old (and not so old) pictures together is a great way to get to know each other better as you walk down memory lane.


12. Plan a retro night for a fun, cheap summer date.

For this activity, plan a retro night where you eat food and play board games, video games, or other games (or do other activities) you loved from your youth.


13. Write poems or love letters to each other.

For another wonderfully romantic but cheap summer date idea, write romantic poetry or love letters to each other. Even if they end up being a little cheesy, your heartfelt sentiments will still be appreciated.

Or if you have them, read love letters you wrote to each other from the past. For example, if you were separated for a time because of military service or otherwise lived apart for an extended period, rereading these letters could definitely rekindle some romance.

This activity could be even more fun if you do it up the canyon or under the stars.


14. Do an act of service together.

Another inexpensive (but potentially priceless) cheap summer date idea is to do an act of service together. Take some time to consider what your loved one would truly appreciate, and then surprise him or her by planning this activity for your next date.

 You might serve at a hospital or senior care center, a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, or a library (reading to children), for example.


15. Go ice skating.

If you enjoy ice skating, summer is a great time to do it in an indoor rink where you can beat the heat. And because it is traditionally the off season for ice skating, you might be able to score a sweet deal.


16. Go rollerblading or rollerskating.

 Rollerskating or rollerblading is another fun and relatively cheap summer date idea. Especially if it has been years since you have gone, this could be a delightful activity.


17. Go to a park for a fun, cheap summer date idea.

Walk or drive to a nearby park for hours of free fun. Swing, slide, or simply sit on a park bench and talk.

Or if it is pretty warm, then simply enjoy some sunshine and warm rays.


18. Take a hike—together.

If you live near an area where there are trails to hike,  this is another great pastime perfect for two.


19. Go for a bike ride.

Going for a bike ride (maybe even splurge a little and rent a tandem bike?) is another great cheap summer date activity.


20. Go for a walk or a nature walk.

If you want to keep things more low key, go for a walk around your neighborhood or in one of your favorite spots.

If you live near a beach or a boardwalk, those are two ideas that can offer hours of entertainment. 


21. Go to a local museum or art gallery.

 You could go to an airplane museum, a dinosaur museum, or anything in between. Or if you love art, indulge that interest.


22. Go to a zoo or aquarium.

Especially if it has been years since you have been, this could be a fun treat. Look online for discount tickets or coupons to make this activity even more affordable.


23. Go to an outdoor concert or play.

Music concerts and plays can be expensive, but they don’t have to be. Find one that is inexpensive, and enjoy some quality cultural time together.


24. Play miniature golf.

 Whether indoors or out, miniature golf is a great way to pass the time. Don’t forget to check online for discounts before you go!


25. Watch the sunrise or sunset.

Another of my personal favorite cheap summer date ideas is to watch the sunrise or sunset together. Either as its own activity or as the culmination of a wonderfully romantic day, watching the sunset with your sweetie is awesome.


26. Go stargazing or cloud gazing.

Similarly, another awesome and inexpensive summer date idea is to watch the stars or find shapes in the clouds. If it might get a little cool where you live, grab blankets, maybe even make hot cocoa, drive to your favorite spot, and then cuddle together in a field or park (or even stay home and just head out to the backyard) to watch the stars.


27. Read together.

If you enjoy reading, spend an hour or two (or more!) reading to each other from one of your favorite books. You could read at a park, up a canyon, at the beach, or at another fun outdoor space.


28. Create a cheap summer dates idea jar.

Make a list of some of your favorite, inexpensive summer date ideas, cut them into strips, put them in a jar, and choose one at random.

Not only does this give you a great set of cheap summer date ideas, but that way you will always have ideas for something fun to do readily available. And you could have a great time doing a different  activity from your jar that is inexpensive and fun every week all summer long.


29. Plan an unconventional cheap summer date.

Do something out of the ordinary to celebrate your special day that will be uniquely meaningful for the two of you. Maybe re-create your first date. Go back to an old college haunt. Make dinner and eat it at the place that you first met. Enjoy a cheap summer date that highlights a special part of your past. You definitely don’t have to do dinner and a movie just because that’s the norm.


30. Go skinny dipping.

 If you have a favorite private swimming hole, go skinny dipping with your sweetie.


31. Watch a ball game.

 Watch your favorite local professional or semi pro team, or go to a neighborhood little league game. Either way, grab a hot dog and soda and enjoy the fun energy.


32. Have a picnic for a cheap summer date.

 Go to your local park, up the canyon, to the beach, or to the lake. Or just go in your backyard. Any favorite place is better with a picnic. 🙂


33. Do sidewalk art.

Buy sidewalk chalk and draw each other’s caricatures or other favorite scenes. 


34. Spend an afternoon at a local you-pick-it farm.

 Another fun cheap summer date idea is to go to a pick-it-yourself farm to buy berries or other fruit. Spending an hour or two picking your favorite berries or other fruit and then eating them is a (literally!) sweet treat.


35. Do an outdoor scavenger hunt.

 Enjoy this favorite pastime of younger years. You can find ideas for simple scavenger hunts online, or get together with other couples and create your own.


36. Go to an inexpensive amusement park or go when you have discount tickets.

Going to your favorite amusement park, or even one you have never been to before, can be another awesome cheap summer date idea. Be sure to search online for awesome deals first, and then enjoy a fun day at your local theme park.


37. Go to a farmer’s market.

 Spend the morning at a nearby farmer’s market just browsing or sampling a few of your local favorites.


38. Go out for ice cream for a fun, cheap summer date idea.

 Stay cool with this quintessential sweet summertime treat. Find a favorite chain or enjoy a local mom-and-pop shop that you have never been to before.

39. Go to the beach.

Another favorite cheap summer date is to go to a nearby beach. Drive to the beach to walk along the shore, collect seashells, build sandcastles, jump the waves, or simply sunbathe.


40. Take a short road trip.

Enjoy a short road trip for the day to somewhere you have never been. You might visit a ghost town, a local historic site, local landmark, or other local site. 


41. Have a food truck smorgasbord.

Walk or drive around to several of the local food trucks to enjoy a potluck-type dinner of the local favorites.


42. Go to an outdoor festival.

Food festival, music festival, cultural festival—whatever the festival, you can have a great time just enjoying mingling with the people and taking in the sights.


43. Enjoy the afternoon at a lake, pond, or river. 

Whether you are skipping stones, swimming, floating on tubes or air beds, or kayaking or canoeing, you can have a great time without having to break the bank. If you want to rent canoes or kayaks, check local colleges and even churches, which will generally be cheaper than the local outdoor rec rental stores.


44. Fly kites for a cheap summer date idea.

This is another favorite pastime of kids of all ages. Whether you use a super inexpensive kite from the dollar store or get a slightly nicer one from a local store, this cheap summer date idea provides hours of inexpensive fun!


45. Watch fireworks.

Enjoy watching fireworks at a park, up a canyon, or from your backyard on national or state holidays or other special occasions. 


 46. Enjoy a local splash pad.

 If you don’t feel up to going to a pool but you want to cool off, find a local splash pad. These have become really popular in the last few years (at least where we live), and so many of your local parks likely have at least a small area to splash around in.


47. Go to a community pool or water park.

If you want to enjoy even more water fun, visit a local community pool or water park. Though water parks can be expensive, they don’t have to be.

One of our local water parks has a crazy-good deal sometimes where they sell their season passes for just $20. I think they do it as a loss leader to get people to come and buy the food and drinks and things (which we never do; we always pack a picnic lunch). You might be able to find great deals on day passes at Groupon, Living Social, or your favorite local online deal site.


48. Go to a carnival or fair.

 If your community has a local carnival or fair then this can be a fun way to spend an evening or the entire day! You can ride the rides, try the delicious foods, and play some of the many games. This can get expensive if you do everything a la carte, so see if they have day passes available. Our local state fair has a $20 day pass that includes unlimited rides, so if you are an adrenaline junkie, see if this type of deal is available.


49. Play a team sport as a cheap (or even free!) summer date idea.

Get a group of friends together and play soccer, volleyball, flag football, softball, kickball, or another favorite team sport.

You could play with just you and your sweetie and have a great time, but if there are other couples that are sports enthusiasts as well, why not get together for a friendly game from time to time or even on a regular basis? 


50. Take a tour of a nearby city that you want to get to know better.

Where do people go who come to visit your state? Is there a city pretty close that you have been wanting to check out? Google fun and inexpensive things to do in that area, and then enjoy a fun-filled day of new sights and experiences.


51. Build a fire and roast hot dogs and make s’mores.

Whether it is in the backyard or up the canyon, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire is a classic fun, cheap summer date idea.


52. Go fishing.

Fishing licenses are generally pretty cheap to buy. And this cheap summer date idea become even more economical if you are able to catch a decent number of fish and fry them up and eat them for a delicious, inexpensive dinner!


53. Go camping.

If you love to camp, then this can be a great, inexpensive way to get away for a night or weekend with your honey. There are many places where you can camp for free, or you can stay at an inexpensive campground to enjoy some modern amenities if you prefer not to entirely rough it.



There are so many fun, cheap summer date ideas! These inexpensive summer date ideas give you the opportunity to have a great time without putting a big dent in your bank account.

Take some time to really consider what you can do to get to know better and strengthen your relationship with your sweetie, and you might find that spending money has nothing to do with it.


cheap summer date ideas

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