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date night ideas

Date Night Ideas

Discover awesome date night ideas that you can enjoy even when you are on a budget!

Whether you are more adventurous as a couple or more laid back, whether you enjoy spending time outdoors exploring nature or indoors exploring puzzles or new recipes or fun programs on the Discovery Channel, there is something in this list of fun date night ideas for everyone!


100+ Date Night Ideas!

In this article you will find more than 100 fun and inexpensive date night ideas that will let you have a great time with your sweetie without spending a ton of money.


1. Do a 5K or fun run together.

If you are active, or even if you just aspire to be :), do a local 5k or even 1 mile fun run together. You will enjoy some time outside and get a workout in the process. And if you spend time training for the event together, even better!

Want to be even more ambitious? Sign up for a half marathon or even a marathon together! Do your training runs together whenever you can and you will have tons of time to talk and get to know each other better! Whether you having been dating for only a little while or have been married for years, you will learn some fun new things about each other; I’m sure of it!



2. 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.

Dish up a list of your favorite songs (including your song), and have a private dance for two. If it is warm enough, go out in the backyard or to a favorite park or even up the canyon and dance under the stars for a fun, romantic evening.


6. Have a movie marathon in your family room or 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 indoor or outdoor movie.

I know going to a movie is about as common as it gets when it comes to date ideas, but if you know each other well and you both enjoy movies, maybe go to an international cinema for something new. Or go to the dollar theater to watch a movie you missed a month or two ago.

Or, for something a little out of the ordinary, if weather permits, enjoy a movie under the stars! 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 a fun, tasty baking option.


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

Another fun and relatively cheap date night 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 date night 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.


12. Plan a retro night for a fun and inexpensive date night idea.

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 time as a kid or a teenager.


13. Write poems or love letters to each other.

For another wonderfully romantic and cheap date night 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 in the backyard under the stars.


14. Serve together.

Another inexpensive (but potentially priceless) date night 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, an animal shelter, or a library (reading to children), for example.


15. Go ice skating.

Going ice skating is another great way to spend quality time together and get to know each other better doing something a little out of the ordinary.

And if it is summertime, you can enjoy ice skating in an indoor rink where you can beat the heat. Not to mention, 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 one of my favorite date night ideas. Especially if it has been years since you have gone, this could be a awesome activity for you and your honey.


17. Go to a park for a fun date night idea.

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

If it is cooler, bundle up a little and maybe even bring a blanket or two and snuggle up together on a bench or under a tree. 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 cheap date night activity for spring, summer, or fall.


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, around a park, or in one of your other favorite spots.

If you live near a beach or a boardwalk, those are two places that can offer hours of entertainment for a simple but fun date night.


21. Go to a local museum or art gallery.

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


22. Go to a zoo or aquarium.

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


23. Go to an indoor or 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 date night ideas is to watch the sunrise or sunset together. Either as its own activity or as the perfect ending of a wonderfully romantic day, watching the sunset with your sweetie is awesome.


26. Go stargazing or cloud gazing.

Similarly, another awesome and inexpensive date night idea is to watch the stars or find shapes in the clouds. If it might get a little cool (or even cold) where you live, bundle up, 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 even read at a park, up a canyon, at the beach, or at another fun outdoor space.


28. Create a fun date night ideas jar.

Make a list of some of your favorite, cheap date night 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 fun date night ideas for today, 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  date night activity from your jar that is inexpensive and fun every week for months to come.


29. Come up with an unconventional date night idea.

Do something out of the ordinary 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.

Come up with date night ideas that highlight a special part of your past. You definitely don’t have to do dinner and a movie just because that’s the norm.


30. Make homemade pizza.

Why always go out for pizza when you can make your own just the way you like it? After you build your own savory masterpiece, top it off with your favorite dessert pizza, like this delicious s’mores pizza that my family loves to make.


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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 an indoor or outdoor picnic for a fun and cheap date night idea.

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 from the dollar store or another store and draw each other’s caricatures, favorite outdoor landscapes, or other favorite scenes. 


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

Another fun date night idea when weather is warm 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 indoor or outdoor scavenger hunt for a fun and cheap date night idea.

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 date night idea. Be sure to search online for dreat 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 date night idea.

Winter or summer, you can have a great date night enjoying this favorite sweet treat. Enjoy a favorite chain or find a local mom-and-pop shop that you have never been to before.



39. Go to the beach.

Another favorite and cheap date night idea is to go to a nearby beach. Drive to the beach to walk along the shore, collect seashells, build sandcastles, jump the waves, watch the sunset over the water, 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 favorite.


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 indoor or 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 and tastes.


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 at a lake or river 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 and fun date night 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 date night idea can provide 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. And it doesn’t have to be summertime, either! In warmer places, many splash pads are open even during the winter!


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!) date night 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 or evening 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 date night 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.


54. Find a deal on your sweetheart’s favorite 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 to a favorite fun center or similar place.


55. Host a game night.

Invite some of your favorite couples over for the evening, and have a fun game night. You can play your favorite board games, card games, or even video games!


56. Bake yummy treats together to give away.

This is both a fun and tasty activity, and it is a fun way to serve someone, too!


57. Sing karaoke or go Christmas caroling!

If you both love to sing (like I do :)), consider hosting or attending a karaoke night. Or if it’s the holiday season, enjoy caroling as a fun and free date night idea. You might even get some other couples to do it with you!


58. Stay in and make dinner instead of dining out.

A great way to enjoy a fun, inexpensive date night is to stay at home and have dinner. If you live with just the two of you, one of you can make a special candlelight dinner for the other—or make one of your favorite dishes together! Play some romantic music, dress up if you like, and voila! And then follow dinner with one of your favorite rom-com’s (or action movies; I won’t judge :)) snuggled up on the couch together at home.


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59. Share your diaries or journals with each other.

Another fun and free date night idea is to gather up your old diaries or journals and share them with each other. Or read old blog posts, if you have (or used to have) a personal blog.

If you have a journal or diary and haven’t written for a while, this would also be a great way to encourage each other to catch up on your journaling, or to start journaling!


60. Do a photo scavenger hunt.

I think there is just a little bit of kid in all of us (or at least most of us), and it helps keep us young! So enjoy this fun activity from your youth! You can find lots of fun ideas for photo scavenger hunts online.


61. Talk about your faith.

If your beliefs are an important part of your life, then spend an evening talking with each other about your most important values and beliefs. If you are Christian, talk about what Jesus Christ means to you. You might even talk about things you have been meaning to do (or start doing again) to be closer to Him, such as praying more, reading scriptures more, being more honest with others, or doing better in other ways.


62. Jump in a pile of leaves.

This is another throwback to yesteryear, but it’s still fun! Rake up a big pile of leaves in your backyard (or someone else’s), and then take turns jumping in them! You can get needed yard work done and play, all at the same time!


63. Make root beer floats or soda frappes.

You don’t have to go out for ice cream to really enjoy ice cream! Buy one or two of your favorite ice cream flavors and root beer or another favorite soda, and make root beer floats or soda frappes.


64. Make banana splits or hot fudge sundaes.

This is another awesome option for ice cream lovers! But a couple of your favorite ice cream flavors and toppings, and go to town making a decadent banana split or hot fudge sundae. Yum!


65. Host a holiday or other party.

If you love to entertain, then this is a great way to spend an evening with all of your favorite people.


66. Have a bonfire.

For a fun and unique date night idea, build a bonfire up the canyon or even in your backyard. You could even tell ghost stories, play the guitar or ukulele, or do other fun activities as part of your fun-filled evening.


67. Curl up in front of a fireplace (real or digital) together and just talk.

Another cheap and fun date night idea is to simply sit together and chat in front of a warm fire. Especially if it has been a while, with all of the hustle and bustle of life, since you have been able to really connect with a good heart-to-heart, this could be a real boon to your relationship.

Don’t have a fireplace? Not a problem. Use an internet-enabled TV or monitor with HDMI cable, and pull one up on YouTube. Extra bonus: Choose one with romantic music included.


68. Go for a ride on a train.

 Unless you do this every day for your commute to work, going on a train ride could be a great way to see some new sights or see them from a totally different perspective.

And if you have a historic train, taking that train ride can be a fun way to connect with the past, as well.


69. Enjoy an evening browsing your local artisan chocolate shop.

If you have a shop (or more than one) that makes fine chocolates in your area, go check it out! If you have never tried fine chocolate, you are in for a new kind of treat. And even if you have, they likely have some new flavors to try!


70. Have a potluck dinner with one or more other couples.

 A great way to enjoy delicious new food and save money is to have a potluck dinner. You could pick a favorite theme, such as Chinese or Mexican food, or to really mix things up, just let people bring whatever they like!




71. Hold a progressive dinner.

Another fun way to enjoy a less conventional dinner is to have a progressive dinner, where you start at one couple or person’s house for one course, such as the appetizer, and then go to another home for the salad, and then to another home for the main dish, and then end at another home for dessert. This is a great and inexpensive way to try some new dishes and get to know people better.



72. Go sledding or snowshoeing.

If you have snow, sledding or snowshoeing is an awesome way to enjoy some time in the beautiful outdoors. You can buy inexpensive sleds or rent snowshoes for cheap from a local college.


73. Build a snowman.

Don’t overlook this fun date idea that will bring back memories of yesteryear. You might even make it a friendly competition to see who can make the best snowman or snow woman. 🙂


74. Build a snow fort or igloo.

If you have never build an igloo or snow fort, you are missing out! Admittedly, this activity can take quite a bit of time, but what a fun way to be able to chat for much of the afternoon or day and to get to know each other better!


75. Go to a winter festival.

There are various holiday festivals in many communities, so go online to find winter or holiday festivals in your area that you might be interested in, such as Christmas tree festivals, light festivals, and more!


76. Make a bucket list or even set goals or New Year’s resolutions for next year.

As another cool (and free!) date night idea, create a fun bucket list of things you would like to do together.

You could also come up with and share some goals or New Year’s (or any time of the year) resolutions. Bonus points if you create some that you can work on together. 🙂


77. Have a snowball fight with other couples.

For a fun winter afternoon and another way to enjoy being outside even on a cold day, get some other couples together, bundle up and have hot cocoa on the ready, and have an old-fashioned snowball fight! If you have the time and you really want to get into the spirit of things, take the time to build snow barricades.


78. Make snow angels.

This simple and fun activity could be a fun part of your winter afternoon.


79. Get away for a weekend (or a week) to a warmer place!

If it is wintertime and you love to escape the cold (like me!) for a while, plan a trip to visit warmer climes for a weekend or even an entire week.


80. Go hot tubbing.

I love spending time in hot tubs! If you do too and you have access to one, this is a great, free or inexpensive date night idea!


81. Go to a comedy show.

Many comedy shows by local favorites are pretty inexpensive, so if this is the kind of thing the two of you enjoy, it can be a highly entertaining way to spend an evening.


82. Have a luau.

In my extended family (my siblings and parents and I and our children) we love to have a summer (or winter; they can be just as fun!) luau! You can find simple recipes online by Googling favorite Hawaiian dishes, and many party supply stores have Hawaiian decorations all year round.


83. Go to an ice hockey game.

If you enjoy ice hockey, this can be a cheap winter date idea if you attend a game of a local semi-professional or school team.


84. Go to a candy shop or candy factory.

 Of course this is a (literally) sweet date night idea, but if you have a candy shop in your area where they give tours and do demonstrations, and it can be educational, as well!



85. Take a drive up the canyon.

Whether it is winter or summer, taking a drive up the canyon can be a beautiful way to spend the evening. If you have a sunroof or moon roof, open it up and let in the fresh air. Have a convertible? Even better! This is a great way to spend some time taking in the scenery while talking to get to know each other better.



86. Go to a ballet.

If you enjoy the arts, spend an evening together watching one of your favorite ballets. Or try one you have never seen before.


87. Make your own ice cream together.

Another one of my personal favorite date night ideas is to make homemade ice cream together! If you have an old-fashioned or electric ice cream maker, then this is a great way to spend an hour talking while making a delicious treat.

Or don’t have an ice cream maker? No problem! You can purchase an inexpensive ice cream ball. Or simply make your favorite flavor of no-churn ice cream!


88.  Take a community ed class together.

Whether you just want to spend one evening or several, taking a community education class together can be a fun and inexpensive way to spend time together learning something new.




89. Go to a fun center together.

 Spend an evening or an afternoon at a local fun center riding bumper boats or go-karts, playing arcades, going bowling or enjoying the batting cages, playing miniature golf, doing laser tag, and more. 


90. Do water color painting together.

Enjoy making your own personal masterpieces, or for a unique twist, work on a large water color painting together.


91. Go to a play.

Enjoy a local community or high school play, or if you want to spend a little more money, enjoy an off-Broadway favorite. To save money on plays, go to a matinee and look for discounts online at sites like Groupon and Living Social.


92. Go to a Christmas concert.

Many schools, churches, and community bands and singing groups have Christmas concerts during December. This fun and generally inexpensive winter date idea can be a great way to get you into the holiday spirit.


93. Go to an inexpensive symphony.

If you have a symphony in your area, this could be another fun date idea. Check for discount tickets on sites like Groupon and Living Social.


94. Drive around to see the Christmas lights.

One of the most beautiful winter date night ideas is to drive around (or walk around; just bundle up, and I think that walking around to see the lights is even more fun) and look at all of the amazing Christmas lights. 


95. Decorate a Christmas tree together.

If you haven’t put a Christmas tree up yet, then this can be a fun activity to do with your honey. If you don’t have ornaments yet, then you can even buy ornaments and other tree decorations together.


96. Play hide and seek or sardines, capture the flag, kick the can, or another similar game for a fun date idea.

Kids aren’t the only ones who can have fun with hide and seek, kick the can, tag, and other similar games! Enjoy the kid in you and get some other couples together for an afternoon or evening of active fun!




97. Make gingerbread cookies or build a gingerbread house together.

You can find tons of recipes online for gingerbread. Making gingerbread cookies is fun and does not take too long, or if you want to spend a little more time and effort (which is totally worth it if you like this kind of thing, though!), make gingerbread houses, instead. My family loves to make and decorate gingerbread houses on a cold winter evening.


98. Test drive your favorite car. 

 If your favorite car is made in a newer model, indulge in some free fun by taking turns going for a test drive! Just don’t get sucked into a skillful sales pitch and end up driving home with more than you bargained for!




99. Make hot cocoa and scones (fry bread) for a fun, inexpensive date night idea.

One of my favorite date night ideas for things to do during the winter is to make yummy food! It warms up the kitchen and warms up my soul! So if you enjoy spending time in the kitchen, try making hot cocoa and scones (where I’m from, scones are what most people think of as fry bread) as a fun winter date idea with your sweetie.  Or make Navajo tacos during the summer!

You can definitely just use your favorite store-bought hot cocoa, but if you want to be adventurous, I like this simple recipe for homemade hot cocoa. And I also like this simple and tasty fry bread recipe


100. Play pool, ping-pong, air hockey, or a similar game together.

No matter the season, playing pool, ping-pong, air hockey, and similar table games are a great way to enjoy an evening. And if you have the games or visit someplace that does for free, even better for a free date night idea!


101. Make indoor s’mores.

Why keep the joy of s’mores just a summertime or outdoor activity? You can enjoy s’mores all year round by making them indoors using your microwave, oven, or even an indoor s’more machine. 



There are so many fun, cheap date night ideas! With these (mostly) inexpensive date night ideas you can have a great time without spending a ton of money on your honey. No matter the season, with these date night ideas you can enjoy time with your sweetie without breaking the bank by being creative and focusing on simple but fun activities.


What are your favorite date night ideas? What activities should I add to this list? I would love to hear your ideas for fun and cheap date night activities!


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