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25 Fun and Affordable Things to Do on Date Night

Sadie married her best friend 20 years ago and couldn't be happier. She thinks couples should aim to be each others' dearest companions.

Need something cheap to do on date night?  Try window shopping followed by a decadent dessert in a cozy French cafe.

Need something cheap to do on date night? Try window shopping followed by a decadent dessert in a cozy French cafe.

Do You Need Inspiration for Your Next Date Night?

Are you looking for something fun to do on date night with your special person? Do you want to find fun—but affordable—activities that will bring you and your spouse closer together? Do you want to explore new ways to spend quality time with your significant other? Check out this fun list of cheap and creative things to do on your next date night!

25 Ideas for a Cheap Date Night

Many of these ideas focus on the two of you working together as a team. From feathering the nest with some fun DIY projects to sneaking in a romantic interlude with your "lover," these creative date ideas for couples are designed to strengthen your intimate bonds and remind each of you how much you mean to each other. Money can't buy love, but you already knew that.

Instead of spending big bucks on swanky restaurants and pricey professional sports games, try a few of the ideas featured here; there's something for every budget.

Here's a tip: Not every date has to revolve around a big fancy meal in a restaurant. And date night doesn't have to happen in the evening either. The afternoon is a lovely time to go on a date!

1. Visit an Auction

Go to an art auction or antique auction. You don't have to buy anything; instead, use the preview materials to learn about different types of art and antiques. Listen to the descriptions of the auction item and have fun guessing how much each item will sell for. (Just remember not to raise your hand during the auction or that priceless Tiffany lamp may be yours!)

2. Make Your Own Hotel Getaway (at Home)

Dress up your bedroom and bathroom like a fancy hotel with fresh flowers, crisp linens, a de-cluttered bathroom vanity dressed up with all those mini soaps and shampoos you saved from other trips. Fold the toilet paper in a triangle. Put a chocolate mint on the pillow. Chill some wine. Go out for an evening stroll, enjoy a tasty but inexpensive meal at your favorite cafe, and then imagine coming back to your romantic getaway hotel suite.

3. Create Your Own Fancy Hotel Suite

Rent a clean, affordable room in a budget hotel or motel. Check into the room in the afternoon and deck it out with luxury items that you purchased on your own. Surprise your spouse by whisking him or her away to your romantic hotel room for the night.

4. Create Art Together

Go to a make-your-own pottery class at a ceramics shop. You can paint an item for yourself, make one for your spouse or design a one-of-a-kind gift for an upcoming special occasion.

5. Learn About Home Projects Together

Go to a free workshop at your local big box hardware store and learn how to make something together as a team that will make your home pretty and cozy. An outdoor plant wall for your patio, a custom book shelf for your wedding photos, an outdoor bench to sit on. Take a look around your home and ask yourself what kind of project would make the home you share together feel cozier.

Taking a painting class with your partner may not necessarily be a cheap date idea, but it could be a lot of fun!

Taking a painting class with your partner may not necessarily be a cheap date idea, but it could be a lot of fun!

Lovers Who Learn Together, Stay Together!

6. Share Homemade Recipes

Teach each other how to make a family recipe. Tell stories about what that family recipe meant to you and what memories you have of eating or making it as a kid.

7. Go to a Local Sporting Event

Go to an amateur sports game instead of a pro-game. The tickets will be cheaper, but your date can be just a much fun as if you had spent twice the amount of money on pricey pro-tickets. Cheer loudly, wear silly hats and put face paint on to celebrate your favorite team. Hold hands and have fun!

8. Learn How to Make Candy Together

Be sweet on your date! Make chocolate bon-bons and sweets together. If you have never made sweets before, borrow recipe books from the library or go online and find candy-making instructions.

9. Camp in Your Backyard

If the weather is nice, create a romantic sleeping area under the stars in your backyard. Intimacy in the outdoors can be fun and refreshing. (Just make sure you have good privacy in your yard or on you patio. And don't make so much noise that you wake the neighbors! No one wants a visit from the police on date night!)

10. Make a Bed Fort

Build an indoor fort together with bedding, pillows, couches and chairs. Then have a bit of playful fun between the sheets!

Cuddling up in a cozy tent in the backyard or a blanket fort in your living room is a romantic way to shut out the rest of the world for a little while.

Cuddling up in a cozy tent in the backyard or a blanket fort in your living room is a romantic way to shut out the rest of the world for a little while.

11. Plan Your Next Vacation

Make vacation dream boards together. Gather magazines, scissors, and glue sticks and get crafting. You could make your own individual dream boards or work on one together. The important thing is that you are dreaming together, reminding each other of the beautiful future you have together. Even if you can't afford to take that dream vacation right now, when you finally save up enough money to go on that romantic trip, you'll be able to look back on how the two of you worked together to make your dreams come true. How romantic is that?

12. Visit a Nearby Tourist Location

Go for a drive to the nearest small tourist town. Take a picnic lunch, sit in a park and just enjoy each other's company. That's what dating is all about!

13. Attend a Local Theater Event

See a school play at your local high school. Even if you don't have kids, you can still buy affordable tickets to fun high school musicals such as 'Grease' and 'Rent.' If you live close enough to your old high school or your partner's high school, see a show or concert there. Then look up your grad photo in the halls and share memories of your life before the two of you became a couple.

14. Design a Theme Date

Design your date around a theme: a color, a place, a certain food, a shared memory. If Hawaii holds a special place in your heart because that's where you had your honeymoon, have a Hawaiian themed date night! Choose tropical foods, serve fun tiki drinks and get a little silly. Wear beach attire, sun hats, and fake leis. Put some Elvis on the stereo. Apply suntan lotion to each other and lie on beach towels—whatever reminds you of your honeymoon. Just have fun with it!

15. Splurge at a Flea Market

Go to a flea market, spread out and surprise each other with a fun and funky gift for under $10.

16. Read Something Exciting Together

Stay home on date night and read pulp fiction and cheesy romance novels aloud to each other in front of a roaring fire.

17. Volunteer

Find a cause that is important to you both and work on a volunteer community project together.

18. Attend a Workshop or Seminar Together

Go to a free couples workshop. Look in your local new age health magazine and you will likely find some free workshops being delivered for couples. Many health and wellness consultants offer free workshops and seminars as a way for them to meet new clients, sell their books and develop their contacts. Workshops could range from massage for couples, romantic aromatherapy, and healthy communications. Why not take advantage of these free workshops; you might learn a thing or two about strengthening your marriage.

19. Go for a Drive

Take a drive out to the country on a sunny summer afternoon and pick berries together. Buying fruit and berries from a local U-pick farm is cheaper than buying them at the store. With all that luscious fresh fruit, why not make some jams and jellies for gifts and Christmas presents!

20. Learn to Make Homemade Wine

Go to a wine-making shop and make a few batches of 'homemade' wine. Have fun thinking about a funky, personalized name for your private label wine. When it's ready, you'll have your own little wine reserve to enjoy or give away as hostess gifts or holiday presents.

Fancy a trip out to the countryside to visit a vineyard?

Fancy a trip out to the countryside to visit a vineyard?

21. Go to a Local Food or Wine Event

Go to a food tasting and wine sampling event. Your local entertainment and hospitality magazine will have listings of all the upcoming food shows and sampling events.

22. Attend a Charity Event

Go to a charitable event where part of the ticket fee is eligible for a tax receipt. You'll not only have a wonderful time supporting a cause you both believe in, part of your date will be tax-deductible!

23. Plan and Prepare for Emergencies

Put a natural disaster plan together. Every home should have an emergency plan in place in case a disaster strikes. There are many websites that can guide you through what you will need in your emergency kit. This may seem like a strange idea for a date, but making a safety kit together is a reminder of how precious life is and how you'll do everything you can to keep each other safe and secure in an emergency. Make a list of all the cherished items that the two of you would take with you if you had 24 hours to evacuate from your home. Thinking of all the precious things you two share together is a touching way to spend date night.

24. Eat Lunch Together

If you both work busy schedules during the day, plan a lunch date. It could be a picnic in the park or a bite to eat at a cafe. Have one spouse pick up the other or meet at the intended location at a set time. (Don't be late!) The anticipation of seeing your husband or wife in the middle of the day can boost your mood at work. Don't talk about work on the lunch date. Leave that behind at the office and focus on your spouse. Sneak a make-out session in before you both head back to work. People will wonder why you came back to the office in such a great mood!

25. Treat Each Other to a Massage

Give each other aromatherapy massages if you want to add in some extra fun.

Remember That Date Nights Are About Being Together

Date night doesn't have to be expensive to express your true love. The time and effort you put into planning unique activities is what really matters. Focus on date night activities that get both of you closer to your common goals. Do things that celebrate what a fantastic team you are. Pick places that remind you of your past together. Learn new things (like tantric yoga) that make your marriage stronger!

What do you think of these ideas for date night? Do you have any suggestions? Please leave a comment or answer the poll below!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Sadie Holloway