In the words of Jennifer Lopez, ‘Love don’t cost a thing.’ You can make your significant other feel special even when you are on a shoestring budget. No matter where you go, a good date will remain a good date. 

Furthermore, my best friend and partner told me it is the little things that will win your partner’s heart, for example, a chatty ice cream stroll. So, focus on making the date fun rather than flashy.

Although love does not cost a thing, some of the activities that bring you together do. So, let us go through this compilation of inexpensive romantic date ideas that you could participate in. 

1. Rent Bikes

Rental bikes open up many activities when it comes to dates. You may opt to enjoy the scenery, to make a small picnic getaway and more. Biking makes a great inexpensive date idea. Here are some of the activities you and your partner could take part in:

young couple in love ride bicycles on beach horizon, romantic cheap date

a. A Romantic Picnic

It could take you just 15 minutes to plan a biking picnic. You get to save the expense of time and money as all you need to plan for is where you will go, where you will get your bikes from, and what food to bring to your picnic. You can make it a candlelit picnic or even a summer picnic under the tree shade. 

b. Cycle to the Fair or Festival

Festivals and fairs come into town often. You and your date could cycle there rather than drive to and fro. The bike journey will take longer and thus, and you will have more time to talk and bond. Most festivals will offer secure parking so you can enjoy other activities as well. 

c. Take a City Tour

Have you always moved around the city in a cab, your car, or the Metro subway? Aside from the hustle and bustle in the city, it offers excellent scenery, especially at night, holidays, and weekends. There are numerous city bike tours around the country, especially in North America.  The city has a lot to offer from a taco to a historical tour. 

d. Hop on the Tandem Bike

Do you know what a tandem bike is?  It is a long bicycle with two riders. It advocates for cooperative cycling otherwise the ride will be strenuous if not full of bumps and bruises. You can use it as a metaphor for relationships, as cooperation is one of the core values for a successful relationship. The tandem bike is perfect for lovers. 

e. Scenic Bicycle Adventure

The beautiful adventure is all about exploration. You will love this idea if you and your date have access to trails such as a mountain, Lake, or river trail. Take the time to appreciate your environment. Remember, your partner is also part of it. 

2. Movie Marathon

Most people think that all a movie marathon entails is watching multiple back to back movies until you doze off or one of you has to leave. However, unlike candlelit dinners, movie marathons tend to be entertaining date ideas and intimate. Here are some tips on how you can spice up your movie marathon.

romantic cheap date idea, Young couple watching TV on a sofa at home

a. Set the Start Time 

Every date has a start time. Agree with your partner when to start so that you will be able to estimate the number of movies you can watch and be prepared. 

b. Choose a Theme

Ask your partner their favorite movie themes/ genres. Some of the most popular themes are comedies, chick flicks, and horror movies. It is not a must to stick to one theme, but mixing them up will surely spice up the night. 

c. Get Your Snacks

As the night gets along, you guys can take part in cute activities like feeding each other popcorn. However, you have to get the snacks first. Some of the most popular snacks to have in a movie night include:

  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Chocolate
  • Potato chips
  • Nachos
  • Candy like gummy bears
  • Pastries like cookies and cupcakes 
  • Drinks. Either soda or some alcohol. Ensure you do not let your partner drive off under the influence 

d. The Real Meal

Some couples can feed on snacks the entire movie marathon while others prefer to have a larger meal as the night goes on. You can either prepare a nice meal then have a movie marathon or order in Chinese food, pizza, or any other preference you may have. 

3. Cooking Together

Some couples will prepare meals as part of a movie marathon date while others make cooking together and having the meal as the date. Either way, it is a great inexpensive date idea, as you will probably get to use some of your groceries. Cooking together offers an intimate date option, and you can learn a lot about your partner.

Portrait of happy young couple cooking together in the kitchen at home

Some of the qualities you can pick out include:

a. Flexibility, Generosity, and Fairness

Take an example where there is a missing ingredient; how does your partner react? The kitchen space can help you learn how giving and adaptable your partner is. 

b. Creativity, Spontaneity, and Sensuality

Take an example of creativity when coming up with dishes and taking into consideration how your partner reacts towards something. 

c. Respectfulness, Kindness, and Sense of Humor

The intimate moments can reveal how kind and respectful your partner is. You can also share humorous moments as the cooking goes on. 

4. Hiking

You can decide to hit the trails and peaks on foot for a date. Hiking is a suggestion that pops-up when you search ‘inexpensive date ideas near me.’ People even make proposals on hiking peaks overlooking beautiful scenery.

Couple travelers Man and Woman sitting on cliff relaxing mountains and clouds aerial view Love and Travel happy emotions Lifestyle concept. Young family traveling active adventure vacations

You will probably need a photographer to hide somewhere, maybe an adjacent peak. Here are some tips that will prepare you for the hiking date:

a. Be Prepared

Ensure you are prepared in every aspect, from clothing to food. A tuxedo or suit does not fit this type of date. Some preparation tips include:

  • Ensure you have the proper hiking shoes and gear, for example, the walking stick
  • Carry some food and drinks. You will need to keep hydrated, and the expedition could turn into a picnic if you pack some food and snacks.

b. Keep it Simple

Ensure you are not straining yourself or your partner. For example, if it is the first date, you can cover about 2 miles. As you get more into your partner you will figure out if they like it, and you can prolong your expedition. 

c. Read Your Partner’s Reaction

Your partner may not tell you outright that they are not enjoying the trip. If you read their expressions and complains, you will know. Your date is not ruined because you can stop under a beautiful shade and turn it into a picnic date and head back later. 

d. Rest Before the Trip

Enough rest will ensure you both enjoy yourselves. Ensure you avoid strenuous activity the day before and have a good night’s sleep. 

e. Be Romantic

Make a romantic gesture to your partner. It may be a pressed flower in your backpack or a meaningful small gift. However, avoid picking wildflowers as you do not know if they are poisonous or not. 

5. Wine Tasting

You may think that wine tasting events are expensive because the TV stars partake. However, wine tasting events are either free or charge a small fee. Wine tasting is not only an inexpensive date idea near you, but it is romantic, fun and has many ice breakers. 

Red wine pouring into wine glass, close-up

Tips for a Memorable Wine Tasting Date

  • Confirm if the wine tasting event is free or paid for.
  • Confirm if there is a dress code for the wine tasting event.
  • Carry some money, even if it is free. You could decide to take some bottles home. 
  • Make sure your date drinks before you plan to attend a wine tasting event. 
  • Ensure you grab something to eat before the event. You will get drunk quickly if you drink wine on an empty stomach. 
  • Bring chewing gum or drink some water after drinking red wine. Red wine is known to stain teeth. If you brush your teeth after, you risk stripping the protective enamel from your teeth. 
  • Avoid wearing fragrance. Smelling is a significant part of wine tasting. Your cologne could hinder your ability to catch the wine’s smell. 

6. Look at the Stars

Are you looking for inexpensive romantic date ideas for the summer? How about some s’mores as you lay back and watch the stars? Some people think it is a cliché, but it provides intimate and quality bonding time with your date, which makes it one of your most romantic options. Let us take a look at tips to make your stargazing date night fun:

  • Bring a Water-proof Mat. You want to avoid the wetness of the dew. 
  • Bring a Blanket. As you lay on the mat, you can help avoid a cool breeze.
  • Bring a Pair of Binoculars. You will be able to get a close look at the various constellations. 
  • Study About the Visible Constellations at the Given Time. You could commit these to memory or get a printable map of the night sky. You could also make up your constellation patterns as a fun activity. 
  • Your Eyes Will Need Some Time to Adjust to the Night Sky. Give them about 20 to 30 minutes. 
  • Bring Some Food. Smores and hot chocolate are a universal favorite. 
  • Make a wish if you get lucky enough to spot a shooting star. 

7. Play Pool

A pool date is unique, inexpensive and a fun date idea. The pool is a universal game. Furthermore, your partner will have a fun time learning from you if they have no idea how it is played.

Beautiful couple spending time together by playing pool

Why should you consider the pool as a date option?

  • It Is Economical. You will spend between $5 and $10 per hour if you visit a billiard hall. If you have your pool table, it becomes free. 
  • There Are Other Games in a Billiard Hall. If you guys want to try something else, there are multiple other games such as darts, video games, foosball, pinball, etc. 
  • Pool Halls Have Food and Drinks Available. You can grab a snack after you play a few more games. This presents the chance to talk more and establish your relationship. 
  • Anyone Can Play Pool. The pool was invented in the 15th century. Kings, commoners, men and women alike played the game. 
  • It Is an Ice Breaker.  It will ease the tense atmosphere that may be present with your date. Your conversation can start from the game and progress to other topics.

8. Netflix

And Chill. Netflix needs little introduction. The platform has more than 1000 shows and hundreds of movies to watch from. The platform has put more focus on TV shows rather than in movies. This means that your date night gets to be longer. 

Just like the movie night marathon in number (2) above, you need to prepare for the Netflix date adequately. Here are some of the tips to follow for your Netflix date. 

Netflix is a great inexpensive date night idea. You only need to get the food and pay for your monthly subscription. Netflix is a cheaper option as compared to renting movies or cable TV and has a lot more to offer. 

9. Go to an Open Mic Night

I have often wondered; can I find inexpensive date night ideas near me? A show or concert can tend to be expensive if you are operating on a shoestring budget. Open night is karaoke. You and your date have the chance to jam to your favorite tunes and sing your heart out. An open mic night is a fun date idea to try out. 

10. Picnic

Some of the dates we have suggested could end up in a picnic, for example, hiking or star gazing. However, the picnic by itself stands out as an inexpensive date idea. There are five steps to take when planning a picnic date. 

a. Location

The location of your picnic should be unique. I would suggest that you try a new location every time, but there are some couples that have picnic traditions, for example, they visit the same place every summer. Despite your traditions and choice, the most important criteria when choosing a picnic location is to get a place you are both comfortable with. The other suggestions can now follow after comfort. Some of them include:

  • Sunset 
  • Garden
  • Park
  • Beautiful sceneries. 

b. Food

You can carry any food you want. The main factor is that the food is easy to carry in your picnic basket. You can make the food yourself or buy it from the store. When it comes to drinks, ensure you bring canned bottles, champagne, or fruit juices. 

When you prepare the food yourself, you can rely on numerous recipes such as healthy picnic recipes, summer picnic recipes, or any other recipe you will enjoy

c. What to Wear

Your picnic outfit should lean more towards casual clothes that are light and breezy. Examples include a pair of shorts, a light dress, a shirt or a t-shirt. 

d. What to Bring

Your picnic packing list is enormous. It will include the food, drinks and other items to make your picnic more memorable. Some of the more essential items apart from food include:

  • Glasses
  • Plates
  • Napkins 
  • Sunglasses
  • A hat
  • Sunblock
  • Power bank
  • A selfie stick  
  • A camera
  • USB cable
  • Food basket
  • Picnic blanket

e. Expectations

It is essential to make a prior visit to your picnic spot if you have not been there. Ensure you monitor the weather reports to make sure you will have a nice day. Create a plan B just in case the rain decides to interrupt the day.  

11. Find Free Events at Your Local Bar

Your local bar can present a lot of inexpensive date night ideas. Many bars offer events to draw in customers. First, make sure your partner is comfortable with drinking and the bar environment. We suggest this fun date idea for couples that have gone on other preceding dates. Some of them include:

  1. A Local Artist’s Performance. You have heard that some of the famous artists started performing at restaurants and bars. You may get your chance to catch a star on the rise.
  2. Games. Some bars offer games such as pool, Jenga, darts, cornhole, etc. 

12. Free Museum Days

Here is a great inexpensive date idea. Museums are great for any date, even the first date. However, I recommend going at night.  Here is why you should use museums as a date venue:

a. Museums Create a Romantic Vibe

Museums create a romantic vibe, especially if you visit at night and find the place lit artistically. Some of the pieces and art you will find can make you and your date get cozy. Some museums are open once a night and others every night. Look up the one closest to you and find out its schedule.  

b. They Are Super Affordable

A movie date could cost you more than $50. Museums, on the other hand, are either free or will ask you to donate rather than pay a hard-priced ticket.  Look up restaurants nearby that you could visit for a meal after your tour. 

c. Numerous Options to Start Conversations

You have plenty of ice breakers in a museum. Examples include trying to figure out the meaning of a painting or how an ancient tool was made or used. 

13. Volunteer Together

Volunteering is a fun, inexpensive date idea. You will get to save money, learn teamwork, and in the event where your relationship fails to mature, your date will have served for the greater good. 

Portrait of two young volunteers with arms around standing indoors

Some of the volunteer dates you could do include:

a. Animal Shelter

An excellent way to volunteer for the animal shelter is to take the dogs out for a walk. You get to bond with your partner during the walk, and you help the animals get a break from staying all day indoors. You may even get a pet in the process.

b. Soup Kitchen

When you and your date cook together, you will figure out a lot about each other. It gets fun when you are cooking for the benefit of someone else. 

c. Help the Elderly

There are numerous events held for the elderly in the community. You and your date can contribute by hosting an event or even participating in other activities around the elderly home.

d. Storytime for Children

You can make your date lively by using creativity to benefit children. You can tell stories to kids in after school or library programs. Use props and different voices to make the sessions lively. 

e. Outdoor Cleanup 

Here is another suggestion that could end up in a picnic. You can grab a pair of gloves each and trash bags and do a cleanup exercise for example, in the parks. 

14. Ice Skating

Are you looking for an inexpensive date idea for the winter? You could take your partner ice skating. There are even indoor skating rims in case you want to go out in the summer. It is a great idea to go at night as the park will look beautiful, especially with the twinkling lights. ‘

You do not have to worry about experience as you can learn on the date if one of you has never gone ice skating before. How do you prepare for ice skating?

  1. Reserve Tickets. Although it is not necessary when there are multiple parks in your locality.
  2. Choose a Large Venue. You will have more skating space, which makes it more fun.
  3. Dress Warmly. The rim environment could get chilly, and you don’t want to catch a cold. 

15. Photoshoot Using Your Smartphone

You will have to pay for professional photoshoots. However, current smartphones have excellent cameras. A smartphone photoshoot is a unique way to explore beautiful scenery and bond in the process. Furthermore, the photoshoot will help you capture the romantic moments of the date.

Young couple in love taking selfie, romantic memories, happiness

16. Test Drive Your Dream Cars

Sports cars provide a thrilling rush of adrenaline. You and your date could have similar dreams, and such cars could be among them. Various companies will let you test drive their vehicle if you present your driving license.

Other companies will want you to sign a contract and make a deposit so that they can guarantee their car against theft or accidents. Super sport car companies such as Ferrari or Lamborghini have such policies. Ensure you confirm the terms and conditions with the company before you can take a ride out for a date.    


There are numerous activities you can enjoy with your date without going to great lengths in terms of expenses. You do not need a candlelit reserved dinner table to spend quality time and have fun with your partner. 

All the dates above offer intimacy, fun, and adventurous inexpensive ways to bond with your date. However, some lean more towards a certain quality. Have a look at the frequently asked questions below. 

Furthermore, we would appreciate if you share any great inexpensive date ideas you may have. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Are the More Intimate Inexpensive Date Ideas?

Cooking together, look at the stars, picnic date, movie marathon, and Netflix date

2. What Are the Fun, Inexpensive Date Ideas?

Play pool, ice skating, free museum days, volunteer together, wine tasting, open mic night, free events at the local bar, and a photoshoot with your smartphone. 

3. What Are the Adventurous Inexpensive Date Ideas? 

Hiking, bike riding, and test drive your dream cars. 


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