Fun, Budget Friendly Date Ideas

Valentine’s Day might be around the corner – but no matter the time of year, it’s always great to find an excuse to do something fun with your S.O.  But does a great date need to break the bank? Of course not! Whether you’re a college student on a budget or simply trying to save for that next vacation, you can have an amazing time and impress your sweetie without dropping $100 on dinner. Read on below for a few budget-friendly date ideas that include all the fun without the cost. 

Hit up a local festival

If you keep a close eye on your local newspaper, blogs, and magazines, you’ll discover all sorts of locally-focused events that are totally free.  Think harvest festivals, outdoor summer concerts, farmer’s markets… if you can think of it, your area probably offers it!  You may want to set aside some money for purchasing a snack while you’re exploring booths, but there’s no charge for visiting.

Stroll/Picnic/Workout in the park

It’s simple, sweet, and can be done any time of year. Having a picnic or going on a stroll through the park with your S.O. is an awesome way to focus on being with each other as well as enjoy your natural surroundings. As a bonus – if you and your bae are fitness buffs, you can use the time for a couples’ jog or a one-on-one exercise session.  You both will appreciate breathing in the fresh air, and growing closer all the while.

Volunteer your time

Do you and your S.O. have certain causes you both believe in? Donate a few hours of your afternoon to completing some local volunteer work. Several charities and non-profits are always looking for people to help, whether it’s with walking shelter dogs or monitoring a marathon or serving beer at an expo (yes – that last one is real!).  Sometimes, volunteering also comes with perks like attending free events and making new friends. 

Tour somewhere new

You’d be surprised at how many places offer free tours of certain areas or businesses. Case in point? Many breweries (like Brooklyn Brewery, Harpoon Brewery,  and the Jack Daniels Distillery to start) have free tours or their facilities, though you may have to pay for tastings. If you live in an area known for historical happenings, historical societies (and walking tour companies) usually offer tours for free. 

Take a (free) class

Thanks to websites like EventBrite and CourseHorse, it’s easy to find a free class close to you.  If you’d prefer to put your faith in a company that you’re already familiar with, check out the options at Michael’s, Home Depot, or a local library or museum.  Signing up in advance usually ensures you a spot, so you’ll get the opportunity to learn a new skill (or hone an old one) worry-free.

Free Movie/Entertainment Screenings

You would be surprised at how many movies and comedy clubs have free viewings. Comedy clubs and theater companies often do a “test” viewing or free entry to try out new material.  You can also find free movie screenings in most urban areas. For example during the summer, Central Park in NYC hosts weekly free movie screenings. It might not be the newest movie, but seeing an old film for the sake of nostalgia is just as fun.



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Alexandra Wilson

Alex Wilson is a freelance writer interested in fashion, lifestyle, and all forms of pop culture. Her writing has been featured in various digital and print publications, including USA Today and Long Island Pulse. When not writing, Alex can be found testing new recipes, exploring new neighborhoods, and window shopping. She hopes to someday travel to all seven continents (yes, even Antarctica).

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