Cheap Date Night Ideas

Dan and I are pretty thrifty individuals, but we love hanging out together out on the town.  Fancy dates to expensive restaurants is never something we've been into, so we've found a bunch of other inexpensive ways to get out of the house and on the town for some quality time together.  Here are a few of our favorite little dates that we go on around town...

Pool tables usually only take 50 cents to a dollar per game, and if you both get a cheap beer, the date is really inexpensive!  Plus, what I love about sipping on beers and playing pool, is that you can chat while you play, and taking turns shooting keeps you from drinking the beer too fast, so you can really nurse that cheap brew for a while!

Thrifting is fun because you can even make a whole day of it!  Dan and I have a route that we go on to hit most of the thrift shops in town.  It's kind of like a scavenger hunt, and there's always super silly things to be found at thrift stores, as well as memories dug up from finding a similar article of clothing or toy from your childhood!

Coffee shops usually have little shows happening in the evenings, and they're almost always free.  Find out when the shows usually happen at various coffee shops around town, and hit them up on those nights!  A lot of coffee shops also have open mic nights where you can get a taste of budding musicians belting it out!  It's a fun way to support your local musicians and coffeehouses, and in between sets, you can sip on a tasty drink and chat!

LivingSocial type deal sites can be a great way to do something super fancy for a more affordable price!  I frequently see wine tastings, discounts on fancy restaurants, and even fun activites like sushi-making classes in the emails I get from LivingSocial.  It can also be a great way to try something you normally wouldn't, simply because you wouldn't be able to afford the full price.  LivingSocial even has a part of their site where you can find deals on hotels or getaways, if you want to go on a little weekend trip or something.

Instead of going out for dinner, get together with some friends and make dinner at home!  This can be pretty fun if you are friends with another couple, kind of like a double date, but more fun.  You guys can split the costs of the food and drink some cheap wine or beer as everyone cooks.  Or you can do it potluck style and each agree to bring a course or dish!

Find a local hike and spend a few hours out in nature.  The drive out there is a nice time to chat, and being in the woods can be a really beautiful to spend an afternoon.  Plus, it's totally free except for the gas it takes to get out there.

If you guys are into art, head out to the galleries in town!  It might not be art of the caliber you'd see in the MOMA, but you'll get to see some local artists' work, and maybe you'll find something really interesting.  Most cities have a "First Friday" or "Third Thursday" type of art-walk night every month where all the galleries are open to walk through, and it's a bonus if they have wine or snacks available!

Dan and I like walking down to the local farmers market every Tuesday.  Even though we usually only get one thing, it's nice to be a part of the community and see all the artisans and local farmers.  We like to get a tasty treat like fresh cherries to eat on the way home.  A lot of the time farmers markets have some live entertainment, too, which can be fun to sit and watch.

This is more of a christmas/winter time date, but still really fun!  Make some hot chocolate, put on some mittens and take a long walk.  We did this on Christmas Eve (and spiked the hot chocolate with my homemade peppermint liqueur!), it was really fun!  We stopped off at a couple coffee shops along the way to get more hot chocolate, so we went for a really long walk!

They're usually much more inexpensive than going to the regular movie theater, especially if you can bring in your own snacks.  Plus, a lot of second-run theaters show old movies and cool classic films. Awesome!
top photo by arrow & apple