Date Night on the Cheap!

It's time for DATE NIGHT! But what to do? Another dinner and a movie? Boring. Fly to Paris? I wish--too expensive! No need to fret--Elle Sees has plenty of ideas to make your next date night a fun and cheap experience!

Home Alone
  • Dine al fresco (or picnic inside)! Two of my good friends actually picnicked on a median (!) in the middle of a non-busy street. People honked and waved as they did so. Unusual, right?
  • Camp outside! Put up the tent outside and make the s'mores.Or even camp indoors!
  • Cook dinner together. Feed each other some of it.
  • Dress up, cook dinner, and have "restaurant night" at home (or take out!). 
  • Read poetry to each other over a delicious dessert.
  • Have a party for 2 at home--you decide the theme!
  • Shut off all electric devices (including lights). Candles only. Have fun.
  • Make it a music night & an instant dance party! Include some slow songs.
  • Slumber party...party of 2 that is! Rent movies (preferably a scary movie with the lights off!) & pop the popcorn. Or rent a movie you've never seen or heard of!
  • Boardgames & card games & video games--include cheap prizes
  • Show a movie outside under the stars (rent a projector & put up a sheet as your screen.)
  • Rediscover your hometown. Be a tourist! Do all of the touristy things you never thought you'd do. There are some hidden gems in even the smallest of towns!
  • Go to different spots in your city and have strangers take your picture. Make a photo album or scrapbook of the day.
  • Make breakfast together.
  • Go to the closest big city and do the touristy things there. Take silly pics while you're at it!
  • If the weather's nice, get a cheap wading pool, fashion a chaise out of pallets, and mix a drink for instant oasis.
  • Set up a little spa area--complete with a DIY pedi! Light the candles and relax. Give each other massages.
  • Or create your own beach retreat!
  • Star gaze.

Get Out
  • Relive your first date (or recreate as closely as possible).
  • Mystery date! One person plans everything. Be sure to switch off next time.
  • Do a restaurant crawl. Have a drink at one restaurant, appetizers at another, main course somewhere else, and finish with dessert at the last place. Or do it in reverse!
  • Go to a dive bar and play darts or pool.
  • Grab brunch.
  • Listen to a poetry reading or improv comedy!
  • Meet at a bar independently & flirt like you've never met.
  • Go to a free outdoor concert (or any concert).
  • Karaoke...if you dare!
  • Visit the zoo, fair, carnival, or aquarium.
  • Go to a flea market, garage sale, or antique shopping
  • Get a hotel for the night in your town! Can't afford that? Do a house-swap with friends for a night! Or stay in your guest room in your own house!
  • Roadtrip! Even if it's a ride to nowhere in particular.
  • Most museums are cheap or free once a month. Dress up & go visit!
  • Do a cocktails & canvas (or any type of class) together. Many are super cheap!
  • Volunteer together.
  • Take dance lessons--youtube, restaurants, clubs, or dance studios.
  • Universities always have student art shows. Go visit and maybe you might find something awesome--for cheap!
  • Listen to the orchestra (local or university) or watch a play.
  • There are plenty of Fall Festivals this time of year!
  • Test drive a car.
  • Grab a sweet dessert to share or a coffee.
  • Go to a store and challenge each other to find a really sweet/creative/romantic gift for $10 or $20.

Childhood Games
  • Play a boardgame, card game, video game.
  • Fly a kite.
  • Blow bubbles.
  • Go bowling.
  • Pick local produce (fruits or veggies) together. (Did y'all ever do that as a school field trip?)
  • Go hiking.
  • Fingerpaint!
  • Put together a puzzle.
  • Draw with chalk.
  • Go rollerskating/blading either outside or at the local skating rink.
  • Visit an arcade and challenge each other.
  • Have a watergun fight.
  • Play on the playground--have a picnic there, swing on the swings or chase each other around.
  • Play a sport together or take a lesson on it.
  • Into sports? Watch the kids play locally. Or support a local sports team--no matter how bad they are.
Do you have any cheap date ideas NOT listed above? Please share in the comments!
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  1. Great ideas! Slumber parties are fun, we used to do that sometimes :)

  2. I like this! :) Good list girl.

    Hope you're having a fab day.

  3. Wonderful ideas! I particularly love the idea of picnicking and camping indoors!

  4. These are such great ideas, Elle! I love them! I want to try each and every single one of them :D

  5. These are such great ideas, Elle! I love them! I want to try each and every single one of them :D

  6. Really love those ideas...I am going to use few of them for sure:)...The simplests ideas are always the best,right?

    ps: I am hosting a really cute GIVEAWAY, so please join in:) ...I bet you will like it

  7. Aw, such sweet & lovely ideas! (I've also enjoyed these myself). Recently did spontaneous kayak and bike outings, and would highly recommend :)

  8. Great ideas! I am so adding this list to my OneNote.

  9. Great ideas!!! Now I know what to reference when I'm in the search for "something to do" :)

  10. Fun post! I think making breakfast for dinner can be so intimate!

  11. these are all such great ideas. i look forward to doing many of them.

  12. Wow, you have covered them all!! This is fantastic, I'm going to use some of these *very* soon.

  13. Love these tips! Must try them with the boy sometime soon! xx

  14. You won something over at my blog :)


  15. you know, every time i think of planning a cheap date, i think, "i should really take advantage of the fact that i live six blocks from a beach and have a picnic there" - plastic cups full of wine, candles, picnic basket. i don't know why i never actually do that. i really should. :)

  16. Thanks! How lovely of you to do this list! X

  17. A fun "Kid" activity is to build a fort! then watch movies, play board games, or anything you can do in a fort.

  18. Great ideas to re-kindle the empty nest. I've been married 26 years and I recreated our Hawaiian honeymoon on our 1st anniversary with Hawaiian music, polynesian food, tropical flowers and flower lei's.

  19. My boyfriend and I did the mystery date for our first and sixth dates. He did the first, I did the sixth. Both were -huge- hits!

  20. my man and I have been together for 9 years and we love to do the going out and hitting on each-other :) we even make up different names lol

  21. Amy-great idea! Love it.

    Maya--glad you had great mysterydp dates!

    Anon--that's too cute!

  22. Something my husband and I are into that is inexpensive is geocaching. a GPS treasure hunt game.
    Also, one year for christmas he sent me on a treasure hunt for my gift where i had to go to different places (we kept it inside because we have kids) and figure out the clue. That could be changed slightly so you have to find a clue at certain places around the block or town to finally meet up together for a picnic or restaurant or whatever it might be.

  23. These are great date ideas! Dates don't have to be always dinner outs but must be fun as well. Great post you got here. Thanks for the information that you've shared with your readers. :)

  24. Saw this on Pinterest--glad I clicked! I've seen similar lists before, but never with so many ideas that sounded so fun!


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