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101 Really Cheap or Free Date Ideas

Whether you are just getting to know someone new or you have been married for 40 years, it can be hard work coming up with new and fun date ideas on a small budget. Keeping the spark alive is essential to any relationship, old or new, and it will be a whole lot easier with these budget date ideas that are either free or really really cheap!

101 cheap or free date ideas


The Importance of Dating Your Partner

Setting aside time together as a couple is essential to a healthy relationship. It means time to focus on just the two of you, regardless of work, kids, and other responsibilities if you have them.

If you are a couple that has been together for many years, it can become easy to let things like date nights slide. Especially if you have kids. So many married couples stop dating each other and this can have a negative impact on your intimacy, closeness and communication.

Going on dates is great for stress management, for helping us to feel connected and valued. Plus who doesn’t want a little extra fun and adventure in their life!!!

Staying home? Check out 15 ways to make at home date night more fun, even if it means waiting until the kids are in bed first!

Planning Budget Date Ideas

I’ve put together a mega list for you and your partner to find loads of inspiration for affordable date ideas and things to do together. You could do a few of these in one day or pick one a week.

This means 2 years of date ideas together! After all, the most important part is spending time together!! Don’t save all the romance for Valentine’s Day!

Making time to enjoy each others company as a couple is so important, even when you don’t have the funds to make it happen!

Couple on bike in love


  1. Walk on the beach
  2. Picnic in the park
  3. Movie night at home
  4. Cook dinner together
  5. Go for a hike/bushwalk
  6. Eat breakfast together watching the sunrise
  7. Play a board game – check out these must-have classic board games
  8. Horse riding
  9. Get active with a sport like a tennis
  10. Go on a road trip to somewhere new
  11. Volunteer together
  12. Bake cookies
  13. Give each other a relaxing massage
  14. Feed the ducks at a park
  15. Visit a museum that has free entry
  16. Play a computer game together
  17. Go to the markets
  18. Attend a free festival or local event
  19. Fish and chips by the water
  20. Have a moonlight picnic in your backyard
  21. Watch the sunset
  22. Go swimming at the beach or a lake
  23. Head to the art gallery
  24. Have a binge-watching marathon of a favourite TV series
  25. Teach them your favourite hobby
  26. Go out just for dessert
  27. Look through family photos and memorabilia
  28. Play a 20 questions game to get to know each other better
  29. Throw a frisbee at the park
  30. Share your favourite music and listen together
  31. Borrow a boat and head out on the water
  32. Watch a local team sport match
  33. Take a free class together
  34. Set up a scavenger hunt for your date
  35. Fly a kite
  36. Karaoke at a local bar
  37. Play card games
  38. Go geocaching in your local areas
  39. Create a meal together using only ingredients already in the house – here are some recipe ideas
  40. Take your laptop or portable DVD player and create an outdoor cinema
  41. Have fun babysitting a family or friend’s child/children
  42. Dress up and do your own photoshoot
  43. Go somewhere public and pretend to ‘pick up’ for the first time
  44. Have a super long make-out session to feel ‘young’ again
  45. Explore a nearby town or city together
  46. Build sandcastles at the beach
  47. Attend a free concert
  48. Camp in your backyard
  49. Test drive your dream car
  50. Try free samples at a foodie festival or market
  51. Attend a trivia night at a local venue
  52. Go stargazing
  53. Make your favourite food for each other
  54. Head out for a bike ride
  55. Catch a movie at the drive-in
  56. Do some people watching at the airport or shopping centre and create amusing stories about strangers
  57. Learn a new skill from a book or online tutorial
  58. If you’re lucky enough to live near somewhere that snows have a snowball fight
  59. Create a combined bucket list
  60. Go fishing
  61. Head to your nearest skating rink
  62. Have a game of ten pin bowling
  63. Or try barefoot lawn bowls
  64. Watch street performers in your city
  65. Go fruit picking at a farm
  66. Plant a veggie patch together
  67. Join a dance class
  68. Help each other do crosswords or puzzles
  69. Toast marshmallows with a bonfire
  70. Have a backyard BBQ
  71. Get soaked with a water pistol fight
  72. Grab an ice cream and enjoy each others company
  73. Head to the zoo – there are lots of free or cheap smaller animal reserves to visit
  74. Spend time planning a holiday or weekend away
  75. Watch favourite movies from your childhood
  76. Verse each other at a game of Just Dance or similar to see who has the best moves
  77. Give each other a pedicure and foot massage
  78. Have a candlelit dinner at home
  79. Explore your own city like tourists
  80. Write a song or poem together
  81. Complete a DIY project
  82. Go out dancing
  83. Check out a local comedy act
  84. Head to a winery for some free wine tasting
  85. Birdwatching
  86. Play truth or dare
  87. Take a factory or behind the scenes tour
  88. Make a mini scrapbook of your relationship so far
  89. Play darts or pool at the local pub
  90. Write a list of your favourite things about one another
  91. Play out a scene in a romantic book or movie
  92. Ride on public transport and get off somewhere interesting
  93. Race each other at the go-kart track
  94. Play mini-golf
  95. Make up exotic backstories and try and stay in character for a night
  96. Go to the planetarium
  97. Watch fireworks at a local event
  98. Walk your dogs together
  99. Do a fun run
  100. Take a photography class
  101. Have a fondue night and feed each other yummy food

There you have it, 101 free date ideas (or at least really affordable date ideas) so you can keep the passion going without worrying about the expensive costs associated with extravagant dates.

101 cheap or free date ideas

And of course, if it happens to be a special occasion, make sure you check out these DIY Valentine’s Day gifts. These simple handmade gifts can be for any special occasion… no not just Valentine’s!

Want more thrifty tips to save money? Check these out

What are your favourite free date ideas you enjoy with your partner? 


Thursday 6th of September 2018

If you are looking for something nice to do as a couple


Friday 16th of October 2015

Love this :) My husband and I have been together for eleven years this year (married for nine), and we still love to go for walks together, have candlelit dinners at home, play video games (our favourite is to do some Halo in co-op mode, but we've also played through the Monkey Island games together etc.), and make our own at-home movie nights complete with buttery popcorn and sodas! To the list I would add "write a story together" (can be silly, serious, or "adult" ;) ) and "read aloud to one another."


Monday 19th of October 2015

I love your story idea! My hubby is probably not one to do that but it would be such a laugh. And co-op Halo is the best. While we don't do that sort of thing as often now with the kids, some of our best weekends were spent having gaming or moving nights. The simple things since it's all about the company.


Thursday 9th of July 2015

Holly 6 & 21 are the same


Thursday 9th of July 2015

Lol late night writing with a newborn isn't always great.


Tuesday 7th of July 2015

Great list. I think my hubby and I have done a lot of the things on your list over the last 19 yrs.


Wednesday 8th of July 2015

That's lovely Erlene. Just shows you don't need to spurge to have fun as a couple!


Tuesday 7th of July 2015

Wonderful ideas!! I'll have to try a few (or 10!). Thanks for doing the hard part (thinking) for me! Here from Merry Monday.


Wednesday 8th of July 2015

Hope you have some lovely experiences working through the list. Making memories is the best part of being a couple :)