Guest post from Micah of MicahKlug.com
It’s never easy to go on a date without busting the bank — but, this doesn’t have to be the case! You can still go on fun, creative, and exciting dates without having to empty your pockets.
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a little creativity? Whether you’re married, exclusively dating, or still searching for your sweetheart, these 10 fantastic date ideas are all under $5 — many of them are even free!
1. Dollar Theater
Many communities have a “cheap theater” where movies previously released for a couple of months are played. Matinee tickets average $2 on any given day, or $3 for post-matinee prices. This idea would be great for a Saturday afternoon (possibly combined with #8 or #9 below).
For more creativity, some dollar theaters offer “themed nights” such as “2 Dollar Tuesdays”, “Family Night Mondays”, and “Popcorn Wednesdays.” Check with your local dollar theater for more information.
2. Board Games
Do you have a favorite board game or a deck of cards? If you do, then this date idea will be free. Otherwise, you should be able to find a deck of cards at your local dollar store.
3. Outdoor Games
If weather permits, consider playing a game outside. Water balloon volleyball will require at least one more couple and bocce ball can be played with two people.
If you want to play tag or hide-and-seek (especially if you’re exclusively dating or married) give a sweet kiss whenever you’re tagged or after your sweetheart has found you.
4. Campus Events
This idea will require a little research on your part, but consider taking your date to your local university’s production. The majority of plays, concerts, comedians, and other performers have a “trial night.” These are quietly advertised (through word of mouth mainly or briefly on their website).
What is a “trial night?” A trial night is when the performer has an opportunity to practice one more time before their big opening night. This allows them to make any last minute mistakes, have a little fun with the audience, and provides an opportunity to meet-and-greet.
My husband and I attended a “trial night” for a play and the performance was wonderful! Not only was the opportunity free but we got the same great performance without the hustle and bustle of the crowds. I highly recommend asking your local performing arts department (or their students) for more information on these nights.
5. Community Events
Search your city’s website (or a neighboring city) to see what community events are currently being planned in the future. These ideas are great if there is a holiday approaching such as the 4th of July, Christmas, Easter, and any summer kick-off parties.
Most communities also offer free movies in the park during summer months. These movies tend to be family and age-appropriate (G to PG rating). Consider grabbing a couple of blankets, some snacks from home, and your date to watch one of these evening movies.
6. Ice Cream
Many fast food restaurants offer ice cream cones from $0.50 to $2… and this is a great idea in conjunction with #8 and 9!
Some larger cities have carousels you can take your date to for $2 a ride per person. If $5 is your budget, this would be a great idea in addition to another idea on this list. You can ride next to each other on two different horses, or snuggle on one of the seats they have on the ride. The choice is up to you.
Spend a date in the park playing on the swings, going down the slide. Let your inner kid come out and have some fun! If you would like to really get creative and make the park your main theme for the date, bring along a picnic basket and enjoy a lunch of sandwiches and fruit together.
9. Leisurely Stroll
Taking a walk is a great opportunity to get to know another person. It allows you time to really communicate, discuss, laugh and express yourself. If the weather permits take a stroll through the community gardens, along a lake or river, go on an easy hike, or any other place that is beautiful.
If you decide to stay inside due to weather, or if you want to watch a movie/play a board game afterward, have a cook-in with your date.
Be creative with the food that’s in your cupboards and make a meal for each other with random food you decide to use. You can always order a $5 pizza in case you still feel hungry afterward, but you’re guaranteed to get a few laughs along the way.
What are your favorite frugal date ideas?
Micah Klug, author of “50 Freezer Meals: Easy Dinners for the Busy Family” runs a lifestyle blog to help people strengthen their faith, home, and family at MicahKlug.com.