My thoughts on this are, instead of dropping a ton of money on a date, why not try and scope out free dates? In my experience, the free dates tend to be the most fun and most memorable of them all. It just takes a little thought and creativity. Below are some of my favorite free dates.
The Best Free Dates
Going on a date is supposed to be a fun experience. Why worry about going over budget or spending too much (or too little) when you can go on a completely free date? Here are 20 free date ideas I’ve discovered in my hometown:
- Walk the greenways. In Charlotte (where I live), there are a number of greenways you can walk. In fact, they are located all over the city. If you have trails or something like this near you it can present a great opportunity to chat and enjoy the outdoors. (I wouldn’t do this as a first date though.)
- Trivia night. Many bars throughout the United States have trivia nights. You don’t have to spend anything (though you’ll likely get a beer) and you can have a ton of fun testing each other’s knowledge.
- Picnic in the park. Picnics have always been cute free dates. All you’ll have to spend money on is food and, if you’ve already got everything to make a sandwich at home, you have nothing to worry about!
- Take a brewery/winery tour. In my city there are a number of local breweries and wineries that offer free tours. Check your local brewery/winery to see if they offer the same thing!
- Tour a museum. The majority of museums have a free entry day during the week (some are free all the time).
- Visit a local park or lake. Luckily, Charlotte is extremely close to a plethora of gorgeous parks and two great lakes. If that’s the case for you as well you have a beautiful opportunity for a free date.
- Karaoke. Though it may cost you some dignity, singing karaoke is always free (though the booze to help you work up the courage to sing won’t be).
- Watch planes take off. At Charlotte-Douglas airport you can watch airplanes take off from a viewing pad. If your local airport has the same thing you can bring your date there for free and watch the planes. (I would bring some music and headphones too.)
- Head to the beach. Okay, this isn’t totally free but what I do at the beach is. Charlotte is only about 3 hours from the beach and once you get there you and your date can picnic, play in the sand, swim and soak up some sun for free.
- Go to an open mic night. Coffee shops, bars and many other establishments hold open mic nights and they are free. Check one out.
- Do an art crawl. Charlotte has a huge arts community. There are two separate neighborhoods that have gallery crawls that are offered for free and it is a great way to get to know someone.
- Scope out free food events. Another great thing about Charlotte is that there are a plethora of free events all the time. You can download an app, like Eventbrite, to keep up to date on all the events in your area (free and otherwise).
- Search for free live music. Free live music is another thing Charlotte does not have a shortage of. You can find free music just about anywhere in the city, especially on the weekends.
- Be childish. One of the best dates I’ve been on involved creating a homemade Slip-N-Slide. Seriously, just be a little creative and don’t be afraid to be silly.
- Go geocaching. Where free dates are concerned, geocaching is one of the most interesting. You can download an app, find geos and check in/move them. It’s a great way to walk around, talk and get to know someone.
- Hold a game night (great for double dates). If you have another couple you’re friends with invite everyone over for a game night. Play games you’ve already purchased and ask your friends to bring some as well. Make it a BYOB and bring-your-own-snack to cut costs even more.
- Get dressed up and go to expensive open houses. I’ve done this and it is a great time. You can chat about what you’d do with the house, etc. and even pretend you’re interested in buying.
- Movie marathon. This one is great for rainy days. My favorite thing to do is to pick a series of films (like “Rocky” or “Lord of the Rings”) or a television series and binge watch it for the day. All you’ll need is what you want to watch, blankets/pillows and snacks.
- Volunteer together. This is another great free date and its fulfilling as well.
- Do something crafty/fun. If you’re crafty and have some extra materials lying around, why not put them to good use for a date?
You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to impress someone. To me, the best dates in life are free.
Do you have any free or cheap date ideas? Share them with us in the comments.
Photo: Wyatt Fisher