33 FREE or Inexpensive Date Ideas

Believe me, I know how hard it is to get out on the town with your husband once the little ones come along. Not only is your time limited, but so is your wallet! But it’s very important to nourish your relationship with your spouse, SO MAKE TIME! And if scrounging up enough money is a challenge (as it is for many of us), here are some free or very inexpensive date ideas:

1. Thrift Shop Date . Go to a local thrift shop, and allot a small amount of money for each of you to spend. Then split up, being sure to avoid each other, and find something to buy for each other with the money you have. It could be something silly, meaningful, or something you think the other person would really like. When you are finished shopping exchange your gifts somewhere else.

Some fun alternatives

  • Try to find something that describes how you feel about your spouse (i.e. a candle – “you light up my life”, etc.)
  • Search for something silly that your spouse has to wear in a public place for the rest of the date.

2. Volunteer Together . Help serve at a homeless shelter, or find some other way to volunteer together in your community. You will have a lot to talk about on your way home. Your local newspaper or it’s website may have a list of volunteering opportunities in your area.

3. Popcorn and A Movie. Utilize your local library and borrow movies for free. Or, check out your local Redbox Kiosk, and rent a movie for $1 a night (plus, sign up here and get a free rental). Pop some popcorn, pour some soda, turn off the lights and enjoy!

4. Mad Lib Movie Night . If you can’t seem to find a good movie to watch (it seems like there are fewer and fewer family-friendly movies out there today), do not despair, there’s still fun to be had! Find a movie you’ve seen a billion times, pop it in, then hit the mute button . Take turns speaking for the characters in the movie, making up your own story line. Have fun, and be creative. This can get pretty hilarious!!

5. Coin Flip Date . Go to a historical part of town, or into the city where there are lots of little shops. Start on a corner and flip a coin. “Heads” walk right, “Tails” walk left. Go wherever the coin leads, with no plan at all. Have fun window shopping and sight-seeing. Learn more about each other by the types of stores and places that interest your partner.

6. Guessing Game Date . Before your evening out, go take pictures of places to go, or things to do on your date: picnic, restaurant, sport or activity. Get the pictures developed and seal them individually in separate envelopes. (You could also try to find pictures of these places in magazines- or even online- to cut out, instead of getting photos printed). At the beginning of the date, let your spouse pick one of the envelopes, and go wherever the picture is of. Continue opening the envelopes one by one. Let the pictures lead you through your night!

7. Follow Them Date . Go to a busy public place. Pick one person to follow, and go wherever they go. Once you can’t follow that person any more, pick another person to follow. You’re sure to have lots of laughs trying to be discreet while keeping up with your random guides!

8. An evening picnic . Find a quiet place to go, maybe a flower covered field, a sandy beach, or an empty park. Pack a simple snack; sparkling grape juice, cheese, fruit, chocolates. Bring along a portable CD player with some soft music to relax to, and a cozy blanket to lay on. Also bring along some candles and matches. Sit, enjoying your time with each other. Feed each other snacks. Share your thoughts, your dreams. And when the sun drops low, and the stars come out, light the candles and cuddle in each other’s arms. You may find yourself drawn to one another like when you were first dating.

9. Play Together . Playing a sport together is good exercise, and lots of fun (just don’t get too competitive)! Fun ideas: Tennis, Soccer, Basketball, Frisbee, or tossing around a Football. If you don’t own any sports equipment, see if you could borrow from somebody.

10. Kids Play. Just because you are adults now, doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun together at the park. Race each other down the slide, play tag, or make-believe. See who can swing the highest, or jump off the farthest. Laugh, and talk about what you liked to do when you were little kids. This is a great way to get to know more about each other. But please make sure there are no kids there when you go!

11. Enjoy Nature . If you live near the mountains, go for a hike, rock climbing, splashing in a creek, or just exploring. If you live in the city, find a nature trail to walk together, or ride bikes. If you are lucky enough to live near the ocean, take a walk along the beach, hunting for seashells or something.

12. Board Games . Break out the dusty old games in your closet and play together! (Do try to let your husband win occasionally though!)

13. Climb A Building. (I have a hilarious story to go along with this, but I don’t think I’ll go there.) Go to the top of a building in the city on a clear night and look out at all of the beautiful lights. Hint: Go to a tall hotel and see if you can find a way out onto the roof. *grin*

14. Acting Out . Spend the whole evening out together acting like characters from a play, book, or movie that you both enjoy.

15. Find A Nearby Ghost Town. Learn a little of the history of the place. See if you can find any relics or treasures in the dirt.

16. Camping. Even if it’s just in your backyard, this is fun to do! If you don’t have a tent, see if you can find one to borrow. Pack pillows, blankets, music…whatever. If possible, build a bonfire and roast marshmallows.

17. Spontaneous Generosity . This is an interesting idea. Give yourselves a few one dollar bills ($5 or something), walk down a busy street and randomly hand out the bills. Entertain yourselves with the stranger’s reactions of protest or thanks, and be a blessing to someone in the process!

18. Fly Kites. If you don’t have a kite, make one together!! Then go have fun seeing if you can get the kite to fly, or see whose flies the best!

19. Free Local Events . Look in your local paper, or on it’s website in the entertainment section for free events to attend. In the summer time especially there is usually a lot going on.

20. Be Strangers . Show up separately to a public place. Pretend that you’ve never met. At first you go your own ways, but after a while you start to notice each other. Make eye contact, smile, flirt. Act like you would if you were first meeting. You’ll have a blast!

21. Kidnapping . Blind fold your date and take them to an undisclosed location. No peeking! Have a fun event planned for the two of you. A good one is to have a tent all set up somewhere private, and once you’ve kidnapped your spouse and driven to your destination, lead them through the woods still blindfolded, until you reach the camp site. They will have no idea what you are up to!

22. Bookstore Date . If you love to read, this is a great date for you! Peruse books together. Sit down and read comic books or look at pictures from around the world. Get a coffee or latte at the coffee shop. Often bookstores host live folk music, poetry readings, and lectures all for free. I know Master’s Loft have a variety of activities – if you have one in your area you should check them out.

23. College Events . Often colleges have free events you can attend such as lectures, music recitals, art exhibits, and even plays.

24. Truth or Dare . It doesn’t really matter where you go for this date. The fun is in the game!

25. Letter Hunt . For your date, take a camera with you. Go into town, or somewhere where there is a lot of architectural interest. Try to find architectural features that look like letters. See how many pictures of different letters you can find. You can try to find letters to spell out a specific word, or see what letters you find and try to make a word out of them. This project may take a few dates to find lots of letters. When you have taken all of the pictures you want, get them developed in black and white, and frame them spelling out your word, as a reminder of your fun time together.

26. Memory Album: Take crazy pictures together at random places throughout the day. Get the pictures developed at a 1 hr. photo, and go home and make a memory album of the day, to forever remember the fun you had together.

27. Indoor Picnic . If it’s gloomy outside, be creative! Make a nice indoor picnic for you and hubby to enjoy!

28. Lake Date . If you live nearby a lake, take some bread and go feed the ducks. Or, if you have fishing poles, go fishing if it’s free.

29. Visit a Museum . Sometimes Museums have specials when they offer low cost, or free admissions, especially during certain holidays. Check out your local museum’s website, or give them a call, to see what they may have to offer.

30. Arcade . Give yourselves a few dollars to blow on arcade games. You’ll have lots of fun, and $5 worth of quarters may last longer than you think! Hint: Chuck E Cheese is only $.25 per game! And often their website has printable coupons for free tokens with food purchase. Win lots of tickets and buy each other a prize at the end of your date.

31. Watch a Sunset . Go up on your roof, drive to an open field and sit on the trunk of your car, find somewhere to go and watch a beautiful sunset together.

32. Explore A Local Flea Market . Walk around together, browsing and admiring crafts. You may even stumble upon a great deal!

33. Ice Cream Date . Go out together for ice cream. Share a sundae, or find a coupon for B1G1 Free treats!!

Well, I hope these suggestions have inspired you to get out and have some fun with your honey. I sure am ready to get out of the house and enjoy some one on one time with my sweetheart!

About Kendra 1103 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.


  1. neat post…lots of great ideas. One thing I like to do with DH is go grocery shopping. Silly, huh? Well, with 4 kids 10 and under time alon with DH is rare. We like to have grandma baby sit while we go out for a quick bite to eat (with a coupon of course) and pick up groceries. We can walk up and down the aisles looking to our hearts content with out the little ones going crazy. Talk about multi-tasking 😉

  2. This list is great! It’s so ironic becuase I was actually going to research free or inexpensive date ideas and I came upon this by mistake. I’m very excited to share these with my husband! Thank you so much.

  3. I love #21 with the tent. Maybe I’ll print it out and leave it laying around for my husband to find. Wait, that’s right, subtle never works. Maybe I’ll hand it to him and say, you should do this sometime! And #4 sounds like fun too. Great list!

  4. I love these ideas. I am so glad you stopped by my blog and shared with me your site. I really am going to try some of these out. I wish my husband would read Twilight because it would be totally fun to do “Acting Out ” and he play edward. I know, it sounds so childish, but man, does it sound fun and sexy!

  5. Thanks! I was looking for something new and creative to do with my hubby for Valentine’s Day. These ideas are great. Now, how do I choose? 😉

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