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Ten Inexpensive Date Ideas

So many activities have gotten so expensive that it can put a crimp in dating plans. This is especially true if you have children and have to work out babysitting when you go on a date. But there are places you can go, and activities you can participate in, that will make for fun but inexpensive dates. Here are 10 of those inexpensive date ideas.

1. A picnic

A picnic in the park, nature preserve, or scenic location can offer it all – good company, good food, beautiful scenery and a low-pressure atmosphere that can keep things cozy.

You can pack your lunch from home, or buy an inexpensive meal out, and maybe even bring a bottle of wine. You can take the best time of the day to do it – lunch time, dinner time or early evening. It’s a really nice outing on summer evenings, but at any time in spring or fall.

2. A movie matinee

Movies are probably the most traditional date, but they have gotten a little expensive in recent years. You can lower the price by attending an afternoon matinee. Admission is usually a few dollars less per person, you can usually save a little bit of money on concessions by buying a combination package.

Follow it up with a picnic in the park (rather than a restaurant dinner), or some window shopping at local downtown area, to make for a full day

3. Free concerts/movies

Many communities and universities offer free movies or concerts. Check with the universities and communities in your area to see when these events are being held. You can usually bring your own drinks and snacks, and sometimes even a picnic lunch or dinner.

4. A day at the beach

In many areas local beach access is free. You can spend a day at the beach, bring a picnic lunch or dinner, and swim, play frisbee or just walk along the beach until sunset.

5. Dinner and a movie at home

Netflix and Red Box have made movie rentals super cheap. You can combine movie night at home with a special dinner – you know, the kind you really fuss over. Make a dinner that’s a real specialty, or with a completely new recipe. Add a bottle of wine with dinner, and a bowl of hot popcorn during the movie, and it will be the at-home equivalent of dinner and a movie out, but at a fraction of the price.

6. Window shopping at Christmas

The holidays offer more opportunities for inexpensive dates. You can go to nearly any downtown area or mall, and not only will there be beautiful decorations and holiday music, but the streets and stores will be teeming with life. It probably won’t be hard to find a free concert here and there too. Add some hot chocolate and cookies, and you’ll hardly notice that you’re on a frugal date.

7. Hiking or biking at a park

Physical activity is one of the best antidotes to spending a lot of money. A trip to a local park for some hiking and biking, and it will be you, your partner and nature, with no place to spend money.

The company, the physical exertion and the natural surroundings will be all that you will need to have a good time.

8. Dessert (instead of dinner) out

Going out for dessert at the end of a date is a lot less expensive than going to a restaurant for dinner. You can combine going out for dessert with other low-cost activities, such as window shopping, a free concert, or a picnic in the park.

9. Museums and art galleries – followed by dessert coffee

Museums and art galleries are usually free for admission (or a very small fee) and this is a definite option if you live in a community that has either or both. You can combine a couple of hours in a museum or art gallery with dessert coffee at your favorite coffee house later. That might make you both feel like art connoisseurs, at least for an evening.

10. Karaoke at home

There are bars you can head out to that offer karaoke, but not everyone is willing to embarrass themselves in public. Doing karaoke at home offers you both a chance to let loose and have fun.

Pick some favorite old songs, maybe some from your childhood, to make it really fun. Afterwards, head out for dessert or for coffee at Starbucks for some downtime to close out the evening.

Any of these activities can be an inexpensive day, but you can also combine two or three and make a full day or a full night of it.

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