A wise woman once declared, “My love don’t cost a thing.” Coming up with fun date ideas that don’t cost money can seem like a challenge. You want to show a girl you just started dating or your girlfriend a good time, but how are you supposed to do that without pulling out your wallet?
Surprisingly, there are quite a lot of dating options that can offer you and a woman the time of your lives without costing either of you a single cent.
To help you get started on your day or night of frugal fun, I’ve compiled a list of 20 date ideas that don’t cost money. But first…
Fun Date Ideas: Things to Keep in Mind Before We Dive In
Before we get into the good stuff, let’s go over a few things.
How Serious Are You and the Woman in Question?
One of the first things to keep in mind before reviewing my list of fun date ideas is how well you know the woman in question. Is this going to be a second date or are you in a committed relationship?
If it’s a second date, you’ll most likely want to choose the options on this list that take place during the day and don’t involve going back to her or your place (save that for the third date).
If you’re already in a relationship or have crossed the threshold when it comes to spending time at your home together, feel free to choose any of the following date ideas.
How Do I Find Compelling Date Ideas That Are Also Affordable?
You may be wondering how to make a second date memorable without spending a dime. Most local tourism websites and newspapers will have a calendar of free events that are unique to your area. If you’re on social media, platforms like Facebook have local event listings as well.
Although these are fun date ideas that don’t cost money if something comes up where she wants to get a smoothie or a snack — get her the dang smoothie. There’s no need to throw an awkward wrench into the situation with a, “Well, hon, this date is actually supposed to be free” when you could just fork over five bucks.
Got it? Good. Now let’s get rolling with my list of fun date ideas.
Fun Date Idea #1: Take a Hike
Are you and your date early risers with a thing for scenic routes and nature? FANTASTIC! Like yoga, Pilates, and Fitbits, hiking has become something of a trend over the past decade. And when it comes to trends, this is a great bandwagon to jump on.
Not only is hiking free and likely to yield you some pretty #onfleek Instagram photos, there are a lot of health benefits that come with hiking a beautiful trail.
Hiking is basically walking served with a side of awesomeness and adventure. And walking offers a ton of health benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, there’s more than a few great reasons to get your walk on, including:
- Healthy weight
- Better mood
- Improved balance and coordination
An added bonus with hiking is that you’re taking in the beautiful scenery. Several studies have shown a link between experiencing nature and happiness. This increase of energy and decrease of stress can also serve you well during the date, when nerves may still be a threat.
To find some great hikes, try downloading the All Trails hiking app. My boyfriend and I have been using it for years and love it.
Fun Date Idea #2: Take a Brewery Tour
If she’s not a beer person, you can also look up wine or whiskey tastings — all have equally cool elements and are all cheap date ideas assuming you don’t take home cases of beer or wine.
Brewery tours are a fun and free way to have a drink, and also learn a bit of history. Because breweries offer you tastes of very specific types of craft beer, you’ll also be able to learn more about her tastes, and that can offer you some guidance when planning for a night out or the ever important third date.
Fun Date Idea #3: Visit a Farmer’s Market
Check out local, homegrown goodness and munch on delicious samples for free. Like the brewery tour, this is a place where you can gauge the type of cuisine your date likes and plan for dinner on that third date.
If you’re in an established relationship, this is a great way to simply get outside and have some out of this world snacks for free!
Fun Date Idea #4: Go to a Free Concert
This is one of those perfect summertime fun date ideas where you can have a rocking time without spending a cent! There’s usually a ton of free local music events going on and it’s a nice way to spend time with someone outside.
Plus, with a concert, you don’t really need to worry about lulls in conversation so much — it takes the pressure off.
Fun Date Idea #5: Try Geocaching
What’s in the box?! In case you’re unfamiliar, geocaching is a modern-day treasure hunt. By downloading the Geocache app and using your phone’s GPS, you will be led to exciting destinations in your neighborhood in order to find hidden trinkets. Visit Geocaching.com to learn more.
Fun Date Idea #6: Go to the Beach
Going to the beach is the perfect day date idea. Other than making a splash, here are some other fun and free ways to enjoy a beach day date:
- Have a picnic
- Make a DIY kite
- Have a sandcastle-building competition
- Play tic-tac-toe on the sand
- Have a water gun fight
Fun Date Idea #7: Host Your Own Free Cooking Class or Chopped Competition
If you’re at the point in dating that she’s comfortable coming to your place or vice versa, take your own cooking class or have a cooking competition for free! Check out this article for specific ideas.
Fun Date Idea #8: Have a Game Night
Whip out your Cards Against Humanity, Jenga, and other games for a fun night in. If you and your date are lacking in the game department, I recommend checking out Buzzfeed’s 13 Board Games That Are Actually Fun For Adults for inspiration.
Fun Date Idea #9: Do Karaoke
Many bars host free karaoke nights and you can also do karaoke at home. Not a good singer? EVEN BETTER!
Singing at karaoke is a great way to let loose and not take yourself too seriously. By showing a girl that you’re up for the challenge (and even risking some embarrassment) exudes confidence, which is extremely attractive.
Fun Date Idea #10: Visit a Playground
This is by far one of the weirdest day date ideas on my list, but hear me out. Playtime doesn’t end in adulthood — or at least it shouldn’t according to research and expertise cited by NPR.
Indulge in some grown-up recess by visiting a playground where you can push her on the swingset, climb monkey bars and have a picnic lunch.
Fun Date Idea #11: Volunteer at an Animal Shelter
This is intended to be a FREE date idea, but it comes with this caveat:
You are at a high (guaranteed) risk of meeting a vast amount of cuddly, snuggly, adorable animals and may want to take each and every single one of them home.
You have been warned.
Find a shelter near you here.
This is not free, but I can’t resist piggybacking off of this idea by suggesting a day date idea at a cat cafe, if you’re lucky enough to have one near you.
As far as the Bay Area goes, we’re fortunate enough to have KitTea, a cafe where you and your date can enjoy some face time with cute cats while also grabbing a tea/coffee or a bite to eat.
If you want to see if any cat cafes are currently open near you, click here.
Fun Date Idea #12: Visit a Museum
Several local museums offer free admission. Get cultural by checking out one near you!
Fun Date Idea #13: Take a Free DIY Class at Home Depot
Home Depot sometimes offers free DIY classes that give you hands-on experience kicking off a home project or making something for your home. Check out what workshops are offered near you here.
Fun Date Idea #14: Take a Virtual Vacation
Have you or she been bitten by the travel bug? Are you in need of a vacation?
Although taking an actual trip abroad will cost a pretty penny, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy planning your dream vacation together.
Fun Date Idea #15: Enjoy a Backyard Bonfire or Sunset
If you have a backyard, take in a sunset or some stargazing with some wine and snacks. This is a great way to set the mood.
Fun Date Idea #16: Watch a Fireworks Display
The Fourth of July is around the corner, as are many other summertime events. You’re bound to find a free fireworks display in your area to take a date.
I mean, honestly, is there a better way to create fireworks between the two of you than literally cozying up beneath some enchanting pyrotechnics?
Keep in mind, that you will want to do a little research before taking your date to see fireworks. Find a spot that is close enough to the event so that you can enjoy the display without being in the thick of the action. You don’t want massive crowds and screaming children (sorry, kids) to kill the mood.
Fun Date Idea #17: Take a Free Workout Class
If you and your lady are active types (or strive to be), there are several ways you can try out a free workout class to dip your toes into an exercise you haven’t tried before.
Here are some places you can often find free opportunities:
- Local gyms that offer free trials before signing up for a membership
- If you already belong to a gym, see if they have any special events going on or use a guest pass for your date
- Lulu Lemon
Fun Date Idea #18: Free Movie Night
Go to a free outdoor movie night or create your own if you have a yard and a projector. Get fancy popcorn, drinks and enjoy the show.
Fun Date Idea #19: Take a Scenic Drive and Tour Cool Neighborhoods Near You
Consider this a mini-vacation. Even when you visit a place as little as 45 minutes away, it can feel like you’re in a totally different state. Research some of the eclectic neighborhoods around you and go exploring.
Fun Date Idea #20: Play Frisbee/Volleyball/Badminton
Grab a frisbee, volleyball or badminton racket (or all THREE if you’re feeling adventurous) and enjoy some light activity. Find a cool park or go to the beach to enjoy this pastime and enjoy a picnic afterward.
Do You Live in These Cities?
Looking for fun date ideas specifically in San Francisco, New York, or Los Angeles? If so, check out these other articles:
- Over 50 San Francisco Date Ideas
- The Best Los Angeles Date Ideas
- Over 50 of the Best Date Ideas NYC Has to Offer
A Fun-Filled Dating Life Is Waiting for You
When you think about dating, is “fun” the first thing to come to mind? For many people, it’s the last thing they think about.
Looking for love can be a scary thing — trust me, I’ve been there. Fears of rejection, social anxiety, and the terrifying vulnerability of putting yourself “out there” can be enough to make anyone cancel plans and delete their dating apps before they’ve even had a chance to finish creating their profile.
But what if I told you dating didn’t have to be scary? And what if I also told you that there are strategies you can use that will make meeting tons of women a fun and exhilarating process and will also:
- Increase your self-esteem
- Make you more appealing to women
- Fill up your social calendar
- Keep you OUT of the friend-zone for good
- Guide you toward finding an amazing, high-quality girlfriend
In 2010, I found myself hopelessly single after spending years as a serial monogamist. When I was finishing my undergraduate studies at UC Berkley, I decided to take matters into my own hands by conducting a 100-date experiment. In 2012, my research findings in hand, I launched this website to help single men reach their dating goals.
Not only did my research leave me with a wealth of insight into how to be successful in the dating world, I also found a compatible, long-term partner during my experiment — and so can you!
One of the main dating strategies I used during my experiment was MegaDating. MegaDating is the process of dating several people at the same time in order to diffuse your energy and increase your self-confidence. This type of dating helps you to see that there truly are many fish in the sea, and being able to see this will:
- Lessen the pain of rejection
- Make dating partners naturally more interested in you
- Open you to new experiences
- Help you avoid settling for the mediocre
Ready to get started? Head over to my calendar and book a 1-on-1 Skype session with me today. During our intro session, we will talk about the roadblocks you have experienced in the dating world, as well as your dating goals. From there, we will create an action plan to help you achieve your goals and find a fantastic, high-value girlfriend. We’ll also determine if my 3 month coaching program is right for you.
Talk to you soon!