14 Cheap Romantic Date Ideas

Romance Doesn't Have to Mean Expensive

If you are like most couples, you love romance. The problem is that date nights tend to get expensive. When you’re in the middle of saving for a down payment, a baby, or paying off your student loans, you might not think you have the money for a date night, but these 20 romantic and cheap date ideas focus on reconnecting with your partner so you can keep that spark—and your savings—alive.

Go for a Hike

Man reaching for arm of woman hiking in canyon
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If you and your partner love nature, going for a hike together can be a relaxing—or challenging, depending on the trail you take—experience.

Hikes that include waterfalls or scenic overlooks can be the most romantic, but like walking, just getting out together can be enough. Stop and admire the beauty of nature and leave the electronics behind.

Most hikes can be had for free, but if you want to have a better chance at a clean path, look to state parks, which often charge only for parking.

Get in Touch With Your Creative Side

Hope you are a prince!
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While date nights fall by the wayside as life gets busier, so does getting in touch with your creative side. When is the last time you painted, drew, or colored something?

Introduce some playfulness into your life by getting your partner in on the fun. Buy an adult coloring book and pick an illustration to color. Have fun drawing cartoon versions of yourselves together. Pick one of your favorite pictures together and paint it.

Have a Picnic in the Park

Couple carrying picnic hamper on coastal path.
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This is a tried-and-true romantic date idea that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Make food at home and bring some snacks and beverages. Take a blanket or some chairs and go to your local park for lunch. Spend a few hours talking, enjoying the food, and people-watching.

Reconnect Over Your Future

Couple sailing on sunny ocean
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Has it been awhile since you and your partner discussed future goals and desires? While neglecting date nights is one thing, not having a clear direction on where the two of you are headed with another.

Talk about it over some beer or wine and make a financial plan that gets you both on the same page again. In a time when everyone is too busy and their schedules are packed, it’s important to reconnect on a regular basis to make sure you and your partner are happy.

Take a Scenic Drive

Caucasian couple driving convertible under blue sky
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If hiking isn’t your thing, taking a scenic drive can be the next best option. Scenic drives may differ with each season. Almost anything is scenic during autumn if you’re lucky enough to live in an area where the leaves change colors, and most highways near coasts are beautiful in the spring and summer. During the holidays, it can be fun to go for a drive to see houses lit up.

Drive Down Memory Lane Instead

Man holding a photo
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Didn’t find anything especially scenic around you? Take a drive down memory lane instead. Go back the furthest you can. If you live in the same place where you started dating, you might have a long trip ahead of you.

The point is to drive to places that hold special memories for each of you and reminisce about the past. Maybe it’s where you had your first kiss, where your proposal took place, or where your first apartment together was. Craft a timeline of events and places and go visit them.

Have a Fun Photoshoot

young couple taking a picture of themselves
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Smartphones come equipped with fairly decent cameras, so you shouldn’t need any extra equipment for this other than an optional tripod or selfie-stick. This could pair nicely with a drive down memory lane or park scenery. You also can have a fun double date with another couple and take pictures of each other.

Go on a Day Trip

Couple watching the sunset in a convertible car.
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If you live close to a major city or some nice attractions, you easily can take a day trip for the cost of gas if you bring your own food. Scout out some areas nearby or run a search on Google to see what fun things are around. Maybe you can take a hike or enjoy a day at the beach, a day in a neighboring city, or ride bicycles around.

Go to a Museum

People admiring art in gallery
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Are you and your partner history buffs, or do you just enjoy learning more about your local area? You can choose the price of admission at a lot of museums, or you might be able to go for free on a certain day of the month.

Not all museums need to be grand buildings, either. You might run across educational centers in parks or other tourist attractions in your town that offer a bit of insight into its past. If you or your partner are students, you might be eligible for a student discount if you have your student ID on you.

Reminisce Over Old Photos

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Do either of you have pictures from when you were much younger? Get them out of storage or borrow them from a relative and have fun going through them. This is a great sentimental way of sharing your pre-relationship life with each other. Once you’re done with that, move onto reminiscing over old photos taken of the two of you together.

Grab Dessert, Tea, or Coffee

Couple having breakfast.
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Dessert, tea, or coffee is often much cheaper than going out to get a full meal. Plus, if you’re willing to splurge just a little, you can try new flavors or specialties you normally wouldn’t bother with. Intimate coffee and tea shops or bakeries make for great low-key dates as they are suited to close proximity and quiet conversation.

Go to the Zoo

I think she likes me
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Going to a zoo might be a little more interesting than a museum, especially if it includes exotic animals. The price of admission varies greatly, but many larger cities have small zoos that might be free or cost less than $30 a couple. Just make sure to pack your own snacks as anything purchased in a zoo is usually pricey.

Visit a Botanical Garden

Couple walking through botanical garden looking at view
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Botanical gardens are usually set in picturesque locations that lend themselves well to a romantic day or evening. Some are even free, though they might offer a tour or admission to a historical landmark on-site for a few dollars.

If All Else Fails, Look on Groupon

Cheerful couple using laptop at home
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It might sound uninspired, but if you’re tired of trying to find interesting date ideas, let someone else do the work for you. That someone else can be Groupon, a site where you can find deals on adventures that you haven’t thought about like horseback riding, bungee jumping, medieval times, or rock climbing.