17 Totally Free Date Ideas You’ll Actually Want To Try

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no cost date ideasAs fun as they are, date nights can get expensive. The good news is that you don’t always have to spend a lot of money to have a good time.

If you’re looking to save some cash, below are some great no cost date ideas that will let you enjoy your time together.

Going on a date is one of the best ways to spend quality time with someone. This is true whether it’s your first date with someone you’re just trying to get to know.

Or, your partner who’ve you’ve been with for a while now.

Unfortunately, going out, eating or preparing something fancy often means spending a lot for one date. That’s not something you may want to do especially if you’re trying to save money.

So, here are some ways you can enjoy your time together without spending a single dime.

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No Cost Date Ideas

Enjoy a Picnic (Indoors or Outdoors)

Picnics are fun. They let you enjoy time with one another and be creative. One of the things I love about picnics is that you can enjoy them anywhere.

Sure, the park is a great place to have them. But, the sky’s the limit when it comes to choosing your spot. It could at the top of a hill overlooking the city at night. Or, you could go somewhere you can experience the sunset.

One of the best picnics dates I’ve had was actually indoors. This is a great way to enjoy because you’re in your comfort zone, yet not exactly in it. You also get to decide where and how to decorate that area of your home.

Enjoy a Target Date

This is something I always do to get to know someone on our first or second dates. It’s what I call a Target date”. Yes, after the store.

I like Target dates because it’s one of the best ways I’ve found to get to know someone. More importantly, know if there’s some chemistry between the two of you.

Here’s why it works.

We all know what’s in Target. So, there’s really nothing new to see. That means if you can spend two or more hours just walking around the store with someone and talk about anything, you’ve got something going.

If on the other hand, you start hearing crickets just after 10 or 15 minutes, then you probably won’t have much to talk about as the relationship moves forward.

The key is finding a place that’s cheap (or free) and somewhere you can stroll for long periods at a time. It doesn’t have to be a Target store. I just happened to know I don’t really have anything to buy there for the most part.

Most importantly, it has to be a place where there’s nothing too interesting to attract your attention. This forces both of you to talk. And hopefully, in the process, get to know each other.

If you’re not bored with one another after an hour or so, you probably have something worth pursuing.

Movie Marathon

Movie marathons are great, especially thanks to Netflix (despite the fact that it keeps asking if you’re still watching). Besides Netflix, there are also lots of other ways you can stay in and enjoy a movie marathon.

The best part is you get to spend time with that special someone and not spend any money doing so.

One thing I’ve learned with movies is to find titles or genres that you both agree on. I’ve learned the hard way sitting through some movies where I just had no interest in or that scared the living crap out of me. Yup, I don’t like horror movies.

Get Lost

Getting lost in your own part of town or venturing out to another part of it another great way to spend a date for free.

It gives you a chance to see places that are close by but you’ve never visited before.

And, you’ll probably realize that there are so many hidden gems you didn’t know about that are just a few miles from where you live.

The funny thing is, we’re so used to going to the same places that you’re less likely to know the place where you live. This is especially true when compared to tourists.

I remember experiencing this when I visited New York and an old friend who lived there took me around. Surprisingly, despite living there for over 4 years at the time, he never visited the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty among many other landmarks.

Take Free Classes

Free classes are an amazing way to spend time with someone you know or are just getting to know. The key to this is figuring out the right class to join. And, which ones not to even try.

I like to draw and color, so art classes like charcoal, watercolor, and painting are fun for me. I do remember agreeing to attend a yoga class back in the day which turned out to be one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done in my life.

We did end up having a good time because of how foolish I ended up being. That said, I’ve learned my lesson.

Visit the Farmer’s Market

If you like organic food and getting to know where what you eat comes from, Farmer’s Markets are a wonderland.

You get to meet local farmers and producers as well as see a lot of new stuff. And, if it’s close to that time of the week when you need to pick up produce, you can just get them there for a good deal.

I love Farmer’s Markets because you always see something new. And, many of the stalls will offer free samples. I especially like that they have artisan cheeses and other foods that you don’t often see in supermarkets.

Go to A Free Night At A Local Museum

Regular museum hours aren’t cheap. They’re not Disneyland expensive but they do cost a bit, especially if you’ve visited the museum before.

The good news is that most museums have free nights. This lets your explorer all the different sections with your date.

Museums are great for taking your date to because there’s always something you can learn.


Volunteering is another thing I enjoy doing. It’s great to be able to help the community in any small way you can.

The best part about volunteering is that there are so many different ways you can do this.

For me, I enjoy helping out at food kitchens. It’s a lot of work. But, it’s very fulfilling.

I also accidentally realized that it’s a great way to get to know what kind of person you’re dating. For me, someone who treats everyone the same way whether they’re wealthy or impoverished tells me a lot about them.

Volunteering is a quick litmus test that can reveal peoples’ true colors.

Take a Hike

Going out for a hike is something we all probably need to do more of. Unfortunately, depending on where you live, it may not be easy to do or even practical.

Hiking lets you spend alone time with your date. It’s free and you can explore different areas.

Not only do you get some exercise in, but you also get to take in nature along the way.

Do Some Karaoke at Home

If you like to sing, why not enjoy some karaoke at home. Singing is an amazing way of letting loose. It had also been shown to help you relax.

The best part about it is, it’s very easy to enjoy karaoke nights at home. You can likewise look for your favorite tunes in their karaoke versions on YouTube.

Or, if you’re a bit more serious about it, pick up one of those inexpensive karaoke microphones.

Go to The Park and Join in Free Tai Chi or Yoga Sessions

This idea is perfect for a morning or afternoon date. Although, it’s probably not a good option for date nights. That’s because there aren’t going to be any people around.

Depending on where you live, there may even be free formal classes that take place every day.

I’m not a yoga fan, simply because I suck at it. Although the one class I did was a bit more advanced because of my date. Maybe if I attended a beginner class, I may have learned to like it.

In any case, I do love tai chi. It’s very soothing and you don’t necessarily have to be as limber to do it as yoga.

Find A Free Concert

Free concerts, especially during the summer, are fun. You get a chance to work on your tan while listening to music at the park.

Best of all, they don’t cost a thing. Plus, you get to enjoy time with your date with live background music entertainment. What’s better than that?

Watch Free Plays in the Park

If you like theater, then try to check out what free plays are running in your park. It’s a good way to spend an afternoon while soaking in some culture.

I for one, am not a fan of plays or theater. Probably because I’m not cultured enough.

But, I do know that watching a play with someone you like, easily makes up for it.

Enjoy a Game Night

When we were kids, game nights happened so often that we took them for granted. Unfortunately, as grownups, we’re often too to even spend the time to do so.

Game nights are usually fun when you have a lot of people around. But, there’s no reason that it can’t work for date night as well.

The key here is to figure out what games to play that’s both fun and entertaining.

Visit the Beach

On lazy weekends, spending an afternoon on the beach is a great way to get away from daily life. The beach lets you play, swim and enjoy one another’s company without having any distractions.

If you like spending more quality time, it’s a good idea to choose a beach that isn’t too crowded. This gives you privacy and less noise to deal with.

Go Camping in Your Backyard

Love to stay outdoors at night but don’t like dealing with all the preparation and mosquitoes of real-life camping?

How about doing it your own backyard?

You can start your own fire, grill up some home cooking and watch the stars while you talk. That’s as romantic as you can get.

Plus, you get rid of all the risks and hassles or wilderness camping.

Play Sports

If you like sports, going out for a game is a great way to get to know your date. It lets your competitive juices flow.

Basketball, tennis, and frisbee are just some free sports you can enjoy at almost any park or recreation center. You and your date can play one on one or join others with teams.

What’s great about sports is you get to meet new people.

The thing about games and sports is that they can surprise you. One example was playing Bocce in Brooklyn near where my friend lived was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done in my life. Before that, I never even heard of the game, much less know how it was played.

All in all, the game was slow yet fun, much like bowling to a degree. But, the best part about it was all the trash talking the old timers there did. That made me quickly feel at home with them, even if I had just met them.

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