April 18, 2012

The Art of Dating: 100 Cheap/Free Dates

This is an update/repost from a piece that I wrote almost a year ago when Nine to Phive was just a baby blog. It has then grown exponentially since Josh and I have found ourselves living in a small Spanish city with little to do and even less money to do it with. Let's just say we've had to get creative . . .

And we have! The wheels in my head haven't stopped a-turnin' since arriving in Avila with my sweetheart whom I hope to never stop dating as long as I live

I now present as our gift to you a true treasure, our list of 100 Cheap and Free Dates. Please note that those date ideas marked with an asterisk (*)  are dates Josh and I have tried. Ones marked with two are the dates that we absolutely loved and continue to do every now and then. 

We will still have so many great dates to try when we get back the the States!


  1. See who can come up with the best dinner out for under ten dollars**
  2. Make a craft project. Try a collage, mobile, or holiday decoration*
  3. Attend an auction* 
  4. Rent a video, pop some popcorn, grab a blanket . . .** Like going to the movies only you can talk and cuddle!
  5. Prepare a formal dinner at home, candles and everything** 
  6. Make and fly a kite. Bringing out the inner child can show a lot about a person. 
  7. Plant a tree or garden*
  8. If (and only if ) you are both of age, mix up creative cocktails at home instead of springing to go out for drinks
  9. Attend a local school sporting event.*  
  10. Cook a fancy foreign dessert together**
  11. Go horseback riding 
  12. Make chalk drawings on the sidewalk. Maybe play hopscotch.**
  13. Pick strawberries or other fruits and eat them with cream**
  14. Roller-skate, ice-skate, or bowl*
  15. Create a mini golf course in the backyard and play through it
  16. Go tubing, sailing, or canoeing**
  17. Organize a treasure hunt
  18. Interested in photography, salsa dancing, Italian cuisine, or something else? Take a class together.
  19. Do a long overdue  project around the house.* Repaint, install a new shelf, use your imagination.
  20. Make a bonfire and roast marshmallows*
  21. Order Chinese takeout (or sushi) complete with chopsticks* 
  22. See a high school or community play**
  23. Eat a picnic outside or even at home on your bedroom floor*
  24. Have a traditional teatime with a unique flavor of tea and scones or cookies**
  25. Visit an outdoor market or festival with street performers and food carts**

  1. Dance. At a party. At a club. At home with the radio turned up. Whatever.**
  2. Go to a park and bird-watch, play tag, dodge sprinklers, play in the grass . . .**  
  3. Visit a cemetery to look for funny epitaphs or do rubbings of old headstones
  4. Do photo shoots of each other**
  5. Fish using borrowed equipment
  6. Go window shopping in a classy neighborhood*
  7. Take a moonlit walk** 
  8. Many museums and art galleries have free admission after hours.** Check it out.
  9. Watch the sunrise and eat breakfast together on a weekday.** I recommend smoothies. 
  10. Go to a pet store and hold a puppy 
  11. Play computer or video games at his house** 
  12. Raid your attic or basement for long-lost memories*
  13. Take a drive to a place with a great view**
  14. Visit an old bookstore or library and see who can find the strangest book* 
  15. Tour a historic site in your area** 
  16. Learn the rules to an obscure card game**
  17. Visit a relative or friend you haven't seen in awhile*
  18. Have your own ping pong or air hockey tournament** 
  19. Write a poem, short story, or musical piece either together or for each other**
  20. Get a blanket and some bugspray and gaze at the stars**
  21. Watch a parade or look at Christmas lights depending on the season**
  22. Challenge his or her parents to a board game** 
  23. Play charades**
  24. Sneak into a hotel pool or hot tub
  25. Give each other massages**
  26. Go for a jog**
  27. Make a scrapbook with pictures of the two of you*
  28. Play "Name That Movie" or "Name That Song" 
  29. Read and discuss a book, article, or the comics*
  30. Brainstorm for solutions to a world problem** 
  31. Watch TV. Game shows, mysteries, and comedies are always fun.* 
  32. Wash a car on a hot day* 
  33. Play the dictionary game with friends or family** 
  34. Go swimming at a pond, lake, or public pool** 
  35. Make up 'Mad Libs'*
  36. Volunteer at a church, soup kitchen, or homeless shelter**
  37. Hunt for rocks, toadstools, arrowheads, etc. 
  38. Hike or backpack on a nature trail
  39. Get out your camcorder and tape a homemade short film to post on YouTube** 
  40. Play the Price is Right in a supermarket
  41. Go shopping for new threads for him*
  42. Talk about your favorite boy and girl names.** Probably only for pretty serious couples ;-)
  43. Visit a local farm 
  44. If you are both in school, study together at a cafe**
  45. Go for a bike ride.** Super romantic if you can get your hands on a two-seater!
  46. Practice sports skills*
  47. Learn tricks on a trampoline*
  48. Attend an outdoor movie.** Especially if you are in college, these are often free.
  49. Play ultimate frisbee*
  50. Visit a lake and throw bread to the ducks and geese**
  51. Have a grass, pillow, water, or snow fight*
  52. Put a jigsaw puzzle together
  53. Teach each other something new.** Can you play the ukelele or sink a slam dunk? Share!
  54. Tell ghost stories in the dark* 
  55. Write public confessions of love in sidewalk chalk
  56. Go to an open house in a fancy community
  57. Play hide-and-seek*
  58. Play at a playground and ignore the stares.** But don't ignore the kids. You might trip on them.
  59. See who can make the best design for a paper airplane* 
  60. Climb a tree and read together 
  61. Interview each other with silly questions and videotape it to watch later
  62. Test-drive a sports car
  63. Visit shut-ins or hospital patients*
  64. Spend a day at the beach
  65. Hitchhike or couchsurf**
  66. Cuddle by a fireplace and tell stories about favorite memories
  67. Practice saying romantic phrases in a foreign language**
  68. Babysit your friends' kids for an evening.* Surprisingly fun to do as a couple.
  69. Draw portraits of each other
  70. Walk a dog and maybe teach it some tricks. Borrow a friend's if you don't have one!
  71. Volunteer together as models at a beauty, hair, or art school for a free pampering*
  72. Play Truth or Dare*
  73. Visit a costume store and try on their wares for major laughs
  74. Have a YouTube party.** "You have to see this one!" "No, you have to see this one!"
  75. Write a bucket list together**


  1. what a great post!!!
    good blog,keep posting!
    let's follow each other?

  2. I like this post!! I am actually going to bookmark this post for future reference - I especially like the park idea!

    1. Thanks! Yeah, you can kill so much time in a nice park and not even notice!

  3. Loved this one! So many great ideas! Thanks!

  4. These are great date ideas! Dates don't have to be always dinner outs but must be fun as well. Great post you got here. Thanks for the information that you've shared with your readers. :)


Thanks for your thoughts!