Love in action

25 Cheap and Free Dates

by Linda Alexander

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Fun and Frugal Dates

5 Date Nights

Being financially challenged doesn't mean your love life has to suffer. There are so many ideas for inexpensive or free ways to spend time together and they're better than expensive dinners out! With a little creativity your love life will be full - and so will your wallet.

  1. Take a walk on the beach at twilight; picnic optional.

  2. Visit your local public gardens in the spring when everything is blooming.

  3. Hike a beautiful trail and have a picnic.

  4. Walk through the center of your town during the holiday season and enjoy the store displays and lights.

  5. Pick an outdoor activity such as in-line skating, cycling, or jogging, and go with your honey.

  6. Take a scenic drive through a wooded area or country road and talk.

  7. Check with your local museum for days when admission is free. Even if you pay, it's still a relative bargain for an all day date.

  8. Enjoy free live music, share a cup of coffee, and browse new titles at your local bookstore.

  9. Go to the mall, not to shop but to people watch! Sit on a bench together and chat about the people you see. Try to figure out who they are and what they are shopping for.

  10. Cook dinner for one another. Include candles and a fancy tablecloth (or a blanket on the rug if you don't have furniture).

  11. Walk to a local fair (parking costs money) and view all the items on display. Enjoy free entertainment.

  12. Go apple picking and make a pie together.

  13. Go pumpkin picking and make a jack-o-lantern and pie together.

  14. Go strawberry picking. Melt chocolate, dip strawberries, and feed to each other.

  15. Hold a potluck with several other couples. Watch the game, play Twister, or share stories of your most embarrassing dating moments (with your former dates, of course!).

  16. Volunteer for a cause you both believe in. Work at their events and attend for free - they get help and you get a free night out.

  17. Stay in one night and feed each other in bed.

  18. Do a sexy dance for each other.

  19. Leave the kids with grandparents. Tell them you're going out to dinner, then enjoy your empty abode together, as if it were a hotel on your wedding night.

  20. Light a fire and read poetry to each other. If you don't have any, get a book from the library or write your own love poems.

  21. Go to a bar and have soda pop. Often, bartenders will give it to you on the house - tip them well.

  22. Grab a trash bag or a plastic tray and sleigh ride down a snowy hill. When you get to the bottom (or fall off your "sled"), roll around with each other in the snow.

  23. Or have a snowball fight. Then come in and enjoy hot cocoa and warm kisses.

  24. Buy a membership or a season pass to an activity you both like (your local Y, nearby theme park, community theater, state parks pass). Use it as often as you like during season for some quality together time you will both enjoy. Once it's paid for, the rest of your dates are "free."

  25. calculator iconCalculator: How much life insurance do I need?

  26. Go Christmas caroling together. If you're good, you might even collect tips!

Linda Elizabeth Alexander is a business writer and marketing consultant based in Longmont, Colorado. Contact her at

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