Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking about some date ideas! Since I had a baby in November, I’ve found it’s way more important to carve out time to spend with my husband, and yet it’s a lot harder. It’s easy to get caught up in the “It costs too much,” and “Oh, yeah, we need a babysitter!” mindset.
While it’d be ideal if money wasn’t an issue when it came to date night, for many of us, it is. I’ve found that if we put a few bucks aside during the week or plan on doing something extra cheap, then spending time together is really doable and fun. (And I really love having some time to reconnect and not think about changing diapers!)
For those of you with kids, a great way to get a night of free childcare is to trade-off with other parents. You watch their kids so they can get a night out, and they do the same for you.
Here, you’ll find 15 date ideas that you can use not only on Valentine’s Day but all year long. We’ll start with the free ones, work our way up to the $10 and under dates, and for the big spenders out there we’ll finish off with date ideas that will cost you $20 or less!
15 Date Ideas for Under $20 1 of 19
Image source: UrbaneWomenMag
6 Free Date Ideas 2 of 19
Your mind is about to be blown! Here are 6 dates that are completely free!
His and Her Massage Night 3 of 19
If you have the house to yourself, gather up your best-smelling lotions and indulge each other with a massage. Be sure to dim the lights, play soothing music, and really get into a spa-like experience.
Image source: Shiatsu Loft Berlin
Community Events 4 of 19
Whenever I hear "community events," I find myself assuming they will be really lame, but the reality is they are usually far from that! I've found that the secret is to find the right free events. Last summer, my husband and I went to this completely free, all-day concert series that was hosted by Chipotle. We even ended up getting coupons for free burritos because I volunteered to fill out a survey about the event, which we used for another night out!
Many communities offer free events throughout the week including free concerts, plays, and classes. Check through the calendar for events nearby to see what is being offered. Pick something you both enjoy, or step out of your comfort zone together to explore new opportunities. This can open the door to meeting new people and making future free/cheap date nights easy to schedule.
Image source: Anirudh Koul
Picnic in the Park 5 of 19
Sign Up to Help 6 of 19
There are likely a few organizations in your area that could use a hand. Volunteer as a couple to staff a soup kitchen, spend an afternoon building a house, or take dogs for a walk at the local animal shelter. It's fun to connect with your partner while giving back to your community.
Image source: Yersinia
Be Dancing Fools 7 of 19
Connect the Stars 8 of 19
Head to the local library, and check out a book about constellations. Lay a blanket in the yard, and see if you can identify any of the notable star patterns.
Image source: Jason Carpenter
Date Ideas for Under $10 9 of 19
From Strip Scrabble (oh la la!) to wandering the flea markets, I've got you covered. Following this slide are 5 date ideas that are all under $10!
Troll a Flea Market 10 of 19
Find a local flea market, and spend a lazy afternoon being nostalgic. Tell each other stories from childhood based on items you find. Pick up a few mementos to remember your day.
Image source: alexis mire
Dinner and a Movie 11 of 19
Skip the expensive theater, and rent the latest movie from Redbox. At only $1 per night, it's a steal. Raid the freezer for appetizers and snacks to enjoy together snuggled on the couch.
Image source: St0rmz
Hardly Boring Board Games 12 of 19
Stop off for a bottle of wine, and get competitive with your loved one. Play your favorite games but with a naughty twist. One idea is to play Strip Scrabble where one person loses an article of clothing for each word that's put down that's under 20 points.
Image source: martinak15
Act Like a Kid 13 of 19
If you want to get out of the house, get 10 bucks worth of quarters at the local arcade, and relive your younger days. Play games together to see who comes out the victor.
Image source: Justin in SD
Two-Drink Minimum Entertainment 14 of 19
Check out a local comedy room or a live band where admission is free, but there's a two drink minimum! You'll share a few laughs, and maybe even come up with a new inside joke or two that you can share.
Image source: Gulfu
Date Ideas Under $20 15 of 19
If you really want to spoil your lover, these next date ideas are for you. All of these dates still come in at under $20, so you're going to be impressing while saving, which is basically the best thing ever.
Find a Happy Hour 16 of 19
Check out the neighborhood bars for their happy hour schedule. You can get a few drinks on the cheap, or share an appetizer and a quiet table in the back. A bar here in Denver has a calendar where they pick a name for each day, and if your name is The Name of the Day you get free drinks the whole time you're there! Talk about a cheap date ...
Image source: jenny downing
Two-Spoon Desserts 17 of 19
Forget the whole dinner idea entirely (we all know dessert is the best part anyway) to save money, and head to your favorite restaurant or ice cream shop to indulge in a dessert for two.
Image source: chotda
Twilight Admissions 18 of 19
Many entertainment companies, like amusement parks and zoos, will offer a reduced rate for entry near closing time. You still get an hour or two of fun without the big price tag. Feel free to omit why you're going to the amusement park so late. It'll be our little secret.
Image source: -Meesho-
Go Gourmet 19 of 19
Find a recipe you can make from scratch with basic ingredients under the $20 mark. Work together to bring the meal to fruition and then sit down to enjoy eating it, by candlelight.
To keep the costs low, try to utilize ingredients you already own.
Image source: svacher
If you’d like even more dates ideas after you check out these ones take a look at this post on my blog: 98 Super Fun, Cheap Date Ideas.