Dating comes with a lot of pressure, especially when finances are involved. Instead of stressing over the bill, here are a few ideas for dating within your means that are sure to impress any partner:
Picnic in the park
Making dinner at home can be fun, but sometimes you need to get out of the house. Next time the weather’s nice, suggest a picnic in the park. No need to go grocery shopping, just get creative with whatever is in your kitchen. Most parks are free and you can snack at your leisure while you people watch. You might consider bringing a deck of cards or a board game for entertainment. If you’re feeling like splurging and your park has a lake, rent a paddle boat to round out the afternoon.
Take a hike
If physical fitness is important to you, a hike is a great way to see if your partner can match your endurance. You’ll also have the satisfaction of achieving something together, which is a great way to start off any relationship. Once you get to the top of your hike, you can take a break and get to know each other before heading back down.
Hang by the pool or beach
Nothing beats a good beach date when the weather is right. Bring a Frisbee or volleyball to toss around or compete to see who can make the best sand castle. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you might bring a boogie board or sign up for a surf lesson.
If there’s no beach nearby, but you’re still craving a swim, visit a luxury hotel’s pool. Hotels often open their pools and bars to the public so you can pretend to be a guest for a fraction of the cost.
Nothing will impress your date more than knowing you like to give back to those in need. Why not make it a group activity and invite them along? Find out which causes they’re passionate about and select an opportunity based on that. Are they crazy for animals? Find a local animal sanctuary or pet adoption center to volunteer with. Are they an expert in the kitchen? Serving food at a local soup kitchen might be a match for them.
Visit a museum
Museum dates are a great way to learn more about each other’s artistic tastes. Certain museums charge for admission, but most have a few nights per month where they let visitors roam for free. Look into opening nights at smaller gallery spaces and you might luck out with free appetizers and an open bar.
Go snow sledding
Celebrate the first snow of the season with an affordable winter wonderland date. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can make your own sleds, otherwise buy one at your local general store for under $20. Other than that, all you need is an incline and a few inches of soft snow to take turns sledding down. Afterwards, warm up with a hot chocolate by the fire while you get to know each other a little more.
Take a drive and watch the season change
The turn of winter into spring and the transition from summer to fall are two of the most beautiful times of the year, but rarely do we slow down long enough to appreciate these changes. Next time you’re bored on a Sunday afternoon, fill up your gas tank and drive out into the country to take in the sights. Snap a few photos so you can capture memories.