My latest post on University Chic is a list of ideas for cheap dates that are both fun and romantic. Being a “cheap date” has a bad connotation, but let’s be realistic: when you’re in college, you’re often limited on funds. It puts a lot of pressure on guys to pay up for pricey dates, so ease his wallet’s pain and suggest doing something that’s budget-friendly.
15 Date Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank
1. Take a bike ride together. Pack a picnic and hit a bike trail with your honey. Peddle your way to a nearby attraction — like a park or beach — or just enjoy scooting around town. Take a break to eat… and steal some trailside kisses.
2. Hit some balls at the batting cages! You don’t have to be Babe Ruth to make bat-to-ball contact — batting cages are fun for everyone. If you’re clueless about baseball, it’s a good excuse to ask your date for some help… which usually leads to some close contact.
3. Get wet and wild. Summer is H-O-T, so what better time to hit the water with your beau? Go to your local pool, hit up the beach, or set up a sprinkler or slip-and-slide in your backyard!
4. Browse some books. Grab some coffee to go and head to a bookstore or library. Browse the books together, pick out interesting or silly reads, and share passages with one another. Bonus points to the one who can stifle their laughter as you read trashy romance novels aloud.
5. Get cultured at museums and art galleries. Many offer free days or discounts for students. Escape the heat or summer rain with a date at a local museum or by attending an event at an art gallery.
6. Work your muscles: Playing sports and exercising together is free! Go for a run together, play tennis, shoot some hoops one-on-one, play catch in the park or head to your college’s gym for a workout.
7. Go to a drive-in movie! Drive-in theaters are usually less expensive than the Cineplex and a drive-in’s novelty makes for a unique and romantic setting. Pack some snacks and a blanket for the show.
8. Volunteer together. Do some good on your date: Volunteer at an animal shelter, work with Habitat for Humanity, or help with Special Olympics. The options are endless! Volunteering can be fun (Check out University Chic’s picks for places to volunteer) and rewarding.
9. Tour a brewery or winery. Visit a picturesque winery for a free or inexpensive wine tasting (this isn’t limited to people in Napa — there are wineries all over the country!) or take a tour of a local brewery. Tours are usually free and sometimes include a free beer at the end! People under 21 can usually go on brewery tours too, but they don’t get to sample the goods.
10. Go to an outdoor concert. In the summertime, you can usually find free outdoor concerts, especially in big cities or at fairs and festivals. Bond over a mutual favorite or check out a band neither of you has heard of to discover something new!
11. Play some games. They’re not just for kids! Go to an arcade and challenge each other to some friendly competition. Or have a game night at your place with your favorite board or card games.
12. Root for a minor league baseball team. Tickets for a major league baseball game can be pricey (not to mention the gastronomical cost of food and drinks) but minor league games are a different story. Tickets are usually pretty cheap and the food prices are much less than at a big ballpark. Batter up!
13. Get crafty together. Try tie-dying white cotton shirts for one another. You can talk and laugh together as you fasten your designs and get your hands messy dying.
14. Make dinner together and have a TV marathon. Dinner and TV doesn’t sound like the sexiest date, but it can be very intimate to make a meal together. Afterwards, introduce your boy to a favorite TV show with a marathon of the DVDs.
15. Pack a picnic. A picnic is a laid-back and romantic summer date. Put down a blanket, enjoy a meal (and some wine if you’re of age), and get to know each other as you take in a beautiful summer day.