5 Great Ideas for Completely Free Dates

couple at a lake

Whether you're a cash-strapped college student or just frugal-minded, planning a memorable date doesn't have to be expensive if you consider the following free date ideas.

Why Not Spend Money?

Why would you want to use free date ideas? Won't your date think you're cheap? Actually, free date ideas can be even more fun than the more costly alternatives. They allow you to show some creativity and provide unique ways to get to know each other better. In a string of "dinner and a movie" evenings, your dates will stand out. Plus, if you're going out with someone who adds up the price tag of your date, you might want to consider whether he/she is really worth your time.

Free Date Ideas

Romantic Walk

Choose your setting, put on some sturdy shoes, and off you go. A moonlit walk may provide the perfect atmosphere for your date. Then again, maybe there's a reason "loves long walks on the beach" has become a personal ad cliché. A trip through the woods to enjoy the fall foliage is another possibility. Grab your date's hand and see where the path leads you.

Must-See TV

Center your evening on a television event. You can watch an awards show like the Oscars, the series finale of a popular show, or the hot reality show everyone's talking about. Get to know each other better when you discuss your own award picks or theories for who will get voted off next. Invite other couples to make it a group date. This can take some pressure off during an early date in the relationship, or give you a chance to introduce your new guy or girl to friends if things are getting more serious.

couple walking in a park on a free date
Watch this slideshow of things to do on your first date!

Culture and Education

Many cultural and educational events are open to the public at no cost:

  • Visit a museum. Even museums with an entrance fee often offer one day a week or month as a discount or free-to-the-public day.
  • Book stores often host author discussions and book signings.
  • If you live near a college campus, you'll have additional possibilities in lectures and movie screenings.
  • Check with your local arts council for gallery openings and art shows. If you can avoid the temptation to come home with a painting or sculpture, you can enjoy a free evening of art, refreshments, and intelligent conversation with your date.
  • The Parks and Recreation department may also offer opportunities like an outdoor concert series or theater performance.

Share a Hobby

Share a little more about yourself and your interests by involving your date in a favorite hobby turned into a free date idea. Avoid being too assertive as not everyone will share your love of stamp collecting or decoupage, but it's enough for you and your date to make an effort to understand each other's pastimes. Depending on the hobby, your plans may not count as totally free date ideas, but in most cases you can use supplies and equipment you've already purchased. After the date, it's only fair to return the favor and become the student next time.

Get Active

Get out of the house and get moving for a unique date. Good sports for couples include running, biking, tennis, and swimming. Take the chance to show off a little, whether you have a killer serve or average 25 miles an hour on your bike. Dodge the temptation to get too competitive, though. You don't want to ruin a romantic mood with mean-spirited teasing or an obnoxious victory dance.

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5 Great Ideas for Completely Free Dates