Keep the romance alive with these inexpensive date ideas

When you hear of cheap date ideas, you might be thinking two-for-one deals at a so-so restaurant. While having a date on the cheap isn’t exactly a romance-killer, taking some time to plan and prepare for an inexpensive date with your significant other can go a long way to making the evening memorable. The next time you want to plan an inexpensive date, keep the following tips in mind.

Lunch

Perhaps you and your sweetheart would like to try that new steak house in town. Instead of forking over quite a bit of cash for dinner for two, consider making it a lunch date. Restaurants typically offer similar meals for both lunch and dinner, and the only differences may be smaller and less expensive portions at lunch. Opting for lunch for your next date allows you and your sweetheart to try more expensive venues without breaking the budget.

Hiking

For couples that love the outdoors, hiking at a nearby forest preserve, or state or national park is one way to have a romantic and inexpensive date. Stock your backpack with bottled water, lunch, favorite snacks, and other hiking gear, and don’t forget to dress in layers. Stick to trails that match both of your abilities; you don’t want to spend your date struggling to keep up with your partner. Keep in mind the preserve or park may charge admission or parking fees.

Library

You likely don’t think of your local library as a romantic setting, but that may be where you’re missing out. Your local library may offer an assortment of free or inexpensive lectures, movie showings, and how-to demonstrations on a wealth of topics. The program can also be a prelude to a full evening or afternoon out with your significant other. Just remember to select a topic that is of mutual interest.

Museums

Do you and your significant other want to spend an evening discussing Dali or learning about lemurs? If so, then consider checking out the after-hours programs at your favorite local museums. Held after traditional operating hours, these late-night programs typically allow visitors to enter the museum at a reduced or free rate. The after-hour events may include lectures, discussions, and guided tours around the museum.

Park programs

From early-morning yoga classes to outdoor movie screenings, your local park district may offer a wide selection of free or nearly-free programs that both you and your partner will enjoy. To find a program that will fit both of your interests, head to the park district’s website for a list of programs. If your local park district doesn’t have any options, then consider perusing the list of programs available at parks in nearby towns; however, a non-resident fee may apply to some programs.

City programs

Whether it’s a walking tour to learn more about your city or outdoor concerts, your municipality’s website likely has a number of free or inexpensive programs that would be great for frugal nights out with your sweetheart. If a free concert will be held in a thriving part of town, consider planning for a full evening out and stopping at a nearby restaurant after the event. Just remember to arrive early to any program, as space may be limited.

Having a romantic evening or afternoon out with your significant other needn’t be an expensive endeavor. By planning in advance and exploring the free or inexpensive options available in your area, you can have a memorable date while staying within your budget.