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Creative Date Ideas on a Budget

Creative Date Ideas on a Budget
Christine McKee

With gas prices putting a strain on many budgets, it’s easy to put dating on the back burner. After all, who has the money to go out for an extravagant dinner at a fancy restaurant? There’s no need to sacrifice fun, though. With a little creativity, you can go on a wonderful date that is both romantic and affordable.

Take a Class

Going on a first date? Forget awkward silences, and take a course together for an evening of fun. From learning about wine to enrolling in a cooking class, there are a variety of activities that aren’t particularly expensive. And with an instructor doing the teaching and other class members participating, it’s a great way to get to know someone in a group setting.

Fun Date ClassesWhole Foods Cooking Classes

  • Whole Foods Cooking Classes – These culinary classes are available at over 30 Whole Foods locations nationwide, and signing up doesn't break the bank. Plus, who knows, a second date may be on the horizon to practice what you've learned.
  • Learn to Skate Courses – Most ice arenas feature public skate and learn to skate sessions for people of all ages and skill levels. Best of all, these classes are budget friendly, and skate rental is often included.
  • Learn About Wine – Give your local sommelier a run for her money with wine education courses, such as the LearnAboutWine classes offered in southern California.

Go on a HikeHiking on a Date

This activity is good for your heart and your wallet. Not only can you get a daily workout in, but it’s a great way to bond. You can hike up a trail casually while chatting or race to the top for a friendly competition. After the hike, grab a healthy snack and make plans for date number two.

Looking for a Hiking Trail?

Find a mountain bike or hiking trail near you at All you have to do is enter your zip code for a list of parks and trails in your local area.

Visit a MuseumSmithsonian

Share a common love of art? Visit a museum together and enjoy bonding over your favorite displays. Many museums offer discounted rates depending on the day and time you go. Work for a large company in the area? Employees often receive rate reductions as well.

Top Museum Pick

  • Smithsonian – Dubbed the "world's largest museum and research complex," the Smithsonian features 19 museums spanning the Washington, D.C., Virginia and New York City areas.

Enjoy a PicnicPicnic Lunch

With summer on the horizon, it's a perfect time to pack a lovely picnic. Enjoy a romantic lunch in the sunshine or opt for an evening meal under the stars. Popular picnic treats include a cheese plate with crackers, grapes or bite sized sandwiches. Don’t forget an extra blanket for cuddling if the weather cools off after dinner.

Take Advantage of a Free TourFree Tours

Going on a date doesn’t have to always include dinner and a movie. Many organizations, such as Anheuser-Busch, offer free or low cost tours that span anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. Microbreweries are big on offering these events, and many tours include free samples. Whatever your interest, there are tours of chocolate factories, wineries, dairy farms, and even sports facilities (sure to be a hit if you’re seeing a baseball fan!). To find a tour near you, visit Factory Tours USA.

Dinner and Drinks? Make it During Happy Hour!Happy Hour Meals

Enjoying a meal with a loved one doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Meet for a hot date after work, and score discounts on food and drinks. Many restaurants offer reduced prices up to 50% off on appetizers that are perfect for sharing. Be sure to check the websites of local restaurants to see special offers, including happy hour times and prices. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, another option is purchasing a gift card ahead of time. Many times restaurants offer special incentives for gift card purchases. Ordering a gift voucher from is another top pick, as often times, you can get a meal for over half off, especially with these coupons.

Looking for a Partner?

Anxious to try out one of these date ideas but need a love match? Give online dating a whirl, and take advantage of up to 20% off your subscription with this eHarmony coupon. Have a low cost date idea that is fun, yet budget friendly? Share your experience by leaving a comment below.


  1. Anne

    Yes! Factory tours are the best. Just wish there were more around me.

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