6 ideas for dating on a budget

By Juliet O

Why spend your hard earned money on expensive dinners, theater tickets, and humongous bar tabs, when there are so many fun dating ideas that can be done for absolutely free? Here are 6 fun, free ways you can spoil your Zoosk honey — without spending a single dime.

Make like a romantic comedy and head for the park

Public parks are lovely places to go kick up some romance, especially during the fall now that the leaves are changing color and the air smells so lovely and crisp. Take your date over to your favorite park on a crisp autumn afternoon, put a blanket under a tree, and get to know each other over a thermos of hot chocolate that you’ve brought from home. Bonus points if you have a dog! Park + dog + date = so cute it could be a scene from a romantic comedy.

Go on a walk and get your heart-rate up (from exercise and from budding love)

Henry David Thoreau once said, “Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.” Walking is a great way to stimulate your body and to get your thoughts flowing, and is even more fun when you’re walking with someone special. Prime hand-holding opportunity! Is there a feeling sweeter than walking hand-in-hand with someone who puts butterflies in your stomach?

Go make a wish on a star for the one that you love

Some of the most precious things in life are free to all of us, like stars. On a clear night, head somewhere romantic, whether it’s a lookout point, a meadow, your backyard, or even an abandoned parking lot, with your sweetie, and lay back and stare at the sky. My own personal favorite way to stargaze: driving on a country road until I find a perfect place to pull over, and lying on the hood of the car while it’s still warm while gazing at the night sky. Bonus points if you see a shooting star. They bring good luck!

Reading is sexy, fun, and free

For bookish types, reading dates are a great way to spend time with someone while engaging your mind. Go to the library, check out some books with your date, and then go somewhere and read together! Instead of just sitting around aimlessly, why don’t you actually learn from the person you’re dating? Find a great tree, sit under it with a book and an apple, and spend a peaceful afternoon reading with the one you love. Bonus points if you check out romantic poetry and read to one another. Extra bonus points if you kiss in the library stacks.

Check your local listings for free museum days

Most places offer free museum days from time to time. Museum dates are a wonderful way to soak up some culture while spending time with your sweetie, and a great thing about museums is that they’re occasionally free! Even popular exhibits often offer free days to the public, so check out when your local museums are open free-of-charge and take advantage of the opportunity. Whether your museum of choice is centered around art, science, natural history, the Civil War, or even if it’s a children’s museum, your afternoon won’t be wasted in the presence of free culture.

Television is fun, free, and a total guilty pleasure

Bad television is one of the best, worst things in life. Why don’t you invite your date over for popcorn, candy, and a television marathon? We all have TV shows we love to hate. Invite your cutie over for a Star Trek, Walker Texas Ranger, Murder She Wrote, or Golden Girls marathon. Enjoy some laughs and revel in the fact that even bad television can be so entertaining. Sometimes staying in to watch TV can be a useful endeavor.

photo credit: mulsanne

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