13 Date Night Ideas That Won’t Break Your Budget

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One of the common hindrances that occur in marriage is that after a while it can start to feel like you are more like roommates or business partners than lovers. You are balancing careers, kids, household duties, finances…it’s easy to forget that you are still a couple who need connection.

That’s why date nights are super important….but they don’t have to break the bank or take a ton of time. It’s just important to spend some time together—time to have fun, communicate and reconnect.

Nathan and I are fortunate to work together. So, once a week after a faculty meeting (when the kids are at the school’s aftercare anyway), we head over to a nearby chain restaurant for a happy hour drink. We usually only have about 45 minutes or so before we need to get the kids…but that time is so precious ( and it only costs about $11.)

You may not have that luxury of mid-day moments…but I bet if you sit down and compare schedules, you can find at least one hour a week to set aside for the two of you.

To help get you brainstorming, this post will give you 13 fun date night ideas that will reconnect you without busting your budget.

Find a Happy Hour Together

See the introduction for more on this idea… 

But even if you don’t drink…happy hours are a great way to try food at local restaurants at a fraction of the cost.

Happy Hour

Dance Together

This can be done in your living room! 

Find a throwback playlist on Spotify or be super old-school and make a mix CD…clear out living room space and dance. 

Volunteer Together

Giving back to others helps improve our own mood and spreads good juju.

Why not volunteer together at a shelter, soup kitchen or other local ministry?  

For ideas, check out sites like VolunteerMatch.org for opportunities in your area.


Take A Run Together

Kill two birds with one stone. Combine exercise and date night by taking a jog or stroll together around your neighborhood or nearby park or trail.

Play a Board Game Together

A little healthy competition is fun. Nathan and I almost had our first kiss over a board game…but I was a little too competitive. That’s a story for another time, but we still enjoy battling each other.

Pull out some Monopoly, Clue or another favorite after the kids go to bed… spice it up with some pre-arranged “prize” for the winner. *wink*

Just go for Dessert

If you have just an hour without the kids or maybe you don’t want to pay for a full meal out, go out to a favorite restaurant just for dessert instead.

This is also a great way to try a more expensive restaurant when you want the price tag, but not the bill.

Camp in your Backyard

If you’re like me, you may not be thrilled about the idea of camping out all night in the backyard. But, it’s still fun to lay out a blanket to stargaze or maybe make smores over a backyard fire pit and enjoy the quiet time alone.

Find an Arcade

Where are my skee-ball loving friends at! (Seriously…my favorite arcade game)

Set aside $20 ( or less) and go have fun at a local arcade. Older arcades may have some cheaper game options than your local Dave and Buster’s, but do a Google or Yelp search and see what is nearby.

Visit a Gallery

Smaller museums and galleries are usually very affordable ( if not free) to pop in and check out.

You can also search out a nearby college or university to see if there are any upcoming student exhibitions. It would be a cheap date for you, encouraging to them and, you never know, you may discover a new up and comer in the art world!

Support Local Music

Find a nearby restaurant, bar or event space that has live music. You can enjoy the tunes while sipping on a beverage.

Also, check your community website calendars for orchestra and band ensemble performances occurring nearby.

Test Your Wits at Trivia

We have a lot of fun at trivia nights.

The Facebook events feature is a great way to find a night nearby.

There is usually no charge to take part and the cost is dependent on whether you purchase food or drink at the location. This is also a fun double date night idea –just be strategic and stack your team 🙂 

Go On A Picnic

Find a scenic spot locally and pack up some sandwiches, beverages and sweet treats. Spread out a blanket and enjoy being together outside. 

You can make it as simple or fancy as you’d like. Paper cups and PBJ’s can be just as romantic as wine in glasses and gourmet cheese. Remember, it’s all about being together.

Have a Photo Shoot

I got this idea from one of my best blog pals, Taima ( Check her blog out over at Poor In A Private Plane). 

She is like…insta queen and mentions that photo shoots are a great free way to have fun! So, put on your best model pouts and insta-pose for fun around town! You’ll make fun memories AND have pictures to enjoy later!

Share your favorite cheap date night idea in the comments...and then share this post!

13 Cheap Date Night Ideas

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