16 Free Date Night Ideas (Yes, 100% Free!)

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I feel like whenever I ask my wife on a date, she wants to talk about how much it’s going to cost first.  REALLY, she’s asking ME?  I think she’s trying to one up me on the frugal thing by asking.

So, I’m putting together a list of Date Night for Free ideas to have readily available.  I may even tape this list to the my forehead the next time I ask her to go out!

Next time I’m looking for a date night for free idea I’m going to pull out the list and pick one or hey, maybe I’ll let my wife dearest pick one too!  I’m also tossing around folding these all on individual pieces of paper and folding, placing in a jar to blindly pick one, that would be so much fun, maybe even make a good gift idea!

You’ve been dating (or married) for awhile now — it’s time to plan your next romantic outing! But what do you do when you want something special but are broke? There are so many places you could go, activities you could try, and treats you could give each other, but how will you know which ideas work best until you actually try them out? 

Fear not! We’re here to help. Here are our top 16 suggestions of great dates that won’t cost any money (or at least anything more than you would normally spend on a meal) and will still be special.  

1. Coffee and Conversation

One thing we love about coffee is that it offers a chance to sit down and talk over drinks while enjoying a nice cup of joe. And talking doesn’t necessarily mean hearing yourself think. One easy option is to hit Starbucks (but this costs money) so instead just brew a cup, get some creamer from the fridge and sit outside and enjoy each other’s company. 

Another idea is to find a quiet little park somewhere in your neighborhood and settle into a bench for hours of conversation. You can easily bring your coffee in a thermos from home and not spend anything at all. 

2. A Walk Through Nature

When was the last time you went walking around outside? Maybe you haven’t done it since you were younger. Why not make today the day? Nothing beats being outdoors for a walk through nature with the one you love. 

Pick a place you both like and head off exploring. 

Bring along a snack and water bottle, and even bring along a blanket if you’d like (to sit on obviously!) This is a great opportunity to see local wildlife or just enjoy the peace and quiet that nature brings. 

3. Dinner At Your Place Or Elsewhere If You Like

There are lots of restaurants that offer dinner specials every week. So why not check out their menus and pick out your favorite meal from there? But again that costs money. 

So better yet, why not choose a restaurant that serves food prepared by someone who loves cooking for you? 

If you (or your spouse) are the better cook why not work together with them to make a favorite dish. Don’t just sit while one does all the cooking, instead work together to get it done. 

These types of meals tend to be especially memorable because they show you two people who care enough to prepare a delicious home-cooked meal for each other.

4. Go to an Art Gallery Together

Art galleries are a fantastic way to learn more about each other. They provide an excellent venue for discussion and are often free. While perusing art pieces and trying to understand what makes them interesting, you and your partner can discuss various topics.

From the latest news in the world to things that happen at school to family members, anything goes as long as you stay focused on the paintings.

5. The Perfect Romantic Movie Night

What says romance better than a movie on a lazy summer afternoon or evening? If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even set up a small film projector in your backyard and project movies onto the wall of the house.

That might seem excessive, but you can pick a favorite from Netflix, Hulu, etc. and watch it underneath the stars. 

Whether you watch movies alone or share popcorn with your significant other, getting together for a movie night provides plenty of opportunities to connect.

6. Take in Some Live Music

Who said you need fancy venues to experience live music? Thanks to modern technology, you can listen to live music right in your house or even on your phone. 

Simply search online for a station based on your interests, put it on your computer or smartphone and enjoy dancing or singing the night away. 

Many cities now have certain times of the year (typically summer) where they will have free concerts at city parks as well. Check out your city’s website and see if they have something like that that you can try. 

7. Recreational Activities

Whether you prefer hiking trails, biking paths, beaches,, or any other type of outdoor recreational activity, chances are you can find a spot close to home that suits you both. 

After spending a bit of time outdoors, you should find yourselves ready for another round of fun indoors!

8. Try Something New Together

Spending time learning new things is always exciting. Give your relationship a boost by discovering something new together, such as playing an instrument, taking an adult education course, making pottery, gardening, painting, writing poetry, or whatever else strikes your fancy.

Many classes can be found for free at a local library or education center so you don’t have to book expensive classes to enjoy trying something new. 

9. Have Breakfast In Bed

Eggs and toast are inexpensive and filling. Plus, it only takes a few minutes to cook. What better way is there to start the morning off right with a morning kiss and some breakfast in bed? 

You could also set aside a few minutes (or hours) before bedtime to enjoy some hot cocoa drinks together where phones are off limits and all you do is sit and talk.

Then snuggle up beneath the covers and drift off to sleep. 

10. Make It Special With Food

Food is a major part of most relationships. When you eat together, you create memories. To make your date extra special, plan a meal where you can indulge in some of your favorite dishes. 

Perhaps you could make a special dessert together that holds some significance to you both. Maybe you are both horrible cooks so trying to cook anything at all will be a challenge. What better way to break out of your comfort zone than for both of you to learn and try to cook together. (just remember to have fun)

Whatever you choose, make sure that it reflects your personal tastes and preferences.

11. Watch Sports Together

Sports lovers often argue over whose team wins and who gets to call the plays. During a sports game, however, you don’t have to debate. Instead, you can simply focus on cheering on your beloved team and finding reasons to celebrate. 

You don’t have to pay to attend an event live anymore as the quality of our TVs makes it where we can often see the games better than we ever would be able to from the stands. 

Watching games together isn’t just enjoyable, it also brings you closer together.

12. Find Ways to Be Creative

Everyone has hobbies that they would like to pursue, but sometimes life gets in the way. Don’t let unfulfilled dreams keep you from experiencing quality time together. 

Consider sharing your passion for photography, scrapbooking, woodworking, knitting, gardening, cooking, drawing, painting, or anything else and combine it with some fun.

13. Explore Local Attractions

Many cities feature attractions that aren’t located downtown. Check out museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, historical sites, parks, and scenic overlooks. 

These types of places often have free days where they allow anyone in the community to come in for free. Although not all attractions will have free tickets, many of them will. 

Any place that appeals to you is bound to appeal to your partner.

14. Attend Sporting Events (or Other Exciting Ones)

Sporting events are among the best times to spend time together. Not only does attending a big event fill the soul, but it’s also a great excuse to dress up. Wear matching outfits and laugh at those crazy fans behind you.

Now attending a professional sporting event is far from free, however you can often attend high school and even some college events for free. So do some digging in your area to find one that won’t cost a dime. 

15. Dress Up

Going out may be fun, but nothing shows off your bond quite like dressing up. Plan to wear matching costumes, hats, gloves, scarves, or jewelry. If you’re willing to invest in accessories, you can go even further. 

Think about buying matching shoes, jackets, vests, and belts.

You could even let your partner pick out the outfit that you wear for the evening and you pick out theirs. It can be a special way to try something new and spice up the evening as well. 

16. Dance The Night Away

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend a night out on the town, consider going to one of those clubs where there’s dancing and live music happening simultaneously. If you don’t really feel like dancing, just grab a table near the dance floor and enjoy watching everyone else having a good time.

There are plenty of clubs that don’t have a cover charge so they are free to get in. As long as you don’t buy any drinks you can enjoy your night without spending a dime. 


Now that you have lots of options for free dates, you’ll no longer need to worry about coming up with ideas. All that remains is picking the best one for you and expressing your feelings to your sweetheart.

Hannah R

Hi, my name is Hannah and I'm the founder of Barefoot Budgeting. This site is dedicated to one thing... helping you! Whether it is making a budget, saving money using DIY projects, or even saving by helping you with my favorite recipes I will cover it all! If it helps you save money in your life I want to help!

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