Cheap Summer Date Ideas

21 Jun

Raysha Duncan, Purdue University Student and Peer Counselor

Dating on a budget is challenging. A lot of people want to save money, but don’t want to make their significant other think that they’re being “cheap”. There are still many ways to go on fun dates with your romantic interest, save money, and not seem like a Scrooge. In my opinion, summer is the BEST seasons for inexpensive date nights/days/weekends. Here are a few ideas to keep dating and keep saving:

drive-in theaterGo to a drive-in. A lot of drive-ins charge by the car load, so you could even make this a group date and have everyone pitch in. Plus, bringing your own food isn’t usually frowned upon! Dinner under the stars and a movie? Sounds pretty romantic and not “cheap” to me. Find a drive-in theater near you.

Have a group potluck dinner date. Invite all of your closest couple friends (or those friends you’ve been dying to set up) over for dinner and assign a dish to everyone. This way, everyone gets a good home-cooked meal, but nobody has to pay the full price. Afterwards, you could all play charades, video games, or watch a rented movie. Make sure you come up with activities for the evening to avoid a dull night, but don’t be too restrictive! Keep in mind, this is a very inexpensive way to spend time with both your significant other and your friends so don’t let the fun get interrupted with a tight schedule!

Go on a picnic. Summer is the perfect season for being outside. Pack up a basket (or paper bag) with all of you and your

Picnic basket

picnic basket on a table
photo by Jeremy Noble

love interest’s favorite food, grab a decent looking blanket and head to the nearest park for the typical romantic summer date. After you recycle your plastics and paper you can explore the park and make an entire afternoon, just don’t forget sunscreen! Feeding each other strawberries (they’re in season, you can splurge here) is recommended, but not required.

Walk around your town. When was the last time you really explored your home town? From my experience, walking around downtown tour is always much more interesting on a walking you care about. You can explore all the little shops (looking is allowed, you don’t have to buy anything!) and maybe stop for a treat at a local bakery or coffee shop that you’ve never tried before.

Go for a drive in the country and just explore. Now, I know the price of gas is up, but you drive to go to the movie theatre, — why not just drive out into the country and explore the open space? If you get out far enough, you can even stop smelling the city and start smelling the country fresh air.

Go to local festivals, fairs, and other town events. If Indiana is full of these affairs, other states must be too.  Discover events in your area with a quick Google search. You don’t have to go very far to find a festival dedicated to a fruit, town, or some minor figure that needs to be celebrated. Many times these events are also free to attend, and if not they generally don’t cost much at all. What can cost you $$, is all the tasty treats being served; so make sure to fill up before you go.

Hachioji Festival, Japan

Hachioji Festival, Japan

What “cheap” date ideas do you have to share?  Comment below.

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