20 Cheap Date Ideas for Married Couples

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If you are married and you are looking for something to do with your spouse that doesn’t cost a fortune, you may be frustrated by your lack of options. It isn’t your imagination – it really does seem like everything is expensive these days.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to have a great time on a limited budget. It’s definitely possible to have a date without spending a lot of money.

The following are 20 cheap date ideas for married couples to consider:

1. Have a Movie Marathon

If you are looking for cheap date ideas for married couples, a great option to consider is having a movie marathon at home. Watching movies is a cheap form of entertainment, and you can stream movies online with a subscription to a streaming service.

Another option to consider is to watch a TV series together. Consider picking a series that’s been out for a few years so you can stream the episodes online and you don’t have to worry about waiting for new episodes to be released.

Since this is a date night, you could do a few things to make the evening extra-special. You could pop some popcorn, for example. You could also turn the lights off and crawl under a blanket on your couch to make things cozy and fun.

2. Go for a Long Walk

Many people consider going for a long walk with the person they love to be a romantic way to spend some time and connect. It’s a great way to enjoy some uninterrupted conversation and to enjoy the scenery around you. It’s also completely free.

You could go walking on a trail somewhere if you live near one and surround yourself with nature. You could also go for a walk in the town you live in.

Going for a walk is something you could combine with another inexpensive activity on this list. For example, after enjoying a walk together, why not go for some coffee or dessert. You could also enjoy a long walk after trying a new restaurant. There are many possibilities.

3. Attend a Free Community Event

A great way to have an enjoyable date night for married couples is to attend a free event in your community. Many communities offer free events all the time. It just depends on where you live. In most cases, the larger the community, the more options you will have to choose from.

Just a few things you may be able to do include:

  • Concerts
  • Comedy Shows
  • Magic Shows
  • Fireworks Displays
  • Block Parties
  • Historic Reenactments
  • Large Garage Sales
  • Nature Walks
  • Festivals
  • Fairs
  • Community Celebrations
  • Parades
  • School Events
  • Author Meet and Greets

Contact a town official to find out what free events are coming soon to your community if you aren’t sure.

4. Go Camping

Another great idea for those who are looking for cheap date ideas for married couples is to go camping – just the two of you. This idea is best for those who already have some camping gear like a tent, sleeping bags, and other things. If you already have camping gear, you just need to pack your gear, food, and some other supplies, and find a spot to camp.

Many campgrounds charge a fee to camp for the night, but you may be able to find another place to camp for free. If you know friends or family who have land, you could ask permission to camp on their land for the night.

Another option with camping is to simply camp in your backyard for the night. Who says you have to go anywhere special? You could build a small fire and make S’mores. The idea is to have some fun for the evening – the location isn’t important.

5. Tour a Museum

Another great idea for a cheap date night for married couples is to tour a museum in your community. If you don’t have a museum nearby or if you’ve already toured the museums in your area, perhaps you could find a new museum to explore that is within a relatively short driving distance.

Many museums are free. For those that charge admission, the fees are usually modest when compared to other activities.

If you take your time, you may be able to spend 2-3 hours exploring all of the artifacts in a museum. A variation of going to a museum to consider is to visit a local historical site.

6. Have a BBQ

Another great way to spend the evening is to have a barbecue in your backyard. You could grill some steaks, chicken, veggies, and other things. You could grill enough food for two people, or you could invite some friends over and have an enjoyable evening relaxing and entertaining friends.

7. Visit a Zoo or Aquarium

Do you live near a zoo or aquarium? If so, these are great places to spend time with the one you love. Even if you’ve been to your local zoo or aquarium several times, it may still be worth seeing them again. Many zoos and aquariums occasionally change their exhibits or add new exhibits.

The animals that live on land and the fish and other creatures that live in the oceans can provide hours of entertainment. Even if you don’t live close to one of these places, it might be worth it to make a day trip somewhere to visit one.

8. Go Bowling

One of the best cheap date ideas for married couples is to go bowling. It’s is an activity that never gets old. Why not challenge each other to one or more games to see who the best bowler is? Maybe you could make it a bit more interesting by saying the loser has to do something humorous or take care of a chore in or around the home.

Bowling is something you can do with just two people – just for fun – or it’s something you can do with a group of people. Joining a bowling league is also something to consider.

9. Take a Mini Road Trip

Aren’t road trips fun? There’s something about hopping into your vehicle and traveling to explore a new and exciting destination with your significant other that many find relaxing and enjoyable.

But you don’t have to travel far to have fun with a road trip. You can take a mini road trip somewhere instead. You could travel to a city or town that’s an hour or two away and explore it for the day.

Even if it’s a place you’ve been to before, there may still be things to see and do that you haven’t done before. And even if you’ve been to a restaurant or attraction before, there’s no reason why you can’t do it again.

Taking a mini road trip somewhere doesn’t have to be expensive. You could check out free attractions, for example, like parks, museums, historical sites, and other places.

10. Go Treasure Hunting

Do you enjoy shopping for good deals? If so, why not go on a treasure hunt with your spouse to see what interesting things you can find. You could make a day out of it and visit thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets, and other places to browse the merchandise.

You don’t have to buy anything for this to be a fun date. It’s about the experience. Keep this in mind as you go through the stores so you can relax and have fun. And if you do happen to find an amazing deal on something while shopping, all the better.

11. Learn a New Card or Board Game

Another great cheap date idea for married couples is to learn a new card or board game. Games are fun, and they usually don’t cost much. You could challenge each other to a few rounds of a card game you both love or take the time to learn a new one.

Playing a fun board game is something else to consider. Board games aren’t just for kids. Some are very engaging and challenging. Some board games require a lot of skill and strategy to win.

12. Go Out for Coffee or Dessert

Going out for coffee and dessert is a great way to end an evening of fun and relaxation. Many coffee shops also sell desserts, so you may not have to go to more than one place to do this.

Going out for coffee and dessert is something you could do after a day of treasure hunting at flea markets and thrift stores, for example. You could also go out for coffee or dessert after visiting a zoo or aquarium. There are many possibilities.

13. Take a Class

Do you enjoy learning new things? If so, then why not take a class in your community with your spouse and make a date out of it? You could learn something new together.

Many different classes are offered in communities. They may be offered in community centers, after hours in public schools, in community colleges, and in other places. Just a few classes you may be able to sign up for include:

  • Dancing
  • Gardening
  • Crafting
  • Local History
  • Computers
  • Cooking
  • Painting/Drawing
  • Photography
  • Martial Arts/ Self Defense

Some classes may only be held once, but others may meet once or twice a week. Taking a class isn’t just a great way to learn something new and enjoy spending time with your spouse, you may also get to know some new people and make new friends.

14. Cook a Fancy Meal Together

Having a cheap date doesn’t always mean going out somewhere. It can also mean staying home and doing something you don’t ordinarily do – like cooking and enjoying a fancy meal together.

Is there a meal you really enjoy that you don’t make very often? Perhaps a special dessert to go with it? A cheap but enjoyable date idea is to make that meal and share it with your spouse.

An interesting spin on cooking a fancy meal is to cook it together. Why says one person has to do all of the work? After finishing the meal, you could both clean up together and then finish the evening by watching a movie at home.

15. Have a Picnic

One of the best cheap date ideas for married couples is to have a picnic. Picnics are both fun and affordable. They involve packing a simple lunch and then taking it to an interesting destination to eat it.

Picnics are about the destination more than they are the food. In fact, you don’t need to pack anything fancy. You could keep things simple by packing sandwiches, chips, fresh fruit, and other things.

Local parks are great places to have picnics. Lakes and riverbanks are also good spots. Another option is to simply pack a lunch and eat it outside your home. Having a picnic doesn’t always mean you have to travel somewhere.

16. Explore Your Community

Are there some places where you live that you have never visited before? Maybe it’s a tourist attraction of some kind or a historical site. It could also be a new store, restaurant, or something else. If so, why not plan a trip to that place and check it out?

Exploring your community could also mean visiting places you haven’t been to in many years. Things change over time, and it can be fun to visit a place you haven’t been to in a while to see if it’s still the same or if it has changed.

17. Go to a Local Sporting Event

Do you enjoy watching sports? Maybe you’re a football or baseball fan. Or perhaps soccer or basketball is your thing. Regardless of the sport you enjoy, another great cheap date idea for married couples is to go to a local sporting event.

Watching a sporting event doesn’t necessarily mean attending a professional event. It could mean watching a local college or high school team.

18. Volunteer

If you have ever considered doing something to make a difference in your community, volunteering at a non-profit organization is a great cheap date idea for married couples. There are many opportunities to consider including:

  • Homeless Shelters
  • Food Pantries
  • Soup Kitchens
  • Animal Shelters
  • Parks
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • The Red Cross

The great thing about volunteering is that you know your time and efforts are going to a good cause – you are working to help people out and to improve your community. Many places eagerly accept volunteer help. Be sure to contact the organization you would like to help out prior to the date you want to volunteer to make sure they need you on that day.

19. Go Dancing

Do you enjoy dancing? Maybe you’re someone who can’t sit still when you hear a good song. If cutting a rug is your thing, then going dancing is another cheap date idea for married couples to consider.

There are many different dance clubs that cater to people with different musical tastes. And if you can’t find one that works for you, you may be able to find someone teaching dance lessons in your community. You may get to know some new people in your class and make new friends.

​20. Try a New Restaurant

One of the most popular things to do on a date is to go to a restaurant somewhere. Spending time in a nice restaurant can be very romantic – and it’s also nice to know that you don’t have to worry about cooking and cleaning for a day.

A variation of the restaurant date is to try a new restaurant you’ve never been to before. Think of it as going on an adventure and having a new experience.

What if you don’t like the new restaurant?

Yes, it’s definitely possible that you may not like a new restaurant that you try, but that’s part of the adventure. You’ll never know unless you try it. Perhaps the new restaurant you try may become one of your new favorites.

​Cheap Date Ideas for Married Couples – Final Thoughts

Did you realize there were so many cheap date ideas for married couples to choose from? Just because it’s date night, it doesn’t mean that you have to spend a lot of money. You can very easily have a great time making new memories with your spouse while maintaining your budget.

As previously mentioned, you don’t have to do just one of the things on this list. You could very easily combine things to have even more fun. Instead of having an evening out, for example, you could spend an entire day having fun together.

With a little creativity, you can very easily have a great date without breaking your budget. Having a date isn’t so much about what you are doing – it’s about spending time with the one you love. That’s something you can’t put a price on.

Cyrus Vanover

Cyrus Vanover, MBA, is a financial copywriter who has written for companies of all sizes. He is also the author of the personal finance book, "Earn A Debt-Free College Degree." His goal is to help families save money, make more money, and achieve financial independence. Based in the mountains of Virginia, he enjoys hiking the local trails, listening to 80s music, and reading books on military history in his spare time. Read more.

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