9 Fun, Affordable, and Unique Date Night Ideas

date night ideas

Some people think that to have an amazing date, you need to drop a ton of cash. That isn’t true! Having a great date is about spending time with the person you love hanging out with. No matter what you choose to do, if you’ve picked the right partner, you’re sure to have a good time.

Here are some date night ideas that will give you guys something fun to do, even if you’re sticking to a budget!

Home Date Night Ideas

With a bit of creativity, your living room could be the perfect date night spot. The most important part of making this date night a success is separating the concept of your living space from the date night hangout spot.

You can accomplish this by making sure all your undone responsibilities are in another room. Seeing things like dirty dishes or stacks of unfinished paperwork will take you out of the date night mood, because all you’ll be thinking about is the work you need to get done.

If you’re going to make your partner a romantic dinner, make sure you clean up the dining room before they arrive. You can even try out a unique table setting to shake things up!

If you’re going to hangout in the bedroom, make sure there are no piles of laundry waiting for you there! You don’t have to make your house spotless, but make sure wherever you’ll be hanging can be a stress-free zone for you and your partner.

If you’re planning on staying home, here are some cute ideas to make it really feel like date night.

Movie Night

If you choose to watch a movie, make the set up unique. Especially if you live together, a regular movie night can quickly turn into “fall asleep with the TV on in the background” night.

Set up the chairs or couches so they’re facing the TV and sitting next to each other so you can hold hands. Get some fancy popcorn and classic movie theatre snacks; even if you get twice as much as you usually get at the theatre, you’ll be saving a ton by grabbing snacks from the grocery store instead, so spring for exciting snacks!

Get a movie you’ve both wanted to see. Explore your options outside of your usual Netflix or Hulu options; spring for a movie you have to rent. Spending $4 on a movie rental is still way less than going to a theatre.

If you two like to drink and would rather watch one of your old favorites, come up with a fun drinking game to go along with the movie. You can’t go wrong with rules like “drink when Owen Wilson says ‘wow’” or “drink when Draco sneers the word ‘Potter.’”

Cook Together

Nothing tastes better than a homemade meal you cooked together. Knowing how much effort went into the final meal really gives you an appreciation for the different flavors. If you don’t want to spring for a cooking class, you can always find step by step videos online. YouTube has a whole bunch of free options!

If neither of you are much of a chef, order food in and make dessert instead. You can’t mess up box brownies and ice cream, right?

Paint and Sip

Attending a professional paint and sip can get pretty pricey. Why not make your own?

Grab a bottle of wine from the store, get cheap paint supplies from Michaels, and put on an old Bob Ross video. If you’ve got skills, you’ll come away from the experience with two beautiful, matching paintings.

If neither of you are artistically inclined, you’ll have a fun time failing together. Art can be a lot of fun, and you don’t have to be Picasso to enjoy it!

Game Night

Double dates can be a fun way to add some excitement to date night. Have another set of couple friends over and play games together!

There are a lot more board game options for four people as opposed to two. You can shake it up and switch partners, or you can do couple vs. couple. Keep the teams the same for the whole night so you can see who the crowned champions of game night are. Losers have to make or order dinner!

DIY Beer or Wine Flight

If you and your partner are beer or wine enthusiasts, make your own beer or wine flight!

At some grocery stores or liquor shops, you can make your own 6 pack by picking and choosing different beer cans, rather than getting one pack of all the same beers. When you’re pouring the different beers, use the proper pouring technique and organize them from lightest to darkest, since the darkest will have the boldest flavors. If you start with the darker beers, the more subtle notes of the lighter beers will be lost.

If you’re trying different wines, start with the driest and go to the sweetest. And if you start with the sweetest, the drier wines will just taste bitter. Make sure you have some snacks worthy of a foodie blog to enjoy with your drinks!

If you aren’t a couple that consumes alcohol, you can take the concept of a beer or wine flight to any food or drink! You could make a nice charcuterie board and appreciate different cheese, meat, cracker, and mustard combinations. You could even do an ice cream taste test! Make the flight different options of something you’re both actually interested in.

Going Out on a Budget Ideas

Want to have a night out but don’t want to blow your weekly budget? Here are some date night ideas that don’t cost much.

Nature Walk

A great way to unwind and focus on your partner is by taking a relaxing nature walk and enjoying the great outdoors. Enjoy the tranquility of nature and take the time to talk, far away from vibrating cell phones.

To make the most of this date, pick a walk that ends somewhere where you can watch the sunset together. Just make sure that after the sun sets, you picked a trail that you can walk in the dark!

Drive In Movie Night

A fun, old school way to turn date night towards nostalgia is picking a drive in movie to attend. Put this high school date staple back into the rotation! Put the seats down, cover the back in blankets and pillows, turn up the radio, and enjoy the film. If you don’t own a minivan or a truck, see if you can borrow one from a friend to make the viewing experience as comfortable as possible.

Whether it’s a new film or a double feature of the classics, drive in movies are a fun way to experience cinema. Make sure you pack bug spray to keep bugs away from the open car!

Coffee Shop

While it’s not the most unique date night idea, you can’t go wrong with spending time with your partner at a coffee shop. You don’t have to spend as much as you would at dinner, and you get to enjoy the ambiance of a cute, local cafe, away from all the work you have to do at home.

A lot of local shops will sometimes offer game nights, trivia nights, or open mic nights. So check the schedule of your local shop to see what your options are!

Fruit or Pumpkin Picking

Depending on the time of year, you can go out, enjoy the weather, and pick some fresh produce or pumpkins! It’s fun to support a local farm and pick flowers, fruits, or veggies yourself. You get a much better appreciation for the food and flowers you pick.

Once you get your basket filled, head home and do something with your produce! If you picked pumpkins, get carving and have a competition to see who can make the best pumpkin face.

If you got produce, make fresh baked goods or a fruit cocktail! You can make anything from scones to cakes, and the fresh fruit will take the taste to the next level.

Choose Date Night Ideas that Fit Your Budget

While going to a brand new escape room or heading to a popular restaurant is fun, the price of your evening doesn’t dictate how good of a time you’ll have. No matter how much you spend, you can’t have a good time with someone you don’t enjoy spending time with.

It’s the quality of the company you keep that determines whether or not your date night ideas will be a success. Get creative, and no matter what you choose to do, if you love the person you’re with, you two are sure to have a good time!

Published in Featured Articles, For Fun
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Author, Artist, Photographer.

Sarah Margaret is an artist who expresses her love for feminism, equality, and justice through a variety of mediums: photography, filmmaking, poetry, illustration, song, acting, and of course, writing.

She owns Still Poetry Photography, a company that showcases her passion for capturing poetic moments in time. Instead of poetry in motion, she captures visual poetry in fractions of a second, making cherished keepsakes of unforgettable moments.

She is the artist behind the Still Poetry Etsy shop, which houses her illustrations and bespoke, handmade items. She is the author of intricacies are just cracks in the wall, a narrative poetry anthology that follows a young woman discovering herself as she emerges from an abusive relationship.


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