Dating Advice

25 Dates that won't cost you a Quarter

Think you need to spend a bundle of cash for a fun and entertaining date? Think again! We have a virtual cornucopia of great date ideas that won't cost you a thing.
And because these activities eliminate the “look at how much money I/he/she is spending” factor, they often provide a better opportunity to get to know your date, which is a good thing so long as you are not a rich and infamous celebrity.

So without further ado, we present the fruits of our research and experience:

Go hiking for a free date
  1. Go for a gentle hike. A trek into the woods or hills is arguably the de facto free date, and with good reason: it's a fun, simple idea that is easily available to almost everyone, and it gives you lots of time to talk with your date as you hike. Plus you can gauge how athletic your date is or how badly you need to hit the gym!
  2. Spend a few hours at a beautiful beach. Play some beach volleyball, splash around in the surf, or just work on your suntans. Again, a great opportunity to relax and chat about everything that comes to mind. Don’t forget the sun block, as you may enjoy your date's company so much that hours just fly by.
  3. Play tourist in your own town. Check out all the free sights and attractions that tourists come for but you have probably never seen, even though you live right there! You can visit landmarks, iconic parks, and historic buildings or neighborhoods. To make your tourist experience even more authentic, walk through your city's big luxury hotels. Every city has a tourism center, which is a great place to get ideas and maps of the best sights.
  4. Go for an outdoor swim, be it in a lake or at a pool. It is common for public pools to have a free swim scheduled about once a week, but a lake makes for a more romantic and adventurous setting if you have one nearby.
  5. Pack a nice lunch and have a picnic in your favorite park. Since you have to eat lunch anyway, this doesn't cost you anything more than if you had stayed home. Don’t forget to add a little romance by finding some wildflowers and picking a few for your date.
  6. Hop on your bicycles and go for a ride. It could be a hardcore romp through the woods on your mountain bike, or just a leisurely peddle through a city park. Or you could opt for smaller wheels and go rollerblading. This can be especially fun, and a good indicator of personality, if you are new to it and your date can teach you (or vice versa).
  7. Attend a festival. Most cities have free public festivals of all sorts on a regular basis. Ethnic community groups often put on cultural festivals that can be very interesting. If your date grew up in a different culture, this can be an enlightening experience as you learn about where they come from or they learn about you.
  8. Go for a work-out in your gym (it is common for a gym to allow you to bring a guest in free to introduce them) or at an outdoor fitness circuit in a nearby park. This works even if only one of you works out regularly as it gives the other a chance to see part of your daily routine.
  9. Check out a local museum, art gallery, zoo, or ecology center. These places are often wide open or offer free admission on certain days.
  10. Find a nice busy spot in your city and settle in for some people watching. This can be especially entertaining if your city has an iconic gathering place where locals hang out and tourists stream through. You may even find entertainers singing or showing off their juggling skills in such places. But remember to focus on your date instead of checking out that hot guy or girl who just walked by.
  11. Take in a game. Lost of amateur sport competitions like triathlons are open to all spectators, as are many recreational or college level team games. For a really fun time forget being shy and really cheer your lungs out!
  12. Explore a different part of town. If you live in a city or larger town chances are there are alot of neighborhoods you have never visited. You may find a new favorite park! If you grew up locally you could show your date around your old stomping grounds.
  13. Go window shopping at your favorite stores and maybe even some you just dream of affording. For even more entertainment visit the flea market. Or to learn a bit about each other's eating habits, go to the farmer's market to pick up some ingredients.
  14. After you come back from the market (see #13) make dinner together. This is fun if you are both good cooks collaborating, or if one gets to learn from the other's gourmet skills. To make it a little more challenging, just make due with what you already have in the fridge and cupboards.
  15. Volunteer together for a festival, a big game, or if you are an urban angle, a charitable event. A great example would be volunteering for a Formula 1 race. This makes for an exciting atmosphere and is a great way to enjoy what would otherwise be a very expensive date for free.
  16. Try on costumes at a costume rental shop. This is fun at any time of year, not just leading up to Halloween. You are guaranteed lots of giggles on this date.
  17. Fly a kite for a free date
  18. Friend throwing an informal party? Take the chance to introduce your date to the people in your life without the pressure of a dedicated “meet the new girl/boyfriend” event. Though it goes without saying, best not to use this one as a first date.
  19. Go ice skating at your local rink (public arenas occasionally have free skate sessions) or at a free outdoor rink in the winter (if you live near the equator, you're out of luck on this one). Don’t forget to be romantic and hold your date's hand.
  20. Dust off the kite that has been buried in your storage for the last 10 years and go fly it together on a windy day. Anyone can fly a kite (even Charlie Brown), and it makes for a happy date as it brings back childhood memories and feelings.
  21. Find your nearest public park and get in a game of badminton or, if your park has the facilities, tennis. This can be fun regardless of whether both, one, or neither of you are any good at it!
  22. Pull out your old childhood board games or video games. Relive a bit of your childhood with your date! These games used to be tons of fun and they will be fun again.
  23. Choose a romantic novel from your bookshelves or the library and take your date to a beautiful spot like a meadow or a great view point. Find a good spot to sit or lie and take turns reading to each other. This can be a great bonding experience.
  24. Watch a movie at home for a free date
  25. Watch one of your favorite movies at one of your homes. Most people have lots of DVDs sitting around which haven’t been watched for a long time, and your date may never have seen. After a busy week at work it can be nice to just sit back and relax with a movie for a date instead of dealing with the crowds at the theater.
  26. Grab some left over bread from your kitchen and feed the birds. You can find lots of hungry seagulls by the beach or at a marina, and many other breeds of birds around the city that are always entertaining to feed. Plus seeing how your date interacts with animals can tell you alot about how kind hearted he or she is.
  27. Make a bonfire on the beach, by the river, or any other appropriate scenic spot. Start just before the sun sets for a romantic setting and a good excuse to cuddle as it gets chilly. Find some marshmallows at home for bonus fun.

There are countless variations on each of the ideas listed above, the only limits being your imagination and willingness to experience something new. Have another free date idea that has worked well for you? Add it in the comments section below for everyone else to read! Help us prove that the best things in life really are free.

Good Luck Dating Better!

Read More Dating Advice Wants To Know

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From chastity at 3:37PM on 2013-09-17
Just looking for someone to be real with
From Robert at 4:56AM on 2013-09-02
Looking for real love
From Allen benjamin at 6:02AM on 2012-11-03
Am lookn fr. A beutifu lady wus rady fr relationship n rady to myk kinds
From jaredman1 at 7:16AM on 2012-08-24
I think I'll do that with my date and even look up at the stars at night if she wants to.
From fireprincess at 8:12AM on 2011-11-26
it its winter could always go play in the snow, with hot chocolate afterwards lol
From fireprincess at 8:12AM on 2011-11-26
it its winter could always go play in the snow, with hot chocolate afterwards lol
From Gorgeous at 11:29AM on 2009-06-01
Have a romantic bubble bath together, though that may not be a first date idea.....but I've done that on first dates, it was fun LOL!!!

Play on the swings in the kids park! Remind you of when you wre young:)

From whynotonlinedating at 1:04AM on 2009-05-29
have sex
From Baby Girl at 10:17PM on 2009-04-09
Yes, good ideas for our recessionary times lol!!!
From Gera at 2:06AM on 2009-02-17
Few more ideas:

Wash & wax one another's cars

Attend an unfamiliar and new church service together

Attend a local parade

Visit a nursing home with your dog together

Create a sand castle at the beach

From Jane at 8:34PM on 2009-02-11
Free date ideas are great for 1.) first dates if you two aren't sure if there is a spark yet or 2.) if you are low on money. But if you have money and you just don't want to spend it on a lady, she will smell a rat and guess what, she will probably not go for you. Nobody likes a cheapskate.
From Shar at 3:31PM on 2009-02-10
Love free ideas. Only most of these are warm weather things, and living in Chicago, impossible for a large chunk of the year. C'est la vie!
From Jenny at 12:16AM on 2009-02-04
Interesting free dating ideas... now that the economy is in a recession these free date ideas will be very useful.........
From Kevin at 12:14AM on 2008-11-25
Cracked corn is great duck food, and very inexpensive.
From Admin at 9:08PM on 2008-11-24
Thanks for the feedback Raoul. We've read up on the issue and indeed feeding ducks bread is unhealthy for them (except for as controlled, small treats). We've removed the suggestion of feeding the ducks from the list.
From Raoul Duke at 6:03PM on 2008-11-24
yeah, great way to say "I HATE WILDLIFE", that #24 entry.
From Mshell at 6:02PM on 2008-11-24
I took one date for a walk around the lake once. she didn't mind it but we were not really for each other
From Kelly at 4:49PM on 2008-11-22
Gotta love free things!
From Mr. Charming at 6:57PM on 2008-11-19
Another free date idea: browse the big local toy store and play with the children toys!!!
From seashell at 6:22PM on 2008-11-19
Romantic and cute ideas!
From Polo at 5:52PM on 2008-11-19
I like to take a date to the park and a stroll around.....good way to get to know her better:0)

It's more preferable then taking her for dinner, which ends up you having to pay (that's $100 bucks gone) and anyways she might not be interested in you after the date so you really wasted the money, so it's better to take her for a walk in the park then...
From Matt at 1:21PM on 2008-11-19
Free as in free beer! I took a date on both a brewery tour and chocolate factory tour, both free, and both included samples too. My girl is a total chocoholic so the factory tour went over REAL well :D
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