So you agree that continuing to date your spouse is a great way to keep the passion going, or reignite if need be, or maybe youre just willing to give it a shot to see if it works... with the economy in the crapper many couples have very little extra cash laying around to spend on extravagant dates like you used to before the wedding. So here is a collection of cheap or no-cost date ideas! But wait!!! In order for this 'date your spouse' thing to work we need to lay down a few simple ground rules. You CANNOT skimp on this.
1. Its a DATE: The number one most important rule is that for it to feel like a date you have to treat it like a date. That means when you make plans for a date with your husband/wife, for heaven's sake CALL IT A DATE! Or at least say something that will communicate to your spouse that you are inviting them to join you in this activity because you want to spend time with them! I don't know why we forget to do this, but its a major pet peeve of mine. I'm not the type of person to assume intentions, or at least I try not to. So unless my husband says 'Hey, I'd like to take you out this weekend, what do you think of dinner at _____?' or 'Hey, I got us a sitter for Saturday, I thought we could go see that movie you've been talking about.'... it just doesn't seem like a date to me. Its just going out to eat, or me sitting through a movie with a fussy kid. Which brings me to the next ground rule.
2. Plan Ahead: If you have children, dates MUST be planned out. Yes, spontaneity is the spice of life, but when you have children the only things that are spontaneous are messes and hissy fits. For it to be a date it has to be kid free (unless its a family date, but that's a topic for another article). For it to be kid free you need a sitter. Sitters require a certain amount of notice. Try to plan dates a couple days to 2 weeks in advance to ensure you have time to find a sitter. Now please dont make the mistake of thinking that dates being planned means they cant still be spontaneous... for your spouse. I cant tell you just how excited I would be if John came home and said 'Hey honey, I got a sitter for tonight. What do you say we pack up dinner and picnic it at the park?'. The fact that it took planning on his part to find a sitter would communicate to me in a BIG way that he thinks I am special and wants to spend time with me.
3. Do Things They Like: Another thing about dates is that you need to occasionally plan things your spouse will enjoy... that you might not. This will really help tell your spouse that you like them and want to spend time with them... even if it means going to the gun show or the occasional hockey game. Making time to do something your spouse enjoys will tell them, without you having to say a word, that they are more important to you than your own interests.
Now that we have that out of the way, here is the list you've been waiting for.
50 Fun and Cheap Date Ideas
Borrowed from Six Sister's Stuff. Some of the date ideas reference recipes that are available on their site, complete with links. Please click on
8. Explore. Rent a four wheeler, snowmobile, scooter, waver runner or something you can do a little exploring on. You can often find deals online for cheap rentals!
11. Go see a play. Whether at your local community theater, high school or a big production, there is plenty of entertainment available!
14. Check out a local museum. They usually don't cost much, if anything, to get in!
17. Go to a local sporting event. Luckily, sports are going on year around! Grab some snacks and head out to the ball game!
20. Have a living room camp out. Make a tent out of blankets, watch a movie and sleep out on an air mattress. As you can see, we had a little visitor!
23. Have a coupon date. Only eat or do activities you have coupons for. We used our local coupon book from the mail and went to the driving range and dinner for about $12 total! You can also check out our newest sponsor, Coupon Lynx, for some great deals!
25. Go to a local fair or carnival. Be sure to bring some cash to play some games!
27. Visit the zoo. If you don't live near a zoo, go somewhere to see your local wildlife.
30. Wii Game Night at home (or any other gaming system). Grab some food and drinks and stay in for the night playing your favorite games! Make some wagers on any sports you might be playing. We occasionally have a cute, little third wheel on our dates. :)
32. Make indoor s'mores and read campfire stories. If you don't have a gas stove, you could light candles to cook your marshmallows over! As you can tell, I was pretty excited!
35. Try a new restaurant. We usually end up eating out at the same places. Pick somewhere neither of you have been and try it out! Who knows, it might be a new favorite!
38. Have a spa night. Since your husband/significant other probably isn't into manicures or pedicures, you could try massages, bubble baths, etc. You can buy some white towels and robes to make it really official (I found my white towels for $3 each at Wal Mart.).
40. Make breakfast together and eat it in bed (you could do this while the kids are still sleeping). We love french toast! You can check out our Recipe Index for some delicious breakfast ideas!
43. Take a hike. This website will show you places near you to hike!
45. Visit a bakery. Go to a local bakery and pick out a treat for each other.
47. Write a bucket list. Make a list of things you want to do before you die and go do one to cross it off the list!
49. Restaurant at home. Find recipes from some of your favorite recipes online, create a menu and have a lovely meal at home! Here is our Olive Garden Date Night and menu (recipes included)!