As most hopeful romantics know, dating can get expensive. The classic dinner-and-a-movie date, with “cost of time” factored in, is estimated to cost as much as $250 or more! But you don’t have to break the bank to treat your special someone to a memorable date.

Here are 3 great dating ideas to “wow” your girlfriend or boyfriend without emptying your wallet. With a little creativity, you can personalize each of these ideas for a unique romantic experience you’ll be talking about for years to come.

Whether you’re single on a first date or simply injecting a little more sizzle into your current relationship, try these creative ideas for budget-friendly romance.


1. A Night at the Museum

Dating is all about getting to know your partner. This can be hard if your eyes are glued to a massive screen in a movie theater or you’re both chowing down on spaghetti in a noisy restaurant. Need a cheap alternative where you and your date can really talk? Try a local museum!

outside photo of Louvre

While the Louvre may be out of reach, take your special someone to a local art museum for an affordable but memorable date.

Museums allow people to connect on an intellectual level; after all, conversation-starters are all around you. Use the exhibit to spark a discussion about your date’s favorite kind of art or other cultural interests.

Mint Life‘s dating coach Sandy Weiner recalls her low-cost first date at the museum:

“It was so much easier to talk to each other while viewing art, rather than over a table, sipping lattes or eating dinner”

And most museums offer free admission days or special discounts.


2. A Date at the Flea Market

Another creative but cheap option is to head to the local flea market or swap meet. Los Angeles-based PR girl Lizzy Shaw recalls her first date at the Santa Monica Airport flea market, telling Mint Life:

“I think you really get to know a lot about a person by seeing what they buy, how they interact with the sellers, if they’re patient or not with what you’re looking for, if they like what you’re buying”

Like a night at the museum, a flea market is really an insightful way to get to know your date. Wander around and talk about the goods for sale. You can learn a lot about your date’s taste in decor, personal hobbies or collections, and spending habits by observing how they behave.

A date at a flea market is cheap (unless you decide to make a large purchase, of course), unusual, and likely to leave a lasting impression.


3. A Date with the Great Outdoors

Ever notice that it’s easier to bond when you’re in the outdoors? Whether it’s a short day hike or a camping trip, the outdoors provide an intimate, distraction-free environment to help you get to know your special someone.

Take your date on your favorite hiking trail or go on an adventure and blaze the trail to a local waterfall.

If you (or your date) aren’t interested in roughin’ it in the wilderness, you can still go on a fantastic, cheap outdoor date by planning a good old fashioned picnic.

Budget expert Denise Winston recalls her first date on a picnic with her future husband. She told Mint Life that the thought and effort won her over:

“It was the thought and effort that went into such a simple yet romantic idea.” Winston’s now husband packed an ice chest full of fast food. “I would have loved it just as much if it was a PB and J sandwich,” she says.

Like going to a museum or strolling through a flea market, the outdoors creates a memorable time and doesn’t cost very much money. These activities allow you to show off your romantic creativity without breaking your budget.


Let Us Know: What’s Your Favorite Cheap Date?

Remember, dating is all about creating a memorable time where you can be intimate on your date. You can’t be very personal and get to know someone at the movies. Try these affordable alternatives the next time you’re planning a night out with your favorite guy or gal!

What do you think? Tell us about your dream date in the comments.


See Also

Casual Dating in the Internet Culture: Grouper, Instagram, Facebook and You
Fake Facebook Girlfriends: The Newest, Weirdest Social Media Trend
Online Dating Scams: Women Over 50 Most Likely to be Victims

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