Date Night Ideas for Valentine's Day and Beyond...
As a minimalist, I value my time over my possessions. While I appreciate gifts, I have the things I need. So does My Person. Instead of wasting money on stuff we don't need, we prefer to spend time together.
Free and Inexpensive Date Ideas:
- Go to a museum together. Visit museum websites to find out about any free days or discounts.
- Visit the gallery of a local artist or photographer.
- Go on a walking tour. If your city doesn't have any historical or architectural walking tours, check Meetup.com for other locals who may organize such walks.
- Shop at a local bookstore. You could choose a book to read together, attend an author reading, or just browse.
- Pack yummy snacks and find a scenic and serene spot for a picnic.
- Take a fitness class together. Yoga. Cross training. Tai chi. Whatever strikes your fancy.
- Create a playlist of songs that symbolize your relationship. Plenty of room here for goofy naming conventions.
- Volunteer. Here's a great way to find out which charities truly matter to both of you.
- Go apple picking in the fall.
- Hit the golf course, batter's cage or another sports-related activity you both may enjoy.
- Enjoy a themed movie night, maybe even a marathon. Make some food to complement the occasion.
- Another movie night option is to pick favorite childhood movies to share with the other person.
- Enjoy a documentary night together. Could be at the local art house theater or a movie you pick up at the library. Maybe the documentary ties into other goals you have as a couple. Saving money? Getting healthier? Learning how to do something? Find a documentary that fits your goals and grow together.
- Attend a grand opening for a favorite store.
- Plan a vacation together. I recommend Pinterest for gathering ideas for your ideal itinerary.
- Bust out old photos and yearbooks and share memories and stories.
- Have a game night. Cards. Board Games. Wii. Chess. Trivia. Whatever you both enjoy.
- Ask each other questions from The Book of Questions or any other relationship question list...there are many to choose from. You could turn this Q&A into a game too!
- Go stargazing. If you don't own a telescope, you could ask around to see if any friends have one, or just enjoy a night under the stars on a blanket.
- Check out your local zoo. Many zoos do offer free days. ZooLights may be worth the price of admission.
- Investigate potential day trips to wineries, state parks, historic homes, or any other attractions. These places probably charge entrance fees, but be sure to look into potential discounts or free days.
- Attend a free outdoor concert or street fair in your city. While you're there, have your couples caricature drawn.
- Take a class together. Check out offerings for continuing education or enrichment programs from your local community college or centers.
- Shop at a thrift store or flea market. Maybe you search for supplies for future date nights or just browse.
- Find a photo booth, model any thrift store finds, and have a laugh.
- Complete a DIY project together. Instead of viewing the task as drudgery, reframe it as a way to work together.
- Cook or bake together. Try a new recipe.
- Create a couple's bucket list. This date easily produces future date ideas worth saving money toward.
- Attend any work parties together. Leave early and head home for a spa-night.
- Join a local sports team. Even if you're not super athletic, you could probably enjoy some kickball.
- Make a photo collage of your dates. My Person and I will be creating a presentation of our year-of-dates to place into a digital picture frame.
Resources to Help Inspire Future Date Ideas:
- Sign up for mailing lists. Lots of mailing lists. Tip: If you don't want to sort through these emails every day, set up an email address just for spammy types of newsletters and such. You never know what good news may land in your inbox. Just remember to check it every couple of weeks.
- Have a favorite local artist or photographer? Get on their email list to attend free opening events.
- Do you like attending plays or lectures? Sign up for notifications from various art or lecture series. Get on the mailing list for your local public media.
- Do you like reading? Subscribe to your local bookstore newsletter to learn about author readings, book launch parties, and book clubs.
- Have favorite places to visit like wineries, comedy clubs, parks, play houses, artsy-fartsy independent movie theater, or any other local attractions? Sign up for their email list too. Be in-the-know about free and discounted events.
- Have a hobby? Sign up for updates from your Convention Center for any
- Join or monitor Meetup groups. Meetup.com is a great place to find activities like local walking tours. Some groups also offer free or discounted entry into some events they sponsor or have member affiliations.
- Check your local library for free events. Most libraries I've visited have pretty extensive calendars of programming, so they usually have pretty good filters for searching their calendar by event type or branch location.
- Read the local newspaper, even online.
- Be a regular somewhere. A coffee shop, a restaurant. Some place where you can chat with friendly people who aren't your best friends, but may have heard about local events you would like to attend.
- Chat with co-workers. Ask about their weekend plans. If you work with people of various ages, even better. Keeping your circle of acquaintances broad means you'll hear about a variety of activities going on.
- Organize your social media. For instance, on Twitter create a group for locals and add people to that group who share valuable information on events and discounts. If you're looking for some weekend inspiration, just apply your group filter and see what the helpful locals are tweeting about.
What creative dates have you dreamed up? And where did you get your inspiration? Please share in the comments.