For every Valentine’s Day hater, there’s a romantic who appreciates having a holiday that’s all about showing some love. Even the bitter cold of mid-February can’t chill this lover’s heart. The only problem? Money. Without it, many typical dates — like a weekend getaway or a night at the ballet — are off limits. If you’re trying to save some cash for a down payment on your dream home, keep reading to see our cheap date ideas.
Sometimes it sucks being a couple on a budget, but it’s also a true test of your relationship. If you can’t afford to go to the movies or out for dinner often, you have to get creative and find affordable fun. Chances are, you bond a lot more over your Netflix marathon and that time you face planted on the hiking trail than you would in a restaurant or dark theater anyway.
Pick one of these original activities that prove it’s totally fine (and possibly better) to be a cheap date.
Go sledding... or have a snowball fight
You know why being a kid was so fun? Because you had zero money but still had a blast just playing outside. Put on your snow pants and find the perfect sledding hill or a nearby park. When you can't feel your fingers anymore, head inside and make some boozy homemade hot chocolate for two.
Play games at an arcade bar
Preferably one where the games are free. But either way, you can scrap up spare change in the name of pinball and Pac-Man. Again, alcohol and childhood nostalgia are a winning combo.
Tour a local brewery or winery
So you both love craft beer or fancy yourselves sommeliers? Go taste beer or wine for the price of tour admission... it beats paying bar prices.
Spend a day at the museum
I know, some museums have pretty pricey admission, but not all! I recommend a natural history museum because everyone loves dinosaurs and weird taxidermy collections.
Go hiking or snowshoeing
The best part about the great outdoors is that it's free — well, unless you're paying for trail admission at a state park. Still, long hikes are an adventure, and you can always take breaks to make out in the woods. As for snowshoeing, a lot of city recreational departments offer cheap rentals.
Build a fort
Is there anything better than chilling in your very own tent fort? Yes, cuddling in it with your SO while watching your favorite Netflix shows. If your fort's big enough, you can even eat a romantic V-Day dinner in there.
Spend a day at a flea market
Try on weird kimonos or fur coats, ogle vintage typewriters, and buy each other a quirky token of affection at the end of the day. At flea markets and thrift stores, looking is half the fun.
Find a guided ghost tour
Patrick Swayze probably won't be there, but you can get good deals for these on sites like Groupon all the time. Plus this is a great time to hold on tight to your significant other if they get a little spooked during the tour. Once it’s all done and over with, you can make fun of it together.
Go to a local concert or comedy show
Going to Taylor Swift's tour is pricey, but going to see an up-and-coming local band is pocket money. Even if you haven't heard of them, why not branch out and support a local artist? If they're bad, just drink beer until they sound better.
Have a game night
You might want to make this a double date, depending on what games you want to play, but there's no way to go wrong with a classic (Monopoly, Clue). Complete your night with slices of pizza afterwards to celebrate your win (and soak up the victory shots).
Sing together at a karaoke bar
If you're not normally karaoke people, use Valentine's Day night as an opportunity to break out of your shells. Take a couple of shots and sing your hearts out during a duet.
Spend an hour at a cat cafe
These cafes are popping up all over the place, and the cats are actually friendly. Win her heart over with a donation to the closest animal shelter—the cafe will know which one—and don’t forget antihistamine.
A Rock-Climbing Session
She probably hasn't done it in years, and the adrenaline kick couldn't hurt either of you. Don’t forget to get a quick video of you both ascending (or rapidly descending) the wall, for the memories.
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