18 Cheap Date Ideas That Are Fun And Creatively Unique
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Not splurging the cash on your dates does not make you cheap. When complimented with fun creative activities, it makes you uniquely different from all the other average Joes and plain Janes whose only idea of a date is a movie followed by dinner at a restaurant.
What goes through the minds of guys when exploring ideas for dates?
For men, it is often a dilemma of whether to splash the cash on a date… especially if it’s the first date. You want to impress the girl by displaying you have the monetary means to take care of her. At the same time, you don’t want her to take your wealth for granted.
The worst part is that don’t know how the relationship might turn out, and therefore, can’t determine whether she is worth the investment.
What about women?
For women, a different kind of dilemma exist. Firstly, you want men to be generous in spending on you. But on the other end of the spectrum, you don’t want to put pressure on him to put you on a pedestal.
The worst thing that can happen is to be perceived as a materialistic gold-digger who would date anyone with an average personal income.
It’s a shame that mass media has painted the picture of a romantic date belonging in fancy expensive looking restaurants that only serve caviar for dessert. Because that is very far from reality.
I’ve scoured the net to look for low cost dating ideas that are fun. But found that so much content online on this topic are about small gestures that take maybe 30 minutes to do. These are not date ideas, they are small romantic gestures.
Most of the ideas are for couple who are already in a relationship. And 30 minutes is not exactly a date.
Although many of the tips can be fun, they are not really suitable in the context of dating.
For example, one of the ideas I found was to pitch a tent in the living room and spend the night there. It can sound unusual and fun. But you are facing a lot of challenges if you are just dating at an early stage.
Dating is actually a period BEFORE getting into a relationship. You can insist that a married couple can go on a date. That is true. But it’s not what this article is about. This is for those who are still dating and feeling each other out if they are right for each other.
These are some of the criteria for the date ideas listed below:
- The activity could take up a whole day if you choose to
- You don’t need to be loaded with cash to do them
- Its not the typically predictable movie and dinner
So here are some fun creative dating ideas that will not bust the bank for both parties.
You will even impress your partner of how thoughtful and potentially “low maintenance” you are. Heck! You might even find them useful to rebuild your relationship.
1) Be a couple of tourists
It might shock you that many residents in tourist hot spots anywhere in the world have NEVER visited the places of interest that are located so close to them.
You’d imagine that they would definitely have been to those places with their accessibility. But that is not true.
The mentality is often “the place is so near, I can go there anytime… in future”. And I won’t be surprised if you have never visited Alcatraz even if you live in San Francisco.
So why not take your date on a local tour and just become a couple of tourists for the day. Mingle with tourists and take a boat ride. I’m sure you will discover a lot of new things about the city you live in that you have never known about before.
2) Pictorial shoot
Most people like to have their photos taken even when they vigorously deny it. We are so lucky to live in this day and age where technology allows us to capture a moment in time with handheld digital cameras.
Our parents (at least mine) never had that luxury when they were dating as young adults.
Go to a natural area like a park or botanical gardens and start snapping away while prompting the other party to pose. Take turns and don’t forget to get the help of strangers to snap those couple shots.
After dinner, start going through the pictures together. It will be a fun experience.
3) At the workplace
If the 2 of you are really in love, he or she will be very curious about the place you spend your office hours.
Ask your partner to meet you at your office after working hours, order delivery or get some takeaways, then have dinner at the patio or the meeting room where you are so accustomed to having quick lunches.
After which you can show him around your workplace and tell stories of events that happened in particular spots. Who you favorite colleagues are and where they sit.
You would of course, check with the relevant manager and find out if the unofficial visit is fine.
And remember… the cameras are rolling…
4) Go to a food expo
Trade exhibitions can be a real bore… that is unless there is free food in the form of gourmet in them.
Everybody loves food. A food expo gives you an interesting activity to do for the day, and also provide you with a free lunch. Just start sampling every food item that you fancy and you won’t be able to stop stuffing you face with all the delicious samples.
These events, festivals, and conventions are common occurrences in major cities. So check out the local event calendar and you might find one this weekend.
5) Go to a pet megastore
I say megastore because a simple shop will not have enough variety to keep the both of you busy for a few hours.
I love animals… particularly kittens and puppies. And the odds are that you do too. You just don’t like to take care of them.
How can you not find this cute?
I do acknowledge that some people have a phobia with animals. But usually, if they fear cats, they will not fear dogs… and vice-versa.
If you are unsure, do check with your date/boyfriend/girlfriend.
If the pet store option is a good for you, you can also consider visiting the local SPCA. The staff usually welcome visitors to hang around with the pets. And you won’t be obligated to take one home with you.
6) Horse racing venue
I’m not an advocate of betting. But going to the race track can be a very unique and fun experience for both of you.
I’ve only been to the track twice. And I remember that both times, I had a lot of fun with my partner… and the whole day was gone before we even know it.
You are going to go through the tension, suspense, anticipation, elation for winning, etc. That’s a whole lot of emotions to experience together on a date. And I have yet to even mention the various number of amusing people you might encounter there.
Just don’t allow your visits become a bad habit.
Since we have mentioned horse racing, I might as well mention the casino too.
We usually think about stack of dollars or chips when we think about the betting tables. But really, nobody can force you to place your bets if you don’t want to. I advice that you don’t gamble at all.
The casino can be a great place to just hangout.
It is a place filled with excitement, enthusiasm, elation, and more. You can easily mingle with guests as they are usually friendly and wants some of your luck to rub onto them.
On top of that, there are often free mini-shows meant to keep customers entertained.
That’s not to mention the free complimentary drinks and finger food that is served to patrons. And you get treated like royalty by staff.
8) Luxury Day
Pretend that the both of you are worth hundreds of millions in networth. Then go about your day how the wealthy would.
Go visit the open house of luxury homes, test drive sports cars, window shop in the high class districts, walk into a 5 star hotel lobby to look for the washroom, etc.
You will realize at the end of the day that it’s not the money that makes life fun, it is about the person you are doing things with.
9) Science center
Despite the possibility being labelled as a nerd if you walk into the science center, it is something that you can put in your shortlist.
Because there is just so much cool stuff you can find in a science park for both male and female.
Technology is advancing in a rapid pace. And I can guarantee that the things you will find there are very different from the last time you visited the place.
The child in you will be grateful that you did pay the place a visit.
This is probably a date idea that has been mentioned countless times in every media. But I still think it’s a place that deserves another mention.
Check out the schedules of the zoo for the day and make an effort to go to all of them.
You were probably just a kid the last time you went to the zoo. It’s about time you gave Mr Tiger another visit.
And remember, if you get too close to an elephant during a show, the trainer will get it to splash water on you with it’s trunk!
11) Drive in movie
The reason why a drive-in is better than a typical movie is that you don’t have to be wary being a disturbance to others.
This is a big difference.
Because now you can chat away and make funny remarks without fearing that someone might shout at you from behind to shut up. You don’t even have to be self-conscious in bringing in a bucket load of snacks.
This also eliminates the lack of interaction and conversation during a typical movie theater.
12) Watch you favorite TV show together
If the both of you have a common interest in a TV series, it would be a good idea to watch it together.
If you don’t have a common favorite, think back and come up with one that both of you remembers favorably. Then go to the rental store and rent out the whole series… or better yet, buy it.
Watching the episodes end-to-end will keep the both of you occupied for a few weekends. And it’s not going to be boring since you like the show.
13) Visit a resort
People usually assume that resorts are closed to only those who have booked their rooms for a couple for days or the weekend. That is not true at all.
Other than those truly exclusive resorts only meant for members, most resorts are open to the public.
The great thing about these places is that they have almost everything. You might find theme parks, ice skating rinks, cinemas, spas, etc.
You will be left wanting more by the end of the day as you couldn’t finish everything you wanted to do.
Just remember your transport as some resorts can be located in totally obscure places.
14) IKEA or a store like that
I don’t know how the Swedes do it… but IKEA is a great dating place for people of all ages.
You can feel the fun in the air as soon as you enter the main entrance. And you are always wondering what goodies you are going to see on the next turn.
The many fanciful products that you will run into also adds some spice into the conversation with your date.
On top of that, looking at furniture and home fixtures is an activity that couples do. There’s enough entertainment in their stores for you to spend the a full day if you want to. The whole combination of IKEA and dating just fits together like a dove-tail joint.
15) Tennis, badminton, squash
Tennis is one of those sports that has a strong male and female following. And unlike golf, you don’t have to go through weeks of grueling training just to hit a ball cleanly.
As long as your partner is sporty and up to it, he or she will unlikely turn down a 1 or 2 hours session.
Unlike other games like beach volleyball, you don’t have to feel awkward that there are only 2 persons playing it.
The only boring part of tennis concerns the picking up of balls. That is a small price to pay for the fun that you will have in the tennis court.
Hint: It could be more fun to invite a couple for mixed doubles.
You can hangout at the sports bar to relax after that.
16) Explore an off-shore island
This depends somewhat on your geographic location. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to buy tickets to a nearby island that you have never visited.
It’s also a chance to get away from the hustle of the city.
Do a little research to see what activities can be found on the island so that you can prepare any gear or equipment that you might need.
And don’t forget to check out the time of the last ferry off the island.
The arcade game centre is a great place to pop into in an impromptu way.
You are surely not going to make plans for the day just to visit the arcade. But if you happen to come across one and have nothing planned, just walk in and start gaming away.
Be careful with time tracking. Because you can often lose hours of your life without realizing it.
18) Go where the best view is
No matter where you are, there is bound to be a place where you can get the best view of the city.
Sometimes these can be observation towers, high rise buildings, and even a small hiking trail or cable car ride that leads to a hill top.
There’s just something about looking down onto the city from a bird’s eye view that will give you goosebumps. Maybe it’s about the realization of how small we are… or that everything in the universe is one… I don’t know.
These spots are often buzzing with activity too ranging from retailers, to restaurants, to cafes, etc.
Just be careful taking your selfies when you stand on the edges, and don’t forget to bring a jacket if you are visiting one of those hilltop peaks.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to come up with creative date ideas that are not too taxing on your wallet. If your partner is someone who is totally into you, it doesn’t matter to him or her what’s on the itinerary. And how cheap or expensive the expenses are will have little bearing on who you are in his or her mind.
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