Valentine's Day is just around the corner and I've got some romantic (and fun!) budget-friendly date night ideas for you and your loved one. If you're currently on a spending freeze or a No Spend Month, you can also check out these activities.
15 Affordable Dates
1. Go on a Picnic
There's nothing more classic than enjoying delicious food and stealing kisses with your loved on a picnic blanket. Bring a bottle of wine if your location allows it. But stay out of trouble by avoiding public parks if you're bringing the Cabernet.
2. Matinee Show at the Movie Theater
If you find the time in your busy schedule to see a movie, especially if you have children, does it really matter if it's in the afternoon? I personally fall asleep around 9 or 10 so I'll take a matinee showing any day.
3. Head to Your Local Museums
Museums often have fairly decent ticket pricing and you can usually squeeze out a couple of hours of amusement. Walking around holding hands with your loved one is free, but definitely awesome.
4. Hike at Your Local Nature Center
Head to your nearest outdoor nature center for a invigorating hike. Getting some exercise in the fresh air is a nice twist on Valentine's Day dates and watching your lovey work up a sweat isn't so bad either.
5. Cook Dinner Together
Why have one person cook the meal when you can both spend time in the kitchen together? Put on some romantic music and buy a few candles from the Dollar Store if you don't have any around the house. John Legend is always a good start.
6. Have a Bookstore Date
My hubby and I are major nerds so we've gone on this date many times before. We head to our local bookstore (usually a discount place) and spend some time browsing together.
You could also buy a book for one another, swapping your purchases once you get home. It never ceases to amaze me when my husband picks out something he thinks I'll like. My initial reactions are usually a little unsure but he almost always wins me over.
7. Go Camping
If you already own the gear and can find an affordable spot to stay, camping is an affordable way to get outside of your normal environment and have some quality alone time. Does it get more romantic than stargazing on Valentine's Day?
8. Explore the City
If you live in a large city, this is the perfect opportunity for exploring a side you've never seen before.
This is how my husband and I found some of our favorite local restaurants and parks. If we're driving, we'll pack a few snacks or we'll just walk our way through some of the most popular Houston districts.
9. Rent a Bike
Some cities have adopted this incredible idea where they place rental bikes all over. You can rent one, ride around for a while, then drop it off in the same location or in another.
10. Attend a Local Event
Check your city's local website for an event calendar. Festivals, car shows, art shows, performances, outdoor movie showings, and nature events are just some of the great ideas I've seen.
11. Go Ice Skating
If you're great at ice skating, it's the perfect chance to hold hands. If you're terrible at it, it's the perfect chance to keep saving each other. Either way, it's a romantic win.
Even Houston has an ice skating rink so there's a good chance you can find one somewhere in your vicinity!
12. Play a Sport Together
If you're a parent and have found a baby sitter (!), this is the perfect time to play the sports you love the most. The Hubby and I like to take advantage of local and church sports areas that are available to the public for free.
13. Tour a Local Winery or Brewery
When I say local, I mean very small-town local as this is one of the best ways to save money. We went wine tasting at a small winery, keeping the appetizers to a minimum, and paid less than $50 for the entire date.
14. Walk Through a Farmer's or Flea Market
Kansas City has an incredible farmer's market that we used to love going to, with the most incredible variety of spices, fruits, vegetables, and baked goods.
Grab a coffee-to-go before you get there and spend the morning picking up groceries for a romantic dinner.
15. Volunteer Together
If you love to give back, do it together by volunteering or doing one of these random acts of kindness. Volunteer at your local animal shelter or soup kitchen so you can help others while bonding with your loved one at the same time.
Valentine's Day can be both romantic and affordable if you're willing to look outside of the box. Let me know in the comments below if you skipped the expensive dinner reservation and try one of these ideas instead!