Going on dates is a pretty vital part of a relationship. Whether it is starting off a relationship on a blind date or dating your husband or wife of 25 years, dates are important to get to know somebody and keep up a healthy relationship. It is a time to go out (or stay in, for that matter), not worry about the little issues of life, and just enjoy the presence of your partner.
Some pretty standard dates are dinner, coffee (or tea), and movie dates. In my relationship, we have resolved to keep things fun with other types of dates. We typically pair a fun activity with lunch or dinner (or sometimes breakfast if I am lucky, since he is not a breakfast person). As college students, we are on pretty tight budgets, so we try to keep our dates relatively inexpensive.
Here is a list of fun and inexpensive dates for couples who are just starting out, couples who have been married for a long time, and anyone in between!
Taking turns planning picnics or planning one together can be a lot of fun. If you prepare the food at home, this can be super inexpensive. It can also be super convenient to grab take out and a blanket and head over to a nearby park!
TWO: Cooking together
I absolutely love grocery shopping and cooking with my boyfriend. This may not be something that is fun for couples that are married or live together, but I only see my boyfriend about every other weekend. We like to go out sometimes, but typically we prefer to just relax, and eating in is the perfect opportunity for that.
THREE: Beach dates
Okay, so not everybody has the luxury of being as close to the beach as we are, but if you are, I strongly recommend beach dates. The beach is great at any time of the day for different activities. Walks on the beach are nice in the morning and evening and lounging, swimming, and playing are nice during the day! This can also be inexpensive if you find somewhere inexpensive to park and come prepared with water, snack, sunblock, and other beach supplies.
FOUR: Museums & Art Galleries
There are so many different kinds of museums to choose from. Many museums and galleries offer student or resident discounts or free admission, so check for this ahead of time! If you get to a museum that turns out to be not very interesting to you, I suggest making jokes about all of the exhibits with your significant other. This may not be the most “grown up” option, but if your jokes are quiet enough, nobody will get offended and you will have a fantastic time (trust me here!)
FIVE: Visiting the pet store
Okay so I am a strong supporter of the “Adopt, Don’t Shop” movement due to horrid situations with puppy mills and over breeding, but I do love to visit the pet store to play with puppies. The best part is that it is FREE! Anybody can go into a pet store and play with puppies (and sometimes kittens and rabbits, too). That being said, you could also go to a humane society but those are typically places that I would only go since the employees are often volunteers and have real work to do.
SIX: Trip to the zoo
Although there are many ethical implications with zoos, I see no issue paying to go to a zoo that is known to treat their animals with love and respect. Many zoos offer students and package discounts. Make sure to look into pricing beforehand!
SEVEN: Barnes & Noble (Bookstore)
Maybe my boyfriend and I are just huge nerds, but we love to go to the book store. Our taste in books is very different, so we often show each other books we are interested in or book that we have read and loved. I think this is also a really cool way to get to know somebody!
What is more fun that a little fun [competitive] game of bowling and some crappy bowling alley pizza? This can get pricey, but I have found some great Groupons that make it just as affordable as a movie date!
NINE: Indoor trampoline park
I asked multiple people what the most fun date would be and the majority said trampoline park. I have never actually been to one, but I did some research and found that although they are a bit pricey, many parks offer Groupons which greatly cuts the price!
TEN: Painting With a Twist
There are so many “cocktails & painting” places, such as painting with a twist, that can turn you from a stick figure sketcher to a master of the canvas. If you cannot find a good deal on one of these places, it does not cost much to buy a couple canvases and some paints and follow a YouTube “paint party!”
– – –
In writing this post, I have realized that my boyfriend and I do not take many pictures on our dates besides the occasional low-quality selfie. Here are some pictures from our most fun dates (some not included in the list since they were more expensive)! Enjoy!