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As the Summer of Savings begins, I want to help you cut back on spending without missing out or feeling deprived.

Many couples use the great weather of the season to go out on dates. Wonderful idea and with some planning you two can get out together without emptying out your wallet.

Frugal and Fun Date Ideas

If you're stuck on what to do, I have a massive list of 52 date ideas you can try. Most of them can be done with $20 or less.

As an added bonus, a few of these dates flow together so you two can have a month's plan set up in no time!

Pick up easy, frugal, & fun date ideas you can do together for an entire year (and beyond)!

Exploring Local Spots

Sometimes just exploring your city can be a fantastic way to enjoy each other's company.

  1. Visit historic landmarks: Learn about the local history and read the plaques.
  2. Farmers Market: Eat local and have some fun at the farmer's market.
  3. Tour a brewery: Find a local brewery in your city and take a tour it. Once you're finished, compare notes over a couple of pints.
  4. Concerts: Upcoming and coming bands can offer better bang for your buck; check them out at smaller local venues and college campuses.
  5. Enjoy a ferry ride: If you live an area with them, taking the ferry around can be a scenic way to travel.
  6. Bird's eye view: Something a change in perspective can be fun. Relax on the rooftop of a high raise and watch the city below.
  7. Appreciate the architecture: Walking downtown with fresh eyes and go on an architecture tour. Take pics of your favorite designs.
  8. Watch the game: See if there are any minor league games around in your area.
  9. Check out a local festival: Look at your community calendar to see if you two can catch a festival nearby.
  10. Campus fun: Local colleges can be a great source of talent. See campus productions of plays, attend a game, or watch a concert.
  11. Groupon: check out the site to see if you can eat at one of your favorite spots (or find a new one you've been dying to try).

Enjoying Nature

You don't have to go camping to have a wonderful time enjoying nature. Go outdoors and relax. Tweet: Fun and Frugal Dates to Try

  1. Go for a hike: Visit a local park and  take a stroll around and through it.
  2. Have a picnic: Take advantage of the warmer weather and have lunch or dinner outside.
  3. Bird watch: See how many local bird you can identify using books or apps.
  4. Fish: Try and see who can catch the most fish or just spend the day relaxing and chatting.
  5. Build and fly a kite: Be a kid again and fly a kite. Grab a kit or build one from scratch.
  6. Count the stars: With pleasant and clear nights, the two of you can look for constellations.
  7. Build sandcastles: Those living by the beach have a great spot for a date.
  8. Botanical gardens: If you're looking to catch up with each in beautiful surroundings, visit your local botanical gardens for your next leisurely stroll.
  9. Vineyard tour: Drive out to a nearby vineyard and take a tour of their place.
  10. Start a garden: Plant some flowers or grow your own veggies in your backyard.

Playing Games, Getting Fit Looking to get out, but don't want to do the same old movie date? Here are 52 fun and cheap date night idea to keep you connected all year!

Some friendly competition can make a date much more gratifying.

  1. Go bowling: Grab a lane and see who can break 100 the fastest.
  2. Bike around the city: You two can discover the nooks and crannies of your town with a bike tour.
  3. Have a tennis match: Play against each other or ask another couple to join you and play some doubles.
  4. Mini-Golf fun: Playing putt-putt can be a casual way to relax and enjoy outside.
  5. Run your neighborhood: Get in shape and have race to a neighborhood coffee or pastry shop.
  6. Swimming: Pool season is here, so cool down and jump in the water.
  7. Train for a 5k: We've done this and it made the weeks fly by.
  8. Take dance classes: Save money by renting a DVD from the library so you can practice at home anytime you want.
  9. Frisbee: Strapped for cash, but still want to enjoy the outdoors? Pick up and frisbee and head to the park.

All the World is a Stage

If either one of you are ready to prove your love in a (sometimes very) public manner, I have ideas you might like.

  1. Stand-up comedy: Take advantage of open mic night and get your husband or wife laughing.
  2. Karaoke: Bare your soul with a tune. Extra points if you sing something special (like your wedding song or something related to your first date).
  3. Sidewalk art: Grab some sidewalk chalk and create some art to let each other know how you feel.
  4. Paint: Take an art class together and paint a picture for one another.
  5. Poetry: Write and share a poem you've created for your spouse.

Dream Together

Jumping into new things can be great. Sometimes just planning things out can be exciting- you'll build anticipation before the big event.

  1. Plan a trip together: Even before you reserve the tickets, take time to plan out your next trip.  Spend a day virtually exploring a city and come up with some places you'd love to visit in person.
  2. House Hunt: Go to a neighborhood you'd love to live in and attend a few of the open houses in the area. You can get a better idea of how much your dream home can cost you.
  3. Volunteer: Pick a charity that you both support and spend a day helping them out.
  4. Create a vision board: Looking to explore your options? Make a vision board for your future and see what the two of you come up with.
  5. Start a blog: Seriously this can fun if you two have a shared interest you'd love to explore.
  6. Start a band: You can learn a new instrument or brush up on your old ones. Record a song together.

Stay at Home

Admit it – sometimes you just want to relax. There's nothing wrong with that. You can stay at home and still have a fun date night.

  1. Family recipes: Go ahead and make dinner together. Each of you make a special dish from your side of the family.
  2. Nostalgia movie: You already seen each other's all-time favorite movie? Why don't you instead watch one of favorites from when you were in middle school? Or a cheesy guilty pleasure flick?
  3. Take a look in a book (I'm a Reading Rainbow kid): Create a book club for two. You can have quiet reading sessions and for a bit and then come together to discuss the latest chapter.
  4. Learn a new skill: Are you both into painting or photography? Sign up for a class at your local library or go online and pick up a skill together.
  5. Tackle a home project: Need ideas? Check out your local hardware store for classes or visit sites like Mike and Lauren's.
  6. Scrapbooking: Grab your pictures and spend a weekend putting together of scrapbook of your memories.
  7. Plant a memory. Planting a tree and watching it grow can be a beautiful way to relax through the years.
  8. Binge-watch a new show: Weather not cooperating? Stay home and discover a new series.
  9. Write a script: If you two are film buffs or enjoy writing, write a movie script. Even if it never becomes a blockbuster, you'll have created a story you both love.
  10. Treasure hunt: Mix it up and hide some items around the house, leaving clues for your spouse.
  11. Home brew: We've made our own beers and meads. It's a lot of fun and a month later you can celebrate your creation with friends.

#20dollardatenight Mini Challenge

Don't forget, I'm giving away $100 if you take a picture of your own $20 date night. Snap one, put it up on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with the hashtag #20dollardatenight and tag me. (Twitter and Instagram – @Elle_CM & Facebook – CoupleMoney)

I’ll confirm you’re a newsletter member (you can sign-up here) and enter you!

The contest ends Tuesday June 30, 2015; no entries will be accepted afterwards. I have all the details here.

Okay, so you have my ideas – I'd love to hear from you. What are some of your favorite frugal and fun dates you've had?

About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

6 comments add your comment

    • Great question Toni; it’s June 30th for the #20dollardatenight Mini Challenge. (Guess I need to update the post to include that very important info 😛 )

      By the way you so nailed your date night – got the whole family in!

      I thought having 3 summer contests would be a bit more fun so July and August will have their own themes. Trying to keep it fun and interesting.

      • Super cool. Thanks BTW. It was a lot of fun. I still have to get my video from the day up. Maybe this weekend. BTW. Posting this in my wives group. They were looking for suggestions. Great idea! Count me in for the other months too.

      • Glad you like; it took longer to come up with this list than I orginally estimated. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of ideas that could be done with $20 or less.

        Can’t wait to see the video! Thanks so for sharing the list – I’d love to hear what other people think and come up with.

  1. Great ideas! I like finding a new drink recipe, then making it together with Vonnie and then sitting outside on the deck, or next to the firepit enjoying the fruits of our experiment.

    • Relaxing by a fire pit sounds like a great way to unwind Travis!
      I’m hoping to try some new recipes for mead some time this month so it’ll be ready in time for our next anniversary.