What do you do when money is tight but you have a date? You start worrying, you can’t sleep, and you’re getting dark circles around your eyes. Even worse, you can’t even eat and all you think about is how you’re going to make it happen without spending any money. In other words, you have got to find some date ideas that are free.

First off, breathe in and breathe out. Don’t you panic. A successful date isn’t based on how much money you’re willing to spend, but how to make your date feel special.

Still not sure what you can do for free? No problem, we’ve you covered. Check out these awesome (and free) date ideas and choose whatever you think would work best for you.

30 Free Date Ideas That Don't Cost Anything

1. Stargazing

The great night sky and its twinkling stars have been the subjects of poems and songs for perhaps as long as humanity. Spend an evening with your date to appreciate the starry sky that has fascinated poets, artists, and scientists. Also, did we mention that it’s free to look at the constellations?

All you need is a clear night sky — so check the weather report (free) before the stargazing date.  You can do this in your own backyard, on your balcony, or head out of town if the light pollution is severe where you live. Be enchanted by the beauty of the stars and familiarize yourself with the constellations. You can even make your own and name it after your date, no one’s going to stop you from doing that. To have even more fun, bring a blanket and a thermos of hot chocolate to share with your date.

Stargazing, stars, constellations and hot chocolate free date ideas

2. Party

Drop by a friend’s party. Ideally, a party that is organized by a close friend. Avoid parties that require you to bring anything — so birthday parties are out of the question. Aside from showing off how great you and your date look together, you get to have free munchies and drinks. You can have fun with your friends and participate in games. Freeloading is fine once in a while, but remember to return the favor. Otherwise soon you won’t have any friend’s party to attend to.

3. Movie Night

Combine you and your partner’s “Movies To Watch” list and tackle the monster list in one go. All the better if your list is on Netflix, otherwise create such list on Netflix or just jot down the movies on your phone! If you don’t have Netflix, get creative! There are numerous free movie websites, you just have to keep looking! More of a TV series fan? Binge-watch the whole season with your SO. Btw, if you like The Office, check out these other shows that are like The Office.

Related: Movie Date Ideas, Dating Tips & Etiquette

4. Dog Walking

Spend time together with your furry, fluffy buddies. It’s not only a good (and free) bonding activity, but it’s also a form of exercise. You get to enjoy some time with your date, your pet, and burn some calories while you’re at it — that sounds like a winner. If you have just started dating, this will provide some insight into your date’s character. There’s a lot you can tell from the way someone treats and handles a dog. This free date idea applies to cat lovers too. You can walk your cats together, or invite your date over to spend some time with your indoor cats. It’s an instant red flag if your date mistreats your pet.

Walk your dogs together free date idea

5. Hiking

Escape from the hustle and bustle in your daily life by conquering a nearby hiking trail. If the local trail just doesn’t do it for you two anymore — for example, the trail is getting boring or too crowded — seek out a new trail and share your virgin experience on the new trail with your date. Don’t forget to pack a simple lunch and a cute picnic blanket you can sit and cuddle on while taking in the breathtaking view the trail has to offer. Remember to keep the trail clean by properly handling your trash, there’s a reason why the trail is free.

hiking with your partner free date ideas
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6. Picnic

You don’t have to go far for this date. A picnic at the nearby park or in your own backyard will do. Pack whatever food find in your kitchen. You can do some creative cooking by using the ingredients you have in stock too. Just don’t get too hung up on the food, the food isn’t the protagonist of your picnic date story — you and your date are. You don’t need caviar or champagne for a romantic picnic date, all you need is you, your partner, and some affection for each other. Though a sandwich would help too.

7. Geocaching

Geocaching is a free, real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS. The goal is to locate the geocache hidden at a specific location. Have you tried Pokemon Go? It’s similar to that game. Become a dynamic duo of treasure hunters, have fun hunting for hidden treasures that are beyond your wildest imagination — sounds like a date you won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

purple rose petal ideas for free date

8. Beach Day

Spend a day at the beach with your date, or just a couple of hours if you don’t have the whole day. The beach is a superb, versatile, and free date location — except perhaps during a typhoon or when it’s raining (check out these rainy day date ideas for fun things for couples to do when it rains). The most common time to go for a beach date is during the summer months when the weather is warm and the sun shines bright. Bring your swimwear, pack some food, beach necessities, and head off to the beach with your date. Help each other apply sunscreen. Take beautiful wefies and photos of each other. Go for a dip in the calm ocean.

The beach is equally awesome during other times of the day and year. It is serene and less crowded during sunset, which is perfect if you’re looking for some quiet time to give each other some undivided attention.

fun time at the beach free date ideas

9. Campfire

Unless you’re going camping, you’ll want to do this at the comfort in your own backyard. This is especially fun during the colder months, the campfire keeps your warm and makes you feel more connected to nature. Start a small, controlled fire. Bonfire (in simple terms, bonfire is big fire, campfire is small fire) looks great in pictures but could put your house and surrounding neighbors’ properties in jeopardy, so stick to smaller fire that you’re comfortable at controlling.

Anyway, just sit by the fire and have a sip of Chamomile tea with honey or your favorite hot chocolate. Keep each other warm by sitting close together, with your head on his shoulder. Do this at night, so you can do some star gazing while listening to the fire crackling.

10. Water Gun Fight

Cool off the summer heat by firing a water gun at your date. You’re never too old to play with a water gun. Do this at your own backyard or at a water park if you don’t mind paying for the tickets. Dust off that inflatable pool you have in the storage, pump it up, and fill it with water. The water gun fight is the prelude to the fun you’ll have with your romantic date in the private pool.

11. Watch Sunset

Sunrise and sunset are romanticized in movies and TV shows. There’s something magical about these moments when the day gives way to the night and vice versa. Guess what they have in common? They’re both breathtaking to look at and, like many things in nature, free. All you need for this free date is a spot where it offers a wide, unobstructed view. Some examples are your balcony, rooftop, local park, the beach, and on top of a mountain. Bring something to drink, beer, wine, or even hot chocolate.

Romantic moment during sunrise and sunset - free date ideas

12. Volunteer

Be a good samaritan and pay it forward. Sign up for outreach programs and contribute to the community. More hands are better than one, so round up your friends to make it more fun and meaningful. For the ambitious, arrange your own community service. It could be as simple as cleaning the neighborhood or organize a fundraiser for a good cause. You can absolutely do this yourself, but to make it a date and an ongoing shared commitment, make sure you and your date have an agreement on splitting the work.

13. Work Out

Don’t lose hope if you don’t have a gym membership, there are other ways you can work out with your partner. Get your blood flowing by jogging around your area, or you can both break a sweat by dancing to Zumba videos on right at your very own home. Perhaps the two of you are interested in doing some Yoga — be sure check out these awesome Yoga channels on Youtube.

work out date - cardio weight-lifting yoga free idea for date

14. Karaoke

Sing along to your favorite songs. Find out what songs your date has been singing to since she’s in twelve grade. Don’t worry if you can’t sing well, karaoke is more about having a great time than being pitch-perfect. To get started with the at-home karaoke date, the bare minimum is your and your date’s presence. Since not all of us can remember the lyrics, having access to the internet and Youtube helps tremendously. You will find many karaoke music videos on Youtube that come with lyrics subtitle and have the vocal muted. If you own a karaoke system, why are you still reading this? Just make sure that you prepare some new batteries for your wireless mics.

at-home karaoke session free date ideas

15. Music Playlist

Create a list of songs that best describe your feelings for each other and prepare a brief explanation for each. This is a fun way to learn more about each other. Do this activity where you feel comfortable. It could be in your living room while cuddling on a sofa, or better yet, in the bedroom while getting warm inside your blanket. And when the list is complete — for the moment, as it is a playlist that will keep on growing — it’s time to dance to your favorite songs.

16. Arts & Crafts

Use your imagination and unleash your creativity. If you’re at a loss for ideas, do some Google searches or check out some art / DIY books at the public library. Skim through them and choose whatever that sparks your interest. If you’re more of an artist or painter, have your date pose as your model or paint a common subject. If you’re not that good, you just need to set expectations and prepare to laugh hard at the hilarious outcome.

DIY crafts art projects painting drawing free date ideas

17. Library

Public libraries are an awesome dating spot for couples of all ages. Couples who like to read will find themselves surrounded by thousands of books they’ll never be able to finish in their lifetime. But libraries have so much more to offer besides just books. Entertain yourself with magazines, listen to music records, watch some old films, etc. And if none of those interest you, there’s Free WiFi and air conditioning. Browse through some books, you’ll never imagine what kind of unique books you’ll find at the library. In between bookshelves where nobody sees you, give each other a little embrace and a light kiss on the lips.

public libraries perfect for couples free and fun date ideas

18. Camping

For this free date idea, set up a camp in your own backyard. Be resourceful and use whatever you can. Prepare games, ghost stories, or a series of topics you can talk about with your date. Don’t forget to use insect repellents and make sure there won’t be any nasty surprises like snakes or tarantulas around the area.

19. Bucket List

Popularized by the Morgan Freeman movie, the bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you, well, kick the bucket. If it feels too heavy, simply rephrase it as couple goals. This date idea is free but deeply meaningful. It allows you to understand each other a little bit more. Sit down at home or at a park to create a list of things you would like to do or achieve as a couple. If you’re two aren’t committed to each other, do yourself a favor by skipping over heavy topics like marriage and kids. Anyway, share some common goals, make action plans on how you’ll be able to accomplish them.

20. Games

Games encapsulate a wide range of different activities. For examples, mobile games and board games. They do share one thing in common — games are entertaining, fun, and stress-free. Since we’re looking for date ideas that are free, you’ll want to make use of what you already have. Chances are you have a Monopoly set laying around that you haven’t been playing — well, time to duke it off in Monopoly’s arena of capitalism. Playing cards are versatile and commonly found in a household. You can play blackjack, poker, or strip poker for a risque date night. Another option not to overlook is mobile games, there are many free multiplayer games available on Android and iOS. Here’s a list of mobile games couples should try.

play games, card game, board game free date ideas

21. Massage

Take turns to give each other a massage. Release that negative energy and the piled up stress inside your SO and you. Studies show that massages aid in the stimulation of blood circulation. This helps overcome anxiety, digestive disorders, and leads to increased flexibility.

free date idea give each other massages to release stress

22. Photoshoot

A professional DSLR isn’t necessary. You can use your mobile phone to snap some photos of you and your date. Think of a theme and scout for the best spot where you can do the photoshoot. You can also do it at the comfort of your own home. It could be in the bedroom, at the patio, or in the living room. The best thing about this is that everything is within your reach. If you’d like to use props or change outfits, you can simply do so.

photoshoot session with without DSLR at home free date ideas

23. Scrapbooking

Scrapbooking is a fun way to preserve your favorite memories. If you’re willing to spend some money, head down to the nearest Michael’s or crafts store to purchase some cute scrapbooking supplies such as an album, sparkly stickers, embellishments, etc. However, you can absolutely do this for free without spending any money. First, you will need to find an album. You can use an old journal for this or make your own album by binding together a stack of paper. Next, find some photos of you two. For decoration, which is crucial to any successful scrapbook, look for unused stickers or simply cut out patterns, motifs, and graphics from old magazines or newspapers. One underutilized source for DIY scrapbook decoration is old t-shirts and scarf — just make sure that you’re using a glue that can adhere fabric to paper! You can also add quotes, poems, and other meaningful text to the pages of your romantic scrapbook.

scrapbooking using recycled material free date ideas

24. Playground

We all have that inner child in us and it doesn’t hurt to let her out every once in a while. Visit the (free) playground and become a kid again. Ride on the swings, see-saws, or try out that kiddie slide. Forget about being adults for a while and make the most out of this day. You can also chase each other or play hide and seek. A few tips on playground date for adults, (1) check out the weight limit on the equipment before you use them, (2) the date is more enjoyable when there aren’t any kids or parents around — try night time if you live in a safe neighborhood.

25. Concert

Summer is the season of music festivals. If you’re looking for some fun date ideas that are free in summer, try to look for free music festivals or music concert online. Don’t be discouraged if it isn’t summer, there are free events that happen in other seasons too, so make sure you keep looking. Anyway, do your research on the music festival and dress up according to the theme of the festival! There’s no need to buy a new outfit, just be creative with what you already have in your wardrobe. The location of the festival matters too! If it’s being held at the beach, dress yourself up beachy style. If it’s at the local park, be casual — a cute sundress will be perfect.

free music concert, festival - free date ideas

26. Eating Competition

There are many free eating competitions that offer a terrible amount of free food. Participation won’t be necessary if you don’t desire to be a champion of, say, hot dog eating. Just drop by with your date and check out the competitive event. Oftentimes there are other activities or things to see besides at the competition, so be sure sniff around. If you aren’t participating, find a nice spot in the viewer stand so you and your date can witness the men and women who are pro at swallowing food at an incredible speed. If you are participating, make sure you aren’t overexerting yourself — going piglike or worse — ending up in a hospital may not leave a good impression on your date.

27. Sports

Doing sports together is a fun way for athletic couples to grow closer and stay healthy. Find an athletic activity that interests both of you. It can be a competitive sport that you’re already good at or a new physical activity that you’re interested to try out as a couple. Some activities to try out are jogging, swimming, couple’s yoga, tennis, badminton, table tennis, etc.

28. Scavenger Hunt

If you think geocaching is a bit too tedious, you can create your own hunt instead. Make a random list of stuff that you’ll be looking for together. Put a twist to it, make up an outrageous list of uncommon random stuff or a description of a person and see whoever gets the closest to that. No, you don’t have to physically pick up the things on the list — mere sighting will qualify you to cross the item off the list.

go on a scavenger hunt free date ideas

29. Eat Outside

Eat out, but I don’t mean eating at a restaurant. Set up a table for two outside your house or apartment. It could be in the garden or on the balcony. Probably not a great idea during winter but there’s nothing your creativity can’t solve. Anyway, this free date idea is perfect for spring, summer, and fall when the weather is too amazing for you to stay in. Go overboard with the food and decor if you’re up for it, or keep things simple. Some coffee or tea and some snacks are really all you need to have a romantic date when the people are in love.

Spend time outside eating drinking chatting - free date ideas

30. Art Museum

Satisfy your thirst for artistic appreciation by visiting an art museum or art gallery. Look for art museums around town that offer free admission. If you live nearby an art school, the faculty and students sometimes organize free art exhibition. Make sure you support the local art community by showing up and have a great time with your date while you’re at it.

Dress up a little to impress your SO and make yourself feel great. Feast your eyes on the artistic masterpieces on display. Some artworks are easy to interpret and some are not. Talk to your date and find out what do they think. After the date is over and if the day is still young, ride on that artistic energy and make your own art piece together at home.

Art museum with free admission - date ideas for couples

What is your favorite date idea?

Did you find anything useful from the list of free date ideas? Which of the above is your favorite? Money is not always the deciding factor to make your date memorable. We often have this misconception that money is all that matters. Of course money matters, but not all the time. Sometimes the things not seen by the naked eye are the most valuable of all. All you need to do is look closer.

Operating on a tiny budget? Check out these cheap date ideas below

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