By “date” I am referring to anything you can do alone for a couple hours with your wife/girlfriend. If you have kids, you might just have to bite the bullet and pay a sitter for a couple of hours, but at least the date itself can be free!
I have found that creativity is often the source of the most fun and it doesn’t cost a thing! On the other hand you can often spend a lot of money doing the same-old-thing and not have any fun. These are a few ideas that have worked for us.
1. Have a photo shoot | FREE
Grab your digital camera and start driving around town together and stop at scenic locations and start taking pictures of each other. Be goofy. Be creative – think like an artist, don’t just take the same old fake smile centered pictures. Get out of the box and take some weird pictures! Take 100-200 pictures and go home, download Picasa, pick your favorites and stretch your creative muscles even more by adding various effects to each picture.
2. Have a movie marathon | FREE – $5.00
Of course the library is great for books, but most libraries now have an extensive selection of DVD’s as well. Go pick out a few of your old favorites then swing by the grocery store and pick up your favorite snacks. Turn off the lights, grab a blanket and cozy up for a night in the great indoors.
3. Go house shopping | FREE
Even if you aren’t in the market for a new house, just go browse anyway. There is just something fun about the home-browsing process. Pick a developing area and check out a few of the display homes. Make a list together of the things you like and don’t. This is also a great way to get some design ideas and to find layouts that you may want in the future.
4. Go play a sport together | FREE
Play basketball, tennis, soccer, catch, ride bikes together, rollerblade, or anything else. It is fun, you get to breathe some fresh air, and most of them are great exercise as well. How is that for multi-tasking?
5. Plan a vacation | FREE
As I write this I am counting the days to my next vacation. You could almost argue that the anticipation up to a vacation provides as much enjoyment as the vacation itself. So why not start planning one? Even if it will be two years away, it is still something to look forward to and will get here sooner than you know it. There are a million vacation related sites to get your brain churning and help you get ideas. Once you figure out where and when, start budgeting for it!
6. Dinner and dancing at home | FREE – $30.00
Make a playlist of your favorite slow songs and let them start playing. You can then cook your favorite meal together, put out some candles, the fine china, and have a relaxing and romantic dinner together. Once dinner is over, leave the dishes until the next day! Slow dance and think about each other like you did when you were dating.
7. Go on a picnic | FREE – $20.00
I can still remember the first picnic I went on with my wife (girlfriend at the time) and it was so fun. I made us her favorite type of sandwich, got her favorite chips and drinks, packed a basket up with food and blanket and we headed to our favorite park. We found a great secluded location right next to a stream that ran through it and threw our blanket down. We ate, relaxed, and talked for a while. We then wandered around the park and I played her a couple songs on my guitar. Guys you may laugh, but girls love it!
8. Play a game together | FREE
Find an old board game in the closet. Scrabble, Checkers, Chess, Yahtzee, Monopoly, or anything else you both enjoy. If you don’t have the boards themselves you can play online. Scrabble, Checkers, Chess, Yahtzee, and Monopoly.
9. Go camping | FREE – $50.00
One of the reasons I love camping is because all the distractions are (or should be) left behind. You can sit under the stars next to warm campfire and just talk to each other for hours. It is just a great cheap way to break out of the monotony of the daily grind. If you don’t have a tent you can get one for as cheap as $25 at Walmart. Sleeping bags can be as cheap as $10. Pack a cooler and hit the road.
10. Go for a moonlight walk | FREE
If you have a beach near you, I am a little bit jealous, and you should go there – often! If you are an inlander like the rest of us, you just need to find another place. But even a subdivision sidewalk will do. There is something very romantic about walking around at night, especially under the moonlight. Tell your spouse all the things you love about them and walk slowly.