24 Fun (And Cheap) Date Ideas

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Maintaining a relationship with your significant other is hard, especially since you’re busy with the daily grind of work, kids, errands, and life. But taking the time to stop and connect with your partner is a must if you want the relationship to last.

Before you dive into the following date night ideas to have with your boo, think about why you’re searching for more ways to connect and spend time with your special someone.

Is it because you want to find new and creative ways of spending alone time together to enhance your healthy, loving relationship?

Or is it because you’re searching for ways to repair a damaged relationship? If you’re having deeper problems with your mate that haven’t been addressed at its core, date nights aren’t going to help. Perhaps couples therapy or a marriage counselor would be a better place to start.

Date Ideas You Can Do From Home

The date night ideas on this list are geared to improving your relationship, and in order to do that, it involves lots of communicating.

Therefore, I’m leaving out movie night marathons and activities that involve zoning out, because frankly, you can do that any night of the week and slap the label “date” on it. Watching Hulu is relaxing but what will you really gain from it, as a couple?

These at-home date night ideas involve lots of interaction, communication, and can be done inexpensively.

Spending time together is simply being present and having a shared experience. Unless the activity involves the internet, try to put away your electronic devices.

Hopefully, it’ll be fun… or sexy, or both!

1. Write Your Bucket Lists Together

I love this idea.

The busyness of the daily life can sometimes make it hard to stop and think about what you’d like to accomplish before it’s too late.

Come up with 5-10 bucket list items and share it with your mate. It might be an eye-opener — especially if you’ve never talked about it before and is a meaningful way to learn something new about your significant other.

2. Take a Stroll Down Memory Lane

If you’re like most people I know, you probably don’t take the time to look at your old photos very often.

Dust off those old photos or screencast your laptop to your TV and press play on your albums from your wedding, engagement, or fun travel adventure.

Don’t forget the wine and good food!

3. Plan Your Next Vacation

Depending on how much you and your partner enjoy planning, this could be delightful or tedious.

If you don’t have any vacations coming up, you can simply talk about places you dream of traveling to, what you’d like to do while you’re there, and why. This could also be a part of your bucket list discussion.

4. Write Each Other Thank You Letters

Write each other a letter about what you appreciate most about your dear partner.

Maybe your guy has really stepped it up with taking care of the kids this week and you noticed. Perhaps you’d like to sing the praises of your mate’s delicious chicken dinner that you enjoyed the week before.

This not only strengthens your bond but shows you’re really noticing the little things they do for you or your family each day.

5. Journal Together

I could see how this could seem corny, but there’s scientific evidence that shows writing actually improves your actual health.

Journaling can strengthen immune cells and decreases symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.

Writing down your thoughts accesses your left brain — the part that’s analytical and allows you to clarify your thoughts and feelings, understand yourself better, reduce stress, and solve problems easier.

In short, journaling is a tool that helps you strengthen your awareness muscle. This may be beneficial to you and your partner if you often experience stressful moments or fight frequently.

There are few ways you and to get started:

  • Challenges you faced during the day
  • How you felt about them
  • How you handled the situation
  • Anything you learned

Then, on date night, you can share highlights from the week and discuss them.

There are no real rules to writing in a journal. The point is to get your thoughts down so you can build your self-awareness, improve yourself, and your relationship.

6. Reminisce and Tap Into Your Inner Child

Talk about your favorite childhood activities or your favorite memories.

Maybe you loved making oatmeal cookies with your mom because your mom was always working when you were little. Or perhaps you recall backyard BBQs and gatherings to celebrate birthdays.

Write down a list, and you can even recreate similar memories for your own kids (if you have them) or share the experience with your partner.

7. Write a Poem

Without going full cheesy romance novel on you, this can be done in a realistic way.

You don’t need to tap into your inner poet, you can keep it simple. Think about the poems you did in elementary school:

Use the first letters of your mate’s name to express what you love most about them or write a haiku of your fondest memory together.

8. Learn Something New

Get out of your comfort zone and learn something together to open up new lines of communication and create a new experience.

These are new things you can try together:

  • A game (video game, board game)
  • A dessert recipe: get the ingredients for the recipe ahead of time
  • A specific ethnic dinner: maybe your favorite place you traveled to was Thailand — so cook up a delicious curry dish together and recall the happy moments galavanting around in Thailand!

9. Teach the Your Mate Something New

Are you a whiz at making jewelry or dancing?

Teach your significant other how to do something new. Each person should get a chance to teach and be a student.

10. Play Would You Rather?

There lots of variations and themes to this game, including politics, sports, romance, or things that are just plain gross. Rrrather has over 200,000 would you rather questions. Pick a few and ask away.

11. Play Couple’s Truth or Dare

Sure, this is a slumber party game that you played with your elementary school buddies, but it can still be fun with your significant other.

You can make it as sexy as you want!

12. Play Your Favorite Card Games

Remember playing Speed as a kid? Or how about Deuces? Goldfish?

Bust out your deck of cards and play a few rounds of your favorite card games. Throw in some strip poker while you’re at it.

13. Do a Puzzle Together

I know a few couples who take their puzzles pretty seriously. They explained that they enjoy putting intricate puzzles together because it helps them decompress from the day and relax while doing an activity they enjoy.

Not only that, you’re actively using your brain, which I personally prefer over doing something more passive, like vegging out in front of the TV.

14. Do a Crossword Puzzle

Get last Sunday’s paper or open an old magazine sitting around your home. You can also find crossword puzzles online, but to limit screen time, it would be best if you printed it out.

15. Games That Stand the Test of Time

These evergreen games can be played with your kids, friends, and of course with your mate. Play it with some snacks and wine.

  • Scrabble
  • Life
  • Monopoly

16. Have a Picnic

If you have a backyard, set up a lovely spread of your favorite picnic goodies on a blanket. If you don’t have a backyard, you can do this in your living room. Don’t forget to turn on some music.

17. Paint, Draw, or Color

Get some paper and sketch or paint your mate in a portrait. If you don’t have any art supplies, check out inexpensive coloring books for grown-ups. These are so therapeutic!

18. Have a Photo Shoot

When’s the last time you took some photos together? Set up the tripod and snap a few photos to highlight your date night together.

19. Record Your Love Story

Videotape each other giving each other a recap of how you met and fell in love.

This could be a great video to give to your future kids, share with your current ones, or just keep for each other and watch again when you’re old and gray.

20. Make a Wine Bar in Your Living Room

If you and your mate enjoy different kinds of wine, get different kinds of wine from various countries and do a wine night and pair it with cheese and fruit.

Find fun and interesting tidbits about the wine from each country.

21. Spa Evening, Anyone?

If you’d like some pampering while on your date night at home, try the following:

  • Give back rubs or foot rubs — if you want to take it even one step further, go on YouTube and discover special techniques that you might not otherwise have tried.
  • Take a bubble bath together
  • Do a mud mask together

22. Sing and Dance

If you enjoy singing, try bringing the karaoke bar to your living room.

You don’t need to invest in a karaoke machine either, just go to YouTube and search for their karaoke channels.

23. Dinner and Romance

There’s nothing wrong with bringing it back to the basics and having a romantic home-cooked (or take-out) dinner at home.

If one person usually cooks, switch it up and try cooking together. Set up the table with candles or flowers. It’s date night!

24. Pick a Theme

To differentiate your date night from other nights, choose a special theme for the evening.

Many ideas revolve around food, including:

  • Sports-themed: watch your favorite sports team (or YouTube some of the most awesome moments) eat some wings, and drink beer
  • Country-themed: pick a few places you’d love to travel to and indulge yourselves in some of their most popular dishes. Pick a few trivia and facts about the country to share with each other.
  • Book-themed: if you share a love for books, pick your favorite all-time books and tell your mate what was so special about it and why. If you want to take it one level further, read their favorite book and be ready to discuss it for the next date night.

Summary

Date nights are a wonderful way to keep the relationship fresh and fun, while also finding new ways to communicate and spend time together.

Hopefully you can use one of these cheap date night ideas to keep your flame going.