20 Frugal Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

20 frugal date ideas for Valentines day - and even  for after V-day!A while ago I wrote a post called 10 free dates that your wife will love that got a lot of attention. Since these days so many people are looking for cheap date ideas that are actually fun, I decided to create a little list of a few.

Just as a disclaimer upfront, some of these are cheaper than others and some of them are more fun than others. I am sure you will find some of the date ideas to be lame, but know that someone else is reading that same idea and thinking how fun it sounds.

So, hopefully you will be able to find a few to get you started. As always feel free to add your own fun date ideas to the comments below.

Go Shopping

1. Thrift-store marathon

Basically you map out a bunch of thrift stores in your area and visit each one and look for bargains. This is really fun when you have a specific treasure you have in mind. For more detail check out the thrift store shopping tips article from a few months ago.

2. Garage sale shopping

Similar to the thrift-store marathon, you just spend a couple hours hitting up garage sales. Set a $10 budget and see who can find the best treasure.

3. Visit Display Homes

I always love visiting new display homes and getting ideas for the next move!

4. Test Drive

Visit car dealerships and test drive some of your favorite cars.

Stay Inside

5. Movie Night

Head over to the library to pick up free movies for a movie marathon (or find some free movies online). For ideas, find some classics that you haven’t seen from the top 100 movies of all-time. Complete it with a blanket, popcorn, and your favorite beverages.

6. Get Cooking

One of you make the other’s favorite meal, and the other one make the other’s favorite dessert. Then enjoy them both together.

7. Re-arrange!

Give the rooms in your house a fresh look by re-arranging the furniture in each of the rooms in your house.

Go Outside

8. See the great outdoors

Head over to localhikes.com and find a trail near you and get hiking. This is a great outdoor date that often facilitates great conversation.

9. Biking

If you already have them, you can just start riding. If you don’t many places rent them by the hour.

10. Stargazing

If it is a cloudless night, you could head to the library and find some astronomy books. Find out which constellations are showing and look for them in the sky. Grab a cozy blanket and enjoy laying under the stars together.

11. Got snow?

Go pick up a couple sleds and ride the slopes to your hearts’ content.

Go Somewhere

12. Sip coffee together

Go to a local coffee shop and sip and converse. For whatever reason my wife and I tend to have great conversations while we are sitting in coffee shops.

13. Roller-skating

I haven’t done this in probably 20 years, this would definitely be a fun date!

14. Ice-skating

How about ice-skating. Bonus: Find an outdoor rink!

15. Bowling

Make it more fun by changing the rules.

16. Driving range

This can be particularly fun if you are terrible golfers. Most driving ranges have clubs you can use if you don’t have any.

17. Have a photo shoot

Grab your point and shoot digital camera and start driving. Find interesting places and take pictures of each other.

18. Go see some local music

Search for some local venues on the web and go see a band you’ve never heard of. Bonus: Bring a posterboard sign telling them how much they rock!

19. Take a pottery class together

A messy and fun date – if you are good, you might even get some decorations out of the deal as well.

20. Random driving

Start at your house. Before you get to an intersection, flip the coin. Heads you turn right; tails you turn left. Guess where you will end up.

For more great date ideas:

What are some more cheap and fun date ideas you can come up with? Leave a comment!

This article was originally published on ChristianPF in 2010.


  1. My wife and I do most of the things listed, but #’s 3 & 4 can get expensive…eventually!

    Those are bad places to hang out if coveteousnous might be an issue. Conversely, participating in one or more charities might make you both spend some time thinking about how well you really do have it.

  2. I don’t like the idea of test driving a car you know you won’t be buying. You’re wasting the salesperson’s time and dealer’s gas (and theoretically you’re diminishing the value of the car. It just doesn’t seem like a nice thing to do.

  3. Got some fun stuff here! :)

  4. Tom2,
    Good point, I think you make a good argument for not doing it. On the other hand, my dad used to sell cars and he told me that there were times when he got so bored (typically in the off-season) when he got excited for customers to come even if he knew they weren’t going to buy, just because he wanted someone to talk to.

  5. I was going to leave a comment to address my disagreement with item #4 (Test Driving a Car) but looks like that has already been done. Other than that…good list!

  6. I quite your ability to put this write up together, considering the fact that the family seems to be going extinct as love gradually decays in most home. Romance needs to be fed into the system to make it work. Thank You for giving us tips on how to do it God’s way. Have a blissful love life!

  7. I can see the point of the commenters that said about not test-driving the cars.

    However, consider that you can learn from these experiences about a company and their service, and use that to make informed decisions for future purchases. I have driven cars I couldn’t afford and toured model homes WAY out of my price range so that I could learn what factors I was looking for in the homes and cars I could purchase. In fact, in one case, I went back to the dealership I’d test-driven an expensive new car on to buy a slightly used car, and they sure seemed glad to see me.

    Jewelry stores are this way, too. I tried on engagement rings at a certain store as an obviously broke college student, but they treated me well, and as I’ve gotten more money together, I’ve made significant purchases from them because I know they treat all their customers well.

  8. Great idea here, if I may add just a few more:

    Do volunteer work – this is rewarding and can be really enjoyable

    Attend a minor league sport game – can be just as fun as a major league game but at a fraction of the cost

    Check out local art galleries – you’d be surprised how many there are in your area

    Find local events in your area – you’re local tourism bureau or news agency may have an online events calendar such as this: http://www.Spotobe.com

    Hope you find these suggestions helpful!

  9. Skating, ice skating, and bowling can all get really expensive. Unless you go at off-peak times when they have specials or have coupons, it can easily cost as much or more than going to the movies, going out for dinner at a casual place, etc. Fun date ideas, yes, but definitely not cheap ones!

  10. Biking and then cooking to get some energy back followed by an evening movie = AWESOME.

    Good suggestions! :)

  11. Another great idea is to go to a local high school football game, they are exciting still and cheap.

  12. I like this list. It is quite good. One idea is going ice blocking (if its legal in your state) just grab a block of ice and slide down a big grassy hill. It is way fun.

  13. If you go to a local nickel arcade… lots of fun… seriously, I love it.

  14. Having a bonfire down at the beach on a nice night is a great low-key date that’s inexpensive but romantic.

  15. Little Miss Smarty Pants

    The Zoo, Aquarium, Botanic Garden, and Museum are interactive and fun dates. Cheap if you are a college student or resident of the state. :) I think this is a good ice breaker rather than going to dinner,grabbing coffee, or to a movie. It takes off some of the anxiety because you will be strolling through a family friendly environment, learning, and exploring together.

  16. Nice dating ideas, me and my boyfriend is planning for a date and this would be really nice tips at the same time, cheap dates. Very informative! I will recommend your blogs to my friends.

  17. Try spending some time coloring. Me and my girlfriend do it all the time and have a lot of fun. Sometimes we use crayons, sometimes colored pencils.

    If you don’t want something simple, you can find more detailed coloring projects online. It’s amazing how well you can carry on a romantic conversation while doing this. Give it a try.

  18. James Corbin

    I am very surprised to see taking a test drive listed. What fun is it to have a nagging salesman along for the drive and hound you afterwards?

  19. One thing I’ve wanted to do for a while that I would find fun and exciting is to go by an airport, pick a safe spot by where the planes land, and watch them come in :)