Do you dread Valentine’s Day? Though I am a woman (and a lot of the pressures for Valentine’s Day usually lands on the guys. Sorry guys!), I still get what a stressful time of year it can be.
The reason is that you are either in a new relationship, middle of the road, or a long-term relationship. If you are in a new relationship, you are walking a fine line between the date being fun or too intimate.
If you are in a middle of the road relationship, you want the date to be intimate and memorable, but not so significant that anyone is expecting a ring to pop out halfway through the night.
Finally, if you are in a long-term relationship, it can be challenging to think of date ideas that aren’t boring or cliché.
Then we haven’t even begun to cover the expense that comes with Valentine’s Day dates. It is a lot to take in, especially if you are working on a budget.
But don’t worry because I have some inexpensive date ideas that just might save your Valentine’s Day and your budget:
Valentine's Day Date Ideas
1. Indoor Picnic
This idea for an inexpensive date night is one that can be as dressed up or casual as you desire. You could make it a fancier picnic by including dishes like lobster and Champaign.
However, you could also make it more casual by sticking with sandwiches and sweet tea. Either way, the weather can’t rain on your plans when you plan on dining on the floor of your living room.
2. Baking Date
Do you or your date have a sweet tooth? If so, then skip purchasing the fancy gourmet desserts and invite him or her into your kitchen.
Then you can make delicious desserts as your actual date and finish the night off by eating them, drinking coffee, and enjoying casual conversation.
3. Dessert Only, Please
If your heart’s desire is to take your date out for a night on the town, then consider eating cheap and saving the higher end part of the date for dessert.
Then after you eat, slide over to an upscale restaurant for dessert only. Your date will enjoy the change of atmosphere, delicious food, and never know that you are scrimping on the date itself.
4. DIY Spa Night
A DIY spa night sounds like a fun and romantic night if you have a lady friend that enjoys being pampered but doesn’t get to indulge herself very much.
5. Pac-Man Anyone?
Do you remember as a kid heading to the mall to hang out with friends, catch a movie, and spend the day enjoying the arcade? I loved those days.
Well, why not give your date a blast from the past? Spend this Valentine’s Day enjoying the arcade (set a budget, of course), and then you can buy each other Valentine’s Day gifts with the tokens or tickets you collect. It would be a fun first date.
6. Binge Watch
I have a secret. I am a Matlock fanatic. I would love nothing more than a whole day on my couch to watch every episode and rest. Which is why I think this would be an excellent date if you and your significant other always seem to be busy. Make Valentine’s Day your day to rest and enjoy one another.
Then put on your favorite TV show, snuggle up on the couch with lots of delicious snacks to munch on all day, and just be together. It sounds like a fantastic date to me!
7. Game Night
If you and your date are both homebodies, then having a night in isn’t a bad idea. You just don’t want the date to be boring.
If you’re worried spending a night at home alone is rushing your relationship a little, then invite some friends over, bust out the board games, and enjoy a fun game night that should also be frugal as well.
8. Make the Snow Work for You
Do you live where snow is a constant during the winter? Don’t curse it. Instead, make the weather work for you.
What I mean is, plan your date around the snow. Have a snow fight, build a snowman, and make snow angels. It is simple but is also a great way to make memories.
9. Creep Yourselves Out
I got this date idea from my oldest son because he is someone that likes to do things that get his heart racing. Which is why it was no surprise when he and his girlfriend made a date night out of visiting a ‘panic room.’ They had to solve clues before they could ‘escape.’
Well, if you are the type of person that likes a little scare now and then, consider seeking out a local panic room (some have haunted themes), or you could visit a local ghost town where they give guided tours. They usually are inexpensive.
10. Paint Together
Painting has become a huge trend, which is why it would make a great date idea. You could gather all of the supplies and invite your date to your home where you all could laugh, enjoy some appetizers and drinks, and paint the night away.
However, you could also go to one of the trendy paint galleries that are popping up in most major cities where they supply the food, supplies, and tips on painting too. This would be a great way to create a keepsake of your relationship whether it’s the first date, or you’ve been together 20 years.
11. Watch the Stars Indoors
It doesn't matter your background; most would agree that watching the stars is not only interesting and peaceful, but also romantic too.
But this can be difficult to do around Valentine’s Day, because often the cloud coverage is so thick during the winter. Don’t fret though. Just look for a local planetarium and take your date there to check out the stars.
12. Fast Food Can be Good Food
Let’s say you wanted to combine one of the ideas mentioned on this list with dinner, but you don’t want to cook, and your budget can’t afford an activity and fancy meal.
Well, don’t worry. Fast food doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. You could do the activity first and grab a quick bite on your way home. It won’t seem awkward at that point, and your date won’t realize you're frugal if you eat at the end of the night.
13. Visit a Food Expo
If you live near a larger city, you might be surprised to realize how many food expos come to your area. The reason these are such great date ideas is that you (usually) pay one flat fee and can spend the whole night walking around eating, trying new foods together, and talking.
Also, if it is the first date, sometimes it can be awkward to eat a big meal in front of someone new. This way, no one realizes who is eating how much and hopefully, it will kill off some of the awkward first date jitters.
14. Trivia Night
This is a fun date night idea if you have been together for many years or if you are in a relationship that you’d like to see last.
You can ask each other as many questions as you want in many different categories. They can be personal or not. Either way, it is a great way to learn about each other’s interests.
15. Go Climb Rocks
Another date idea that sounds like an absolute blast. Whether you are an active couple that likes to enjoy the great outdoors, or you’ve never climbed a rock in your life, this could be a way to have fun together.
Also, you pay by the hour at a rock climbing facility. This means you can decide how long you’d like the date to last and how much you’d want to spend before you ever go.
16. Head to the Lanes
It doesn’t matter if you live in a larger city or a rural area, most towns have a bowling alley within driving distance.
Plus, bowling is a ton of fun. It brings out the competitive nature in both of you, which adds to the enjoyment. Not to mention, it can be a group date or just a date for the two of you.
17. Ice Skating
My husband took me ice skating a few years ago. I enjoyed ice skating very much as a little girl, and I thought it would be a blast. How the years have aged me. I struggled with balance, and I don’t fall quite as gracefully as I once did.
However, this date would be a great way to break the ice between the two of you if you are a new couple (no pun intended.) It would also be a great way to have a ton of laughs if you’ve been married for a lot of years, like myself and my husband.
18. Roller Skating
If you are afraid of seriously injuring yourself out on the ice when ice skating, then maybe you should take it down a notch and start with roller skating.
Plus, roller skating is usually inexpensive. Not to mention, if you have your own skates, you can save some money that way too.
19. Picnic in the Park
We’ve already discussed having a picnic in your living room, but if the weather is beautiful and you all need time away from the house, then consider taking your picnic to the park.
From there, you can dress it up or down as much as you like. You guys can play on the playground equipment or take bird seed to feed the ducks if your park has a pond.
20. Music Expo
You can check your town’s (or neighboring city’s) website to see what kind of music expos or jazz clubs they have to offer.
Usually, these events are inexpensive, and if you both enjoy music, this could be a great way to spend your Valentine’s Day.
21. Cat Café
Are you dating a girl who has a cat and loves it dearly? If so, then you could score major brownie points by taking her for a coffee date at a cat café.
Now, every town may not have these, but it would be worth the internet search to see if there is one close by. Then you could take out both your date and her cat.
22. Yappy Hour
If you are dating a dog lover, then consider this date idea to score brownie points as well. Check the internet to see if any bar around your area hosts ‘yappy hour.’
Then take your date out for drinks with her dog. She’ll appreciate you noticing her interest in her pet, and you will save a bundle only having to pay for drinks.
23. A Night in the Woods
Did you know you can book a one-night rental through Airbnb and spend around $100? That isn’t bad for a secluded night away.
If this sounds like a much-needed break that you and your significant other need, then consider booking your cabin and hitting the road.
If you have an outdoorsy woman on your hands, then a night in a tent under the stars might just be what she always wanted.
If so, then you could take your camping gear and some campfire recipes and have one humdinger (and frugal) evening.
25. Cook for You
Are you a good cook? Then why pay for a meal someone else prepared when you can make a memorable dinner right in your kitchen?
Well, if you like this way of thinking, then consider having Valentine’s Day dinner in your kitchen and prepare a tasty meal for your special someone.
26. Pull Out the Xbox
This would be a date idea that my husband would love considering. He and our children are all into gaming. If you are into gaming too, then consider having a video game date.
But the key is not to play games that only you like. You can still have some healthy competition and conversation while playing Mario Brothers.
27. Make Sweet Music
Do you like to sing? What about your date? Then why not hit up the karaoke bar and sing the night away together?
Then you all can have lots of good laughs over how great (or not-so-great) you sounded together.
28. Take a Cooking Lesson
If you and your date both enjoy cooking or know that you desperately need to learn how to cook, then consider taking a cooking class together as a fun date.
Then you all can learn a new skill together and share a fun and memorable experience that you’ll both hang on to.
29. Break a Sweat
Call us crazy, but my husband and I used to spend our date nights at the gym. We paid for a monthly membership, would break a sweat together (while enjoying healthy competition), then we’d shower at the gym and grab a cheap and healthy dinner.
Which is why this would be a killer date idea for a couple that likes to embrace a healthy lifestyle and is trying to be frugal too.
30. Become a Tourist
Every town has hidden treasures, and all too often they get overlooked because we live there. One time my husband and I needed to kill some time, so we decided to be tourists in a local town. We found all kinds of things on our trip. We are still laughing (10 years later) about a big mountain that had a monument to a rocking chair sitting on the top of it.
Not to mention, we had to drive straight uphill in my sports car to get there. It was a fun day, and you can make fun memories like that too by merely being a tourist in your own town with your date.
31. Take a Tour
I live in wine country. Everybody and their brother has a vineyard near my house, which is why they make such great date options. You can tour a vineyard and see the sights.
Then once you are done, you can enjoy wine tasting and a good meal, all depending on your budget.
32. Take a Hike
Again, I’m so thankful for where I live because we have gorgeous views of the mountains and lots of state parks that offer hiking trails to take in those views.
Well, if you have great scenery around you, then consider taking a hike with your significant other for a date this Valentine’s Day.
33. Shop Around
Do you enjoy going to the flea market in your area? Is there a giant flea market somewhere close by that you could make a day trip to?
If so, then consider making this part of your date. You could see lots of interesting items and have time to get to know one another better too.
34. Movie Night
I’ve already mentioned binge-watching your favorite television shows, but have you considered renting or buying a favorite movie?
Then you could create a theme based on that movie and have decorations and tasty food that go along with that theme to make it more fun.
35. Get Your DIY On
People enjoy making things nowadays. It is no longer a chore like I remember crafts when I was a kid.
Instead, it is trendy. If you and your date would enjoy making something together, then head to the craft store to pick up different supplies and make a night of it.
36. Surf YouTube
My husband would love this date idea. He is all about surfing YouTube to learn new skills that go along with his and our passions.
Which is why this would be a good date idea for couples who are in the long-term period of their relationship. You could make plans for your future and spend the evening eating good food and watching YouTube videos to learn the skills or be inspired to achieve those dreams.
37. Learn a New Love Language
The older I get, the more interested I become in learning other languages. I have the privilege of working with Hispanic children throughout the week, and I find Spanish to be a beautiful language.
If you feel the same, then why not use your Valentine’s Day date to begin learning a new language. There are many languages to learn. Pick one that interests you both and go for it. There are online classes and DVDs as well.
38. Have a Potluck
When you go to cook a meal, you soon find that it can get pretty expensive just purchasing the ingredients for the meal. It can become overwhelming too.
Which is why, if you aren’t against having a group Valentine’s Day date, you could invite friends over and have a potluck. It saves money and stress as well.
39. Play Cards
Cards have always been a big part of my family since I’ve been married. My husband grew up playing cards, and it just transferred over into our relationship.
Plus, they are cheap entertainment. You could comfortably host a card game on Valentine’s Day and serve simple snacks and drinks to keep things on a budget.
40. Trampoline Park
Trampolines are fun no matter what age you are, and if you live near a major city, then you will probably find that you have the latest rage popping up there. You guessed it… a trampoline park.
Then you should go check it out. We take our kids all the time, and they are so fun. You and your date would probably enjoy it if you like loud music, flashing lights, and wall to wall trampolines.
41. Indoor Skydiving
I’m not much of a daredevil, but my mom has gone actual skydiving three times in her life and loved it. I don’t think I’m brave enough to do that.
But I like the idea of indoor skydiving to ease my way into it. If you and your date are up for a little thrill seeking, then consider trying this out.
42. Explore Garage Sales
I have a family member that loves garage sales. When her husband wants to make her happy, he just puts her in the car, and they spend the whole day driving around looking for garage sales.
Then they’ll head home with a carload of treasures and day well spent. If your significant other enjoys garage sales, then give them a little spending money, fill up the gas tank, and make a day of it.
43. Have a Dreaming Session
I’m a planner. I can’t help it, and I have to be careful because life rarely goes as planned, and I’ll get upset when my plans don’t go as planned.
However, there is nothing wrong with indulging in a planner. If your significant other likes to make plans, then consider using your Valentine’s Day date as an opportunity to share a meal and plan for your future whether that be for the year, five years, or even ten years down the road.
I love this date idea. It is spontaneous and somehow kind of romantic because the two of you just drive off into the sunset with no sense of where you might end up.
But you’ll need a penny to get started. You’ll flip the coin and heads means you take a right, while tails mean you take a left. You do this until you end up in your date location.
45. Start Your Garden
This frugal date idea may not be for everyone, but I know I’d enjoy this as well. For people who love to garden and play in the dirt, then nothing would make them happier than spending an evening going through their seeds, starting seeds, or planning when to start them.
Again, you may want to give them a meal, but you just have to indulge their interest and be willing to dig in the dirt with them to have a great evening.
46. Go to the Bookstore
I’m a bookworm, and I don’t think many places make me happier than browsing through a bookstore or the library.
Which is why the bookstore is a great date idea. You can browse through books, and purchase a coffee from the shop located inside the bookstore. Most bookstores are quiet too. Which means you don’t even have to talk that much.
47. Bike Ride
If you are an active couple that enjoys getting out and enjoying the fresh air, and you live in a climate that will allow you to enjoy a nice bike ride in February, then go for it.
Then you can enjoy the scenery around you, stop off at little random locations along your bike ride, and just enjoy the day together.
48. Paddle Boats
My husband surprised me with a date on a paddle boat one day. We just got in the car and ended up at this local lake where you could rent paddle boats. It was fun.
Which is why I recommend this date. It isn’t expensive to rent a paddle boat, in my experience, and you just get to enjoy the scenery and the peace out on the water together. Just bundle up because it gets nippy on the water in February.
49. Head to the Zoo
I might be weird, but no matter how old I get, I love the zoo. I love to see the different animals. I love to learn about their habitats.
Also, I love being out and about. Which is why this date idea would be so fun for a couple at any stage in their relationship. You get to see new things and enjoy the outdoors too.
50. Watch the Fish
If the weather doesn't cooperate for you to go to the zoo, then consider taking a different approach and heading to the aquarium.
Then you’ll still get to see different animals and learn new things. However, the weather can’t wreck your plans indoors.
51. Head to the Movies… Early
Is there a movie coming out right around Valentine’s Day that your date has been wanting to see? Are you stressed over the cost? I get it. The price of tickets are high, but the snacks at the concession stand are outrageously high.
But you could help curb some of these costs by going to a matinee movie. You may have to start your day earlier, but you could spend more time together this way.
52. Have a Dance Party in Your Living Room
Nothing makes our kids laugh like when my husband turns on Josh Turner, and we dance around our living room.
Well, you can do that too. It costs nothing but is a fun way to connect and appreciate each other right there at home.
53. Head to Your Home Improvement Store
You know you’re married when every date night either begins or ends at your local home improvement store.
In our case, we usually end our nights there because we like to shop around for our next big home improvement project.
54. DIY Home Project
Nothing will make the Mrs. happier than if the Mr. gets started on his honey-do list, which usually includes home projects.
Then you can work on a project together. That way the Mr. is getting something off of his list and the Mrs. is happy with the way her home looks.
55. Dance in a Field
Now that I own my own field I can’t help but walk through it, ride through it, and yes, even dance through it at times.
There is nothing more romantic than a truck with headlights shining for you to see where you are dancing, and the radio turned on so you can have something to dance to. If you have livestock, don’t be alarmed if they come to see what you’re up to, but it is still a fun, inexpensive date.
56. Stay in Bed
Who says that your Valentine’s Day date has only to be done at night? Why not make an entire day out of it?
Well, you can. You and your spouse can spend the whole day lounging in bed, watching TV, enjoying each other’s company, and taking turns fixing meals for the day.
57. Two Truths and a Lie
This is an excellent game if you are trying to get to know someone, or even if you’ve known them for quite some time.
During your date, you can decide to play Two Truths and a Lie. You will say two things that are true about yourself and then one lie. Then your date has to guess which one was the lie.
58. Read Together
If you date a bookworm, you might be surprised how much they’d enjoy getting together just to read books.
Then you all can take turns reading to each other and enjoying each other’s company. Be sure to throw some appetizers or an inexpensive meal in with this date as well. A picnic might go well with this date idea too.
59. Work a Puzzle
Some people naturally love to solve puzzles and problems. If you are one of those people, then consider picking up an inexpensive puzzle.
Then invite your date over, fix a cheap meal, and spend the evening working the puzzle together and getting to know one another.
60. Start a Fire
Do you have a wood stove or fireplace in your house? If so, then consider starting a fire in it for you and your date to enjoy.
From there, you all could enjoy drinks by the fire, or roast marshmallows and make S’mores for dessert.
If you live in a climate that you can stand to be outside in February, then consider having a bonfire for your date and friends, or just the two of you.
62. Walk on the Beach
If you live near the beach, you have a frugal date right at your fingertips. You can pack a picnic to enjoy on the beach.
Then spend the evening walking up and down the beach watching the waves roll in and out and collecting seashells.
63. Eat at a Food Truck
Do you live near a city where food trucks are a pretty prominent thing? Then take advantage of that as part of your date.
Then you can order your food from the food truck, walk and eat, and embark on another frugal adventure.
64. Grab Some Coffee
When my husband and I just began having kids we were stunned at how hard it was to have any time to ourselves.
However, we decided to get a sitter one night a week so that we could go grab a cup of coffee. Often we’d make the coffee at home and take a drive. You can do the same on Valentine’s Day just to get away and enjoy each other’s company.
65. Head to the Candy Store
We all know that most candy stores are way overpriced, but the experience is fun. Which is why if you are on a first date, you could take your date to pick up some candy at the candy store.
From there, take a walk, talk, and enjoy eating your candy. Even if the candy is overpriced, it is still cheap for an entire date.
Handcrafted milkshakes are delicious. They are also more delicious when you make them at home, or head to a local drug store that still sells genuine hand-dipped milkshakes.
Either way, it makes for a fun date that includes a tasty treat that you and your date will hopefully love.
Depending on where you live will depend upon how much your putt-putt experience is. When I was growing up, I lived in a major tourist town where you could easily spend $50 for a couple of rounds of putt-putt for two.
However, where I live now, we can play putt-putt all day and not rack up that kind of tab. Be sure to shop around for coupons and to find the best deal. This date is a lot of fun.
68. Take a Drive
I love getting in the car, turning on the radio, and just driving to places I’ve never been before. I like to see new things.
Chances are if your date has that same outlook, they’d enjoy a nice road trip to talk and get to know each other a little better. This date only requires a tank of gas which makes it a frugal person’s dream date.
69. Watch the Sunset
If you do choose to go for a drive on your date, be sure to park your car somewhere with an amazing view when it is time for the sun to set, so you can enjoy it together.
Even if you don’t take a drive, you can still find a beautiful spot to watch the sun go down and enjoy the view together.
70. Go to the River
Most places have a local river that has a nice dock area that you can sit and just watch the water while you enjoy a hot coffee and good conversation.
If you have this in your area, then you’ll enjoy this date because not only is it inexpensive, but it is a great way merely to spend time with someone you care about.
71. Make a Couple Scrapbook
If you are that crafty couple, then you might enjoy taking all of the items you’ve made over the years and combine them with pictures and other mementos of your relationship.
From there, you can create a unique scrapbook that you all will have as a couple keepsake.
72. Make a Couple Time Capsule
This goes along with the last date option. Instead of making a scrapbook, consider taking items that mean the most to you as a couple and putting them in a time capsule.
Then you can bury the time capsule and dig it up years later when you all are further along in your relationship.
73. Write Poetry or Rap Together
I realize this date option isn’t for everyone, but if you and your significant other have a knack for words, then why not put them to good use?
You could get together to enjoy a coffee, a walk, or a good meal. Then at the end of that adventure write a poem or a rap song about anything you want. It could be about your feelings towards each other, or it could be about your date. Whatever strikes your fancy.
74. Truth or Dare
Truth or Dare is that fun game that we played as kids that often got us into a little bit of trouble. Keep that in mind as you decide to launch into the adult version of this game.
However, if you want to spice up your Valentine’s Day with this game you just pick truth or dare. If you choose truth, you must answer whatever question is asked. If you choose dare, then you must complete whatever dare is given to you.
75. Build a Fort
Building a fort is a simple task. You just throw some blankets over a few chairs. You’ll want to put pillows underneath it and maybe a little lamp for some light.
Then you can enjoy dinner for two under your fort, and maybe even some reading under there as well. Whatever works for you as a couple.
76. Adult Coloring
I like dates that relax me. I have enough stress in my life from daily responsibility that when my husband declares ‘date night’ I just want to chill. What better way to do that than getting an adult coloring book and coloring the night away?
Remember, coloring has a lot of benefits for adults. This means it isn’t just a frugal date night option, but also one that is relaxing and good for you too.
77. Take in the Scenery
Our final inexpensive Valentine’s Day date night option is one of my favorite dates I’ve ever been on. If you live in an area that has amazing views and scenic routes, then you’ve probably seen look-out points.
Well, my husband takes me to these look-out points ever so often right around sunset just to enjoy the views, and we’ll stay there until after dark with our sunroof open and watch the stars. We usually take a thermos of coffee and some snacks. Good music on the radio makes this date fun, but also the fantastic conversations you can have while taking it all in is amazing as well.
Now you know of 77 different inexpensive Valentine’s Day date ideas. You can even combine some of the ideas to make for a longer date or a more adventurous date. It all depends on your time frame and budget.
However, I’d like to know what date ideas you use on Valentine’s Day that are fun and frugal too?
We love hearing from you. Just leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.