Romantic dates for those with larger hearts than wallets.
Turn Netflix off and hang up the sweatpants right now.
That can only count as a relaxed date so many nights a month.
Unless you’ve been purposely avoiding the subject, you will be aware that Valentines Day is now two weeks away. Yes, that over-commercial holiday that says you need to shower your love with gifts and flowers. I mean nothing says “I’ll love you forever” more than a red rose that wilts away before the week is over, right?! (Maybe that’s just my poor rose-tending skills.) Either way, the fact remains that in the name of Saint Valentine we have been blessed with this day and we must step up.
Going on dates is such an excellent way to take a break together and really catch up. To put the cellphones down and just enjoy being in each others company. This doesn’t involve any gifts other than the time and your full attention to your partner. However, some dates can get quite expensive. I’m a strong believer that money should not get in the way of spending quality time together! Robbie and I have put in place lots of different date ideas over the years we’ve been together. Below I’ve listed some of our favourite that come in at a maximum total of $20.
(Please note prices may vary from area to area – we’re located in Auckland, NZ)
- Fruit Picking – Super fun, cheap and delicious! Go pick your favourite fruit with your loved one in the sunshine. Take some home to then bake a fruit pie or crumble together.
- Open Air Cinemas – If you’re lucky your town/city may have an open air cinema. In Auckland here we have some every weekend throughout summer. Ridiculously romantic and usually free or very cheap at the most.
- Picnic – You knew this one was coming. Pack up your leftovers or make a sammie. Grab whatever is in the pantry and head to a local spot. Nothing like some home packed food and quiet time with your loved one. For extra fun take a nurf/ frisbee or kick around a ball.
- Board Game Night – Pick your favourites and get playing! Then come up with an awesome prize the winner gets to add to the fun. (No dishes for the week etc.) Although if you’re a competitive couple you may want to skip this on a romantic night. This often leads us to downloading divorce papers.
- Mini-Golf – Usually around $15 where we are for a full game for two. Lots of laughter to be had. You could even try making up rules as you go along. Winner of the previous hole chooses the rule for the next. Eg. Left hand only, or stand on one leg and putt.
- Quiet Walk – Often when things are getting all a bit too much we will head out for a walk with the dog. Around the lake and through streets. Sometimes we go off to reserves or local bush walks. A great place to encourage each other in a close, quiet environment.
- Quiz Night – Head down to your local pub for a quiz night. Eat before you go, grab a beer each there and get that teamwork flowing!
- Camping – Assuming you own a tent or have the means to borrow from a friend, spend a night or two camping. You can take all the food and drink from home. Often campgrounds will have a BBQ you can use for free. Take some marshmallows and hunt out the best branches for guaranteed cuteness.
- Swap Activities – Give trying each others hobbies a go. This will allow the opportunity for you to learn something new. Also is a great chance to show some interest and support to each other.
- Bowling / Pool – Head out for a quick game of bowling and a round of pool. If you have change left grab a pottle of chips and sauce!
- Spa Night – Set yourselves up for a deluxe night in. Bubble baths, massage and (if he agrees) face masks. Round it off with some romantic candles and you’ll be feeling stress-free.
- Ice skating / Rollerblading – Head to your closest skating rink and give your balance on wheels a go! Bonus points for staying on both feet all night.
- Farmers Market – We head down to our local farmers market on a Sunday. We pull out $20 and buy a treat each for ourselves. The live music, the smells and taste of everything just creates a fabulous time.
- Work Out Together – Whether it’s a Yoga session, a quick run or a friendly game of one-on-one basketball. Getting out and getting fit together is beneficial in so many ways. Plus you get to push each other to be their absolute best.
- Watch the Sunset – Drive to a local lookout, beach or just a place with a pretty view. Sit on the bonnet, or place down a blanket. Watch the beautiful colours of the sunset on a hot, clear night. For bonus fun swing by your local chippy for snack supplies first.
- Stargazing – If you’re lucky to live where the sky is clear camp out in your backyard for the night. Otherwise head to your closest observatory and learn about all of the constellations. Then try spotting them all!
- Happy Hour – Do some research and find out when your local happy hours are on. You’ll be able to pick up a few drinks for under $20. Before you know a few hours would have passed and you will have been deep in conversation.
- Watersport Time – Hire a double kayak and head out onto the lake. Alternatively you can often hire a Stand Up paddle Board or similar for super cheap.
- Cook Off – One person gets the main and the other gets dessert. Use what is in your pantry/ fridge already and come up with some delightful creations.
- Visit a Pet Shelter – Pop along to your local animal rescue/adoption and pet all of the puppers and kitties. Use your $20 to donate some much-needed items.
Just Have Fun!
Remember, it does not have to cost a house deposit to have a lovely night out. Quality time and an open mind is all that’s needed.
Let me know your super date ideas and how the above went for you! Best of luck with Valentines Day and all celebrations of your love going forward <3
We will have more posts like this coming up in future – including the ‘Date Jar.’
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