I have a confession to make. I'm a cheap date. Yep, all I need for a memorable night with my hubby is to pop a frozen pizza in the oven and plug in a Sly action movie. (If I'm not in the mood for Stallone, Arnold will do and Statham is even better.) Voila! My Friday night date night is complete.
I know, I know, as a romance author, I'm probably supposed to be an advocate for long, expensive dinners accompanied by a lot of stuffy nonsense that society expects us to indulge in, all in the name of love. Well, I'm here to tell you that it's okay not to get dressed up on date night and to do something that you both want to do and not something that you're "supposed" to.
Here are some of my favorite cheap date ideas, because spending quality time with the one you love doesn't have to cost a fortune. Leave your little black dress in the back of your closet, get comfy in your jeans and Converse, and have some fun together. Enjoy each other. Cherish that one-on-one time together and spice things up to keep your relationship interesting.
Most of these ideas are intended to get you out of the house and away from your phone/computer/TV. Go somewhere and do something new and look at your surroundings with your own two eyes instead of on a screen.
1. Go to a local ball game, munch on hot dogs and cheer on the players. This date idea works for any type of sports, and even if you don't have a pro team in your city, do a search for minor league and community leagues near you. The players don't have to have signed million-dollar contracts to put on a good show and make the game fun to watch!
2. Walk the nature trail at your local wildlife refuge. How many different birds can you spot? My local wildlife refuge supports nearly 300 species of birds and has a six-mile auto tour and two walking trails that meander along marshes and riparian areas. Hold hands, sit on one of the benches and look out over the beautiful scenery. Listen to the sounds of nature and, most importantly, listen to each other.
3. Head over to your town's summer carnival or county fair. Play arcade games together, go on some silly rides and fill up on greasy food and cotton candy. Kiss each other on top of the Ferris wheel and enjoy the view.
5. Check out a local car show. Even if you aren't a car enthusiast, broaden your horizons! People watching is always fun and sometimes there's music, dancing and food.
6. And if the weather isn't cooperating, you can always stay home and bust out a primitive deck of cards. Try an old favorite like poker (strip or otherwise), Rummy, even go fish. Or look up a new game you've always wanted to learn how to play. Winner gets a massage from the loser. So, basically, both of you win!
7. Try a new recipe. Now's the time to finally attempt one of the thousands of recipes you've pinned on Pinterest! Whipping up something new allows you to team up, work together, get messy, and hopefully have a great meal to show for it. If the recipe ends up being a complete #PinterestFail, then at least you'll have a story to tell about it.
As long as the two of you are willing to try different things and embark on new adventures, you can turn any event into a date to remember.
How many of these dates have you already checked off the list? Got any cheap ideas I didn't include here? Let me know in the comments!