What Makes a Great First Date?
So what makes a great first date? Is it what you do that counts? Who you’re with? What you talk about? How you act?
I think it’s a combination of all those things. You might not be able to wine and dine the date of your dreams. But if you act from your heart and leave yourself open to adventure, a picnic with budget wine, crusty bread, and olives might enable you to make the kind of connection you simply can’t sitting in a fancy restaurant or a high-priced musical show.
That being said, however, I do think it’s important to try to come up with fun and creative ideas for your first date. Being limited by your budget often forces you to come up with ideas that are original and, even better, a lot of fun. And approaching your first date with a desire to make a real connection with the other person is, I think, just as important as what you decide to do.
So, let’s focus on the to-do side of the date. If you need some creative and, most importantly, cheap ideas for your next first date, then hopefully you can find some inspiration in these ideas.
22 Great First Date Ideas on a Budget
1. Visit an Art Museum
If you’re into art, then you can save big if you buy a membership to your art museum. For instance, we pay $60 per year to be members of the Detroit Institute of Art. But we get in free, and get tickets to all the special events. This can pay for itself in no time. Even if you don’t buy a membership, art museum entry fees are usually cheap anyway.
2. Go See a Community Theater Play
Community theater is incredibly fun, and incredibly cheap. Follow this one up with dinner from a local diner and you’ve got a budget date in the making.
3. Do Art Together
Do you have clay? Crayons? Paint? If you have art supplies, why not hang out at your house or apartment and make some art together? Buy some cheap take out, put on some great music, and make a night of it.
4. Watch Cartoons Together
If you’re a child of the ’70s or ’80s, then you remember Looney Tunes. In fact, I have 6 DVDs full of those old Looney Tunes cartoons. They just don’t make them like that anymore.
If you love cartoons, why not hang out at your house, in your pajamas, and watch cartoons together? Don’t forget, plenty of those old Looney Tunes cartoons are up on YouTube.
5. Walk Dogs at the Humane Society
If it’s nice out, why not volunteer to take shelter dogs out for a walk? They never get personal walks like that, and doling out love to a needy dog is a wonderful activity to do with someone.
6. Go Inner Tubing
Live near a river? Is it summer? Go inner tubing!
7. Make Homemade Pizza
Instead of going out, why not make your own pizza at home? Yes, this includes making the dough as well. You might be surprised at how much better homemade pizza is!
8. Wii Olympics
Tag teaming on the Nintendo Wii is a fun and free way to spend time together. This works especially well for double dates.
9. Go Thrifting
Each of you has a budget of $5 or $10 to spend at a thrift store. The challenge? See who can find the most outrageous or hideous outfit. The crux? You have to change into the outfit and take pictures.
10. Go to Chuck-E-Cheese
My husband’s last birthday party was at Chuck E. Cheese’s. One word: skeeball. Chuck E. Cheese’s can be a super fun place to go on a first date, if the other person doesn’t mind the lights and noise.
11. Go Rollerskating
You can often save big on rollerskating if you go during the week. Also, do a search for coupons; many rinks offer discounts in the local paper or parent’s magazine. Of course you can always skate outside for free in the park as well.
12. Go to a Carnival
Carnivals can get pricey. But in terms of people watching and down-home fun, they can’t be beat. You can also forgo the rides in favor of elephant ears, and a blanket for people watching.
13. Go Stargazing
If it’s a clear, warm night, then why not go stargazing? Bring a blanket, bug spray, and a telescope if you have one.
14. Face Paint
Water-based face paint is cheap, especially if you have any left over from Halloween. Paint each other’s faces, and then walk around showing off your creations.
15. Go to a Comedy Club
Comedy clubs can either be a blast, or a dud. Either way, it’s sure to be an experience! You could also go see an improv group, which can be incredibly fun as well.
You may also like to read: First Date Ideas – What To Do On A First Date