[ DATE NIGHT ON A DIME ]
I’m convinced that dates don’t have to cost a fortune. I’m also convinced that dating shouldn’t stop when you get married. Living on a limited budget, having kids, and being busy can definitely make dating more challenging, though. It’s easy to slip into the “we’ll just watch a movie at home and call it a date” routine, but that gets old pretty quickly. Over the years we’ve gotten better at figuring out how to go out without going broke.
Here are some of our favorite “going out” dates:
Museums - We like the Frye Art Museum (it’s always free, but they accept donations), or the Seattle Art Museum is free the first Thursday of each month. The SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park is fantastic, and again, it’s always free.
Second Run Theaters - We are fortunate to live near the Crest Cinema ($3 tickets for all shows), my guess is that nearly all cities have a movie theater like this.
Live Theater - For those of you who are under 25, many of the theaters in the area offer $10 tickets for most performances as a way to encourage young people to engage in the arts.
Star Parties - The Seattle Astronomical Society has monthly stargazing parties at Greenlake and Cromwell Parks. Telescopes are set up at dusk and viewing is free.
Dance Lessons - I just received a Groupon this morning for one month of swing dance lessons for $24, something we’ve wanted to do for a long time.
Canoe/Kayaking - Once the weather gets a little nicer, check out rentals on canoes. We like going to the UW Waterfront Activities Center and canoeing through the arboretum. Canoes are rented by the hour, and the last time I checked I think the rate was $5–$10/hour depending on the day of the week and if you are a student or not.
Let’s face it though, sometimes it’s just too expensive or difficult to find a babysitter every week. Here are some of our favorite “staying in” dates (besides a movie and popcorn):
Cook Dinner Together - This idea comes from Ashley over at Not Without Salt, and I think it’s brilliant.
Board Games - Some people just aren’t game people, but we love them! A few of our favorites over the years have been Settler’s of Catan (the 2-player card version), Ticket to Ride, Dutch Blitz, and Cribbage.
Wine & Cheese - We like to get a few different cheeses and accompaniments like pears, apples, crackers, etc. and just sit and talk over a glass of wine
Lastly, I want to point out that I don’t think that all dates should be cheap. We spend less on the majority of our dates so that every now and then we can really indulge in a bigger date—an expensive restaurant, drinks at my favorite little French Cocktail bar, or an overnight trip somewhere.
Do you have an idea for an inexpensive date that I haven’t mentioned? Please share!
Photo by Acacia Bergin