7 Romantic, Fun, and Unusual Date Ideas (That Are Cheap or Free!)

7 Unusual but fun date ideas

Experts say that weekly date nights help couples have more intimate and lasting relationships. Whether it’s Valentine’s Day or your anniversary, why not try these fun and unusual date ideas to keep things fun as well as romantic?

I’m lucky to have a romantic and adventurous husband (he’s Italian!), and we’ve had some unusual dates over the years. Break the “dinner and a movie” routine and try one of these unusual date ideas today.

Breakfast Date

Dinner is the typical date meal, but no need to leave out the others! Breakfast is a healthier (and cheaper) meal to eat out. Head to a diner or local restaurant for an early morning date, and reserve the rest of the day for some good couple time. It can also be easier to get babysitters on a Saturday morning or let your kids play at a friend’s house.

Embark on an Adventure

This is my husband’s favorite type of date, and I admit, I’ve enjoyed getting out of my comfort zone on some of our more adventurous dates. Pick a hobby or adventure and do it together. Our most recent was scuba diving, but there are tons of possibilities. Visit an indoor rock climbing gym, go kayaking (another one of ours), race go karts, try ice skating (not my favorite!), or if you are really brave… try karaoke!

Around the World At Home

This is a recurring date theme for us. Going out can be difficult with little ones, so plan a fun date themed around ethnic foods and enjoy it at home once the kids are in bed. Make your own sushi and eat on the floor. Make healthy Mexican food and watch a movie in Spanish. Make fondue and eat by candlelight. Whatever you choose, set the mood with music and decorations to make it fun! Even if you don’t go for ethnic foods, enjoy a late night date at home and cook for each other! This is also a budget friendly way to keep the romance alive.

Go Camping

This certainly isn’t for everyone, but it usually promises to be a bonding experience. Always fun as a family, but if you can sneak away for a night, go camping as a couple. The alone time around the campfire will give you a chance to really catch up, and the potential for unforeseen circumstances (wild animals, rain, etc.) makes it an adventure.


This is a great way to get closer as a couple- focus on a cause you both believe in and volunteer together. This is something great to do with kids too, but can be a bonding experience as a couple. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, raise money for a cause, or pick a service project at your church. It might make you grateful for what you have and will certainly be some quality time with your love! Another advantage- spreading the love doesn’t cost a thing!

Visit a Local Attraction

We often forget about the things that others come to our town to see. Go to a play at the community theater or check out the comedy club. Find an arboretum or botanical garden and walk around. Hit the batting cages or mini golf or even just browse the bookstore together and talk over a cup of coffee. If it is in season, visit an orchard or pick-your-own farm or take a tour of a local brewery or vineyard.

Exercise Or Do An Activity Together

A healthy way to spend time together, exercise can be fun as a couple! Pick a new sport to learn: tennis, racquetball, basketball or swimming… just pick something you enjoy. For an activity, go miniature golfing, paint pottery together, take dance or painting lessons, hiking, bike riding or canoeing. These are often the best times to talk and you get the chance to develop a new hobby or skill.

Making time to spend as a couple can be much more challenging than it should be, especially with kids. Consider swapping babysitting with friends to save money. Watch a movie at home if you can’t get away or play board games or chess together. Swap  massages while you recap your week… just don’t wait for a time like Valentine’s Day to have an excuse to spend time together!

What was your best (or worst) date ever? Would you try any of the ideas above?

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Reader Comments

  1. Great ideas! My husband and I love volunteering together, we do door-to-door Bible education work and landscaping at our local Assembly Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses several times a week. Seeing him help others reminds me of why I love him so much and keeps things in focus. 🙂

    • 😉 <3

  2. A few days ago we decided to skip going to a concert and instead use that money for multiple small dates. Thank you for these great suggestions, they will be added our date list for sure :).

  3. These are super fun date ideas! I have found that my husband and I fall into a routine and we either don’t go on a date for a long time, or we just order pizza and call it a date. There’s nothing wrong with ordering pizza and watching a movie, but I think it’s time to liven it up a bit. I really liked your idea to do an activity together. I think it would be really fun to do archery together. It’s something neither of us have done before.

  4. You suggested eating sushi. Do you guys eat rice or do you make sushi with a rice substitute?

  5. My fav date is simply a seafood dinner, a movie and discussing it afterward over ice cream, then heading home together 😉 Just getting away and talking or sitting uninterruptedly for 6 hrs is heavenly.

  6. Love these ideas and found we have done almost all of them with the exception of sushi. Katie, your articles are always fun and interesting–love your natural approach to life and have adopted many of your ideas. We are of retirement age so child care is no longer an issue, but many of these ideas would span the generations and find the simpler the better: an easy walk up to the orchard above our home, checking out deer, wild turkey, fox or even red-tailed hawks (my favorite) at dusk. Also love 2-wheeler rides to the same orchard. Walks at the nearby Finger Lakes (our town of Geneva NY hosts one), we also like to take our bikes down to the visitors center and ride the full length (4 miles) stopping to sit on a bench, enjoying the free concerts the town offers during the summer, or taking our favorite book along. We often pick up a fish sandwich (Dougs Fish Fry To Go is in our area) and take it to the canal. How about reading books together? We gave up TV years ago, you can do this by merely cutting the cable connection–painless, because of the stuff that was routinely coming into our home that we would normally never allow and TV is such a time sucker. We always have a book on hand ranging from Louis L’Amour, my husband’s favorite, to Randy Alcorn, just finished his Safely Home, oh my goodness, so well written and different from the other things we have enjoyed together. We love historic fiction, biographies, non-fiction testimonies, and now have a wide range of tastes and authors we know by name. You can load books on your Kindle when you travel, share books with the entire family at the table after meals and during car rides or as an incentive for getting our 4 children ready early for the school bus when they were all home. We do home improvement projects together–my husband is more of chain saw carpenter, so close supervision is always a good idea when he is working inside the home. Another all-ages idea is calling friends and go visiting. Can’t tell you what wonderful responses we have gotten from that one. People are thrilled you would bother and wish they had thought of it first. I often take a desert that I would not want the two of us to be fully responsible for at home, or homemade soup ready to heat. Gives you opportunity to get to know people you normally only have time for a “hi” when you run into them. How about Sunday evening bond fires and cooking your supper over a wood fire. A simple popcorn feast over the camp fire turns a boring evening into an event. Far too long, but you get the idea. Scheduling fun has become a very important part of every day/week for these two cancer-fighting warriors, and we find doing so has done a wonderful thing for our working as a team. Thanks Katie for your wonderful website and blog.

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