The weather is finally warming up and it's the perfect time to change your weekend routine by heading outside. Around this time of year, you and your significant other might find that you're in need of some new date ideas. The colder weather can be limiting and can give just about anyone cabin fever.
Whether you're meeting someone for the first time or you have been together for many years, you don't need to spend a lot of money to impress. Here are a few ideas to try, all at the cost of $50 or less:
Cruise the flea market. Spend the day hunting antiques and treasures at a weekend flea market. Split up and find each other a funny (or thoughtful) gift with a spending cap of $10.
Have a picnic. This idea certainly isn't new, but it's a classic. Instead of a midday lunch when the temperature is hottest and parks are crowded, pack a few snacks and a bottle of inexpensive wine and watch the sunset together. Keep your picnic true to its original form and leave the smartphones at home.
Hit the water. Rent a canoe or paddleboat for a few hours and spend an afternoon on the water. Sharing a boat will require teamwork and is a great challenge for couples.
Enter the great outdoors. Going for a hike together can be a fun daytime date activity. There are plenty of free resources for finding a nearby trail to walk or mountain to climb, and hours of time together out in the wilderness is a wonderful way to get to know each other more. Plan ahead and find a nearby ice cream spot to hit afterwards.
Go to a ball game. Your local minor league baseball team will likely always have tickets available, and you'll have plenty of money left over for hot dogs.
Take a tour at a local brewery. Find a brewery or vineyard in your area and take a guided tour. Samples are usually included for the price of the tour, so you can sip and learn together.
Play miniature golf. Mini golf is great for day or night, and most places have arcades onsite as well.
Volunteer together. This date idea doesn't cost a thing (except maybe transportation) but it will leave you both feeling good about giving back to others. Find a weekend event that needs volunteers or staffing, preferably where you can be together. Consider dishing out a meal at a soup kitchen, walking dogs at an animal shelter or helping with lawn clean-up for seniors.
Take dance lessons. Watch for a deal on a site like Living Social or Groupon for a package of dance classes, and then spend one night a week together learning something new.
Attend a workshop. Retailers like Home Depot offer free weekly workshops; attend one together and learn how to DIY an outdoor project, then head home and work on it.
Double up with another couple. Finding another couple to share date night can be a great way to get out and have fun. Consider team-based activities, like a local bar's trivia night or a bowling alley.
Bike to the beach. If you live near the water, rent a pair of bicycles (or use your own for free) and head to the beach for the day. Stow everything you'll need into a couple backpacks and you won't need to pay for parking at the beach. Spend the day together and make sure to bring a Frisbee or something to toss around.
Cook together. For just the cost of groceries, you can spend an evening cooking an elaborate meal and then enjoying it together. You can either share dinner duties, or have one person cook dinner while the other makes dessert.
Go to a movie before dinner. Go to a matinee at the movies, which costs a lot less. You won't need to spend much on snacks, since you'll eat afterward. Then head to an outdoor stand where you can have a cheap, delicious meal like a fish fry or a burger and talk about the movie. Reversing the experience will make for a unique and fun evening!
Jon Lal is the founder of coupons and cash back website BeFrugal.com, which saves shoppers an average of $27 per order thanks to coupons plus an average of 7 percent cash back at more than 3,000 stores.
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