Everyone's been on the typical "dinner and a movie" date, which not only breaks the bank but is so
last year. Check out these ten free date ideas
that are sure to impress!
1. Lock Your Love - Many countries like Italy, Finland and Russia feature bridges and structures where couples can attach their own padlock and throw away the key, symbolizing their everlasting love. Unfortunately, there aren't many places in the US like this, but it's a sweet idea to put your very own love padlock in a more secluded area where it's not likely to be found or removed.
2. Open Mic Nights - If you're near any urban area that has a lot of small bars and cafes, chances are you can find one that hosts open mic night with a little research or by word of mouth. Not all open mic nights are just for poetry; you can find others that focus on music or comedy too (such as The National Underground in NYC which is free). If anything, you'll probably pay a small cover charge and of course, food and drinks. Or you can REALLY impress your date by signing yourself up in advance and performing.
3. Movies in the Park - Visit www.outdoormovie.com
to find showings near you. Grab the snacks and blankets and set yourself up in the back for a steamy make-out session in the grass.
4. The "Zoo" - ...But not really. Instead, visit your local pet store or even an animal shelter. Many places will let you handle the animals, even if you're not interested in taking one home. You can play with some puppies or look tough with a ball python wrapped around your arm - you may even end up with a new member of the family.
5. A Walk in the Park - Okay, so it's a little cliche, but you can't go wrong with it! First, find a large park, perhaps one that you've never been to before (consider The Highline if you're near NYC!). Pack a picnic, grab a Frisbee and even your dog for a day of walking and just appreciating nature.
6. Art Exhibits - If your first thought was "museum," think again. There's plenty of local artwork around, you just have to look for it! Your best bet? Contact the art department of the nearest university or community college to see where student's artwork is displayed.
7. A Day at the Beach - Also cliche, but still a great idea (even for the less hot days). On the downside, this is only free if you visit off-season and won't get charged admission to get on the beach. If the weather is cooler you can picnic or take a bike ride, and when the sun is beating down on you, take a dip in the ocean. It's a plus if there's a boardwalk nearby; you can walk it at night and get ice cream, win prizes at games and take romantic Ferris Wheel rides.
8. Wine Tastings - Hit the internet and find the closet winery or vineyard in your area. Many offer complimentary tastings during special hours. Remember: time isn't wasted when you're getting wasted.
9. Hiking & Camping - You can do one or the other, or both (what's camping without a hike?). If you're scared of venturing off into the woods alone, consider a public campsite (though it technically won't be free). If you're in the tri-state area, the Delaware Water Gap is a popular and free site for camping and hiking. And you're likely to run into others there, so it won't be like a Blair Witch Project
10. "Weird" Places - Here in New Jersey, there's a ton of abandoned, haunted or unusual sites that are featured in the semi-annual magazine Weird NJ
and are often visited by anyone looking for an adrenaline rush. Check out local legends in your area and take a trip to some of the freakiest places you can find.
© Kelsey Bowen, May 9, 2012, Little Things Favors
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