Plan the perfect date on a budget.
It’s date night and, while you want to show your sweetheart a good time, you also want to show your wallet some love. So how do you strike a balance between fun and frugal?
Whether you want to make a great first impression with someone new, or enjoy a night out with your longtime love, the important thing is to focus on how you’ll spend your time together, not how you’ll spend your money.
Check out these 10 budget-friendly date ideas that are high on romance and low on cost:
For sports enthusiasts
- Sweat it out: Exercise isn’t just good for your health — it can be good for your love life, too. So go for a run, bike ride or hike, or if the weather cooperates, skating or sledding. It’s an inexpensive (or free!) date that’s sure to get your hearts racing.
- Have a rocky romance: Rock climbing can get your adrenaline pumping, which in turn may send sparks flying. It’s a perfect activity for two because one person spots the other, which builds trust and may bring you closer. You can find indoor rock-climbing facilities across the country, and get high on romance for as little as $20 for a day pass.
For a little friendly competition
- Bowl a perfect strike: Bowling brings out your inner child, while also adding a little old-school romance. Rates will vary depending on day and time, but many facilities charge $25 and up for a lane, which may include a pair of rental shoes. Plus, many lanes will offer deals, coupons and discounted rates at certain hours.
- Putt-putt for love: Mini golf is as fun for adults as it is for kids. If you want to set a romantic mood, try glow-in-the-dark mini golf. There are lots of great outdoor and indoor mini golf places across the country, and most cost as little as $6 – $10 per adult.
For the cultured couple
- Master the art of dating: Strolling hand-in-hand through an art gallery or a museum can be an incredibly romantic way to spend an afternoon or evening. Many galleries charge around $20 per adult, and will often offer discounted or even free admission on certain days, so check websites for special deals before you go.
Tip: If you need to brush up on your knowledge, visit a virtual museum first.
- Put on an act: You and your date can enjoy great theatre at a fraction of the cost by checking out local venues or plays in the park. You can find tickets for as low as $20 if you’re willing to forego the best seats, and some productions, such as Shakespeare in High Park in Toronto, simply ask you to pay what you can by making a small donation.
For the foodies
- Get cooking: By dining in, you can save money, lighten the mood and heat up the kitchen. Start by browsing cooking sites for the perfect date-night recipes, make a list and start your date at the grocery store. If you want to hone your culinary skills, consider taking a cooking class together. Loblaw’s President’s Choice®* Cooking School offers a variety of themed cooking classes at locations across the country for just $35 a class.
- Hit up food festivals: Nothing brings people together quite like food. There are many great food and wine festivals across the country year-round, with focuses changing based on seasons, locations and local harvests. It’s a fun way to spend quality time together without taking a big bite out of your bank account.
For the young at heart
- Find animal magnetism at the zoo: It’s not just for kids. The fun you’ll have is worth the price of admission, which shouldn’t be steep — especially if you go on a discounted or free day. Start by checking out the top 10 zoos in Canada.
- Be a little picky: Local produce can make for a fresh date idea. Apple or strawberry picking (depending on what’s in season) can be a labour of love. Head to a local farmer’s market or nearby orchard for a fun, inexpensive excursion. All you need is some fresh local foods, good company and great conversation.