20 Affordable or Free Date Night Ideas

You don't have to spend a lot of cash, or any at all, to have a memorable evening with your spouse. With small children in the home we are not always able to leave our lovely abode to get out with each other, which is why we savor those special away moments all the more when we get them. Here are some ideas that you may want to try out for your next date night.

1. A candle lit dinner for two at home.

You can set up a picnic for the kids in their bedroom while you and your darlin' have a romantic dinner for two at the table. Or... if you are able, send the kiddos off to spend a few hours with a friend/relative and take advantage of a quiet meal just the two of you. Set out a tablecloth, nice china, wine glasses with a sparkling beverage, candles, and flowers. Make it special. Soft music provides a nice background and you can dance after dinner if you'd like.

2. Go on a picnic.
Pack cloth napkins, pretty plates, wine glasses, candle, a blanket, and something delicious to eat. Then drive off to a special site and enjoy dinner together. It is fun and free!

3. Count the stars together.
Bundle up if it is cold and head out to explore the evening sky. We did this in the fall time and packed a blanket and a thermos of hot cocoa. The sky was brilliant with stars. We watched and marveled at God's creation while snuggling and reminiscing.

4. Go to the park and act like a kid again.

Whether swinging, sliding, playing hide and seek or playing tennis, sometimes it is just fun to be a kid. Enjoy the laughter that such simple pleasures bring.

5. Stay home and have a movie night.
Once the kids are tucked into bed it is nice to snuggle up and watch something other than CARS.  (I love Cars  as much as the next person, Pixar makes great movies, however sometimes it is nice to watch something that is not animated once in a while.)  Maybe pop in a black and white classic or snuggle up to a romantic comedy, with popcorn and your loved one by your side, you can't go wrong.

6. Give your sweetie  a massage.
Nothing relaxes me more than a nice foot massage and it is even better when it is a surprise. Grab some lotion/oil, light some candles, and give you darling a massage to say "Thank you for loving me".

7. Games!
Grab a board game for two players or a deck of cards and enjoy beating your honey over a bowl of ice cream.

8. Dream/reminisce together.
Make a list of questions to ask each other when you have a few moments to yourselves. This is nice to do at night when the kids are in bed. Some questions might be:
* If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

* Talk about your first date together.

* What is your dream job?

* Where do you picture yourself/us in five years/ten years?

* Tell him/her about the first time you saw them.

* Tell me about something you have always wanted to do but have yet to do it? What is preventing you from doing so?

* What charity/mission is most near/dear to your heart and why?

9.  Dance together.
Whether you sign up for swing classes, teach yourselves how to tango (yup, the local library often has "how to" videos for dancing), or just crank up the radio in your car and dance in a field - grab your darling by the hand and have fun!

10.  Mini golf, bowling, billiards, roller skating or some other fun, affordable "sport" that will get you laughing together.

11. Take a bath/shower together.

12. Make a list of your spouse's best qualities in alphabetical order and read them to him/her.

13. Take a walk/hike together.

14. Go to a museum/zoo/art gallery.

15. Go camping on the living room floor. :)

16. Take a tour of a local brewery or winery - they are usually free and sometimes there are samples along the way.

17. Go sledding/ice skating/build a snowman.

18. Go window shopping together.
We like to visit Home Depot and dream about the things we would like to do with our house... we don't spend money we just enjoy having time together and dreaming.

19. Rather than going out for a meal, share a dessert together. It is affordable and fun!

20. Find ways in the every day to show your spouse that they are loved and cherished.
Leave him a note in his shirt pocket or mail him a card at work unexpectedly. Pour her a bubble bath so she can have a few moments to herself. Make him his favorite dessert. Buy her flowers. Compliment and encourage one another. Invest your time into each other and your marriage will flourish.

I know many of the ideas above are centered around conversation.
Conversation will make/break a relationship. It is so important to communicate with the one you love. Here are a few books that we have used in our home.

The Language of Love by: Gary Smalley

10 Great Dates by: David and Claudia Arp

Creative Romance by: Doug Fields

For women only by: Shaunti Feldhahn

For men only by: Shaunti Feldhahn

The Five Love Languages by: Gary Chapman

Now all that is left to do is to grab your calendar and plan a special night with your help-mate Have a blessed time!

:)  Dawna