When I told Danny, my husband, I was writing this post, I said, "Have any date ideas? Cheap and easy?"
"Cheap and easy? That's you, alright."
Har har har, very funny.
But really, as parents to a toddler, we don't have the time or money for elaborate dates anymore. We went to a wedding in April that left me absolutely destroyed for the rest of the week. We were out until 7pm at the latest. Oops. Combine with the fact that I'd rather buy Forrest a new toy than "waste money" on a movie or lunch, we like to keep things simple.
That was the motivation behind this post: not everyone likes dates that end up with a sad, empty little bank account. Some people want to go on adventures that don't cost money, either because they prefer it or it's a necessity. This post is for those people.
Here are 10 things that Danny and I love doing together that are cheap, relatively easy to accomplish, and perfect for summer.
1. Volunteer at your local humane society or rescue.
If you're the type of person who just wants to pet dogs or play with cats all day, listen, you need to be volunteering at your local animal shelter, humane society, or rescue. Sign up immediately; have your boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, whoever sign up with you. Together, you can walk dogs, play with cats, and help a great local organization. Do it.
2. Go hiking.
Research your local parks and find a great hiking trail. Danny and I love going on nature walks and hikes together. It's something we can't really do with Forrest yet--I can wear him, but an added 24 pound weight while walking isn't ideal--but it's a super fun date. If a little sweaty.
3. Visit the lake.
Have a local lake? Go there. You don't need to bring a picnic or throw a party. Just roll a blanket out on the shores and spend some time together, just you, your honey, and the water.
4. Go for a drive.
Back in the old days, going for drives was a big deal. It was something people just did. Sometimes, Danny and I just like to pack up the car, grab a drink (coffee is best in the morning), get a snack, and go driving. We'll eat cookies or crackers, or bring sandwiches... and just drive.
5. Go antique hunting.
Have a local place you've been dying to visit? Spending a day looking at antiques, even if you don't buy a thing, is super fun; you can learn tons about history from antique shop owners.
6. Have an at-home coffee date.
Brew a pot of coffee and clean up the house together. Then collapse on the couch and chat. A date is all about spending time together, so keep the TV off, turn on some music or a podcast you've been wanting to listen together, and enjoy.
7. Work out together.
This is a date that Danny and I love. We've both been working on regularly and we are looking forward to being able to work out together. It's way more fun to do cardio with someone by your side and it's way less intimidating to use that intense equipment in the weight room with a partner.
8. Go to the library.
It's nerd paradise, honestly.
9. Volunteer at a local race or event.
Is there a local 5K or benefit walk? Sign up! Here in Oregon, there is always a 5K, 10K, or benefit walk/run going on, so it's a great opportunity to sign up, throw orange slices to people who are very good at running long distances, and have fun.
10. Take on a project together.
For Danny and I, this would be a way to end our marriage (every time we successfully put together a shelf, I really do belief we are more stable as a couple), but for others, taking on a project, like painting the kitchen or redoing the bathroom, is a great way to spend a weekend, add a little value to your home, and feel super accomplished.