Rekindle the Romance: 10 Friday Night Date Ideas for Less Than $10
Regardless of whether you’re a couple that’s been married for several years or you’re trying to establish a new relationship, date night is important. It’s a chance for just the two of you to spend time together without distractions of jobs, kids, friends, and everyday life. Of course, one downfall to a great date night — this is where everyday life butts in — may be how much cash you have in your pocket. If you at least have a $20 bill in your pocket though, read through our 10 Friday night date ideas for less than $10 apiece to put together a great evening that won’t break your budget!
1. Game Night
Although games today often involve a display screen and a console, they don’t have to. Instead of staring at a screen, you’ll be interacting with each other while playing a board game or a card game. To save money, visit a local secondhand store to pick up a used board game for a few bucks. (Just make sure it has all the pieces before you buy it.) Or click the link to find these games in new condition on Amazon. Some of our favorite sub-$20 board game options for two people include:
2. Share a Restaurant Meal
It’s tough to eat at a decent restaurant for less than $10 apiece. So to make that Andrew Jackson in your pocket stretch a little farther, suggest to your sweetheart that you share a restaurant meal. Most restaurants serve too much food in one entrée for one person anyway, so sharing makes sense. Waiters will bring an extra plate if you just tell them what you’re doing. Plus it can be romantic to go through the menu together, looking for an entrée you both will enjoy. You probably can’t afford two alcoholic drinks with the meal and stay inside your $20 budget, but you might have enough left over to share a dessert … or a milkshake.
3. Rent a Movie
Chances are low you’re going to find a local theater with Friday night movie tickets and snacks for less than $10 apiece. So make a movie night at home.
The days of Blockbuster are over, but you can still rent movies from a kiosk like Redbox. DVDs cost $1.50 a day at Redbox and Blu-ray discs cost $2 per day, which is extremely reasonable. Or if you don’t have a disc player, but you do have a cable or satellite TV subscription, you usually can download movies from those services for $5 to $7. Skinny bundle TV streaming services sometimes offer movie downloads for a fee. And Netflix subscribers can watch as many movies as they want for their monthly fee. (We at Ben’s Bargains routinely put together a monthly list of the new movies on Netflix that may help you plan a date night movie night at home.)
To make the night special, consider moving the TV and disc player to a different room, so it doesn’t feel like a regular night of watching TV. Add some popcorn and theater-size boxes of candy for a few bucks, and you’re set.
4. Walk Through a New Part of Town
Spend your date night exploring a part of your town you haven’t visited for a while or a nearby town you’ve never visited.
Don’t many any specific plans. Just put on some comfortable shoes and walk. Hold hands. Look for changes to businesses or buildings. People watch. Visit a quirky shop and buy a small, silly gift for someone. Visit a free museum or sculpture garden. Maybe stop for a coffee or a beer or some ice cream after a while. This can be an intimate evening for little cost.
5. Cook Together
This cheap date night idea requires a little planning, but it can be fun (especially if you have a small kitchen and have to work in close quarters). Perhaps one of you can pick a new recipe to try — keeping your $20 budget in mind — and the other one can do the shopping. Then meet together to prepare the meal.
Or if you don’t want a date night at home, consider signing up for a Friday night cooking class locally. Although most such classes do have a fee, new attendees often receive a discount, so you may be able to remain at $20 or less for a total cost. Or some classes let you save money by bringing your own ingredients. Check Groupon for some local deals on cooking classes.
6. Plan a Campfire
A campfire is romantic and works well at many times of the year. Pick an interesting location near your home, such as a state park or the beach. Consider bringing hot dogs or marshmallows to cook over the fire, maybe even making a picnic out of it. For the fire, bring some larger pieces of wood and the starter material with you, but, once you arrive, perhaps the two of you can go for a long walk together to look for kindling while the sun sets.
We really like this idea for a cheap date night, as it works on many levels. A campfire at night is a relaxing way to spend the evening with your significant other. But, please, for the love of God, just promise us three things before you go out and start a campfire.
- You know how to build a campfire safely … and you know how to properly extinguish it.
- You’re building the fire in a location that allows fires.
- You have no tendency toward pyromania.
7. Watch a Local Musician
Watching a big name band in concert is expensive. But every well-known musician started somewhere. Even the best bands were garage bands at some point.
Spend your cheap Friday date night at a local coffee house or bar that plays host to local musicians and bands. Such places usually have small cover charges — or no cover charge — leaving you some money for a drink or two.
If the two of you don’t really like the same type of music, let your significant other pick the musician this time, and you can pick next time.
Just steel yourself: Some of these local musicians need more time in the garage. But if the music is really bad, that can create an unforgettable fun memory too.
8. Attend a Local Play or Concert
No, you can’t afford tickets to the big touring company’s musical on your $20, especially on a Friday.
But you do have options for attending a fun local production with cheap tickets: Your local high school or college. And you might be surprised how many options there are locally on a Friday night for plays, musicals, and choir or instrumental concerts. You may even be able to find reasonably priced tickets for amateur community playhouses on a Friday night.
So check out your local community and school activity calendars for some dates and times of shows and concerts. Sure, these are amateur productions, so the performances might not be as memorable as the big production companies’ work. But you can feel good about supporting the little guys with the big dreams.
9. Attend a Local Sporting Event
Following along the same lines as the last idea, you probably cannot afford two professional or big-time college sporting event tickets for $20. But you can attend a local football, basketball, or volleyball game on a Friday night at a high school or small college for less than $20 … with some left over for concessions. (And who doesn’t love the stale tortilla chips served with the viscous yellow substance that the concession stand kid calls nachos and cheese.)
You’ll likely get to see a pep band, marching band, cheerleaders, dance team, and mascots, all with great seats for the athletic contest. It’ll be like Friday Night Lights, the reality show.
10. Find a Happy Hour
With $20 in your pocket, a date night at the bars probably won’t last long. But if you’re creative about it, you can have fun for a while.
This requires some planning ahead of time, but look for local bars and taverns that have great Friday happy hour specials. You may have to hunt for a while, as some bars are busy enough on Friday nights that they don’t need to offer happy hours.
But we’re sure you’ll find a few local choices with inexpensive appetizers and drinks for the two of you. And many times, a bar will have happy hour prices that last for a few hours, which is great for your budget.
And to make the happy hour fun, some bars will sponsor trivia contests or other games that the two of you can play as a team. Or they may offer only certain drinks during happy hour, something you might not normally try. Maybe you can each order a different flavor of a new drink and then taste each other’s choices. Just make sure you have a safe way to get home, and you’ll have a happy date night happy hour!