Friday, February 14, 2014

F is for Free Dates

Happy Valentine's Day!!! Today is one of my favorite days of the year.  Growing up my mom always made a big deal out of holidays.  Even though she was a single mother and we never had much money, she showed us she cared with handwritten notes.  Every holiday I'd look forward to getting a special card in a pretty color with fun and sentimental words of encouragement.  It made me feel closer to her than a box of chocolate or expensive flowers ever would.  Fondly thinking back on those experiences has inspired me to compile other ways to enjoy the ones you love without spending money. Whether you are saving for a wedding, honeymoon or new love nest it is a challenge to pinch pennies and still have fun.  You do not have to sacrifice quality time to accomplish those monetary goals.

(These photos are of my boyfriend, Cody, and I on some of our free dates around the country.  We love just walking around and taking in what each city has to offer!)

48 Free Dates for Fun Loving People


1. Go feed the ducks.  Gather the left over ends on the bread loaf and head off to a local pond.
2. Be an Extra.  There are always movies and television shows filming in large cities that need regular people to create atmosphere on their shoot.  You can get a free meal, first hand experience on a set, possibly see an star in person and even sometimes get paid!
3. Go window shopping.  Lots of busy fashion districts have intricate and interesting window displays.
4. Take a Line Dancing class.  Lots of Country Bars offer complimentary classes early in the night before the busy crowd arrives.
Cody & I walking Luna on the Santa Monica Pier
5. Make a Collage.  Use old magazines around the house to make a collage.  It can be of dream features for a future house or cool ideas for your future honeymoon. You can even make a Dream Board of your future Wedding.
6. Play Chopped in your own home.  I love the show Chopped on Food Network.  Use the random groceries you have in the cupboard and fridge to make a impromptu meal together.
7. Go to a Flower Garden.  Lots of places have free parks or gardens you can wander around in, don't forget to hold hands.
8. Get flexible doing Yoga.  Here in Long Beach there are free classes on the Bluff daily, there is a good chance there is one in your neighborhood too!
9. Play Gin Rummy, or another card game for two.
10. Bury a Time Capsule.  Write your future selves a note with details of your lives together.  Put a few items in the box.  Bury it in the backyard.
11. Have an amateur photo shoot at three important places such as where you met, first kissed, he proposed, etc.
12. Take your dog for a long walk. Get out in the sunshine with your favorite four legged friend.  If you don't have one, borrow the neighbors or a buddies. 


13. Collect Seashells.  Go for a walk on the beach and pick up interesting shells.  You can even use them as a Cake Topper if you have a Summer themed Wedding.
14. Visit a Historic Landmark.  Whether it's the La Brea Tar Pits in LA, Rainbow Row in Charleston or the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. There is living history surrounding us all.  
Cody & I playing tourist in Washington D.C.
15. Roll down a Hill.  It sounds silly but it's so much fun!  Some sites like The Long Beach Lighthouse are even designed for just this purpose.
16. Skip Rocks.  It's so relaxing to go down by the lake and and just skip some rocks.  See who can go the furthest, a little friendly competition can be really fun!
17. Have a Water Balloon Fight.  Set up a battlefield in the yard. Get Wet and Wild!
18. Go Body Surfing.  Take on the waves together.
19. Build a Sandcastle.  Upcycle your milk jugs and other used food containers to become tools.
20. Watch Fireworks.  Set up a blanket away from the crowd and enjoy the spectacle of lights.
21. Tell Ghost Stories around a Campfire.

22. Swing on Swings.  Schools are closed and the playgrounds are sitting lonely waiting for you to go adventure.
23. Make Paper Airplanes.  Drive to a cliff and see who's goes the furthest.  
24. Lay on the beach.  Gather those books you've been meaning to read, some Sun Tan Lotion and a towel.  Relaxation here you come.


25. Explore a Haunted Place.  Look up free ghost walks in your city for a spooky date.  
26. People watch. Find a busy street or park with a comfy bench and watch away.
27. Guest Bartend Together.  You can even practice some fun couple flare moves.
Cody & I  enjoying people watching in Central Park NYC
28. Go to a College Sporting Event.  Yes some College Sports are really expensive but others, depending on the school, such as Water Polo or Lacrosse are free.
29. Go Stargazing. This is really special if you live in a populated area without many stars.  Drive out into the country and find a safe spot to park.  Lay out on the hood and find constellations. 
30. Rake Leaves.  Jump in them.
31. Do a Flash Mob.  Make up a dance and randomly bust it out at the mall. Make it a double or triple date to get more people involved!
32. Sketch Each Other.  Everyone has a piece of paper and pencil laying around.  Head off to your local park for great lighting.
33. Play Charades.  See how well you communicate without words...
34. Browse through old Yearbooks.  Share what teachers you liked or disliked and show off the clubs you were a part of.  This can trigger lots of funny stories you long forgot about.
35. Join a Fantasy Football League.
36. Put on a homemade Avocado Face Mask.  I know it's girly but if you can keep the secret, most guys enjoy this kind of thing as much as us ladies!


37. Check out Christmas Lights.  Every town has that one neighborhood that goes all out with festive holiday decor.  Go for a walk, drive or bicycle ride and enjoy the sights.
38. Do a Dance Video.  There are millions of dance instructional videos on  Whether you wanna Dougie or Cha Cha, learn a dance together.
39. Go to a Christmas Parade.  Wave and smile as the local Twirlers and Beauty Queens roll on by.
40. Go to a Choir Concert at a Gospel Church.  Those little old ladies have soul!
Cody & I on a NYC Bus just taking in the sights and sounds
41. Build a Snow Couple.  Have fun styling your snowperson with random accessories such as last seasons Hipster Glasses and Wings from that Fairy Halloween Costume you still have for no reason. 
42. Give each other Massages.  Go all out by setting up clean sheets, lighting candles, finding the body oil and turning on a Babbling Brook Soundtrack. 
43. Prank call your friends from each others phones.  Is your refrigerator running?  Well then you better catch it!
44. Go Crabbing.  Gather fishing line and grab the left over Chicken in the fridge.  It'll make you happy, happy, happy.
45. Ride Public Transportation for a One Night Staycation.  Save gas by riding on a free bus or trolley to do some semi local sight seeing.
46. Make a Jib Jab together.  These silly little online skits are designed so you can add each others faces for custom giggles.
47. Get ready for Santa.  Write letters to Santa, set out cookies or carrot sticks and hang stockings.  Put on Christmas Music and really get in the Holiday Spirit.
48. Play Naughty Truth or Dare.  This is a great way to warm up on a cold Winter night!

Love this list?  Have some of your own favorite free date night ideas to share? 


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