10 Ways To Spice Up Date Night Without Breaking The Bank

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Moment of full disclosure, 9 times out of 10, “Date Night” looks a little something like this: yoga pants, our softest oversized t-shirt, a bottle of wine, takeout, and a side of DVR. While we wouldn’t trade our cozy nights spent in, variety is the spice of life and it suits us to switch it up every so often. 

Here’s the catch-22 with the proverbial Date Night. On the one hand, if you live together, every night is Date Night. (Right, ladies?) On the other hand, Date Night needs to be a designated thing that is somehow special and separate from “other” nights, in order to differentiate between watching reruns of New Girl in our sweatpants with our S.O. and an actual Date Night. The discrepancy can get a little fuzzy, so allow us to break it down for you:

  • Date Night should involve an activity (however, that activity can be eating.)
  • If that activity is eating, you must not be wearing sweat pants.
  • A good golden rule: No phones on Date Night! Unless, of course, you’re taking a selfie to document said Date Night.
  • Date Night, despite contrary belief, does not require you to spend a ton of cash.

With that said, here are 10 ideas to bring some flair into your Date Night, without totally breaking the bank.

1. Get Outdoors.

The warmer months are the perfect time to cover new ground on foot, like hitting up trails, hiking in the woods, or walking the beach. Not a fan of walking a ton? Try getting around by water – pedal boating, canoeing, kayaking, SUP yoga or floating around on an inflatable raft if that’s more your speed.

2. Make Your Favorite Comfort Food.

Forget about whatever eating plan you may or may not be on for the night and make your childhood favorite – i.e. most likely something involving bread and cheese. We’re looking at you, homemade pizza and mac-n-cheese.

3. Hit up Happy Hour.

Check out appetizer and drink specials at local restaurants. If you’re still hungry after sharing a few dishes off the small bites menu, grab FroYo on the way home. Important rule: you must dress in snazzy outfits.

4. Call It A Game Night.

We recently shared our favorite game night ideas. It’s the perfect inexpensive way to mix things up, and bonus, you don’t have to change out of your yoga pants and oversized t-shirt. (Unless, of course, you’re also eating. In which case, see Rule #2.)

5. recreate your favorite cooking reality show.

Head to the grocery store and purchase ingredients for one another. Once home, give your S.O. their cooking or baking assignment, à la Master Chef. Time their progress in the kitchen, and if you truly feel like getting into character, break out your best British accent and call your partner a donkey. (Hey, it’s what Gordon Ramsay would do!)

6. Go Bowling…In Prom Attire.

Bowling is ridiculously fun. It’s even more fun when you’re wearing ridiculous clothes. Hit up your local thrift store or Goodwill and find some inexpensive prom dresses and/or tuxes. The tackier, the better. If you look like an extra from the Grease dance-off scene, you’ve won.

7. Take a dance class.

Many cities will offer dance classes on Fridays and Saturdays to couples and singles alike. In Boston, for example, there are several clubs that have a “lesson” hour before the dance floor is open to the public. You can learn all types of dance, ranging from swing to salsa to even ballroom!

8. LOL…at an Improv show.

Pretty much every city offers comedy nights and improv shows. You might not be able to go see Second City or your all-time favorite comedians, but you will probably discover some new talent, and, at the very least, laugh a lot. Bonus – improv shows are often way cheaper than any other type of theatrical event, so if being a theatergoer is your style, this is a perfect date for you!

9. Drink coffee and pet a cat.

A few years ago, if you said the phrase “cat café,” most people wouldn’t know what you’re talking about. However, the feline-friendly trend has taken major cities by storm. What started as a fad overseas has now spread to the U.S. and several cat cafés have opened up all over the country. Grab your S.O. and head out for an afternoon coffee…and a snuggle.

10. Visit the zoo.

Speaking of animals, if you’re the kind of person who loves all creatures of this earth, than a trip to the zoo would make a fabulous date. Most zoos offer discounts throughout the year for various cardholders (like AAA) and if you still happen to have your college or grad student I.D. (as many of us do) you can probably finagle your way to a student discount. Say hi to the monkeys!

Tell Us: What are some of your favorite Date Night activities?

{featured image via we*heart*it}

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