With the cost of living crisis squeezing our purse strings, date nights might seem like an unneeded expense. So we’ve come up with some free ideas to keep the romance alive!
Late night museum/gallery trip
Visiting a museum or gallery might seem like something you don’t have time for, but many have later openings weekly or monthly with free entry. Larger galleries and museums like the V&A and Science Museum have themed free activities at some of these late night events, so see if any of them appeal to your interests. Find out when your favourite has extended opening times and enjoy an evening of art or artefacts!
A picnic is a classic free date idea, and for good reason! Dining al fresco has fewer distractions than eating at home, with more opportunity for conversation and connection. While it might not be picnic-friendly weather at the moment, you can always wrap up warm, bring a flask of tea or coffee and share some biscuits on a park bench or on your balcony or patio if you’re lucky to have one.
Go for a walk
Romanticising your life is a concept I’ve enjoyed learning about recently wherein you find joy and beauty in the everyday. A perfect way to do this is to go on a romantic walk together. Enjoy the beauty of the seasons – find the perfect autumnal leaf or spring blooms. Go to the pond and feed the ducks. Nature is all around us and ready to be explored!
Jigsaw puzzle or board game
As the evenings are becoming darker and colder, spending time indoors can easily fall into a routine of watching tv until it’s time to go to bed. A great alternative that you can turn into a fun date night is working on a jigsaw puzzle, cards, or board game together. A collaborative board game or completing a jigsaw can really be a fun way to boost your communication together, while you can learn a lot about each other when working against your partner on a more competitive game. While jigsaws and games aren’t free, it’s likely you already own one or two, and often you can borrow them from a friend or the library.
Learn to make a meal together
Although ingredients aren’t free, you need to eat anyway! Cooking together is another great date idea that romanticises the everyday. Finding a new recipe that you would both like is a fantastic way to prove you know your partner’s likes and dislikes. Most couples cook separately, so working together to make a meal collaboratively can be an intimate experience! Put on some music that goes with the vibe of your cooking, get out your aprons and start cooking!
Before the pandemic, my partner and I had cinema memberships and went very frequently. During the first lockdown we missed it so much I put on a surprise DIY cinema night in our living room and it was a lot of fun! I got all the snacks out of the cupboard to make a pick n mix station, closed the curtains for a dark movie theatre experience, and made “tickets” so my partner could chose between two films we hadn’t seen before. It’s likely you’re already paying for a streaming service or can borrow DVDs for films you’ve not seen, making this a date with no additional costs!
Try a new craft together
Like making a meal together, learning a new skill can be a great collaborative way of spending time together. If you have kids you probably have some arts and crafts equipment at home to learn to make something together. If you have old magazines you can work together on a collage or even try your hand at decoupage. And if all else fails, you can learn to do origami with junk mail! Remember that even if you’re both terrible at the craft you’re learning – it doesn’t matter. It’s all about having a good time together.