10 (Mostly) Free Summer Date Ideas

Just because you’re on a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t go on memorable dates this summer. Here are a few of our favourite free (or almost-free) date ideas:

1. Outdoor movies

Find out if your town or city is hosting a free outdoor movie night this summer. Bring a date, a warm blanket, and your favourite snacks.

2. Hikes and bike rides

Explore someplace new on foot or by bike. Pack a picnic lunch and sunscreen and make a day of it.

3. Street festivals

Keep an eye on your city’s event calendar and be sure to check out this summer’s street festivals. Catch an outdoor concert, browse craft stalls and sample snacks, no admission required.

4. PWYC outdoor theatre

Even those tight on cash can take in some Shakespeare at pay-what-you-can outdoor performances across the country. Take a break from Netflix nights and enjoy some iambic pentameter at a park together.

5. Sports

The couple that plays together stays together. Get those heart rates up by seeking out a local co-ed soccer, baseball or ultimate frisbee league. (Or just get a bunch of friends together and head to the nearest park or field.)

6. Backyard BBQs

Invite over some other couples, plan a potluck menu, light a few (citronella) candles, and spend date night in your own backyard.

7. The beach

If you can’t beat the heat, embrace it. Bask in the sun, catch up on some reading, cool off in the water, toss a frisbee around, and cook dinner over a fire pit. Low-key doesn’t get any lovelier.

8. Town fairs

Win your date a giant stuffed animal, nosh on funnel cakes and cheer on the ugliest car at the demolition derby together.

9. Parks, petting zoos, boardwalks and waterfronts

Discover the free-to-the-public outdoor spaces in your town or city. Stroll along the boardwalk with ice cream cones. Embrace your inner kids and feed the goats at a local petting zoo. Have a heart-to-heart in the park. (Not up for packing a picnic? Grab lunch to-go from a favourite diner or food truck. It still counts.)

10. Photography challenges

Create your own photo scavenger hunt and head out on the town with cameras and a checklist. Or improve your photography skills by watching a few YouTube tutorials, then putting what you’ve learned into practice, capturing local historic sites, notable graffiti or gorgeous landscapes. Frame the day’s best photo.

What is your favorite free summer date idea? Let us know!