Warm weather is can ya say finally on the horizon for us Midwesterners. Mother Naure has granted us a few sunshiney days thus far, but nothing that lasts. Just a lot rain to splash through. In spite of that, I know everyone has already placed their sandals, shorts and dresses front row in the closet and tossed the boots and heavy gear aside- realistically into the basement, amiright? Just last week I did a heavy purge of my personal wardrobe and placed my winter wear into storage. If you haven’t done this yet, get. on. it.
Winter Summer is coming.
I know we are all eager for summer to arrive and to get our bodies outdoors so we can soak up the sun. During summer time, budgeting moola can be the special kind of HARD. Let’s see there’s vacation, event invites, daily trips to the ice cream parlor—psyche! Except no seriously, not kidding. Double scoop in a waffle cone, please. 🙂
When you want to have a fun time with your partner, there may not always be a ton of budget left to spend. This does not mean you can’t still have a totally FUN time.
Truth time: This applies to anytime of the year if you are terrible at budgeting like me *raises hand very high*. Anyway, I digress… I have prepared a list of free or really stinking cheap date ideas that are summer-time friendly. Here are 25 date ideas to save for later or usse tonight, if you want to throw out the romance vibes and totally please your partner- thumbs up!
- Make a fort. Grab all the sheets, blankets, couch cushions and clothes pins you can find to throw your fort together.
- Host a homemade movie night. Check out the new releases on Netflix or Hulu or pick some titles from your local Redbox for a few bucks. Blow up an air bed, push the furniture aside, lay down the pillows and blankets, and kick back on the living room floor. Don’t forget to pop the popcorn!
- Wine & cheese tasting. No need for the fancy stuff. A good $10 bottle of wine and a couple blocks of cheese paired with a romantic movie will set the tone.
- Grab your sneakers and hike on a nature trail. Walks are the absolute best for talking and getting to know someone. Or if you already know the person, walks are also perfect for a good vent sesh. Bring a pocket knife, find a tree and spend some time carving your names into it: CF + DH 4EVA <3 😉 .
- Game night. Pick out your favorite board games from the closet and let the dice roll. And YES, Mr. Potatohead memory matching game from 4th grade DOES count as a board game and is harder than you can even imagine.
- Bicycles + ice cream. Map out a scenic bike route and be sure to plan a pit stop at an ice cream parlor for a well-earned scoop.
- Cook together. Spend an evening in the kitchen or around the grill fixing a nice dinner with each other. Then actually sit at the dining room table for once *not the coffee table or the sofa*. If it’s nice outside, consider patio seating.
- Pick a bouquet of wildflowers. Take a nature walk and gather flowers for a pretty bouquet you can display as a centerpiece for the week. Note: Please pay attention to state/local rules on picking flowers! If you’re not interested in or unable to bring them home, you can have fun identifying wildflowers using the Garden Flower Identification App.
- Go stargazing. Bring some blankies and lay out in awe of the twinkling lights above. The StarTrackerLite app is one of my favorite apps and can be used to identify the constellations. No wifi or data needed to use it.
- Picnic. Pack a picnic lunch and find a spot with a view.
- Search for geocaches. The latest trends seem to be bringing back things from the past, PokemonGo, scrunchies, chokers, need I say more? Yes, just one more. Geocaching! It’s like treasure hunting for adults.
- Organize a treasure hunt. This takes a little more effort, but so worth it. Set up your own map and clues for your significant other to hunt for a prize around your neighborhood. The prize could just be a high five and a smooch for cracking the clues.
- Spa night. Undergo some homemade facials with ingredients from your pantry. Tons of recipes on Pinterest! Then light some candles, and take turns giving each other back or foot massages.
- Volunteer at a local charity. Walk some dogs, organize food at a local food pantry/food bank, etc.
- Spend the day on the water. Grab your fishing gear or your floaties. Whatever way you enjoy the water, get out on a sunny day and do it. Don’t forget swimming gear and sun tan lotion, just in case.
- Go window shopping. Try on some funky hats and sprawl out on your dream bed- probably the remote control kind that can raise up, right? No purchases, just a fun outing to let your silly side out.
- Tune into local music. Check out a local musician. These events are usually free or have a small cover charge.
- Learn something new on YouTube: You can learn how to do just about anything on YouTube. My honey and I have been into fitness boxing, and we are learning new routines for fun on YouTube. You can push aside your furniture and learn a couple’s fitness routine, couple’s yoga, or a dance routine.
- Trip to the Zoo. Everyone loves the cute animals at the zoo. There are usually free or cheap zoos near urban areas.
- Play Darts or Pool. Find a bar that offers these games and spend some quarters on a few games. Go the extra mile and find out when their happy hour is so you can enjoy drinks on a bargain.
- Dive into the local swimming hole. Bring a book for when you are both pooped from the sun and need to lay out to dry off.
- Craft together. I usually have craft supplies laying around, but if you don’t, you can get some for cheap. Try origami or grab some paint brushes and water color paint sets to let your crafty sides reveal themselves to each other. Don’t forget the wine to officially make this one of those Sip n Paint events. 😉
- Check out at the library. Did someone say air conditioning? The librarians always have that AC cranked to the max, which is why the library is my favorite place on a hot summer day. Find your fave books and old DVDS or new quirky reads to share with each other. Try each picking out a new book for the other to read.
- Photo shoot. Put on your favorite outfits, find a cool park or mural downtown, express yourself and snap some pics. Don’t forget to take one together!
- Explore a museum. Art and history museums are always interesting. Science museums? A blast! But also do a Google search to see what else you can find in your area. You would be surprised at the weird museums you might find. Midwest folks, Wisconsin has a mustard museum, Minnesota has a SPAM museum, and Iowa has a marvel matchstick museum. I have never been to any of these, but I bet they are interesting or at least worth a laugh and a good story. Check out this link to find the top weird museum in your state.