8 Summer Date Ideas for Less


Blue skies abound, the sun is warm, and the grass is green -- and you want to enjoy it with your special someone without busting the summer budget. Don't worry, we've got you covered with these low-cost, romantic summer date ideas.

1. Play in the park.

Remember how much fun it was to play in the park when you were a kid? It's still fun for adults and makes for a carefree and cheap summer date. The next time you take out your special someone, hit up the local park and go prepared with games and activities. Items to bring along for the perfect summer date in the park: kite, Frisbee, football, baseball mitts and ball, blanket for lounging, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, and plenty of water.

2. Attend a local fair or festival.

Forget the local pub, you can do that in the winter. Instead, head out to the community fair or festival for a merry summer date. Take a spin on cheap rides, play cheap games, sample local foods and drinks, and enjoy being out and about snuggling and holding hands.

3. Browse the local farmers market.

Your local farmers market is a healthy and cheap way to spend a few hours on a summer date. Treat your eyes and stomach to super-fresh local produce and homemade goodies, and people watch for entertainment. Buy what you need for a romantic dinner, then head home and whip up something yummy for the two of you to share. All in all, a simple, satisfying, and low-cost summer date.

4. Go to an outdoor movie.

Glamour reports that many communities host summer movies in parks and on lawns. This is a particularly romantic summer date especially if you're watching a romantic movie. If you can't find an outdoor movie near you, try the local drive-in. This may be a blast from the past, but it's a nice change from the run-of-the-mill megaplex.

5. Get moving.

Athletic types can try this summer date idea: rent bicycles and take a ride. Some communities have rent-a-bike programs and others, such as Denver, offer biking tours of the city. If nothing like this is available in your area, use your own bikes or borrow from friends to explore the city on wheels. No access to bikes? Check out the local state park and take a hike instead.

6. Enjoy local entertainment.

In addition to fairs and festivals, many communities host summer concerts -- often for free. For example, Worthington Parks and Recreation (a suburb of Columbus, Ohio) offers a free summer concert series every Sunday from May through August. Don't forget to take a blanket to cuddle up on, as well as snacks and maybe a bottle of wine for a delightful and romantic summer date.

7. Grab dessert.

Instead of the typical dinner out, go cheaper and opt for dessert out. What better way to celebrate summer than with an ice cream cone? Or, stop by the local pastry shop and snack on sweet delicacies. As the capstone to this summer date, choose a place with a patio and linger with your honey as the sun sets.

8. Go fishing.

Pack a picnic basket, grab some poles, and head to the nearest fishing hole. In today's fast-paced world, a slow day of fishing may be just the summer date you and your sweetie need to catch up and relax in each other's company.

Now it's your turn to share. Tell us the best cheap summer date you've ever been on and what your ideal cheap summer date would be.