Going on a summer date doesn’t have to break the bank! I have handpicked over 60 free summer date ideas to keep you and your honey creating summer memories.
Whether it is sunny or raining, you want to be alone, double date, or invite the whole gang along, this list has fun summer date ideas that cost zero.
How My Husband And I Began Free Dating
Many years ago, I approached my husband and suggested we stop funding date nights in our budget, but still continue to go out on dates.
Why? Reason number one, we had reached our 40s and the oversized portions enjoyed on many of our date night adventures had started showing on our bodies. Free dates tend to be more activity focused, which I hoped would keep us active then and in the future (spoiler alert, it has).
Second, we had some larger-than-average bills come up and date night was an easy budget category to get rid of for a while.
I can’t remember how long we kept our date nights free, but we still enjoy numerous free dates every month even though we are once again putting money aside each paycheck for dates.
Tips To Keep This List of Perfect Summer Date Ideas Free
1. Stick To Ideas That Use Equipment You Own Or Can Borrow
You might not have roller skates, but perhaps you have bikes. So instead of roller skating around the park, go for a bike ride.
2. Use Free Babysitting Options Or At Home Dates If You Have Little Ones
A babysitting swap night with friends worked well for us when our children were little and we wanted to do something out of the house. For dates we could do at home, we made it a priority to wear the kids out with a bit of extra activity the night we wanted to do a date night at home.
3. Pack a Cooler
For ideas that take you away from home for a few hours, pack a cooler filled with snacks and drinks. This will save you from being tempted to blow the budget on fast food or convenience store drinks and snacks.
4. Pick The Ideas That Match Your Interests
There are a lot of ideas on this list. Some are going to sound totally lame to you. But chances are they won’t to a person who has interests in that area.
For instance, if you don’t like reading, you will think a reading date is boring, but my husband and I LOVE reading, so snuggling up on a blanket under the shade of a tree is an awesome free day for us.
This is why the list is LONG! Pick what interests you and your significant other and ignore the rest–no hard feelings.
5. Combine Ideas To Fit Your Time Frame
Some of these ideas will make a better date when combined with another idea. For instance, a backyard fire in your fire pit probably isn’t a great date by itself, but combine it with an evening of sleeping outside in a tent and taking in the sunset, and you have the makings of a great free date.
Sunny Summer Day Ideas That Cost Zero
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1. Play The Yard Games You Own
My husband and I can’t be the only ones with a cornhole set collecting cobwebs in the shed.
2. Visit A Local Nursery And Plan Out Your Dream Garden
We have done this several times and absolutely enjoy ourselves.
3. Play On The Playground
Being like kids together keeps the sparks alive. Relive your childhood by taking advantage of an empty playground. See who can go highest on the swing, fastest down the slide, or hold onto the monkey bars the longest.
4. Read Together
Find a shady spot and throw a blanket down; add a few pillows and you have the perfect reading nest for two. You can read to each other, or each read your own book, which is what my husband and I do. And, of course, pause from reading now and again for kisses.
Psst…I rarely ever pay for a book; here are my favorite places to find FREE books to read.
5. Dream-storm Together
Grab a pen and a pad of paper, sit side by side on the porch swing, and list everything that comes to mind that you would like to try doing together over the next 5-10 years. No ideas are too small, too big, too expensive, or too crazy!
6. Take Over A Pool
My husband and I had the most relaxing free date one summer when our friends told us we were more than welcome to use their pool while they were on vacation.
We brought a picnic basket full of food to our friend’s house. We ate our homemade feast on our friend’s patio and then spent hours floating around on big inflatable loungers, chatting, dreaming, and relaxing.
7. Take A Hike
Use the free version of the Alltrails app to find the nearest trails to get out and hike together.
8. Enjoy An Outdoor Movie Night In Your Own Backyard
Grab the popcorn, drinks, blankets, pillows, and whatever device you need to watch a movie.
9. Take In A Free Summer Community Event
Many communities have free concerts in the summertime as well as free festivals. Check your local visitor center for a list of free events in your town.
10. Take Advantage Of Whatever Waterfront Your Town Has
Riverwalk, beach walk, or trail around the lake; get out there and enjoy it together.
11. Do Outdoor Chores Together
As long as you are together and the children are not underfoot, it counts as a date. I love chore dates as my husband tends to open up and talk more during them.
12. Volunteer Together
Want to help out in your own city? See if the local soup kitchen needs more volunteers.
13. Tour RVs
Not all RV lots will let you wander in and out of their inventory, but when you come across one that does, it is fun to pop in and out of them and dream of which one you would like to have and where you would take it.
14. Explore A New Neighborhood In Your City
Pick a neighborhood, find a place to park, and stroll the streets hand in hand.
15. Put The Outdoor Toys You Own To Use
Whatever you have in the shed, whether kayaks, bikes, discs for disc golf, or rollerblades, get them out and figure out how to use it for a free date together.
16. Visit Roadside Attractions
Use the websites Roadside America, Roadtrippers, and Atlas Obscura to see if there are any roadside attractions near you that you could check out together–they are usually free to visit.
17. Backyard Water Fight
You don’t need water guns for a water fight. You can use buckets or even kitchen storage containers.
18. Camp In Your Own Backyard
Grab your tent or borrow one and go camping in your own backyard. No sleeping bags or sleeping mats? No worries, drag your mattress and bedding out for the night.
If you are lucky enough to live in an area with BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land nearby, take this idea beyond your backyard and go camping in the wilderness.
19. Visit A Sculpture Park
Jack and I have visited several free sculpture parks in bigger cities.
20. Go Geocaching
Grab a free geocaching app and find caches near you.
21. Go Foraging
You need knowledge in this area to make sure that you don’t eat something that will harm you, but if you have that knowledge or know someone willing to share it with you, foraging could be a great free summer date.
22. Take A Photo Walk Or Hike
Brush up your smartphone photography skills by watching some free YouTube videos. Pick a walk in a neighborhood with great architecture or a trail with awesome views and snap some great shots.
23. Spend An Evening Stargazing
Wake up in the middle of the night to go outside and see what stars you can see.
24. Watch The Clouds Roll By
Be kids again and use your imagination to see shapes in the clouds.
25. Visit The Farmer’s Market
Groceries must be bought and food needs to be cooked so why not turn it into a date? Find a new recipe that uses vegetables or fruit that is in season. Head to your local farmer’s market and pick out the veggies while enjoying all the sights. Then head home and cook up your finds.
26. Pack A Picnic
Take a picnic and find a quiet spot in a park to eat and chat.
27. Window Shopping
If one or both of you is a spender, skip this one, but if you are both savers, window shopping can turn into a fun free date when mixed with a bit of people-watching and perhaps a visit to a free museum nearby.
28. Go Shell Collecting
My husband and I have enjoyed many great free dates walking along the seashore together, searching for that perfect shell to add to our collection.
29. Backyard Fire
Combine this with a few more ideas on this list or spend a whole evening cuddling and chatting around the fire.
30. Take In A Free Baseball Game
Children’s local league games are often free and fun to watch.
31. Visit All The Murals In Your Town
Get out your laptop and Google “mural map for…” articles with routes to various murals in your area should pop up. Be a tourist and take pictures in front of them all.
32. Visit A Local Botanical Garden
In most areas, botanical gardens are free to visit.
33. Go Birdwatching
Download the free Merlin Bird ID app and use your smartphone to identify the birds you find.
34. Visit A Nearby State Park You Haven’t Visited Before
If you live in a state that doesn’t charge an entry fee to visit their state parks, explore all the free things within their boundaries.
35. Enjoy Free Summer Holiday Events
Fourth of July fireworks and Canada Day parades are usually free and fun to watch. These are just two free summer holiday events; there are plenty more.
36. Draw The View
This can be fun for artists and non-artists alike. Sit down in front of a view and try to sketch it. Set a time limit, and once the timer goes off, show each other the picture you drew. If you are brave enough, post them side by side on social media and have people vote for the best one.
37. Have a Game Night Outside
Play board games, cards, free apps, or crossword puzzles together outside in the cool of the evening.
38. Paint Rocks, Then Hide Them
When I am out walking, finding a painted rock always puts a smile on my face. Sometimes I even remember to share it on my Instagram with the hashtag on the back of the rock.
Be the people who put a smile on someone’s face and paint and hide some rocks.
39. Use Sidewalk Chalk To Leave Positive Messages For Others
Another gift for walkers is to fill their walk with positive messages written in chalk.
40. Walk And Talk
Find a walking trail or walk in your own neighborhood. Hold hands, stop and kiss, or hug occasionally along the route.
41. Try Outdoor Yoga
Free outdoor yoga classes are available now and again, but yoga classes on YouTube are always free and can be done outdoors. Plus, you can do them in the privacy of your yard.
42. Build An Epic Sand Castle
If you are lucky enough to live in a sandy beachfront town, gather up buckets, etc., from home and head to the beach. While there work together to build the BIGGEST sandcastle ever.
43. Watch A Sunset Or A Sunrise Together
Grab blankets and a mug or glass of whatever you fancy and snuggle up together, watching God paint the sky.
44. Use What You Have To Make New Yard Games
With a little out-of-the-box thinking and Pinterest, chances are you can build a new yard game or two to play together using supplies you already own.
45. Do A Summer Photoshoot
This is a double-date idea unless you own a tripod. Go to some Insta-worthy summer spots near you dressed for a photoshoot and get some great shots of the two of you. Boost the cuteness factor by wearing matching outfits–if you are into that.
46. Fly A Homemade Kite
If you live in an area with summer breezes, try building a kite together and then take it out for its first flight.
Free Rainy Summer Day Date Ideas
47. Tour Open Houses
For those who love interior design and real estate, an afternoon of checking out open houses is the perfect free date.
48. Take A Trip Down Memory Lane
Get out the baby books, yearbooks, home movies, journals, and letters and reminisce together.
49. DIY Spa Treatments
This could be relaxing or hilarious; either way, it has the makings of a great free rainy day date.
50. Explore A Free Museum
Since my husband and I started free dating, we have visited dozens of small free museums. Many have been of such high quality that we are shocked that they are free.
Although this makes this activity technically not free–if the museum has a donation box and you can afford it, donate so that they can continue to educate others about the past.
51. Draw Caricatures Of Each Other
If you are both budding artists, this could be a fun way to spend an afternoon indoors.
52. Watch The Storm
So this probably makes us old, but my husband and I love grabbing a cup of whatever and sitting under the safety of our covered porch and watching and listening to summer storms as they roll over our area.
53. Visit A Free Art Gallery
I am constantly blown away by the talent of others when we visit free art galleries. Again–if they have a donation box and you can afford it, leave a small donation.
54. Enjoy A Netflix Movie Marathon
If you cut Netflix from the budget, use a free streaming service like Freevee.
55. Play In The Puddles
Reliving joys from your childhood together is bonding and fun. Summer puddles are great for jump and splash fights.
A Few Money-Earning Date Ideas
If your finances are super tight, perhaps it might be necessary to work extra jobs to pay the bills. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have time together, you might have to spend it earning money together.
56. Hold A Resell Challenge
Pick a few things that you are willing to resell. Then take that money and go out to find items to resell. Whoever makes the highest returns wins. You decide the prize; it doesn’t have to be a monetary one. Repeat as often as you want.
57. Walk Dogs For Cash
Spend time together and get paid by walking dogs for cash using the Rover app.
58. Earn Gift Cards From The Comfort Of Your Couch
Spend your evenings on the couch together, watching TV while earning gift cards.
The date part of this is found in what type of gift cards you cash out for. These programs listed below all offer many different cash out options, including those for restaurants and movie theaters, and some even offer hotel and flight options.
There are many ways to earn gift cards; below are the top three, with three choices for each category. However, there are many more companies like these; you can check out a list of 15 here.
A. Upload Your Receipts
Fetch Rewards–earn at least 25 points for every receipt you upload. Most restaurant gift cards start at 4800 points for a $5 gift card. Use my referral code RE9FU for bonus points after you upload your first receipt.
Receipt Hog–The easiest receipt app to use! Depending on what the receipt is for, you earn either coins or spins, as well as tickets into draws. Use my referral code, yect1667, during sign-up for a bonus after you upload your first receipt.
Makeena–Best for those who buy organic, natural, or gluten-free foods, although if you don’t, you still may earn a bit here and there with the Makeena app. Use my referral code TWNAVD and earn a bonus after you upload your first receipt.
There are plenty more ways to earn money from your receipts and I list them all here.
B. Complete Surveys
Survey Junkie–I personally used Survey Junkie from sign-up to cash out to make sure I felt it was worth recommending, and it is. Go here to sign up.
Prize Rebel–There are a few ways to earn points over at Prize Rebel, but the main way is through surveys. I like that they offer cash outs starting at just $5 for most restaurant cards and their digital cards are sent fast! Go here to sign up.
PaidViewpoint–I take surveys over at PaidViewpoint almost every day. They are short and sweet! And you always get paid something for each one you take. Go here to sign up.
C. Join And Use Point Reward Programs (this is my favorite way)
Swagbucks–If you only have time for one company on this list, make it Swagbucks! They have dozens of ways to earn gift cards with low payout options and are constantly improving. Go here to sign up.
Mypoints–This is the first point rewards program I joined over 20 years ago and I am still an active member! They offer high cash back and several super simple ways to earn points. Go here to sign up.
InstaGC–The Insta stands for instant rewards, which comes in handy if you like to shop on Amazon like I do. Amazon gift card cash out starts at $1! Go here to sign up.
And If You Buy Gas
And one last way to earn gift cards is to use the Upside app to earn cash back on gas purchases. Use my referral code YG5ZB during sign-up and get an extra 15-cent cash back per gallon the first time you use the app.
Summer Potlucks To Enjoy With Other Couples
To keep these ideas free, make sure to give all your guests plenty of heads up so that they can include the items they want to bring in their grocery budget.
60. Ice Cream Sundae
62. Grilled Pizza
63. Cook Everything Over The Fire
64. Backyard Karaoke Night
Find More Free Date Ideas Or Supplies Here
Visitor centers are often a treasure trove of free activities available in your area.
I recently learned that in some states, local libraries have a state park pass you can sign out and use for free entry into nearby parks. My friend told me she found a library that lent out backpacking gear.
How I Find Free Date Activities And Locations
Here is a list of over a dozen ways I find free places to explore.
I hope this list helps you and your significant other reach your summer lovin goals!
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