Dinner and a movie can get expensive, and if you are a college student like myself, you might not have the biggest budget. It’s summer and it’s hot, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go on a cute, inexpensive date.
Thinking of new and exciting ideas of what to do with your significant other or new fling can be tricky, especially when you are on a budget. My favorite type of date is one that is outdoors, inexpensive and full of sunshine and laughter.
I am guilty of this, but don’t let your significant other think of all the date ideas. The traditional dinner and a movie can be fun, but it’s so predictable. Try spicing up your dating life with these four ideas for summer dates that won’t put a damper on your wallet.
1. Enjoy Some Ice Cream with a Stroll in the Park
There’s nothing better than a cool cone on a blazing hot day. Almost every city has their own neighborhood park full of trees, chirping birds and stunning lakes. I grew up playing at parks, but unfortunately, I haven’t been to one in a while. The best part about parks is that you get to enjoy a breath of fresh air with good company.
If your neighborhood park doesn’t have an ice cream truck (most don’t), then you can always go to a local ice cream parlor before or afterward. I recommend enjoying a tasty treat to cool off after your stroll in the park. There are also alternatives if you aren’t a fan of ice cream. Try frozen yogurt, fruit smoothies or a traditional Popsicle to take the edge off.
I love going to my local Twistee Treat in the heart of Orlando with my boyfriend and sharing a sweet dessert over good conversation. Going on a walk in the park is a good way to pass the time, and you can reward yourself afterwards with that frozen treat.
2. Host a Scenic Picnic
There are so many beautiful places in your regional towns that are great to see with your partner. What’s a more adorable date than a picnic packed with love by your better half? Pack a few sandwiches, some summery fruit, a cozy blanket, some tasty treats for dessert and, if you are twenty-one, grab a bottle of Prosecco or make your very own sangria.
After you have your picnic basket full of all of the essentials, check out some of the greatest treasures in your neck of the woods. I enjoy going to local lakes, beaches and the Everglades, but if you are fortunate enough to live in an area where there are mountains and hills to hike, I recommend taking your picnic over there. Some great places to check out for your picnic are Central Park in New York City, La Jolla Cove in San Diego, Piedmont Park in Atlanta and Milwaukee’s Lake Park.
When it comes to choosing what time you should hit the road for your picnic, try leaving right before the sunset to catch those breathtaking views. If you don’t have access to transportation, you can always host your picnic in your backyard, front yard or any secluded area in your neighborhood. It doesn’t matter where your picnic is located; the only thing that matters is that you are enjoying the summer air while being in the presence of your sweetheart. Just relax and enjoy the company!
3. Check out a Local Museum/Art Gallery
I am a sucker for art, and whenever I visit New York City, I have to spend at least two full days at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There is nothing that excites me more than being surrounded by art and culture. I grew up in southern Florida, and my neighborhood was about forty-five minutes north of Miami, which is bursting with culture. Wynwood Art District is a neighborhood located in Miami that has street art, restaurants, breweries and retail stores, and I highly recommend checking it out if you are ever in the area.
If you are a lover of art, culture and history, then I definitely recommend visiting an art gallery or museum. Immersing yourself in culture is a great way to become acclimated with history and it’s also a lot of fun. Every state has a little bit of history to learn about and some of the things are really interesting and cool.
Even if museums and art galleries aren’t your cup of tea, I recommend stepping out of your comfort zone and checking out one in your local city. Museums and art galleries are great date destinations because you get to learn about culture, which will spark some great conversation with your partner. Also, museums and art galleries are often free of charge, which is great for your budget.
4. Enjoy a Cozy, at-Home Movie Marathon
It’s pretty rare nowadays not to have at least one online streaming service; I am guilty of having Netflix and Hulu accounts that I use way too often. Online streaming services make it really easy and convenient to waste an entire day watching a screen.
The sunshine state isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, and during the summer it rains almost every day in Florida. When it’s one of those rainy and gloomy days, I enjoy snuggling with my boyfriend while being buried under bulks of fuzzy blankets and having a Fast and the Furious marathon.
My favorite thing about staying home is saving money on transportation, food and activities. I used to love going to the movies, but holy crap, it’s now almost twenty dollars for one ticket! I would much rather wait to see those new releases when they hit DVD or an online streaming service in the comfort of my home without those ridiculously high prices.
If you don’t have a streaming service, there are always great movies to watch on TV. I know E!, Spike and FX are always running movies that are free with your cable service. Movie marathons are great dates that don’t cost a thing, unless you are ordering Chinese take-out or heavenly pizza. Grab some cozy blankets, your sweetheart, the TV remote and have yourself a comfy cuddle session/movie marathon date.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on overly complicated dates; it only takes a little brainpower and the resources in your backyard. Simplicity is key when you are planning your next adventure with your partner in crime. Remember to relax, just have fun and live in the moment.