Cheap Dates

22 Cheap / Free First Date Ideas

It’s likely that from time to time you’ve had your fair share of bad first date experiences and those moments within the first 5 minutes where you know there isn’t the connection there, but because of politeness you persevere through.

On some dates you might have already booked a nice restaurant or got a couple of expensive cocktails coming your way.   The problem you have now is that you’ve got to make small talk for the next hour, but back of your mind you could have used that money for a few months of Amazon Prime or Netflix subscriptions.

How much does a first date cost?

According to an article from The Independent, in 20181 a study on bad first dates found that on average:

  • £29 per person is spent 
  • 60 minutes on average is spent on the date

In total that means people looked to have spent £2 billion and 96 million hours on bad dates as a whole.  Factoring in the inflation rate of about 7% since 2018 to 2021, you’re probably looking at around £31 for a first date.

Can you have a date for free?

In essence no. If you think about it, everything sadly in today’s society costs money.  Factoring little things like travel fare, you spraying that moderately priced eau de toilette or eau de parfum, it all adds up.  However though, I have listed 22 cheap or free first date ideas below – 11 indoor activities and 11 outdoor activities.  Hopefully on your journey to finding the one, your wallet can take as least damage as possible.

Indoor Activities 

  • Attend a fitness class:  With a range of free exercise classes available online, why not try a workout, and then break the ice talking about each other’s health and fitness goals.
  • Chess:  Has the Queen’s Gambit inspired you?  Pass the time and connect via this timeless 2 player game.
  • Google Stadia:  Not heard of it? Essentially imagine playing top console games without owning an actual console.  The platform streams from a mobile app and currently offers games like Destiny 2 and Bomberman for absolutely free.
  • Heads Up:  A classic game of charades with a modern twist, see how well you guys connect and see if you’re both on the same wavelength.
  • House Party App:  Not sure what to say on your first date?  And undecided what games to play? This App could be great.
  • Tabletopia:  With over 1600 board games online for free, I’m sure you will find something for the first date which will spark both your interests.
  • Virtual Date:  Break the ice by having the first date via a video chat, be it Zoom, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, etc.  Who said you had to go out to have a date?
  • Words with Friends:  Are you both word aficionados / have a brimming lexicon?  Put it to the test on your first date. 
  • Go for a coffee:  Why not just keep things simple and go to a local coffee shop.  Pro Tip – just don’t go to your favourite one, so as to avoid any awkwardness in future if things don’t go well.
  • Go for a drink at the local pub:  For those looking for something a bit stronger, try a local pub.  Say it with me now, “nothing fancy just a pint or a glass of wine”.  Same rule as above, don’t go to your local one.

Outdoor Activities

  • Go for a walk in a park:  With the sun shining, take a stroll at a park somewhere.  If you’re lost for things to say, try some ice breaker questions.
  • Feed ducks at a pond:  Check first if you’re allowed to do this at your local park.  If you’re allowed, gather your stale bread and head out on your date.
  • Go for a run together:  It’s always difficult keeping a conversation going.  Go for a jog, have a breather then go on again with your jog.
  • Visit a public garden:  Ideal for those with social anxiety, a public garden is a place of tranquility and peace.
  • Visit a museum:  Great place to talk about literally anything in the museum.  Pick a sculpture or a painting – what’s your opinion of it?
  • Play tourists:   You might take your local town or city for granted.  But have you visited the top spots as mentioned in the local TripAdvisor?   
  • Volunteer together:   Great way to help cleanse your soul and help out the local community even if the date doesn’t go well.
  • Outside fitness class:   With the sun shining, why not catch some rays and keep fit at the same time.
  • Local events:  Head over to your favourite search engine and see what’s going on in your local area?
  • Rubbish picking:   Probably the least glamorous idea ever.  But grab a bin bag and a picker litter (if you have one) and help make your local area a nicer place.  Just be sure to bring gloves and wear hard shoes as to protect yourself.

First dates are always difficult, especially if you’re a bit more frugal but don’t want to shy away from dating because of the associated costs.  

I hope you enjoyed the post, if there’s any cheap first date ideas you would like to share, please share it! 


About Author

Hi there, my name's Paco. My hobbies include (besides spending time with Dom), cooking, I enjoy experimenting with foods in the kitchen, travelling and experiencing different cultures around the world.I am a big fan of life hacks, and generally anything that makes people go "wow" or "why did I never think of that".