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    72 Totally Free Date Ideas You’ll Actually Want To Try

    My love don't cost a thing

    As a wise woman* once said, "Love don't cost a thing."

    But that doesn't necessarily apply to dates. In fact, dates can actually cost quite a bit. But we're here with some good news — even if you're feeling a bit strapped for cash, there are plenty of ways to deepen your relationship without spending a dime.

    So we rounded up a long list of our absolute favorite free date ideas. There's something for everyone, whether you're angling for an exciting night out or a cozy night in. 

    1. Play strip Cards Against Humanity.

    Spice things up a little with this intimate and fun game!

    2. Have an at-home movie theater night. Make fancy popcorn and homemade Icees.

    3. Make a relationship time capsule.

    Collect old notes, cards, and gifts to put in a box! Celebrate your love and its evolution with a personal capsule.

    4. Have a sand castle-building contest. Get strangers to vote.

    If you live near the beach, tap into your inner child! Buy the supplies at a dollar store, or make do with your natural castle-building skills.

    5. Binge-watch a series you've had on your list or rewatch on you love.

    There's nothing better than cozying up to a loved one with popcorn and ice cream and having a movie marathon or watching your favorite shows.

    6. Go ghost hunting.

    7. Make a dictionary of fake words to use later.

    8. Actually finish an entire Monopoly game.

    I know, I know. It's long. Order takeout, have a bottle of wine, and have fun playing all night.

    9. Have a whimsical, indoor picnic.

    Skip the chilly outdoors and have fun indoors! Collect candles, blankets, and coloring books for a fun time.

    10. Write a song for each other.

    11. Learn a magic trick together.

    Card tricks are a lot funnier when you know how the 'magic' behind them works.

    12. Have a library or bookstore scavenger hunt.

    Pick out a book the two of you are interested in and have fun reading together, or reading to each other!

    13. If it's winter — build a snowman or make snow angels together.

    Warm up after with a cozy cup of hot cocoa, under blankets or in a pillow fort!

    14. Another festive idea: drive-through Christmas light displays.

    Many events are free to attend! Hop in the car with a loved one and check out all the neat Santa and reindeer displays.

    15. Plan a beach day.

    Throw down a towel, read a book, or relax in the sun. Alternatively, go during sunset for a romantic stroll.

    16. Have a Harry Potter movie marathon.

    Pair it with a delicious mug of homemade butterbeer.

    17. Attempt to set a Guinness World Record.

    18. Camp overnight in your backyard.

    Everything about this date idea is romantic. You can cuddle up in a tent, look up at the stars, get in your alone time, and even roast some marshmallows to make s'mores.

    19. Take a free class at your library or community center in something neither of you are good at.

    Or, pick a book that you're both interested in and take turns reading, or read together and discuss!

    20. Answer this New York Times questionnaire that might make you fall in love.

    Whether you and your date are already in love or it's your second date, this questionnaire will undoubtedly spark some great conversations — and maybe some never-seen-before chemistry. 

    21. Play farmers market ABCs: See who can find something that starts with every letter of the alphabet first.

    22. Feed ducks at your local park. Give them names and try to remember them later.

    Remember that bread isn't the best thing to feed ducks! Try healthier options for the birds, like cut grapes, corn, or frozen peas.

    23. Go to a free night at a local museum.

    Lots of museums have free nights in which they're open late. Walk around hand-in-hand with your date and discover each other's favorite pieces.

    24. Volunteer at The Humane Society. Leave your money at home to avoid "accidentally" coming home with three new pets.

    Who doesn't want to be on a date where you pet a dog or five? You'll come in feeling excited to pet some adorable animals, and leave feeling fulfilled. 

    25. Play strip chess.

    Or checkers, if chess is too complicated.

    26. If you're not ~there~ yet (or have children nearby), play the opposite of strip chess — each time you lose, put ON an article of clothing until you can barely move.

    Think of Joey from Friends when he gets back at Chandler by wearing all of his clothes, but add in some romance. Let the games begin!

    27. Play people-watching bingo in the busiest place you know.

    Find a person who looks just like his dog? Check! Find someone screaming into their phone? Check!

    28. Get dressed up and go on tours of expensive homes for sale in your neighborhood.

    Luxurious villa with private infinity pool and chaise lounges at summer in dusk.

    29. Stream a virtual concert from the comfort of your couch.

    30. Build a blanket fort. Spend the whole night there.

    31. Have an at-home karaoke night. Pick songs for each other instead of yourselves.

    Everyone knows the best part of karaoke isn't how well you sing, but the songs you choose. If you're in a *jam* trying to think up song ideas, here are some of the best karaoke songs to belt.

    32. Make your own custom Cards Against Humanity deck.

    33. Invent new constellations named after inside jokes.

    34. Learn to give great massages.

    35. Run through the sprinklers or jump in a fountain (Warning: The latter is illegal in many places. Make it quick.)

    Confidence Woman In Denim Clothes With Cute Young Samoyed Dog Running Through The Fountain Area Against Blurred Cityscape Background. Real People, Ambient Light, Copy Space

    36. Do an at-home wine tasting with bottles you've never tried before.

    Pair your wines with a nice charcuterie board!

    37. Have an impromptu yard sale.

    38. Have an eBay contest: List similar items and see who can make the most money with their description and sales skills. (Then actually mail the item.)

    39. Try geocaching.

    40. Have an entire meal of Costco samples.

    41. Swap to-do lists.

    42. Take a free DIY class at Home Depot or Lowe's.

    43. Play six degrees of Wikipedia.

    44. Test drive your dream car.

    45. Create your own drive-in and have a themed movie night.

    46. Play dirty Truth or Dare.

    47. Have a Chopped competition to see who can make the best dish out of whatever you already have in the fridge.

    48. Make homemade slingshots. Then have a marshmallow fight.

    49. Take your laptop somewhere and have a DIY outdoor movie screening.

    50. Have a sweepstakes night where you both enter as many free sweepstakes as you can find.

    51. Play nonsense Scrabble, where you play using fake words and have to make up definitions for them.

    52. Offer to babysit or petsit for a friend.

    53. Follow YouTube videos to learn cooking skills that neither of you know: how to make crepes, how to poach an egg, etc.

    54. Pick a random place and plan a whole detailed vacation.

    55. Challenge yourself and work on a puzzle.

    56. Create a new holiday. Have rules, traditions, and meals. Mark the day and celebrate it every year.

    57. Go on a "fakecation" and post the pictures to Instagram.

    58. Invent your own fantasy league (i.e., Masterchef Junior fantasy league).

    59. Record the story of how you met for posterity à la When Harry Met Sally.

    60. Read your poem at a local coffee shop open mic night.

    concert music microphones

    61. Make a game of love on your sheets.

    It's a board game but on your bed. The "board" is actually a bed sheet with empty spaces that you can fill in with whatever questions you want your partner to answer. Instructions are included so all that's left for you to do is come up with fun questions and have a great time!

    62. Have a TV marathon that doubles as a workout session.

    63. Make out. For a really long time. Preferably in a blanket fort.

    64. Go eye bombing. If you don't have googly eyes, use paper cutouts.

    Spray painted black cat with googly eyes

    65. Play a horror film drinking game.

    Trust us, you'll need to have a drink to calm your nerves once you start watching any of these horror movies. (And maybe you'll want to cuddle with someone to protect you!)

    66. Pretend to be tourists in the next town over from yours. Break out the fanny pack.

    67. Find a dog that looks like everyone you know.

    a dog chewing on a toy

    68. Watch your favorite TV show or movie under the stars.

    69. Stargaze from the comfort of a cushioned seat at a planetarium.

    70. Have a Jim vs. Dwight prank contest.

    71. Watch the arrivals at the airport, Love Actually style.

    72. Make your own glamour shots studio. Pick each other's outfits. Don't forget Vaseline on the lens.

    This article contains content from Jessica Probus, Terri Pous, and Michele Bird. It was compiled by Salimah McCullough.