Do you see Valentine’s Day as just another manufactured holiday designed to separate you from your money? Do you consider yourself a romantic but refuse to lay out a pile of cash just to show you care?
Mr. Free Stuff doesn’t believe Valentine’s Day has to mean a fancy date, big dinner or an impressive gift. So we’ve compiled 44 free dates to help you and your loved one spend special time together without giving into the commercial hype.
1. Local art shows
Many cities have local art shows on a regular basis that are free to visit and some even offer free wine and cheese. Look in your local newspaper or city website for an art show near you.
2. Amateur night at a bar
These amateur nights tend to showcase some local talent in either music or comedy depending on the bar. Before going, check out what is going on at the bar and make sure it’s something you would be interested in.
3. Attend and outdoor free concert
This is an ideal summer date. There are hundreds of free outdoor concerts that you can potentially go to and you can even make it into a fun dinner by bringing a picnic with you.
4. Have a game night
Everyone has a favorite childhood game, whether it’s Monopoly, Clue or Risk settle in for a night and play a classic. This is a great way to bond and share memories with your special someone.
5. Amateur night at a comedy club
If you’re looking for a good laugh this is the location for you. Most nights, comedy clubs are expensive, but if you time it right you can check out some new local talent for free.
6. Go stargazing
If you live in the city, take a drive out into the country. Bring a blanket and layout and watch the stars. If you wanted to make an entire night of it, start out by bringing a picnic dinner with you to enjoy as the sun is setting.
7. Have a movie night at home
Instead of spending tons of money to go see a movie at the movie theater you are not even sure you will enjoy, stay home and watch one of your favorites together. Take turns picking the movie. You never what you will learn about someone from watching their favorite movie with them.
8. Go to the beach or lake
Many beaches and lakes are free, which makes them an ideal swimming hole. Go swimming, barbecue, hike, or anything else for fun while you’re there.
9. Play poker
Instead of playing for cash, play for things like M&Ms, peanuts, raisins or anything else you have laying around the house. The best part is at the end of the game you get to eat your winnings.
10. Go to a playground
Have a contest to see who can swing the highest, quickest or who can do the monkey bars the most times in a row. There are endless opportunities to have fun at the playground.
11. Go on a hike
Make sure to pack lots of water and granola bars (or your preferred snacks) and dress with layers so you’re prepared for all the different weather types. This is a great way to enjoy nature and each other’s company.
12. Go to the park and play a sport you enjoy together
Whether it’s playing catch with a frisbee or a full on game of tackle football, you’re sure to have fun. If you have a whole day, you can play a lot of different sports and take breaks for snacks.
13. Volunteer together
If you share a passion for animals, volunteer at a local pet shelter. This is especially great if you can’t have a pet right now but want some time to spend with animals. If your interests are more on building, look into Habitat for Humanity. There are volunteer opportunities for all passions, so just find the one that best suits you and have fun!
14. Go sledding
It’s always fun to enjoy the new snow, so why not go to the local sledding hill? If you don’t have a traditional sled you can try sledding down the hill with household items like garbage bags or cardboard boxes. You can even turn it into a contest to see who comes up with the most successful household item sled.
15. Tour a local brewery or winery
Most tours are free and additionally include free samples at the end.
16. Visit a gallery
Many galleries are free all the time but many of the pay galleries offer free days every once in a while so you will just have to check into it. Check out some new types of art or people watch while you’re at the gallery.
17. Plan a TV night
Watch your favorite shows together, whether it’s on DVD or live on TV, it’s always fun to share the experience. Plus you’ll have something to talk about until next week if it’s a show you watch weekly.
18. Free Zoo Days
Most zoos have a few free days throughout the year. This is a great time to take advantage of the zoo without having to pay for entrance.
19. Make Smores
Who says you have to be on a camping trip to enjoy Smores? Use a grill to roast up marshmallows and eat them with chocolate and graham crackers. It’s a great snack and tons of fun to make together.
20. Attend a farmers market
Most cities have farmers markets on either Saturday or Sunday, so you’ll have to look into which it is. Have fun looking at all the new homemade things that are around. Feel free to try new things.
21. Karaoke Nights
Many bars have Karaoke Nights during the week. These are a great time to show off your singing abilities and have a blast learning more about each other in a social environment.
22. Test drive cars
At some dealerships you may have to pretend you’re looking to buy today, so feel free to make up an entire cover story. Have fun test driving your dream car or any car that looks like fun!
23. Rearrange your house/apartment/room
Change is fun for everyone, even if it’s just something small. Ever been curious to see what your apartment woul dlook like if it was fend shui’d? Or wanted to see what a crazy arrangement would do to shift up the space? This is a great way to enjoy each other and have fun with your creativity.
24. Build a snow man
A classic children’s pastime has tons of opportunities for adults as well. Try to make crazy shapes or perfect the classic snowman. Either way it’s bound to be fun.
25. Have a photo shoot
Everyone loves having pictures of their special someone, whether or not it’s in your wallet, on your desk at work or just for your home. Stage a photo shoot by going to a flower field and take pictures, or go to the lake. It’ll be fun!
26. Play in the mud
What better activity is there than to enjoy the new mud after a fresh rain? Get into your messiest clothes and head out to the local mud puddle (or just some mud you find in your back yard) and have a mud fight.
27. Build a fort
Who didn’t love building forts as a kid? Why not build one now with your significant other for a date? You can camp out in the fort for as long as you like, pretend it’s a secret hiding place, go on an adventure or just have a great camping trip inside.
28. Have a sand castle competition
This works out best if you either live by a sandy beach/ocean or if you have a kid’s sandbox around. Gather up some items that can be used to build castles (bowls, cups, etc.) and see who can build the best sandcastle.
29. Make piles of leaves and jump in them
A great fall activity for anyone. If you don’t have a yard of your own, borrow the park’s leaves and go make piles there. If this is your idea remember to take into account that your significant other might have allergies to check beforehand.
30. Be in a TV audience
Most TV audiences are free to be in, but you may need to call ahead and make a reservation. Who knows, you might even win some money to go out to dinner after!
31. Watch fireworks
Check to see when local sporting teams are going to be having a fireworks show. Take a blanket with you to fins a comfy stop to cuddle up and watch a free fireworks show.
32. Watch clouds
Lay out in the grass and watch the clouds go by. Have fun naming the different shapes because you never know what you will see!
33. Fly a kit
Fly that kite that has been gathering dust in your garage or make a kite out of paper, string it and take it to the park on a windy day.
34. Have an at home dance party
This is a great way to have fun. Turn your home into a club with a particular theme; you could even do this once a week and have a rotating theme night.
35. Visit a farm
Many farms offer free tours or visiting hours. Take some time to visit the animals or learn about the process the farm uses such as how the milk reaches the shelves.
36. Amateur night at a coffee house
Many local coffee houses have amateur nights where people can come in and perform. You never know what kind of performances will be going on, so expect the unexpected. If you get there early, you can just hang out and enjoy the atmosphere too.
37. Tour a brewery or winery
Most of these tours are completely free and even offer free samples. It’s a great way to learn about the local beers and wines of your area and spend time together.
38. Dream house adventure
Drive around and find what would be you and your special someone’s dream house. Take a self-initiated adventure around the outside of the house to see what it’s like.
39. Have a yard sale
This can be a fun way to bond over old things you have laying around along with bringing in some “free” money to spend. Make a goal like, “If we make $50 dollars we will go out to eat at a favorite restaurant tonight,” or make it a competition between both of you to see who can sell the most.
40. Rock skipping
Find a lake or river that you can go to skip rocks. If you want to make a day of it, bring a picnic and enjoy the water.
41. Go on a bike ride
This is a great way for you to get in some exercise while having fun. Look for some cool new paths around your area and explore new areas.
42. Dress up
Each of you get as dressed up in a certain theme from things you have laying around the house. See who can make the best costume.
43. Have a water balloon fight
Hopefully you have some old balloons lying around from a birthday party. Use these to create water balloons by filling them up outside with the hose and have fun with a giant water balloon battle.
44. Have a picnic
Instead of having sandwiches at home for lunch, pack up some food and head out on an adventure to a local park or lake and eat there.
This is a guest post by Mr. Free Stuff, a website that brings you the very best free samples and freebies for products and services and just about anything else that is free.