Cabin fever is the worst, especially for romantics out there. Sure, bundling up by a roaring fireplace can be a nice treat, but what happens when that’s all you have or you can’t afford to do much else? Luckily for you, the season presents a ton of amazing free or super inexpensive date ideas just about everyone will love.
1. Sunset Watch
One of the worst parts of winter could become one of your favorite parts! With the sun going down so early, grab a blanket, find a spot on a hill, and invite your date to enjoy the sights. Bring hot tea or cocoa to up the romance.
2. The Local Tourist
In the winter, when kids are back in school, museums often feature free days or hours aimed at getting people in during the slow months. Take a day off and hit the exhibits before it becomes overpriced or too crowded to enjoy.
3. Antique Roadshow
If you love anything old, take to flea markets, bazaars, and shops to learn about America’s history. You don’t have to buy anything, but bring along a smartphone or WIFI enabled tablet so you can look up the maker or see the real value of that vintage tea seat or painting.
4. Old School Sledding
Have a little fun by going back in time to your childhood. Sledding isn’t just for kids! Grab a plastic saucer, a pool inner tube, a tray from a cafeteria (shhh…), or borrow a real sled and go crazy! It’s a winter amusement park waiting to happen.
5. Take a Class
When winter comes, smaller communities love to offer introductory classes. These may be in fitness, art, cooking, etc. Scan your Facebook page, local newspaper, or event website to see what’s going on in your area for free.
6. Bookworm Challenge
Love to read? Bring your date to the library and challenge them to pick out three books for you (and do the same for them). Then grab a table and have them tell you why you should read it. It may sound cheesey, but it’s a great way to open up and get some awesome reading recommendations too.
7. Indoor Cookout
Don’t bring the grill inside! Inside, turn up a fireplace or stand by a burner and create s’mores, hot dogs, or popcorn. Then snuggle up to a camping or outdoor movie to complete the feel. It’s a tasty treat that doesn’t require much in supplies or even too much creativity, but it’s always a fun change up on routines.
8. Get Intellectual
Once college is back in session, schools start packing their schedule with presenters and lecturers from all over the country. And most are free and open to the public! Try a music rehearsal with a famous conductor, sit in on a talk on human psychology with a famed author, or even learn about a new social issue from a visiting politician. You’ll leave with so much to talk about!
9. Bar Trivia
Bar trivia is a winter favorite of frugal people everywhere. It often only requires the purchase of one drink (stick with soda) to play, and you’ll love the competitiveness of it. Plus, who doesn’t want the chance to win gift cards, money, or other great prizes just by answering a few random questions correctly? This one is always a win for nerds and know-it-alls!
10. Score Free Tapping Tickets
If you live in a major city like New York or LA, you’re in luck! Shows filmed in your area are always looking for live audiences to fill their seats and provide laughter or even contestants. Luckily for us, all of that is free! You just need to reserve your spots online or over the phone and read the rules very carefully.
Michelle is a 20-something new mom, dog lover, and freelance writer/solopreneur living in Chicago. She's currently fighting back to get in the black while learning how to make great financial decisions for the future. You can find her personal debt story at fitnpoor.com and her site for parents wanting to raise money-smart children at everylittlecent.com
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