Planning a fun date night can be difficult, especially when life starts to get hectic. Once you add in the realities of kids, pets, multiple jobs, the idea of going out and spending $50 or more on a romantic dinner can seem both exhausting and stressful to those who are budget conscious! So, what can you do to keep the romantic spark alive without breaking the bank?

Spending time with your special someone doesn't have to be about raising the bar on your previous dates. Dates should focus on allowing you to enjoy each other's company without undue stress or distractions and, most importantly, getting closer on your own terms.

Keeping the romance alive doesn't have to rely on booking a trip to a Jamaican couples' resort. As long as it's the two of you together, romance can be found doing anything you both enjoy, from listening to jazz at a speakeasy to revisiting that coffee shop where you first met (on your Tinder date) to throwing axes at (legal) targets! Groupon exists for a reason. Find great deals and try something new — together.

Here are ten great date ideas that will get you out of your rut and help you feel the love without costing you a fortune.

1. Beach Date

Young couple at the beach
Miramiska/Shutterstock
For an extra bit of romance, plan your visit to the beach for sunrise or sunset

Who doesn’t love a relaxing day at the beach? Pack a picnic, a good book, and plan to have a great time with your special someone under the sun.

2. Volunteer Together

Volunteering, charity, people and ecology concept - group of happy volunteers with tree seedlings and rake walking in park
Syda Productions/Shutterstock
Volunteering together can be a wonderful way to connect with your partner on a deeper level

For a lot of couples, it’s not difficult to find something that they are both passionate about and enjoy doing. Maybe you are both animal lovers, or perhaps you are passionate about helping out in your community. Whatever it is, going out and volunteering together can be a wonderful way of not only doing some good in the world but also connecting with your partner on a deeper level.

3. Explore Your City

Back view of young couple walking together with bicycle
A3pfamily/Shutterstock
Too often, people live mere minutes away from gorgeous scenery, landmarks, and museums and never actually take advantage of it

Too often, people live mere minutes away from gorgeous scenery, landmarks, and museums and never actually take advantage of it. Go online and see about upcoming deals offered by local museums or galleries, check out what festivals are going to be taking place in your area, and make a day or weekend out of it. You might be surprised to find tons of culture and fun activities right in your own neighborhood.

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4. Get Athletic

Couple kayaking together. Young couple kayaking on lake together and smiling.
g-stockstudio/Shutterstock
Regardless of your athletic abilities, this will make for an entertaining date

Why not spend a day trying out a new sport or teaching each other how to master your favorite active hobbies? Regardless of your athletic abilities, this will make for an entertaining date where you will probably learn something impressive (or endearingly embarassing) about each other.

5. Cook Dinner Together

Couple cooking together in their kitchen
VGstockstudio/Shutterstock
There is something to be said for taking the time to cook a lovely meal together

There is something to be said for taking the time to cook a lovely meal together. Look up a new recipe that neither of you has made before, source the best deals on ingredients you need, pop open a bottle of wine, and get cooking! Hopefully, you will end up with a delicious meal- and if the worst should happen, you’ll have a few laughs and end up spending $20 on a pizza.

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6. Have a Movie Night at Home

Young couple watching TV at home together
Dragon Images/Shutterstock
Netflix and chili dogs

Thanks to Netflix, there is an abundance of movies available for you to enjoy with your monthly subscription. Combine this with some of your favorite snacks like popcorn, pizza, or nachos, a bottle of wine and a comfy couch, and you are set for a romantic night in with your sweetie.

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7. Have a Potluck and a Games Night

Party with best friends. Group of cheerful young people enjoying home party with snacks and drinks while talking.
g-stockstudio/Shutterstock
Why not set up a double or triple date with friends and invite them over for a potluck dinner and games?

Why not set up a double or triple date with friends and invite them over for a potluck dinner and games? With everyone bringing something, you will save on a delicious meal and still be able to enjoy a great night with your partner and close friends. Add some nostalgia by finding (or unpacking) some of your favorite games from when you were all growing up. If you don’t have them at home, they can often be found at thrift stores or your parents' attic.

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8. Go Ice Skating

Young couple ice skating
Dean Drobot/Shutterstock
Community rinks typically cost a few dollars, but frozen ponds are completely free. Just make sure the ice is safe!

Most cities have community ice rinks that are available to use for either for free, a few dollars, or for a small donation. Combining this classic couple’s sport with a steaming cups of hot chocolate can be a really romantic way to spend a cold winter’s night.

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9. Go for a Hike

Couple hiking and taking a selfie
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
Why not get out of the city for a few hours and check out the hills and trails nearby?

Why not get out of the city for a few hours and check out the hills and trails nearby? This can be a fantastic way to spend time together on a weekend while getting in your workout as well. Explore nature together and enjoy each other’s company without the everyday distractions of work, home life, and all those screens. Fresh air, sunny blue skies, a picnic in a clearing… let the romance blossom!

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10. Take in a Game

Couple at a sporting event taking a selfie
Yulia Mayorova/Shutterstock
Most cities have talented local sports teams that can be a lot of fun to watch for a tiny fraction of the price of the majors

Yes, I know, this is a list of date ideas that won't break the bank and tickets to major league sporting events can be a little pricier than some of the other dates listed here. But keep in mind that you don’t have to watch a professional level game! Most cities have talented local sports teams that can be a lot of fun to watch for a tiny fraction of the price of the majors. This will give you a chance to see up and coming athletes in a more relaxed atmosphere. If the major league is more what you’re looking for, then take a look online for special theme days and deals. Often these sell out quickly so you will want to be on the ball and order your tickets early to get the best price.

Do you have a friend who could use some ideas to get creative and date outside the box? Share this article and give them a new lease on the dating scene!

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