A few weeks ago, we talked about how being a cheapskate isn’t pretty and won’t win you over. However, dating during these tough economic times can be expensive. Below are some great new date ideas you can do for $20 or less! They will still impress without having to overdraw your bank account. Yes, it’s the thought that counts!
1. Hit the great outdoors
Nature offers us so many places to enjoy a lot of the time for no charge whatsoever. Take her to the beach for some fun in the sun, or a short hike through a local reserve, or a bike ride enjoyed by a stream or waterfall. Pair this with a simple picnic basket prepared and you will have won her over. Try the Massapequa preserves to Bethpage park for bike riding, Muttontown Preserves for a great nature walk. Jones Beach is great with it’s boardwalk or any of the town ocean beaches along ocean parkway after 5pm free to park. Cedar and Overlook in the town of Babylon and Eastern Suffolk Beaches have live bands at The Beach Huts
2. Play chef for the night
The internet is full of free recipes from every corner of the globe. Find out what type of cuisine she or he likes best and plan to cook something that will excite. You can share the total experience by cooking together and enjoy the fruits of your labor, or do it by yourself and treat them like a queen (or prince) and make it a surprise!
*Try this out on date number #3 or more…
It might be a bit too forward to invite her over on the first date!
Check out: Romantic Date Recipes and Tips for Cooking for a DATE
Or good old Betty Crocker Dinner made easy
3. Get some culture
Many Long Island towns have free events especially over the weekends and in the evenings. Art Shows, Book Readings, Street Theatre and Comedy Shows are just some easy to find entertainment ideas.
Try checking this site Life on Long Island to see what current Art, Street Festivals, Comedy and other events are happening on LI.
For a great coffee/culture date try The Witches Brew in W. Hempstead, Pisces Cafe in Babylon or the Tic Toc Cafe in St. James, both are very artsy / bohemia or The CUP Coffeehouse in Wantagh which has live music on WED, FRI and SAT, Psychic readers on Mondays and Art displays and book readings. Check the schedule.
4. Be do-gooders
There are countless charities around that would love for you to offer your time. Volunteer at the local animal shelter or nursing home for a warm fuzzy feeling that you can share together. Check out: Island Harvest or Long island Charities Events
5. Reinvent the movies
If its possible, try moving your TV out of your living room or your lap top computer and into a new environment like the patio! Grab a DVD and you can be sharing popcorn and a fantastic night with your date enjoying a movie under the stars in your garden.
*Again… better for a 2nd or 3rd date before inviting back to your place.
6. Satisfy her sweet tooth
Girls love chocolate. You can make it an adventure to discover some quaint dessert or candy stores. A cupcake or cookies whilst sitting in your local park is a cheap and easy way to impress. Or how about some ice cream?
Try Newsday’s page on Where to get great Icecream or Best LI Chocolate Shops and best cupcake-boutiques on long island
7. Board games
Most of us were brought up with board games in the pre internet/ Nintendo/ Playstation era. Playing Scrabble, Checkers and Monopoly often brings back fun memories of summer break and school holidays. Plus it gives you face to face interaction!
*Warning: be careful not to scare her if you have an ultra competitive personality.
Play at your place or try meeting at a Panera Bread
8. Take a tour of a local brewery or winery
Many wineries are set in beautiful green vineyards and offer free wine tastings. This is the picturesque backdrop to a perfect afternoon.
Martha Clara Vineyards Riverhead – this is a favorite of mine, they have very creative special events on the weekends and weekdays very inexpensive too!
PINDAR LI North Folk Peconic – Saturday and Sunday afternoons from Memorial Day weekend until the end of October, bring a picnic lunch and enjoy live music overlooking the vineyards. Music begins at 1:00 and ends at 5:00; pavilion closes at 6:00.
Blue Point Brewery of Patchogue – Beer Brewing Tours and Tasting Sat 12pm – 7pm
And if you are in search of someone to take on a special date, don’t forget about SPEED DATING which is also a relatively cheap way of meeting multiple people with minimal costs. Check our Current Schedule for an event in your age group and location.
It just goes to show that when it comes to fun dating ideas, a little planning and imagination can go a long way to impress.
All the best on your quest!,
Opinions? Comments? Personal experiences?
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