It’s supposed to be a festive time of year but often the financial burden of the holiday season, from the high cost of airline tickets home to long lists for gift giving, leaves the wallet empty for dating.
Five star dining, limo rides and expensive bottles of bubbly don’t make for a perfect date. Creativity and ingenuity are more important than any amount of money spent so leave the dozen roses at home and read on for our top ideas for dating on the cheap.
Create a Walking Tour
New York resident Preeti Nangia might live in one of the most expensive cities in the country but the high cost of living has made the single Manhattanite come up with creative ways to date without breaking the bank. “One of my favorite dates is to make my own walking tour of the city,” says Preeti. “Map out certain landmarks and stop by predetermined destinations along the way. End the date in a scenic location like a gorgeous hotel or park fountain. During the holidays make sure your tour lasts well into the evening to take in your neighborhood’s holiday lights or your cities downtown area, which probably has a decorated tree.”
Enjoy the Outdoors
Anything outdoors is usually free and has the added bonus of letting you show your athletic side. During the holidays, the weather lends itself to winter sports like skiing or snowboarding but the high cost of rentals and lift tickets can put a strain on the budget. Instead, indulge in the cold weather with a romantic evening ice skating at an outdoor rink, sledding, or if the rain isn’t an issue get bundled up for an outdoor hike and reward yourselves with hot cocoa by the fire.
Host your own tree-trimming party—for just the two of you. Buy a small, inexpensive tree at a nearby lot and spend the date stringing popcorn and cranberry garlands. Set the mood with homemade apple cider and festive music for the background. If you’ll be out of town for the holidays, use it to your advantage for a follow-up date, where you and your significant other can donate your decorated tree to a local nursing home or hospital.
Don’t let stormy weather get you down. Spend a winter date indoors and show your cultured side by visiting one your town’s museums or galleries. “A lot of them offer discount days during the holidays and if your company is like mine it may even offer free tickets to employees,” says Preeti.
Take advantage of this time of year and spend the evening Christmas caroling. Unless your vocal chords are up to par, this works best as a group date. The other singers will drown out your off-key rendition of Yuletide carols and you’ll have plenty of time to get in conversation with your partner while traveling door to door. An evening out doesn’t have to be expensive to be memorable and fun.
Let your creative side benefit from all the holidays have to offer. It’s a time to break away from the standard routine and give your partner a date to remember—on any budget.