Crisp Living: 10 Budget Date Night Ideas

Date nights. Everyone loves them. Naturally, we do too! Most of them are pretty simple and budget friendly: dinner at home and then a movie at the dollar theater, taking a walk around our complex and somehow ending up in the fitness center lifting weights, spending the majority of a Friday night listening to podcasts….

Here are some of our favorites:
1. Picnic. Pack that basket and grab a blanket! We’ve already been on a few picnics and they just keep getting better as the weather turns warmer.
2. Fancy Dinner Date at Home. This is one of our favorites. We cook dinner together, set the table a little more formally with lots of candles, dress up fancy (down to the shoes!), dim the lights, turn on some romantic music, then go out and come in the front door and pretend we’re dining at a 5 star reserve-a-table-a-year-in-advance restaurant. Sometime we interview each other like we’re on a first date. 
3. Art Projects. We don’t do this very often, but the few art projects we have done together have been a ton of fun! The projects can be simple, like painting or making necklaces, or more complicated, like building a pallet headboard (on our someday to-do list). Make something you will use to decorate your house, give as gifts or sell.
4. Bike Ride. Get out there and discover new trails together! Like that one bike ride we took when we first moved here. The trail started off nice, then as we kept going, the area got sketchier and sketchier. Who knows where we ended up before we turned around. We’ve explored some new bike trails at some state parks recently and can’t wait to find more!
5. Sight See. We love to explore new places and there are normally lots of free things to do and see in most cities. Just this past Sunday, we spent the evening wandering around Indianapolis and taking in some of its sights. Also check out our recent trip to Chicago

6. Coffee Date. If you haven’t already caught on to this, we both really like coffee and discovering new coffee shops around town. Especially on days when Loren doesn’t have to study and we can actually chat while we sip coffee. Sometimes we make up stories about the people we see in the coffee shop until the stories get really out of hand.

7. Drive-In Movie. This is probably the most fun if you have a truck, an air mattress and lots of blankets. We have yet to make it to our local drive-in theater (thanks, rainy summer), but we will!

8. YouTube Dancing Lessons. This is totally free. If you don’t know how to dance, like us, look up a basic dancing instruction video first. Once you get the hang of that, try out different styles. This was our date night a few weeks ago, and it was a hilarious blast. 

9. Pool Day. We haven’t been to our pool yet, but I definitely want to very soon with a slushy, a good book and the best company (yes, I mean Loren)!

10. Photo Scavenger Hunt. Get some friends together, maybe another couple or two, make it a double or triple date and go scavenging around the city. Make a list of items to photograph and see which couple works best together getting pictures!

And of course during the summer, it’s necessary to end your date night with ice cream.

What are some of your favorite date night ideas?

Independence Weekend

This weekend was wonderful and relaxing and full of family, fun and food. Loren and I had Friday off, so we headed over to Cincinnati to start the weekend celebrations with family early! We had a sibling afternoon/evening and ventured downtown, as I hadn’t seen a whole lot of Cincinnati before. I love skylines and am so glad we made our way up to the Carew Tower Observation Deck for an incredible view of this sprawling city.

View from the 49th floor

John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge
July 4th was a perfect day. It started off with watching Dad finish a 10k (he won first place in his age group!), eating tons of food, competing in watermelon seed spitting and patriotic chalk drawings contests, playing croquet and finishing with an amazing firework show.

Loren also helped pressure wash the house

Dinner on the sunny patio

I love holidays with this man 🙂

Spitting those seeds!

“From Sea to Shining Sea” – the girls and winners!

“American Emblem” – the guys

Croquet all around the yard

Competition was fierce but this dynamic duo eventually won!

Getting ready to watch the fireworks!
Sunday we celebrated this sweet, expressive, inquisitive girl’s birthday! Happy Birthday, Rachel! So glad you were born 6 years ago. 🙂
Long summer holiday weekends are the best, and this one may have been my favorite yet!
How was your July 4th weekend?