Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ten Unique and Affordable Date Ideas

Happy Tuesday! It's hard to believe it's already the middle of January and Valentine's Day is right around the corner. I'm not one to make a fuss out of Valentine's Day because I think you should tell and show someone that you love them every day of the year. If you're in a new relationship or even if you're in a long term relationship dating can be stressful and boring at times. Deciding what to do can be a challenge and can result in some of the same dates, aka dinner and movie. Instead of sticking to the same, and sometimes boring, dates why not step out of your comfort zones and try something new? Here's ten unique and affordable date night ideas that are bound to be more interesting than dinner and a movie.

1. Trampoline Park

On a whim my boyfriend and I bought a Groupon for an hour of jump time at a SkyZone trampoline park. I watched my boyfriend become a little kid again jumping around, doing flips, jumping into the foam pit, and playing dodgeball. We both left exhausted and sweaty because it was actually a good workout and now he always wants to go to the trampoline park. Most trampoline parks offer Groupons for 2 or 4 people sometimes cutting the price of admission in half. Some trampoline parks offer adult only jump time so you don't have to deal with throngs of kids screaming and jumping all over the place. 

2. Arcade or Laser Tag

Dig out all your spare quarters and head to a local arcade for a bit of competitive fun. Nothing beats classic arcade games like skee-ball or DDR, plus it's a ton of fun to egg each other on all in the name of fun of course. My boyfriend still refuses to play skee-ball because I beat him so many times😏 If you're not much for arcade games give laser tag a try. It's a fun way to enjoy some friendly competition and get away from the traditional dinner and movie date.

3. Ice Skating

I grew up on a lake and my dad had me on skates by the ripe old age of 3. My brother and I used to spend hours out on the lake skating, passing pucks around, and playing hockey with friends during the winter. Skating has always been one of my favorite past times, so this winter I took my boyfriend to a local rink and have been teaching him how to skate. Most communities have local rinks that offer open skate for free or a few dollars. It's a great way to spend time outside in the winter, laugh, and get some exercise in!

4. Wine Tasting

Lots of wineries or tasting rooms offer deals on flights or half flights before happy hour. Some places even offer deals that including a cheese and cracker plate in addition to the flight. We went to a cider mill that had a wine tasting room that offered a tasting for $2 a person and if you brought the glass they gave you back you got a free tasting. Also check Groupon for deals at local wineries and breweries. 

5. Learn something new together

In a relationship it's important to challenge each other and step outside your comfort zones and what better way to do that than to learn something new together. Take a cooking class, try a fitness class (like aerial yoga) together, or find a random class at a local community center and try it out (underwater basket weaving anyone🙋). Over the summer I tried to teach my boyfriend to wakeboard and while he didn't exactly get the hang of it it was a fun way to spend an afternoon and we still laugh about it.

6. Find a new trail and go for a hike

Put away your phones and spend some time in nature. Most communities have parks that you can get into for free if you walk in or if you drive in it's only a few dollars to enter. Pack some waterbottles, bug spray, and maybe a few snacks and hit up a local trail that you've never gone to before. My boyfriend and I have spent countless hours exploring local parks and have found some really beautiful places we didn't know existed in our own backyards because we had never bothered to explore before. It's a fun way to spend time together without distractions and you can simply enjoy nature.

7. Go paddleboarding

I may be a slight paddleboard fanatic. I've spent entire days out on a paddleboard going around the lake and exploring in the ocean. Over the summer my best friend and I found a Groupon for $20 paddleboard rentals for a full day. We got the boards and spent the day paddling around the lake. It's a great workout and you will feel it the next day especially if you're new to it. Also fun is paddleboard yoga. Some people make it look easy, but it's harder than you might think. 

8. Video game/board game night

Even if you're not a big gamer, like me, it can still be fun to dig out some classic video games and challenge each other. I still have the N64 from when my brother and I were younger and my boyfriend and I love challenging each other to races in Mario Kart. We're both super competitive and have made deals that whoever loses buys the winner dinner. It's a fun (and cheap) way to be competitive and adding an element of buying dinner makes it more interesting. If you're more into board games break out the classics and challenge each other. My favorite game to play is Cards Against Humanity because it's so stinking funny. You'll need more than two people to play but it's impossible not to laugh with that game. 

9. Go geocaching

I learned about geocaching from a friend and I cannot wait to go out and try it. Basically you use your phone (iPhone or Android) to find geocaches in your area. You use the official app (which is free) to get directions to a particular geocache and once you find it you log it and rehide it exactly how you found it so someone else can find it. It's a great way to get out and explore your community while going on a scavenger hunt. For full instructions check out the official geocaching website here.

10. Try an escape room

Escape rooms have gained popularity in the past few years so there are far more of them around. Different places offer different rooms ranging in price, but many places offer deals on Groupon. Often different times and days vary in prices, so weekends often cost more because more people want to do them then so try going on a weeknight. Check out reviews on Yelp for reviews so you can pick the best escape room in your area. It's a great way to have fun together but also work with strangers to find your way out of the room. You can also go in with a group of friends and book the entire room. 

What's the best date you've ever been on?
If you could go/see/do anything for a date what would you do?

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