A date night is a way to for a new couple to get to know each other. Or for a long-term couple to reconnect. But who says you have to spend a fortune or do dinner and a movie to make a date? With a little bit of planning and imagination, your date nights can be memorable and cheap.
See what you think of these Boston cheap date night ideas:
Find the inner art aficionado
Every Thursday night from 5-9pm, you can get into the Institute of Contemporary Art for free. On Wednesdays after 4:00 pm, check out the Museum of Fine Arts for free (there is a voluntary donation, but that’s up to you). And if you or your date (or both of you) happens to be celebrating your birthday, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will let the birthday boy or girl in for FREE.
Toad near Porter Square in Cambridge offers live music 7 nights a week and no cover.
Explore the galaxy or chill out with some tunes
The Charles Hayden Planetarium teaches you about the solar system by day and shows laser shows set to music by night. Admission to the planetarium (without museum access) is just $10 ($5 for MOS members)
Become the chef
Instead of going out to dinner, find your favorite restaurant dish on Copy Kat Recipes or Pinterest. Go shopping together for the ingredients and then cook as a couple. Even if the meal doesn’t taste like the restaurant option, you’ll make memories cooking together in the kitchen. You could also make your own fondue, homemade pizza or have breakfast for dinner.
Sip and savor
Alcohol kills the budget. At restaurants, wine is marked up 300% or more. Instead of drinking your favorite bottle out on the town, pick up wine at the local liquor store. Serve your own wine flights or cover each bottle for a blind taste test. As you sample, savor each sip and compare notes on the flavors and your preferences. You can also check out one or more of the many wine tastings throughout the city. Central Bottle in Cambridge has tastings four times a week–sometimes you get some cheese or beer too. Brix in the Financial District and the South End each offer multiple tastings a month. Social Wines in Boston has weekly wine and beer tastings. Urban Grape has free tastings on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Brookline Liquor Mart in Allston offers tastings on Fridays for beer and Saturdays for wine. There’s many more. Do you have a favorite spot for tastings?
Hit the lanes
Bowling is a fun way to spend an evening or afternoon. Sacco’s Bowl Haven in Somerville is just $5 per person, per game (plus a $3 shoe rental). That’s under $20 for a game for two. If you want more than one game or there’s a group of you, its just $30 per hour for a lane. You can also get some yummy flatbread pizza at the Flatbread Company.
Take a tour
There are plenty of places to walk around the city, and so much to learn about the sights you see. You can download the Fort Point Channel tour here for free. And the Boston Harborwalk tour download is free here.
Heat it up at home
Design a romantic setting in your backyard. Sit on a picnic blanket with a few snacks, turn on some music, light a few lanterns – and then communicate, one of the most important keys to a successful relationship.
Play a game
You may learn something new about your partner when playing a board game. Dust off classic options like Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit. Make it interesting by raising the stakes with romantic bets. You can also check out game nights in town. On Monday nights the Milky Way Lounge in JP has trivia night. Every Tuesday night you can compete in the Great Landsdowne Pub Spelling Bee at the Landsdowne Pub near Fenway.
Watch a show series on Netflix
If you have a few hours on your hands, start a new show together on Netflix. Some couple-friendly options: Friday Night Lights, Broadchurch, or Mad Men. Pretend like you are at the movies by serving popcorn, candy and homemade sodas. I you don’t have Netflix, you can borrow movies, TV shows, and more for free using your library card and the media service Hoopla.
Get some fresh air and plan a day of play in your neighborhood or on the Common. Play a fun and low-impact game like Frisbee golf, mini golf and bocce ball or visit the batting cages. Check out one or more of the local run clubs–you can run for free every night of the week. Go for a bike ride. Don’t have a bike, no problem–rent one for just $6 for 24 hours at Hubway. Ride around and see the sights or peddle your way to and from lunch.
Create a date night bucket list
Sit down together to talk about your own inexpensive date night ideas. Write each option on a notecard and keep it in a box. Next time you have a night together and need to stay on a budget, pick a random card and go with it!
You might like the check out some of these other free and cheap things to do in Boston too.