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Dating on a Shoestring

Good for singles and old married folks alike, use these ideas to add some spice to your weekends, without taking a bite out of your wallet.

99 Date

Each person gets 99 and you brainstorm what could be done for that amount.

Air Hockey

If you can find a table, this can provide for hour of fun. Just watch the fingertips!


Bake a cake, cookies, or bread. Either it the fruits of your labors together, or deliver it to someone who could use a friendly gesture.

Balloon Basketball

Same rules, but use a balloon (no helium!) instead of a ball. Take extras for use after the slam-dunk.

Ballroom Dance Class

Check local universities, community colleges, community education programs, or dance schools. Wear good dancing shoes, not gym shoes! Some dance halls offer classes before the ballroom is open to the general public.


You can even do this in the dead of winte! In fact, that can actually add to the fun, especially if you are one of the people inside watching the chef through the window.


You know what this is, right?

Bike Riding

Rent a tandem bike for extra fun. Adventure stores like BYU’s Outdoors Unlimited have everything you need.


Go to a restaurant or make it together. An early morning date can get you out of a rut.

Broom Hockey

Get brooms and a ball, disk, or puck. Go to a gym. Play.


If you or your date are really bad, use bumpers to reduce embarrassing gutter balls.


Pictionary cards work great for this.

Christmas Carolling

Door-to-door or strolling up and down public streets. Follow up with hot chocolate. Unless you’re quite a ham, this might work better in a group.

Christmas Lights Tour

Temple Square can ?t be beat between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. Look in the newspaper or ask long-time residents for the best neighborhoods to cruise.

City Tour

Many Chambers of Commerce provide information about walking or riding tours of their cities. Others provide info on neat places to visit.


Community education or special one-afternoon or one-night courses abound. Try photography, gardening, cooking, or just about any craft or hobby that interests you.

Comedy Club

If there is a Comedy Sportz Club near you, they are famous for clean, family hilarity! Keep your eyes open for other venues with appropriate content.


Choral, symphony, dance. So many choices.

Croquet After Dark

Set it up as usual, but each player gets a flashlight. Use headlamps for even more amusement. Bring the camera (with a good flash) to memorialize the event.


Go and dance. Yes, you can. Take a group of couples so that the old people can congregate together to protect each other from body slams and the like.


See if a good one is coming to your area. The First Presidency Christmas Fireside is broadcast every year. Get tickets if you’re going to be near Salt Lake City.


A great date for early-birds. Bring sunblock.

Fruit Picking

Blueberries, cherries, apples. Any will do as long as you use them to top ice cream afterwards.

Garden Tour

Ask local garden clubs for recommendations. Thanksgiving Point Gardens are goreous, especially for the Tulip Festival each spring.


Hitch up the horses and climb aboard.


Make sure you know your date ?s skill level before embarking. The goal is always to come back alive.

Historical Sites

Your state historical society will have a list of great sites to visit in your area.

Horseback Riding

Sans the luxury of your own horse, look for a local stable that takes groups on nature trails. You won’t be galloping through a meadow with the wind in your hair, but hopefully your steed will have a bit of life left in him.

Ice Blocking

Get a block of ice from any grocery store. (Note: Block, not a bag of crushed ice.) Take it out of the bag. Put it down on the top of a hill. Put a towel on it (do not forget this step unless you want to appear incontinent for the remainer of the afternoon). Sit down on the towel. Slide down the hill while riding the ice. Requires some dexterity!

Ice Skating

Fun even for beginners. Be patient. Bring ankle wraps.

Kite Flying

Who can resist a good kite on a windy day? Scope out open space ahead of time.

Miniature Golf

An easy-going, low-stress activity, unless you’re Danny from Sons of Provo.


Butter up the popcorn. Fun as long as you leave some open time for conversation.

Movie Making

Grab a video camera and a topic and assign parts. Make sure your date is a bit on the extroverted side.


Art, science, history many to choose from.

Night games

Steal-the-flag, kick-the-can, sardines, red rover, mother may I?, three-legged tag, steal the bacon, etc. Best played at dusk on a cool summer night. Oh, and best with more than one couple.

Nintendo Tournament

Just make sure you don ?t end up looking like a 12-year-old! On second thought, in the Nintendo genre, that’s probably a good thing.


Grab some lawn chairs and some cold soda and practice your wave: elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist, wrist.


A blanket and simple finger foods always combine with great conversation for a winner.

Ping Pong

Play doubles, around-the-world (hit the ball, put down the paddle and run to the next side (gotta have at least four players)), spinning (spin around after each hit), or just have a tournament.

Pizza Party

Homemade is best! Or Papa Johns.


Fun and educational, not to mention dark.

Poetry Reading

Check your local library, bookstore, or literary club. Be prepared for high drama.

Progressive Dinner

Start at one person ?s house for hors devours and rotate around each participant until the last house serves desert.


The old stand-by is still good, especially if the food and ambiance are, too. I recommend anything with artichokes.

Roller Skating

If your date is a beginner, you ?ll have to hold hands.

Sibling Date

Everyone brings a sibling to introduce around. Best if you weren’t raised in a barn.


Inexperienced? No problem. Sign up for a lesson and hand around on the bunny slopes. They are identified by embarassing names like “Sesame Street” and “Chickadee.” Avoid any runs with words like “terminator” or “deathwatch.”


Bundle up and you ?re in for an afternoon of fun. Follow up with hot chili and chocolate.

Snow Golf

Set up a golf course ? in a snow-filled park. Use trees or anything else available for holes. ? Knock a tennis ball around with various household objects (broom, dustpan, bat, etc.) the each hole. This was the first date my husband and I had (February 9, 1985). Six months later to the day we were married. It must have worked!

Snow Play

Build a snowman, make snow angels, build a snow fort, have a snowball fight, etc. Best when wearing moon boots.

Sporting Event

Of course, BYU football is preferred, but if that ?s not available in your area something else will have to do.

Star Gazing

A decent telescope and a cloudless night can do wonders for a relationship.

Sundae Party

Start at the grocery store with each couple choosing a couple of toppings of their choice. Then head home to create-your-own-sundae and pig out.


Fun as long as your date isn’t too self-conscious in a swimming suit. OK, then, maybe scuba?

Taffy Pull

Find a great, old-fashioned recipe and stretch your imagination.


Just remember that not everyone is equally adept at hitting the speeding yellow target!


In the woods, on the beach, through a park, around the city. Nothing beats walking for talking and getting to know someone.

Water Fight

Some buckets, a hose, and you might even through in a tub of filled balloons for good measure. Teams are good, too. Just don’t make my mascara run.


Talk to the animals while talking to your date.

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