20 Cute & Affordable Dates to Do with Your BFF or SO


This generation has lost its way when it comes to understanding romance. There is more to do out there that isn’t just dinner and a movie or bowling. The cliche, overused type of dates need to go. The suggestions I have listed below can help prompt some new go-to date ideas. Instead of having the constant back and forth of making plans being answered with “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” maybe turn to this list for some inspo!


1.  Around-the-world themed dinners.

I believe everyone wishes to travel to a different country one day, especially with someone they truly care about. So, why not travel? Just bring a different country to you each date. Mix up some spaghetti and meatballs, turn on some Italian music, and dim the lights. If you don’t feel like going to Italy, go to Mexico! The possibilities are unimaginable with creativity and a little bit of romance or friendship.


2.  Drive-In.

Going to dinner and a movie is too cliche these days, so why not spice it up a bit and go to a drive-in! Throw some blankets and pillows in the trunk of your car, and bring a tiny grill and a cooler! Have a cookout before the movie starts. Once the sun sets and the movie starts, though, hop in the back and cuddle up close under the projector light.


3.  Adventure to Target.

If you can’t walk around Target with your significant other and not end up almost peeing your pants from laughter, what are you doing? Running errands in general are a good time with someone you enjoy spending time with, but let me tell you: Target is the ish.


4.  Paddleboarding.

Minnesota is covered in snow 85% of the time, so when it’s nice out, y’all better be outside soaking up the sun. Paddleboards are pretty affordable to rent, and it's a great workout for the body as well.


5.  A picnic.

If it’s a nice day or night out pack up some of your favorite snacks, wrap it up and go to your favorite outdoorsy place! Bring your camera, coloring books, and a radio. Lay back and munch on your favorites with your favorite person.


6.  A county fair.

If it’s county fair season and you aren’t out there vibing with your special person, then what are you doing? Save up $50-100 for one night at the county fair and take your favorite person out. Go during the day or nighttime and enjoy yummy food, carnival rides, and games. Bonus points if you can win your BFF or SO a cute stuffed animal from one of the game stands.


7.  Humane Society or Aquarium.

Some cute animals out there weren’t lucky enough to score a loving family and a home. If you can, take the love between you and your person and make a trip to the humane society. No one could ever visit lonely animals too many times. If you have allergies or aren’t a fan of puppies or whatever, go visit the city aquarium. Spend time walking through the aquarium learning more about aquatic life and your favorite person.


8.  A Play or Musical.

If you’re a self-proclaimed theater dork, please take your favorite person to experience one thing that you love more than most things in the world. Go out to eat before it because you tend to sit for a while when watching magic on stage. This would be a cute way to bond and spend a night with your person.


9.  Hammocking and Stargazing.

Grab a two-person hammock and go kick it out in the woods under a sky full of stars. Don’t forget to bring bug spray, flashlights, and blankets to get extra comfy. Make sure the trees are close enough to string your hammock between, and that the stump width is within regulation so we don’t hurt nature more than we already have. Also, don’t litter if you bring snacks or drinks! Happy mocking, kiddos.


10.  Local Concert or Festival.

I know there are some expensive concerts out there. However, country concerts are more reasonably priced and no one knows how to party like middle-aged folks drinking beer. Obviously, go to whatever your favorite artist or band is and take your best friend with. There is nothing out there that is like a live concert by your favorite musicians with your favorite person by your side.


11.  Farmers Market.

It’s like grocery shopping, but way more fun and aesthetic. Buy some of your favorite flowers, candles, honey, veggies—the list goes on and on. If you are a fan of pictures, bring your camera and shoot some artsy pictures with the farmers market vibe, as well as the vibe between you and your date.


12.  The North Shore.

Yes kiddos, I am talking about road tripping up to the woods of northern Minnesota. Not only will you and your favorite person vibe all the way up there, but the beauty of the outdoors will amaze you. Go along the North Shore and have a rock skipping contest, find pretty pebbles, or bring a blanket and just chill.


13.  Painting or Coloring.

I don’t care what age you are, you are never too old to paint or color. Go to a craft store, buy some cheap but nice art supplies, and get creative with your person. This is a peaceful, inexpensive type of date (especially great for broke young adults).


14.  Art Museum.

Most city art museums are free, but parking is a drag for sure. Take your best friend and your camera (remember to turn the flash off) to the closest art museum. Admiring art with a person who also makes your life beautiful is highly recommended.


15.  Baking.

Anyone can go and buy your favorite baked good, but it’s even more special when they make them with you. This allows your favorite person to enjoy the taste and love baked into the treats. Put on some of your favorite jams and dance around in your kitchen while baking up some love in the oven. Remember to clean up your mess and make sure the treat is baked all the way through!


16.  Board Game Night.

Some nights you don’t feel like doing much, but you still need a little excitement in your life to keep you sane; play some board games with your special person! It’s really simple. Go into a cupboard and pull out that Life board game that has months worth of dust buildup on it, blow it off, and get playing. It doesn’t matter who wins, it’s just how you play the game. Remember to have fun and relax!


17.  Thrifting.

Now that I am in college, I have realized how amazing thrift stores are. My friends and I adventure to Goodwill or Salvation Army every other weekend. It really depends on what kind of shopper you are because if you’re like my dad who’s more of a run-in-run-out type of guy, this one isn’t for you. Thrifting takes time and patience, and if you can do this with your favorite person, well... never let them go.


18.  Coffee and Homework Date.

Everyone in college tends to be a stressed mess from time to time because of the piles and piles of homework. No matter how much you work on the stuff, you can’t manage to catch up and really breathe. So if you need the dose of happy your favorite person gives to you but you’re stressed from all the homework, go to a coffee shop to have both. (If you go to Caribou, I recommend the Iced Turtle Mocha with white chocolate!) Study hard, but always remember you can make time for the person you care about while still getting homework done!


19.  Bonfire and Yard Games.

If it’s one of those crisp coolish/warm nights, then it’s a bonfire type of night. Roast some s’mores or pop Jiffy Pop over the fire while listening to the great outdoors of your backyard. If it’s still light outside, bring the bean-bags or washers and start a little friendly competition. Always remember to bring bug spray and don’t use gasoline on the fire!


20.  Boating.

If you own a boat, this date is an awesome possibility for you! Take your boat out on the water with your favorite person or people! Pack a cooler full of yummy snacks and pop. Blow up some tubes, bring along the radio, and don’t forget the sunscreen. Nothing brings people closer than a day on the water, some good tunes, and amazing friends! Also, if you have the skills, try out some tubing, water skiing, or kneeboarding—but always make sure you have a spotter if y'all decide to do that. Be safe out there, kiddos.


I haven’t been experienced in the dating life in a while, so these are some ideas for dates that I tend to have fun on when I go out with my friends. Try some of these dates, and be safe and smart. Fun doesn’t always have to cost a pretty penny!