With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we thought it might be high time for an article on date ideas that don’t cost a fortune. The financial (and mental) pressures of Christmas and New Years, followed closely behind by Valentine’s Day, don’t always leave for the most relaxed (or affordable) dates on this day of the year.
But there are plenty of ways to enjoy a date for less. All you need is a little more ingenuity and imagination.
1. Make the most of Happy Hours
Switch it up for a change and go on your date a little earlier, taking advantage of the 5-8pm happy hour times that run in many bars and restaurants. The magical hours where cocktails, starters and drinks are often half-price, or buy-one-get-one-free. Drinks are often the most expensive parts of dates, but there are plenty of great places in London that run happy hour – so get about finding them!
2. Take a romantic stroll to watch the sunset
What could be more romantic than a stroll at dusk with a loved one, amber hues and the joy of watching the sun make its descent across the sky? There are so many places in London, and the wider UK, where you can do this. To make the date really special, bring some prosecco and maybe even a picnic.
3. Use discounts for eating out and fun activities
This may not be the best bet for the very first date (although still very much a possibility) but taking advantage of vouchers and coupons is a great way to save money whilst still going out on a fun date. Sites like Groupon have countless deals for any number of activities and restaurants all over the UK, from three-course gourmet meals to go-karting extravaganzas.
4. Cook dinner at home
Who said every date needs to be out on the town? If you enjoy cooking, why not cook your partner a delicious meal from the comfort of your own home? Better yet, cook together; it’s a great bonding activity and can be a lot of fun. Moreover, eating at home gives you the privacy that busy restaurants and bars simply don’t provide. Finish the evening with some music or a movie.
5. Find out about free activities
One of the benefits of living in a bustling city like London is that there is almost always something going on. Better yet? More often than not, it’s free. As well as the countless museums and art galleries across the city, there are countless parks and outdoor activities that make for great dates. If you fancy exploring a little further, take a day trip to the seaside or go camping for the weekend.
6. Find a Karaoke bar
OK, this may not be for everyone. But there’s little more ice-breaking or bonding than a joint karaoke session. And while the price of the date will be cheap, the laughs will be plentiful.