Monday, July 22, 2013

Five Inexpensive Summer Date Night Ideas

In our house, summer has always been the time when my husband and I get to enjoy a few more date nights than usual.  Mainly, because my husband is a high school administrator and former teacher.  He's always had summers off, which has left opportunities for us to go on a few more dates than usual, especially on a "school night".  Of course, having these summers off has always meant that our dates must be taken on a much more limited budget, which has thus forced us to be a little more creative.  However, we often find ourselves in a rut and going on the same old date night:  dinner and a movie.

This summer, we've pledged to attempt to go on dates that are creative and cost effective.  Here are a few dates that we'll be trying (and perhaps some you might like to try if you are looking to have some fun on a date night) without spending a fortune.

Let me know if you try any of these!

1.)  Concert in the park:  Here in Orange County, the summer means enjoying music while walking through the park on a Friday evening.  Numerous parks in our area hold weekly concerts in the park, which just requires you to bring some lawn chairs, drinks (non-alcoholic, of course!  You're in public!) and best of all, a few bites to eat.

Check your city's website or local parks for information on upcoming events this summer that might be similar.

2.)  Beach Bums :  Hit the beach this summer for a morning or afternoon date.  Dates don't have to necessarily be at night.  They don't even have to involve just you and your significant other.  You can bring the kids too!  In fact, my husband and I just checked this one off our list.  We went to Balboa Island, took the kids on their first ferry ride, which cost us a whopping $4 round trip, for all four of us.    Then we hit the Boardwalk Arcade, and after spending all of $5 in tokens and 30 minutes of uninterrupted fun for two little ones, we went to the end of the pier (Ruby's Diner) for a nice and inexpensive family lunch.  We were home by 1:30pm, just in time for some much needed naps....for all four of us!  This date was perfection!

3.)  Happy Hour, Happy Wife:  Wait...what?!  :)  OK. I know, some people don't dig Happy Hour because it involves alcohol.  Personally, I greatly enjoy a deal on a nice glass of wine or a delicious cocktail.  What if I told you that not all Happy Hours involve only drinks and appetizers?  What if I told you that if you look hard enough, you'll find a Happy Hour spot that also has dessert on it's tiny, limited menu? Dessert!!!!

Recently, a co-worker enlightened me on a little gem of a Happy Hour, at a very unexpected place, nonetheless; The Melting Pot!  Who wouldn't want drinks and chocolate fondue for Happy Hour?!   My local TMP has an exceptional Happy Hour as long as you're willing to sit at the bar or in the patio.  The best part is that their Happy Hours extend well after 8pm, which still allows you to put the kids to bed and sneak out for some alone time once the sitter arrives.  Heck, you might even be able to go to a late movie afterwards (although, if you're like me, you might fall asleep in the theater if the movie starts any time after 9pm).

Is fondue not your thing?  That's OK.  Find a place you do like and see if they offer Happy Hour specials.  Personally, my husband and I are always willing to switch date nights to a week day (in the summer) if there's a good deal involved! Yummy food, delicious drinks and perfect prices.  You can't beat that!

4.)  Get your Groupon groove-on:  This date involves scouring Groupon, Living Social or any other good-deal website looking for fun things to do.  My husband and I have done a couple already!  We got a great deal on tickets to see the Angels play and we paid a total of $30 and the tickets weren't nosebleed!!! We also hit up Living Social for tickets to a movie theater in our area that has a bar and reclining seats.  It's quite fancy!

For this date, the possibilities are endless!  I recommend downloading the Groupon and Living Social apps to your phone, that way you can look for deals whenever you want.  It's easy and fast!  And the deals you get are pretty fantastic.

5.)  Date night at the Cemetery:  This date is specific to Southern California, but perhaps there's something similar in your area.  Here in LA, there's a cemetery called Hollywood Forever.  {I know what you're thinking.  A date at a cemetery?!  How morbid!  But, just keep reading, it's actually pretty fun.}

In the summer time, Hollywood Forever hosts something called Cinespia.  Basically you bring a picnic, which can include wine and beer, and you eat in this large courtyard in the cemetery.  At 9pm, they play a movie which is projected on the wall of one of the buildings on the property.  The movies range from Caddy Shack, to Birds, to Dumb and Dumber.  All you have to do is check their calendar and see what movie best interests you.  I swear it's fun!  People bring chairs, blankets and a whole lot of food and it only costs $12 per person.  It's a great time in the heart of Hollywood and you actually forget you're in a cemetery.

{photo courtesy of: Cinespia}

Once the movie is over, you can head over to my favorite dessert spot in Hollywood; a little ice cream spot called MILK.  Their specialty: milkshakes and macaron ice cream sandwiches.  They're to die for! (no pun intended) Seriously, they are!

{photo courtesy of: Yelp}

Perhaps, a few of these date ideas might be too geographically specific.  If that's the case, you can find something similar in your area.

Quality time with your love does not have to be expensive.  I hope you try some of these...and if you make it out to LA, let me know what you think of the macaron ice cream sandwiches.  You'll thank me later!


  1. Inexpensive Date Nights and you didn't even mention the "Star Wars Room"!! ;)

  2. I'll assume that was your #6 idea!! :)

  3. These are fantastic ideas Wendy! I actually LOVE The Melting Pot for dessert and they have a cocktail I absolutely love, the Love martini. It's been quite a while since I've been but thanks for the reminder.

  4. I like these ideas... and I wish that I did have someone to share a summer's evening w/. When I first read "in the cemetery" I thought of being a teen & going to the cemetery at night w/ the OUIJA board. Ha! But that's not what you meant. ;-)

  5. fantastic ideas! I especially love the groupon one because it's local and once you buy it, there's probably an expiration date on it so you're almost forced to take time away from the kiddos and go out on date night!

    Stopping by from SITSSharefest!
    Gracielle from


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