Budget-Friendly Summer Date Ideas

Who says marriage is a romance buster? According to a new survey done by LivingSocial, married couples are 26% more likely to go out on dates than those that are not married.

Marriage undoubtedly influences your finances, and with the added bills and responsibilities many newlyweds and engaged couples think they need to sacrifice their weekly date nights to keep their spending in check. Time to re-think those date-night ideas and consider these fun and affordable ways to carve out some special time with your significant other!

picnic on the beach
Photo Credit: Ryan Hunter Photography on Glamour and Grace via Lover.ly

LivingSocial is happy to report that 46% of Americans believe it is perfectly acceptable to use a coupon on a first date! “There’s no shame in getting a good deal on a good time," said LivingSocial's Elizabeth Hebda. 

Sites like LivingSocial have great dating options no matter your budget, Hebda told us, "Most of the dating events and activities we offer, such as wine tasting, skating, and water sports, are between $10 and $50. If you’re looking to go all out for the one you love, we have luxe options that cost a little extra."

Although the traditional date of dinner and a movie is still the most popular, the survey found that over 100 million Americans prefer doing an outdoor activity.

Here are some of the best budget-friendly outdoor date ideas for summer:

1. The Beach
When temperatures rise, there is no better place to have fun in the sun. The beach has always been a romantic hot spot for couples to enjoy each other’s company. Grab a towel for two, a cooler filled with sandwiches and drinks, and some sunscreen (protect yourself from those UV rays!) and you're ready to go. There are so many fun activites to try at the beach from paddle boarding to surfing and jet skiing to kayaking, even just tossing around a football or frisbee can make a day at the beach all the more memorable!

couple at the beach
Photo Credit: Lovisa Photo via Lover.ly

2. Free Outdoor Concerts and Movies
What better way to spend a warm summer night than under the stars watching a movie or seeing your favorite band — for FREE? For movie nights, bring a blanket and some snacks, snuggle up and enjoy the show. If you are going to a concert, make sure to arrive early to get a good view of the stage! Check your local park's website for showtimes.

3. Exercise Together 
Whether you're hiking, biking, rock climbing or running, breaking a sweat together doing something you both enjoy is a great (and healthy!) way to spend an afternoon. Studies show that when you have a workout buddy, they push you to preform better and burn more calories. Marriage and relationship psychotherapist, Dr. Jane Greer, discussed the benefits of working out with your significant other in an article on HuffPost Heathy Living, she said, "Both partners come away with feelings of synchronicity, cooperative spirit and shared passion. Then you throw in some spicy endorphins and it can be a real power trip for the relationship."  

rock climbing date
Photo Credit: Mark Engelbrecht

4. Mini Golf
Mini golf is both fun and competitive — the ideal combination for a successful date. Whether you show off your skills or share a few laughs at your lack of coordination, it is sure to be something you tell your friends about later. Spice things up a bit and play for more than bragging rights, whether it's dishwashing duty for a month or a foot rub every day for a week!

5. Carnival/Amusement Park
Why not relive your childhood at a local carnival or amusment park? Share a romantic kiss on the ferris wheel, get a rush on a roller coaster, or indulge in some sugary treats — whatever you choose it is sure to be a fun-filled date. If your willing to spend a few extra dollars, let your man prove his love by trying to win you a giant teddy bear. Carnivals also make a great backdrop for engagement photos, get inspired by this colorful shoot!

roller coaster
Photo Credit: Love in Photographs 

Tell Us: What is your favorite summer date idea? 

— Mary Gillen