Dating can be expensive at any age, but as teenagers, when funds tend to be scarce, you need to be creative to come up with interesting date ideas that are inexpensive or even free. The important thing to remember in such activities is that it is the company you are keeping that is important, not the amount on the total line of the receipt. With that in mind, try the following five date ideas.

Bonfire on the Beach

Do a bit of research online so one of you knows what you’re doing and hit the beach to make a driftwood bonfire. Fires can be tricky to start, but you can show off your nature skills this way. A bonfire is perfect to cozy up near on cooler nights when it isn’t completely chilling outside. Try hotdogs or marshmallows skewered on slender sticks for a snack and be sure to pack along something to drink. A bonfire picnic is a treat in and of itself, but the treats that go with a fire are irresistible.

Play Miniature Golf

Putt-putt golf is an excellent classic first date. It gets you moving but not too strenuously, it’s competitive but so whimsical it’s impossible to take completely seriously, and the atmosphere is fun. The snacks for sale tend to be cheap and great for sharing.


Bowling is another underrated game, whether for the first or the fifteenth date. The weather doesn’t impact it, you need not be athletic, and if you show up at the right time on weekend nights, there are music and lights. If you’re good at it, you can have fun with your prowess, and if you’re terrible, you can share a good-natured laugh.

Check out Odd Area Attractions

Every town has its art museum, and those can be fun, but the really neat exhibits are found in odd museums and tourist traps. Start the date off with a good sandwich from a respectable sandwich shop and then go out on the town. Washington D.C. has its International Spy Museum, for instance, and Auburn in Washington state has the Banana Museum. Find a local Mystery Spot like in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Give things like Dedham, Massachusetts’s Museum of Bad Art a try.

Volunteer Somewhere

Helping people is good for us mentally, emotionally, and physically. It gets you active and actively aiding others increases well-being and happiness. Find a charity that is local, such as a pet shelter or a soup kitchen, and give your time together.

Whichever cheap or free activity you choose, you’re making memories together and building up a stronger relationship based on shared laughter and fun. Enjoy your company and your surroundings and get out and delight yourselves with fun alternatives to the old dinner and a movie.