Senior Resources » 13 Fresh, Fun, & Frugal Date Night Ideas for Retirees

13 Fresh, Fun, & Frugal Date Night Ideas for Retirees

13 Fresh, Fun, & Frugal Date Night Ideas for Retirees

Do you date your partner? Going out (or staying in!) and spending time together is essential to maintaining a healthy relationship. But, after years together, even the happiest couples might be running low on new ideas. Not to mention, a night on the town is pretty expensive nowadays! Did you know the average date night in America costs over $150? So, what’s a retired couple to do?


Are you looking for the best cheap date ideas that will keep your wallet and your partner happy? It might be easier than you think! Cheap doesn’t have to mean boring. Keep date night fresh, fun, and frugal with these thrifty tips!

1. Take a cooking class.

senior, retired couple cooking together and being silly with veggies

A simple internet search will give you plenty of places around your town to take a cooking class together. In fact, there are many small businesses that do this. If you use apps like Groupon or Living Social, then check those first for big discounts!


If you can’t find a place near you, or you’d just rather stay in to do your cooking, then try looking up recipes on YouTube. Select a video that provides step-by-step instructions, then all you and your partner have to do is follow along in the kitchen. The bonus here is that streaming your class from the comfort of your own home is 100% free (less the cost of your groceries, of course!).

2. Use Groupon to find things to do.

older adult woman using phone discount app to plan date night

Checking discount apps like Groupon will get you the best deal every time you plan an outing! Using Groupon is easy. Go to the site (or app), select “things to do,” then pick your date. Discounts range anywhere from 20% off to a whopping 60% off! The site features everything from concerts to art classes and even adventurous options like axe-throwing classes.

3. Attend a local fair or festival.

ferris wheel, local festival

I know, I know. The food is expensive at these things and you’ll usually pay $6 for a beer, at best. But, who says you have to spend big money at a festival? Local festivals usually have something for everyone, which means you can spend as little or as much as you want. To stay thrifty but still have fun, eat before you go. Then, visit the bandstand for a free concert. Go pet some animals. Buy only dessert and then sit on a bench and people-watch. If you’re visiting a county fair, you’ll be impressed by the hundreds of free exhibits and street performers walking about.

4. Do art together.

hand using a paint pallet

Companies like Paint Nite or Painting With a Twist offer low-cost, instructor-led classes in a variety of locations around your very own city. Check out their websites and search for classes by location. You’ll find rates starting around $30 per person as well as discounts for couples or group events. Classes are offered in bars, restaurants, community centers, and just about anywhere else that has free space. Instructors will teach you step-by-step how to create a beautiful canvas painting while you enjoy quality time with your partner.


Rather stay home? Virtual paint parties exist too! The same companies offer home lessons you can do at your kitchen table.

Rather not pay for lessons? Again, YouTube will be your savior here! Jump on the website, search for painting tutorials, then work with your spouse or significant other to create your masterpiece.

5. Go on a bike ride.

bike ride

If you have trails nearby or live in a quiet neighborhood, biking is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with the love of your life. Why? Well, first, it’s free. And, second, it’s a type of exercise that isn’t repetitious or boring. Biking can actually be quite fun – especially with a partner. The scenery is always changing and you can be as reserved or adventurous as you want. Plus, did you know that working out together can strengthen your emotional bond? It’s true! Exercise makes us feel good about ourselves and reduces anxiety and stress. Add a partner to the mix, and you two can motivate each other and have some laughs along the way.

6. Volunteer together.

retired couple volunteering together for date night

Want to have fun together while giving to a cause that’s close to your heart? Then try volunteering! Spend some time with a local food pantry, library, or community center. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some great organizations to get involved with:

A psychologist for the Cleveland Clinic recently said, “when you help other people, it activates the reward center in your brain and releases serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins.” In other words, helping others makes you happy. Helping others with your partner can equal double happiness plus a unique, free way to spend the day together.


7. Have a game night.

elderly friends playing jenga

Shake the dust off some of your old favorites or grab a deck of cards for hours of free fun at home! You could play Monopoly or Scrabble, or invest in a couples conversation starter to learn new things about each other. Invite other couples over and make a party of it! Keep the cost low by asking each attendee to bring an appetizer to share.

8. Learn to dance together.

dancing couple

Sign up for a dance class at a local studio, or join a class at a community center. A simple internet search will help you find a class close to home; some allowing drop-ins for as low as $10 per person.

Learn a new dance together at home by moving the couch out of the way and searching YouTube. Look up new line dances so you’re ready for the next wedding you attend with your forever date.

9. Host a couples potluck.

dinner party with wine

Host a potluck dinner party at home and mingle with other couples! Ask each couple to bring a dish to share, then let the good times roll!

10. Start your own book club, with just the two of you.

old books

A cheap and unique way to spend date night is by reading or listening to an audiobook together. In true book club fashion, discuss each chapter. The right book might spark conversations you’ve never thought of having with your partner!

Pro Tip: Check out two of the same book at your local library. This way, you can sit comfortably in your own favorite chairs and still read the same text.

11. Have a movie night at home.

streaming for date night

Going to the theater is fun and all – but tickets, popcorn, and sweet treats will add up pretty fast! Instead, get comfy on your couch and watch one of the hundreds of titles available on streaming services. Netflix, HBO, Prime…they all carry new movies and old favorites.

12. Get lost together.

small charming town

No matter where you live, chances are, there’s a small town somewhere close by. Why not spend the day getting lost while exploring it? There’s a reason some cafes and antique shops are described as “hidden treasures.” Sometimes you just have to get lost to find them! Admittedly, this idea could end up costing you some dough depending on where your travels take you. But, cut down the costs for your adventure by parking the car and walking around. Do more window shopping than buying. And, maybe splurge on a dessert without buying dinner.

13. Share your favorite music with each other.

smiling asain couple on couch

Much like your own personal book club, you can listen to music together and discuss it. Maybe you and your partner have different tastes in music. Swap favorite songs then tell one another what the song means to you. For extra fun, pick songs from different genres you wouldn’t normally listen to, then talk about why you don’t like them!

Looking for more thrifty tips?

couple laying outside

If you’re looking for more thrifty tips, then check out these articles:

If you’re looking for more retirement or senior living resources, start here:

Originally published April 20, 2023

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