(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

Dates are exciting and add a breath of fresh air to a seasoned relationship or a brand new one just kicking off. If emptying your pockets for date night every time is getting quite old, get creative and save some money while still having fun and impressing your date.

Let’s Save

Below are some money-saving tips for a successful, budget-friendly rendezvous with your special someone.

  • Bigger isn’t always better. Although you want to make an impression in a grand way, the date itself doesn’t have to be over the top. Some of the best dates stem from thinking outside of the box and spending time together in good conversation. A simple walk through a park can often be more intimate than an expensive candlelit dinner.
  • Show your range of interests. One of the biggest reasons for dating is to get to know each other better. Share your interests in a date setting by going on an art walk and discussing each piece, attending a free high school sporting event and talking athletics, or teaching the other person how to play your favorite card game.
  • Keep up with local events. Many cities host seasonal festivals or concerts at no cost. Keep an eye out for these local events and plan an outing for your next date. It might be the best time you’ve spent together yet.
  • Show your culinary skills. Have a date night in and show your special someone how well you can make your way around the kitchen. The ability to cook is one of the most attractive qualities in a partner.

Let’s Date

Everyone loves a cheap date, right? Well, some nights you want to paint the town, but other nights you just want a fun and different way to spend time with your sweetheart without breaking your budget. With Atlanta’s mild winters, there are plenty of outdoor activities that you can engage in together throughout the cooler months. We’ve selected a few fun free dates that you might want to try.

Castleberry Hill Art Stroll
Walker and Peters Sts.
Atlanta, GA 30313

An art stroll is a great date idea, and the Castleberry Hill area throws a fun party on the second Friday of every month from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Right outside of No Mas Cantina, there will be a table with volunteers handing out walking maps showing the galleries participating in the evening’s event (you can also find them on the website). Take your time and wander through the local galleries, many of which will have free or inexpensive drinks and treats on hand. This works well for a first date, as you can discuss the art without having to struggle to make conversation.

The BeltLine
86 Pryor St.
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 477-3003

The BeltLine always has something fun and interesting going on, so check its website for a list of upcoming events. Even without an event, a stroll along the line is a great way to spend a relaxing afternoon with your date. There are free art displays along the walk, and you can get some exercise in as well. Of course, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby if you decide to take a break, too.

Centennial Olympic Park
265 Park Ave. West N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30313
(404) 222-7275

There is almost always something going on in Centennial Olympic Park, and many of the events are free. Earlier this year, Muse headlined a concert during the Final Four weekend and other big stars often pass through the park with free concerts. There is also a wide array of smaller concert options and occasional exercise classes so you can sweat and stretch together. Check out the park’s website for a listing of upcoming events.

Art in the Park
35 Milton Ave.
Alpharetta, GA 30009
(678) 762-1035

Nearly every weekend throughout the fall, you can find a winter market going on somewhere around Atlanta. Alpharetta’s Art in the Park is a great example, as this festival takes place the last full weekend of each month. It is a free event, and you can get great gift ideas for the holidays while enjoying the work of local artists. Of course, you may end up buying a little something for your date, but it’s not mandatory.

Various locations

Atlanta has limitless fantastic hiking trails, whether you are a beginner or an old pro. Hiking is a great way to get away from your daily lives (and turn your phones off) and really enjoy time together alone. Several locations feature romantic settings including waterfalls. You can even pack a picnic and make a day of it.


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Keely Herrick is a freelance writer. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.