Guest Post written by Denis Merkas of $30 Date Night – thousands of Date Ideas for $30 or less.
You’d have to agree that doing a dinner and the movie for date night is far too simple.
After a few years of marriage, I expect more from a date night – I expect my partner to get creative and put in a little effort! Otherwise we’re just an old boring married couple, right?
If you feel like your regular date night with your partner could do with an overhaul, I’ve set out 6 creative date ideas to take your mind off the winter chill. Your challenge is to choose a date idea that you wouldn’t normally do and use it to woo your sweetie.
1. Life Drawing
This is a lot of fun and nowhere near as intimidating as you might think. Unlike the movies, with people at easels in studios wearing berets and striped shirts (or is that just my mental image?), life drawing classes are more informal than that these days. You may even find one held at a local bar or pub, with artists and artist-wannabes sprawled on couches and comfy chairs with a drink in one hand and a 2B pencil in the other.
Don’t worry if you’re terrible at drawing, everyone is far too absorbed in what they’re doing to notice yours and how bad it might be. Adding to that, the models will only hold any one position for a short time, which means everyone is banging out quick sketches only.
2. Jigsaw Puzzle
Depending on the size of the jigsaw puzzle, this could be a looong date idea! I recommend sticking to around 250 pieces. 500 will see you completing it in about 4 hours, give or take. It’s perfect for a drizzly day when it’s cold and wet out.
Borrow or beg a jigsaw from a friend, or buy one cheap. Make sure you spend the rest of your $30 budget on yummy snacks and hot chocolate.
Set up a time-lapse and take photos of your jigsaw coming together.
You’ll find apps for the iphone or android that will take time-lapse photos and on eBay you’ll even find stands for your phone that are cheap. Set it for 30-second intervals and create your own show.
Here’s what my wife and I did – the video came up fantastic! We uploaded it to YouTube for our friends and family to see – they loved it! http://blog.30dollardatenight.com/2010/08/27/j-is-for-jigsaw-puzzle-date-idea/
3. Salsa Dance Class
One way to warm up this winter is on the dancefloor. This may not be every guy’s idea of a great time, but once you realise just how sexy this style of dancing is, and how much your lovely lady loves the idea of being Baby from Dirty Dancing, you’ll be in with bells on.
Salsa is a really easy form of dance, because it’s all casual steps. You don’t have to do the whole uppity ballroom stance – it’s down-and-dirty street dancing with a lot of ‘tude.
Find a class in your local area – a lot will even offer the first lesson free, so you can keep your budget to spend on drinks at the bar to loosen up. You’ll have a structured lesson, usually followed at some point in the night with some freestyle dancing where you can practice your new moves. Watch the experienced dancers to get an idea of the style you should go for. Later that night, practice in the privacy of your living room with a little bump and grind.
4. Dessert Only
Easy, cheap and fun. Start by eating dinner at home. If you’re really nice, you’ll even take charge of this part and cook for your date.
After dinner, rug up and head out to a café or nice restaurant somewhere – for dessert only. Order up with a few decadent desserts, some warming Irish coffees or hot chocolate and a bit of candlelight for good measure. Then snuggle up and enjoy the sugar high.
This kind of date is the perfect place for breaking out some conversation starters.
5. The Bookstore Date
This is quite the cute date idea – it’s an amazing conversation starter that could keep you chatting for hours and is brilliant for new daters or long term sweethearts alike.
You’ll be surprised how much you learn about your date in the short time you spend at the bookstore. It’s quite an inventive first date!
Head to a bookstore that has a café in it. Select your favorite four books – books that you love or that have impacted your life in some way. It could be something from your childhood, your all-time favourite novel, an inspiring motivational or business book… anything.
Over coffee, take it in turns to tell each other about the books you have chosen. What’s the book about? When did you first read it? What do you think of it? How did it affect your life?
6. Bake Mini-me Gingerbread People
A great stay-home date for a chilly winter day or night, and perfect for the festive season too!
Pick up all the ingredients you’ll need for gingerbread, including lots of fun things for decorating them. You’re going to make your gingerbread people look just like the two of you – mini gingerbread couples!
Don’t worry if you’ve never really baked cookies before – that makes it even more perfect. Try something new. Once your mini-me creations are done, snap some pics and tag each other on your Facebook walls, made out of gingerbread.
Denis Merkas is co-creator of $30 Date Night. He specialises in being cheap! (Just ask his wife!) For more date ideas in your city, or even to add some of your own, visit www.thirtydollardatenight.com