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17 Cheap Park Date Ideas (You Haven’t Thought of Yet)

Looking for cheap, and FUN, park date ideas (that aren't lame)? Impress your date with these 17 cheap park date ideas.

Going to a park and doing something together is one of the most inexpensive date night ideas you’ll find.

couple at park up against tree sharing from a book, text overlay "things to do at the park on a date"

And guess what? Park date ideas don’t have to be boring. Not in the least.

Let me show you what I mean with these awesome and CHEAP outdoor date ideas.

Psst: Do you live in a small town? Most of these will work as awesome dates if you’re in a small town or in the country. You’ll also want to check out my article on 64 small town date ideas.  

Park Date Ideas that are Cheap and Fun

Looking for cheap and fun park date ideas that aren’t the same boring ones we’ve all seen?

Keep reading.

These also make perfect, free summer date ideas!

1. Hunt for Pokémon

couple with their phones out with Pokemon Go on them, outside at park

Battle it out with a round of Pokémon Go Hunting at your local park.

This is actually quite fun!

You’ll each download the free app (here’s the app for Android, and the app for iPhone), set a timer, and see how many Pokémon each of you can battle & catch in 10-15 minutes.

You’ll end up off the beaten path (just be careful to not trip and fall, or walk into a tree – I actually witnessed a person do this while playing Pokémon Go at the park!).

2. Contribute to People-Powered Research Together

man and woman on opposite sides using a magnifying glass as citizen scientists at park

Find a people-powered research project that lends itself well at the park, then invite your date to become a Citizen Scientist with you as you both collect some data for it.

Right now, there are 61 different projects under “Nature”, just waiting for help from amateur scientist couples like you!

3. Set Up a Series of Minute-to-Win-It Games

Compete with each other by bringing along all the materials you need for 3-4 Minute-to-Win-It games.

Here’s a collection of 200 minute-to-win-it games to choose from.

4. Have a DIY Kite Competition

Either work on building kites together or ask your date to build a kite as homework for your date (keep ‘em guessing!).

Then, take them to a local park. Compete with each other to see whose kite flies the highest, or the longest.

Here’s how to make garbage bag kites from scratch.

This would also be great during a cheap picnic date.

5. Share a Crime Podcast on a Park Bench

couple on park bench listening to crime podcast having fun and making faces

Sit on the bench, and share a crime podcast together.

Here are a few to try:

Bonus: pop up some gourmet popcorn, put it in two lunch bags, and bring it with you. 

6. Do a Zombie Run Together

Do you guys like to exercise, or do you want to exercise more?

Download the free Zombies, Run! App, share an earbud (or just turn the volume up on one of your phones) and enjoy the exhilaration of trying to outrun zombies together.

Psst: let your date know ahead of time that they’ll need to wear workout/running clothes.

7. Rollerblade through the Park

couple hugging each other, smiling, with rollerblades in the park

Instead of just walking or hiking the trails, get out a pair of rollerblades and try to skate your way through the park.

8. Gather a Bouquet of Wildflowers

As you walk along the trails – if permitted – pick the occasional wildflower and slowly make a bouquet from it.

Use it in a date selfie you take!

9. Play a Giant Outdoor Game

Giant outdoor games are super cool…and can cost a small fortune as well.

Look for a park where they have a giant outdoor board game (like a giant set of chess, or a giant outdoor Connect Four, etc.).

Can’t find one?

You can check out how to create 10 different ones yourself.

Romantic Park Date Ideas

Looking for romance in the park? These romantic date ideas are perfect for the park.

Psst: here are 17 more free summer date ideas.

1. Play Love Pictionary

Grab a blanket, or two folding chairs, a clipboard, and pencils, and print out this free Love Pictionary game.

What a fun way to pass the time at a park.

2. Picnic After Dark

couple snuggling and smiling on picnic blanket at park after dark

Do you have access to a park that stays open after dark?

Perfect! Plan an after-dark picnic with your love.

One of my favorite first dates with my boyfriend (now husband) was in our early 20s. We went for an early-night walk after it had rained, and there were all of these bullfrogs out everywhere serenading us with their croaks. We ended up at a local park, so we sat down on swings and just swung and talked next to each other. We lovingly recall this date night, and call it our bullfrog walk!

Bring some glow sticks, a blanket, and your choice of picnic foods. Two blankets are a good idea – one to eat on, and one in case it gets chilly.

Bonus? You can show your date your playful side by catching and releasing lightning bugs together (if they’re in season and you’re in an area of the country for them)!

3. Attend a Theater-in-the-Park Performance

Lots of big-city parks have free outdoor performances.

Find any local outdoor theater performances near you, bring a blanket, perhaps a bottle of wine, and some appetizers, and enjoy.

4. Go Daytime Star-Gazing

There’s this really cool, free Android app called Google Sky Map that lets you see the stars and constellations located in the sky – whether night or day – wherever you point it.

When I used to have an Android phone, I loved using this thing. You can even see what the stars look like “through” the earth (meaning, on the other side of where we are!).

5. Go Deeper with Your Conversations

You can print out a bunch of conversation starters for couples, or even check out one of my favorite ones, The Book of Questions, and bring it along.

Sit on the bench, whip it out while on a walk through the park, or lay a blanket down and ask each other questions to help you both know each other better.

Psst: here's my review of the best intimate and fun conversation starters for married couples.

6. Read Your Favorite Childhood Story to Each Other

This might sound cheesy, but I assure you it’s romantic!

Have your partner bring along their favorite childhood book. Grab yours, as well (mine? Glad you asked. It’s The Monster at the End of the Book).

Lay down a blanket or park it on a bench, and take turns reading your favorite books to each other (or read your partner’s favorite book to them, and vice versa).

7. Go through a Couple’s Bible Devotions Together

Why not make a weekly or bi-weekly park date with your partner and start it off by going through a couple’s Bible devotion together. Here are 365 Daily Devotions for Couples to read, ponder, and spark conversations.

I hope I've shown you how interesting and romantic park date ideas can be, as long as you get creative!

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Amanda L Grossman

Personal Finance Writer and CEO at Frugal Confessions, LLC
Amanda L. Grossman is a writer and Certified Financial Education Instructor, Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Frugal Confessions. Over the last 13 years, her money work has helped people with how to save money and how to manage money. She's been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Business Insider, LifeHacker, Real Simple Magazine, Woman's World, Woman's Day, ABC 13 Houston, Keybank, and more. Read more here or on LinkedIn.