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Best date ideas that cost $0

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OCTOBER 26, 2022

My partner and I enjoy spending a lazy day at home, just watching TV or a movie, but sometimes it gets boring. We like to go out on the town and treat ourselves to dinner but find that our wallets are substantially lighter by the end of the night. It can be hard to come up with dates that are fun and creative while still not breaking the bank, so I did some brainstorming to save your next date night.

Here are some date ideas that cost nothing.

Free student admissions

If you and your significant other are both UC Berkeley students, you’re in luck. Classic date spots such as the botanical garden and BAMPFA are free for you. Spend a day taking advantage of what these spots have to offer, from the expansive garden in the hills to the creative exhibits downtown. Even better, both spots are always changing with the seasons, so you can check them out constantly without losing interest.

At-home spa day

If you are feeling lazy, but still want a special experience, set up a spa day in your home. Light candles, play soft music, make DIY face masks — just have fun with it! Not only will you and your partner feel closer than ever, but you’ll come out of it glowing.

Learn something new

YouTube is a resource that, in my opinion, is completely underrated — you have a world of knowledge at your disposal! Follow along with a video to learn something new with your partner. It can be as simple as spending ten minutes folding origami, a couple hours mastering a new recipe, or even an indefinite escapade learning a new language. This is a fun and productive way to spend your time together.

Picnic on the Glade

I know this is cheesy, but I am such a sucker for a good picnic. Gather up an old blanket and whatever snacks you have at home, and make your way over to your favorite campus spot. Play music, read, draw or just hang out — anything goes when you’re eating on the ground. But for real, a picnic is such an easy way to spend time together and take advantage of the sun while it’s still here.

Get fancy

I love dressing up, but the opportunity never presents itself. Especially since I’m trying to avoid spending money, sweatpants or jeans are usually my go-to. The thing is, you don’t need an excuse to dress up. Get on your finest clothes and go about your day as usual. Go to the grocery store or take a walk with your partner. Go to McDonald’s and feel the freedom of eating fries while wearing what used to be your prom dress. Anything feels special when you’re dressed up.

There are tons of fun date ideas out there, but sometimes a tight budget can ruin plans. Remember that you don’t need to break the bank to have a good time with your SO. With a little creativity and a willingness to try new things, you can have a romantic date nearly anytime, anywhere.

Contact Daisy Friedman at 


OCTOBER 26, 2022