(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

These days, everyone can afford to save a few bucks, but skimping on dates is a tough place to cut back. The list below includes places that make for a great date and are completely free. Many are close to eateries where you can spend your money on the meal rather than the activity and really come off looking like you planned a full day.

Gas Works Park
2101 N. Northlake Way
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 684-4075

There is nothing better than a picnic at the park, and Seattle’s Gas Works Park has a stunning view to behold. Just pack a picnic and hike to the top of the hill for a perfect evening. The view of Lake Union will certainly set the mood and after the meal, go for a walk on the lakeside to finish off the night.

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
3015 N.W. 54th St.
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 783-7059

The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, better known as the Ballard Locks, is a great place to spend a weekend afternoon. Crossing over the locks is certainly an engineering marvel for those who have never see it before. Taking a walk down below will show visitors the salmon ladder and they’ll get a great view of the fish. Taking the self-guided walk is totally free and would make for a unique date experience.

Golden Gardens Park
8498 Seaview Place N.W.
Seattle, WA 98117
(206) 684-4075

Golden Gardens is the perfect place for a free evening date on the beach. It allows bonfires in existing pits, so come early and save a spot. Golden Gardens also sells firewood on site, but bringing your own makes this a completely free date. Watch for the bathrooms as they can be a little questionable but the view and the stars on a clear night make up for it.

Olympic Sculpture Park
2901 Western Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 654-3100

Olympic Sculpture Park is part of the Seattle Art Museum and takes up a nine-acre former industrial space. The park combines green space with various art installations. There is a rock path leading visitors through the park and allowing for a nice date stroll. Take in art together on a nice day for no cost at all.

Seattle Symphony
Benaroya Hall
200 University St.
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 215-4800

Every Monday at 12:30 p.m. on a bimonthly basis, the Seattle Symphony hosts free recitals with music from its 26-foot-tall pipe organ. Also available from Benaroya Hall is the public tour given after the organ recitals and on Tuesdays and Fridays at noon and 1 p.m. Enjoying the recitals is free and there are a number of nearby eateries for both cheap eats and fine dining to close out the date.


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Megan Knight resides in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, WA. During the day she works in IT Management and at night is a royal news junkie. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.