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14 Perfect Summer Date Ideas That Are Absolutely Free

Summer offers some unique dating opportunities, and it’s a traditionally lazy time. So don’t be boring and offer a dinner and a movie. Be creative and research what’s available near you for no cost at all.

cityDaxiao Productions/Shutterstock

Let your city take care of it

Municipalities often entertain their residents for free, especially over the summer–mostly free concerts but also free dance lessons and more. Your city should have an events calendar with details — find yours by Google-searching: “[City or county name] + calendar of events.” Not dating yet, but planning out your summer dates? Here are ways you can meet new people.

walkSyda Productions/Shutterstock

Explore your town

Stroll the nearby wilderness together at a local nature preserve or park. If you’re more comfortable hanging out first among friends, reserve a field for a pickup game of softball or soccer. Don’t know where to go? Look up your city’s Parks and Recreation Department website for ideas. Make sure you never post these things about your relationship on social media.

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Sit under the stars

Hey, it’s summer. Grab a bottle of wine and sit outside with your date under the stars, staring at the natural (or, if you live in a big city, man-made) beauty of the night. This is a good time to steal that first kiss, especially under a full moon.

lakeJacob Lund/Shutterstock

Hit the water

Take your date and lose yourself in the hypnotizing effects of reflective water. It shouldn’t be too hard to find public access to the ocean or a local lake, and they’re always free.

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Bark!

Do you and the object of your affection have dogs? Take them for a walk together or to a dog-friendly park. To find your local dog park, just search for it on your city’s website – some even have entire sites devoted to their dog parks, like New Orleans. And don’t forget to bring bags to pick up after your pet. Nothing is more unattractive than a dog-owner who doesn’t. Make sure you know these signs that you’re dog is too hot.

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Tour a brewery or vineyard     

While the drinks might not always be free the tours typically are. Tour an elaborate brewery or the beautiful and vast grounds of a vineyard. Here are some examples of free breweries to tour in Philadelphia, New York, and Austin.

sunsetJacob Lund/Shutterstock

Watch the sunset

Even though it’s simple and very low-key it can be a great opportunity to bond. Pack up a few snacks, grab a blanket, and enjoy the beauty of the sky for a night.

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Go geocaching

Many people haven’t even heard of this fun adventure. It’s basically like a treasure hunt. People from all over the country hide things and you can track them down and add your own treasures to the collection using the Internet. Learn more here.

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Visit a local festival or fair

Towns all over hold summer festivals and fairs. Many times they even offer free food. If not, you can always enjoy looking at the art, listening to music, and taking in the culture.

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Have a spa day at home

Stay out of the heat by creating a spa in your own bathroom. Fill up the tub and enjoy a nice soak with your partner. Get in a romantic mood by trying out the best bath bomb for every mood.

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Go hiking

Get fit and explore with your partner this summer. Try out easy walking trails or tackle a mountain together.

volunteerSyda Productions/Shutterstock

Volunteer together

There’s no better way to get to know your significant other than helping others together. You’ll get to see their soft side. Volunteer at your local animal shelter or homeless shelter. This is how gratitude strengthens your relationships.

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Pack a picnic

Make a meal together and pack it up and head to the local park or beach. Enjoy each other’s company and the fresh air and you eat.

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Join a team

Make new friends with your partner by joining a local sports team. Hit the baseball diamond or soccer field and lead your team to victory.

Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is the Assistant Digital Managing Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. When she’s not writing for rd.com or keeping the 650+ pieces of content our team produces every month organized, she likes watching HGTV, going on Target runs, and searching through Instagram to find new corgi accounts to follow.