10 Affordable Date Night Ideas to Strengthen Your Relationship

This blog includes 10 affordable date night ideas to strengthen connection and intimacy in your relationship, suggested by a licensed couples therapist. It also includes some relationship tips to make the most of each activity.


Kaylee Procter


1. Picnic in the Park

Enjoy the beauty of nature while sharing a delicious meal with your loved one. Pack some sandwiches, fruits, and snacks, and head to a nearby park. Find a cozy spot under a tree or by a lake, spread out a blanket, and enjoy each other's company. Take this opportunity to talk and reconnect with your partner.

Relationship Tip: Download the Gottman Card Deck app prior to and try out one of their card decks to spark meaningful conversations!

2. Movie Night at Home

Transform your living room into a cozy movie theater. Choose a selection of your favorite movies, prepare some popcorn, and snuggle up on the couch with your partner. This intimate setting allows you to relax, unwind, and enjoy each other's company without the distractions of a crowded cinema.

Relationship Tip: Deepen your connection by talking about why you disliked/liked the movie afterwards; if you chose the movie, then why you chose it; and introducing each other to your favourite movies from childhood.

3. DIY Spa Night

Pamper yourselves with a relaxing spa night at home. Create a soothing atmosphere with scented candles, soft music, and dim lighting. Take turns giving each other massages, facials, or foot rubs. This intimate and rejuvenating experience will not only help you relax but also deepen your physical and emotional connection.

Relationship Tip: Make this a sensual experience - explore with your partner where they feel pleasure. Focus on savouring the present moment.

4. Explore Local Trails

Discover the beauty of your surroundings by going on a hike or a nature walk together. Calgary is surrounded by stunning landscapes and picturesque trails - so is Alberta in general! Lace up your hiking boots (and possibly winter gear), grab some water, and embark on an adventure with your partner. This shared experience will not only strengthen your bond but also provide an opportunity for meaningful conversations.

Relationship Tip: Show affection during the walk. Hold hands and give appreciation for each other. Ask each other questions to get to know one another (we never stop learning about our partners): if they could only have one cuisine forever, which would they choose? What are their top 3 favourite movies and why? If they could be any animal, which would they pick and why? Have some fun with it!

5. Cook Together

Instead of dining out at an expensive restaurant, why not cook a delicious meal together at home? Choose a recipe that you both love, gather the ingredients, and get creative in the kitchen. Cooking together allows you to collaborate, communicate, and have fun while preparing a delicious meal that you can enjoy together.

Relationship Tip: Take turns cooking a favourite recipe from childhood or favourite cuisine. While eating, talk about why you chose the recipe you did, what it means to you, or any memories you have associated with the particular recipe or cuisine. Ex. if you chose Italian food, have you ever travelled to Italy? If not, is it somewhere you desire going? Simple conversations like these can give us insight into our partner's hopes and dreams. Doing so helps to build emotional intimacy.

6. Game Night

Unleash your competitive side with a game night at home. Dust off those board games, card decks, or video games and challenge each other to some friendly competition. Laugh, play, and bond over your favourite games, creating lasting memories and deepening your connection.

Relationship Tip: Have a board games tournament! Each choose a few games to add to the list and the winner gets to choose an activity to do together.

7. Volunteer Together

Give back to your community and strengthen your relationship by volunteering together. Find a local charity or organization that aligns with your values and spend a day making a positive impact. Whether it's serving at a soup kitchen, cleaning up a park, or helping out at an animal shelter, working together for a common cause will bring you closer as a couple.

Relationship Tip: Pick a cause that is important to each of you. Maybe it honours someone that you've lost or has significant meaning based on your past or loved ones. Talk about why it's important to you with your partner.

8. Visit a Farmers Market

Support local businesses and explore a wide variety of fresh produce, artisanal products, and unique crafts at a farmers market. Take a leisurely stroll hand in hand, sample delicious treats, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. This simple yet delightful date allows you to connect with each other and your community.

Relationship Tip: Hold hands, laugh, and avoid bringing up any difficult conversations during this activity. Just enjoy each others' company. Not every moment with each other needs to be profound or filled with deep conversation. Savour the present moment by focusing on the atmosphere around you.

9. Have a DIY Photoshoot

Get creative and capture beautiful memories together with a DIY photoshoot. Find a scenic location, dress up in your favourite outfits, and use your smartphone or camera to take stunning pictures of each other. This activity not only allows you to have fun and be silly but also creates lasting mementos of your love and connection.

Relationship Tip: Don't be afraid to be playful with this activity! Brene Brown talks about cultivating play as one of her guideposts to living a happy and healthy life (re: the book, The Gifts of Imperfection). Play can lower stress levels for both of you!

10. Plan a Romantic Scavenger Hunt

Surprise your partner with a romantic scavenger hunt that leads them to meaningful locations or memories. Leave clues around your home or throughout the city, guiding them to each destination. This thoughtful and exciting adventure will not only keep the spark alive but also create new memories that you can cherish together. Savour the positive feelings this activity will bring!

Relationship Tip: No tip necessary! This activity is great on its own.

Remember, the key to a successful date night is not the amount of money spent but the quality of the time and connection shared. These affordable date night ideas provide opportunities to deepen your bond, communicate, and have fun with your partner. So, go ahead and try out these activities to create lasting memories and strengthen your relationship without breaking the bank!

If you're feeling disconnected in your relationship or noticing yourselves fighting more often, couples counselling can help! Tri Lotus Psychotherapy provides couples therapy in Calgary and online throughout Alberta. Book an appointment or schedule a complimentary introductory call below to ask any questions you may have and see how it can help.

Are you looking for fun and cheap date night ideas that won't break the bank? As a licensed couples therapist in Calgary, I understand the importance of quality time and connection in relationships.

Most couples know that date nights are important, but they ask themselves, what are some date ideas? That's why I've compiled a list of 10 budget-friendly date night ideas that will not only help you save money but also deepen your bond with your partner. So, let's dive in!