Turn up the heat without breaking the bank.
I don’t know about you, but I firmly believe you don’t have to spend a fortune to have fun on a date. When you’re first getting to know someone, there can be a lot of pressure to plan a swanky night out or get glammed up to make a good impression, but let’s be real — going on dates can get super expensive. Dinner and drinks at an upscale restaurant with your hot neighbor can be special, no doubt — but sometimes, it’s nice to get creative and enjoy a date that doesn’t break the bank.
If you’re tired of overspending on dates and don’t want to rack up a bar tab the length of a CVS receipt, you’re not alone. According to a 2022 survey conducted by Hinge, almost 41% of 3,000 users surveyed said they were more concerned with the cost of dates now compared to a year ago. Hinge also reports that 75% of singles don’t even want to get drinks on a first date anymore, with 24% of them citing “saving money” as a reason why. Not to be a downer, but with bills to pay and talk of impending recession (yikes), it’s OK to start saving a little and putting your hard-earned cash toward things that don’t rhyme with “espresso martini.”
Now that summer is in full swing, it’s the perfect time to spice up your dating life. As a Scorpio sun, Scorpio moon, and Sagittarius rising, I’m always looking to deepen my connections in a meaningful way, but I don’t love the nonsense of spending a fortune. If you’re like me and want quality time with your date, but don’t feel like draining your wallet, here is a list of cheap summer date ideas based on your zodiac sign. Love shouldn’t cost a thing, amirite?
Aquarius: Volunteer Together
Curious, rebellious, and known as the humanitarians of the zodiac, Aquarians are revolutionaries who love flaunting their passion and drive to innovate. Your sign is intellectual and committed to the greater good, which means your ideal summer date is anything that moves the needle toward positive change. What better way to harness your go-getter energy than volunteering for a good cause?
Summer is the perfect season to donate your time and talents, and with this meaningful date idea, you won’t have to pay a penny. Explore local animal shelters, community gardens, or soup kitchens in your neighborhood that are in need of volunteers, and invite your cutie to help out with you. Not only does a volunteer event help take ego out of the equation, but chances are, you’ll learn a lot about your person in the process.
Pisces: Attend An Open Mic
Pisces is one of the most empathetic and compassionate zodiac signs. You have a capacity to feel deep emotions and your sensitivity is your greatest strength. You’re also charming, considerate, imaginative, a little mystical, and super romantic, making you a sweet presence to be around. Let’s just say that whoever gets to take you on a summer date is one lucky human!
Although you love pleasure and comfort, high-ticket date nights and material things don’t necessarily drive you. Typically, you’d prefer hanging out with someone who can help spark your creativity and imagination over someone who showers you with expensive gifts. This summer, try hitting up open mic night with your person for an intimate, meaningful date. Many open mics regularly occur at cute cafés, parks, and community gathering spaces. So, grab a coffee or tea together and spectate or even participate by sharing some music or poetry yourself. Chances are, you won’t have to spend more than a few bucks (if anything at all).
Aries: Challenge Your Date At The Arcade
Simply put: Aries loves being number one. You dive headfirst into any situation, no matter how challenging, and chances are, you’ll come out on top no matter how difficult the obstacle. So, for your next cheap summer date, look no further than an afternoon at the arcade. Since you’re no stranger to competition, you’ll have a blast challenging your date to Pac-Man, air hockey, foosball, and more — while keeping score, of course. To spice things up, you can even place some romantic “bets” throughout your date, for instance: The winner of Pop-A-Shot gets to choose your next date night idea… or sex position.
Taurus: Have A Picnic In The Park
When it comes to indulging the five senses and embracing true relaxation, there’s no sign more well-attuned than Taurus. Whether it’s unwinding with an essential oil-infused bubble bath, spritzing on a summery fragrance, or enjoying a divine scoop of gelato on vacation, Taureans understand the meaning of luxury — but they also know the value of a dollar. They’re ambitious, focused, and aren’t afraid to work hard (and relax harder).
If you’re a Taurus looking for an affordable summer date idea, plan a picnic in the park. Grab a soft blanket and old-school wicker basket, fill it with delicious snacks, and you’ll feel like a little kid all over again. Between the sunshine on your skin, birds chirping, yummy food and drinks, and the sight of your hot date on a summer day, all of your senses will be activated in the best way.
Gemini: Scavenger Hunt Or Escape Room
Spontaneous, playful, and driven by curiosity, Geminis love any chance to use their skills and high energy. They tend to be fast-moving and energetic with short attention spans, and they thrive when they can move quickly from one idea to the next. That said, the ideal summer date for Gemini is a scavenger hunt or visiting an escape room — two low-cost activities that will satiate their hunger for problem-solving and adventure.
If you and your date are down to put in some effort, plan a creative scavenger hunt around town or make your own personalized game with clues and challenges that are wholesome, spicy, or a mix of both. If you have some wiggle room in your budget, you can also check out an escape room in your area; there are usually coupons and intro specials online that won’t cost a fortune, and if you go with a big group, the cost is probably even lower. Working toward a common challenge with your date can boost intimacy, and TBH, seeing them search for hidden clues under time constraints can be low-key attractive.
Cancer: Enjoy A Cozy Movie Night
Much like their celestial spirit animal, the crab, Cancers tend to have protective “shells” and enjoy creating comfortable spaces where they can feel safe. Cancers tend to be domestically oriented and have a strong sense of self-care; plus, they make great caregivers, loyal lovers, and compassionate friends. Therefore, any date Cancer takes part in should cultivate a sense of closeness, warmth, and security to let their guard down.
If you’re a Cancer looking for a cheap summer date idea, opt for a classic Netflix-and-chill moment with your boo. For extra coziness, try cooking a new recipe or grabbing cookie dough from the grocery store and baking some sweet treats together. The act of making food together is a cute way to bring you closer — plus, any Cancer sign will feel right at home.
Leo: Belt It Out At Karaoke
Represented by a fearless lion, Leos tend to be courageous, loyal, and infamously dramatic. Astrologer Indigo Witt previously told Elite Daily, “They represent the absolute height of fire energy. They’re incredibly expressive and can be quite the entertainers — they want to show off their talents and creativity and they want to hear the applause.” Witt adds that when you’re around a Leo, it can feel like they’re “putting on a show.”
Since fire sign is always down for a theatrical moment and opportunity to bask in the spotlight, making karaoke night the ideal summer date idea for their brave, unapologetic selves. Whether you pay a few bucks to show off your range at a local karaoke bar or host a date in your apartment with your own karaoke machine, you’ll love this entertaining (and affordable) summer date idea. If you’re concerned about cost, try making a group date out of it and inviting a few friends. While group outings might scare some zodiac signs, for Leos, the more potential audience members, the merrier!
Virgo: Take A Painting Or Pottery Class
Virgos tend to be logical, practical, and systematic in their approach to life, and are usually perfectionists at heart. That said, one of Virgo’s greatest life lessons is that there’s beauty in imperfection; sometimes, they need a loving reminder that not everything has to go a certain way. Attending a group painting or pottery class will help Virgo get out of their shell, try something new, and let go of the need to succeed. Not only will they enjoy seeing a difficult task through to completion, but they’ll get to exercise their laser-sharp focus. If you’re a Virgo, invite your date to get crafty with you, and don’t be afraid to color outside the lines.
Libra: Wander Around An Art Gallery Or Museum
Libra is all about harmony, balance, and equilibrium in all aspects. Since the air sign is ruled by Venus, the planet in charge of love, beauty, and money, Libra adores the finer things in life and often surrounds themselves with beautiful objects that reflect their elegant taste. If Libra falls within your big three zodiac signs, you might have a tendency to be drawn to the creative arts, fashion, decor, and aesthetically-pleasing spaces.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: How can a sign that values aesthetics enjoy a cheap date? Luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune to feel luxurious. For your next date, try visiting an art gallery, museum, or even taking a stroll through a lush botanical garden if you prefer the outdoors. Often, the price of admission to local museums is free or low-cost, and you’ll get a thrill from walking around hand-in-hand with your person admiring gorgeous things. If visual art isn’t your thing, try making a mood board or collage together — or anything that brings you closer to the arts!
Scorpio: Play A Juicy Question Game
This mysterious, passionate sign has an undying thirst for knowledge and loves delving into the unknown. Scorpios are natural investigators who don’t shy away from depth, darkness, and topics that may be considered taboo. This means that a boring, surface-level conversation over cocktails simply won’t do it for them — they crave intensity and anything that helps them connect with their date on an intimate level.
That said, the perfect affordable date idea for Scorpio is a juicy question game. Think: We’re Not Really Strangers: Couples Edition, Let’s F*cking F*ck, or any other question-style game that places investigation at the forefront of the conversation. If you don’t want to spend money on a deck of cards, you can always invent questions yourself and swap answers with your partner for a delightfully intriguing date night.
Sagittarius: Embark On An Outdoor Adventure
Most commonly known as the explorer and free spirit of the zodiac, Sagittarians know how to embrace spontaneity and travel — and they frequently bring their dates along with them. While jumping on a plane these days isn’t the most accessible nor affordable, you can still create a sense of adventure locally by going for a bike ride, hike, jog, or anywhere that offers a sense of wanderlust.
For your next date, try heading outdoors and enjoying nature with your person. Fortunately, being outside is totally free, and you can choose an activity that you’re both interested in to get those endorphins (and witty banter) going. If you’re hitting up a new bike route, walking trail, or something similar, be sure to meet in a fairly public area and let people know where you’re going, especially if it’s your first date. Safety is everything, even for the most free-spirited of us!
Capricorn: Flex Your Skills At Trivia
Ambitious, focused, and goal-driven, Capricorn is the hardest worker of the zodiac. Their realistic, no-nonsense approach to life can make them stubborn and serious, but they love taking on big challenges and proving that they can conquer them. Many Capricorns are naturally drawn to games, puzzles, and tasks that require steadfastness — making trivia the ideal activity for a summer date.
For Capricorns, time, skill, and success are of the essence. What better way to race the clock and show off your intellect than with a night of competitive trivia? Even if you aren’t in the mood to spend money on dinner and drinks, you can check out a local bar and see if they offer group trivia nights (venues may require a small minimum, but you don’t need to go hard on the entire menu to enjoy yourself). Whether you’re playing on a team with your date or you combine forces to answer questions with a group of friends, a night of trivia will allow Capricorn to exercise their determination — and loosen up a little, too.
No matter what zodiac sign you identify with, there are many affordable date ideas to choose from this summer. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try something new — you just may find that hiding your wallet and having some affordable fun is more enjoyable than a fancy night on the town. A good date is all about getting curious, embracing the unknown, communicating, and learning about your person. So whether it’s over a sheet of cookie dough or a thought-provoking, late-night question game, I hope this summer makes all of your dating dreams come true.