Top Five Dates Under $15

Got a lot of love to give but not a lot of cash? No problem. Impress your girl with these fun and inexpensive dates that anyone can afford.

In a world with rising gas prices, a housing market in complete meltdown mode and general suckiness across the board for anyone not among the super rich, finding a good date within one’s means is about as easy as finding a straight man who is “just crazy” for the Jonas Brothers.

But hold on! Don’t leap out that window just yet. There are plenty of ways to get out there and have a good ole’ time with your special someone without having to dish out half a paycheck’s worth of cash. For the truly resourceful MacGyver type man all you may need for a good date is a chewing gum wrapper, hair pin, and quarter inch of duct tape, for the rest of us, there is this list.

For the past two weeks I’ve compiled a list of what I, in my infinite wisdom, consider to be five top-flight activities for you to share with your significant other (or wanna-be significant other) with only a minimal expense to your wallet. But in order to clear up a few confusions about what exactly qualifies as a good “date under $15” I think I need to establish two ground rules.

  • You must leave your house, no renting movies, playing charades, or “Scattergories.”
  • No going to the beach, movies, out for coffee, or to McDonalds (while some of these things could come in under $15, particularly if you split the bill, creativity counts. And going to the beach and lying in the sun not talking to each other for 3 hours isn’t much of a date anyway in my opinion). But I digress, to the list!

Top Five Dates Under $15

Photo by absolutwade

Day at the Museum

Look at you, all classy and cultured. How’d a nit-wit like you get so tasteful? Well, that’s what she’ll be thinking, hopefully. This date is cheap, air conditioned, and makes you look smart (that is at least until you open that big mouth of yours). A museum is a great way to get out and do something highbrow without having to pay the price. The fact that it’s indoors gives it the added bonus of being a solid date regardless of weather. It supplies a lot of good conversation and can occupy a whole day. Plus there is a ton of educational value, so even if the date bombs you can still learn something you never knew but always wondered about Native Americans, or whales, or whatever.

Driving Range/Mini-Golf

For the man looking for a true sportswoman. The driving range bit might not be for every girl, but seriously, who doesn’t like a good round of put-put (other than Happy Gilmore)? This is another very good cheap date option without having to look like you’re being cheap. She probably doesn’t do it too often so it also has the appeal of something different on top of being fun. If you really can’t spend much money (and you’re paying for both of you) than you may be forced to choose between one or the other. A word of advice: let her pick. If she can’t decide, Mini-Golf is probably the safer bet (both in terms of general affability and the literal personal safety of yourself and those around you). You don’t want any stray shots to bounce off the roof and have your date come to a close in a hospital waiting room; those tend to be pretty pricey.

Spring Dam, Roaring Spring, PA

Day in the Park

If you haven’t thought of this one on your own than I gotta say; no wonder you’re looking for date tips on the internet. Just kidding, you're very handsome. There are literally an endless amount of possibilities with this date. If I didn’t think it was so obvious it would without a doubt be number one. Take a walk, throw around a Frisbee, fly a kite, go on a bike ride, ANYTHING you can think of that can be done outside can pretty much be accomplished, weather and legality permitting. Pack a few sandwiches and drinks and you have a picnic all set. It’s fun, personal, and free (unless you need to drive and even then the price to park is usually not more than a few dollars).

Photo by ehoyer


It was once said that “Skeeball is nature’s most powerful aphrodisiac.” Or something along those lines, post below if you know who said it. While I cannot whole heartedly endorse that belief I do endorse the belief that it is one hell of a good time. And dirt cheap too! Most Skeeball games still only run a quarter a round and at arcades you have a wealth of other games of “friendly competition” to impress her with. Show off your lightning reflexes in Air-hockey, your “skillz that killz” on the short basketball hoop game thingy, or be the most daring man of all and show off your dance moves (or at least your ability to step on a square corresponding to the lighted arrow on a screen) in Dance Dance Revolution. Even the most expensive games are only one dollar per player and if you are able to take up enough time exchanging some competitive banter $15 should last you at least an hour if not much longer. Just make sure not to beat her too badly or lose too often. You don’t want $15 to be all that you get a chance to spend on her.

Photo by lisso

The “Secret Nook”

One of the best dates I ever took a girl on was to a little hole in the wall crepe café that she had never heard of. She couldn’t stop talking about how much she loved it the whole time we were there and it cost me about $4 dollars, drinks included. It’s too bad I didn’t take her to more little nooks like that one or else she might still be around, but there are plenty out there, you just need to find them. Dessert places usually work best because they’re cheapest and tend to have more of an authentic feel to them. If you don’t already know about a suitable place find one! This one requires a little work out of you but will almost undoubtedly garner the greatest reward. Why? Because it’s all you. The only thing better than knowing you just went out on a great date is knowing that you thought of the place all on your own.

Honorable Mentions:

Take a Dance Class – So you think you can dance? Prove it to her. Didn’t quite make the list because most places charge right around $15 for one class (so if you pay for both its way over $15), but it's fun, original, and even if you can’t dance she is sure to be really impressed by your willingness to try something new.

At the Drive-in – Also may be over $15 and tough to find, but with most places showing at least two films per ticket and of course the added bonus of watching it from your own car, this personal date is definitely worth the price of admission.

Hunt for the “Cash Cab” – This is great even if you don’t live in NYC. It’s really just another way of saying walk around downtown wherever you live and just people watch, window shop, and spend some time together. Very good for something spur of the moment or needed to kill a boring night.

Kevin MacLean

Kevin H. MacLean currently resides in Brooklyn, NY where he enjoys people watching, writing, and dominating all comers in four-square. You can keep tabs on him at his blog