20 Fun FREE Date Ideas

20 Fun FREE Date Ideas

Sometimes, life gets busy and money gets tight.  Having a list of 20 fun free date ideas can help keep the romance alive.  From going to the library to having a backyard bonfire, there are so many fun ways to spend time together that don’t break the bank.

1.Go to the Park

This idea is kind of a three in one idea.  You could have a simple picnic if you’d like a more intimate and relaxing date.  If you’re feeling more adventurous, you could go hiking or biking.  We love hiking at our favorite local parks and exploring new ones in nearby cities.  Fresh air, exercise, beautiful scenery, what’s not to love?!  Well, maybe bugs.  Don’t forget to wear bug spray!

2.Movie Night at Home

There are so many ways to watch movies at home now!  Browse through your old DVD collection for an old favorite.  Check out Netflix, Amazon or Hulu for something new if you have a subscription.  Go to the library to check out their selection.  Snuggling up to a good movie is a great way to relax together after a long day.

3.Board Games

We have a lot of games, but we don’t often get to play them.  Back when we were first dating, we loved to play different games together,  like Scrabble for example.  Taking the time to have a game night can give you something fun to do while allowing you to have a playful conversation.

4.Go to the Library

The library is a lot of fun with the kids, but it’s also a lot of fun without them!  Browsing the books together, picking out a fun movie, laughing over the music section and reminiscing, browsing through the exercise equipment, even if we don’t pick out anything (how can you not?!) the library is always a blast!

5.Puzzles

I LOVE puzzles!  Whenever I get a new one going, the whole family loves to spend time tackling it.   Spending time alone on date night working on a puzzle is a fun challenge!  I find puzzle nights are great for the times when you don’t want to say much.  Puzzles can be a stress reliever.  So if you’ve had a rough day/week/month, this might be a great way to tackle some of life’s anxieties by doing something you CAN solve.

6.Video Games

If your spouse loves video games, but you are not a fan, it might put you out of your comfort zone a little at first.  Playing together can be a lot of fun though!  If you’re not into violent games, like me, there are so many other fun ways to play.  Many game systems have physically active games that allow you to get up and move, like Fruit Ninja.  If you’d rather sit down, Tetris is always a fun challenge.

7. Take a Walk

Sometimes, a simple walk around the neighborhood can be a lot of fun.  It’s just you and your sweetie, walking, talking and getting some fresh air.  I find a simple walk can take the pressure off of date planning and allow you to just relax.

8.Cook and Clean up Dinner Together

I’m usually the one who cooks at our house.  Sometimes, Nate will take over for a night if I’m not feeling well.  Cooking together though, makes the work go faster and is a lot of fun!  Cleaning up together means that no one is stuck doing the dishes alone.  If cooking dinner is too intimidating, try making a simple dessert or appetizer.

9.Museum

We have a lot of museums in our area.  Many of them have free days or free sections.  Most history museums have a fee to help pay for upkeep, but sometimes they have a free day.  Often, you can get a free pass at the local library.  Many art museums are free.  A few of the bigger ones do charge a fee, so always check before heading out.

10.Window Shopping Downtown

Our town has a cute little historic downtown strip.  It’s full of antique stores, boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants.  It’s a lot of fun to check out all of the unique items in the antique stores and window shop some of the newer boutiques.

11.Backyard Bonfire

Summer doesn’t last very long here in Minnesota, so bonfires are only optional a few months a year.  We love to take advantage of this time to sit outside and enjoy the warm night air, under the stars, cuddled up next to the fire.

12.Tea/Dessert on the Porch

If you have a porch, like we do, it’s nice to sit out early or late on hot summer days.  Taking a little time to enjoy the quiet solitude that comes with dawn and dusk with a nice cup of tea or a shared dessert is a lot of fun!

13.Fishing/Boating

Here in Minnesota, we have over 10,000 lakes.  (11,842 lakes of 10 acres or more.  21.871 if you count the lakes under 10 acres!) We also have 69,200 miles of rivers which gives us many opportunities to enjoy some time on the water.  We’ve gone fishing as a family, but fishing as a couple can be fun too!  If you are vegan or don’t like to fish, sightseeing is also a lot of fun!  Don’t forget to take binoculars for a little bird watching!

14.Study the Bible Together

There is nothing else like putting God first in our lives.  Spending quality time together, with God, is one of the most important things a couple can do together.  God can help draw a couple closer and give peace and contentment.

15. Go Through Family Photo Albums

As the years roll by and memories add up, it can be a lot of fun to look back on some of those favorite experiences together.  Sometimes, this can inspire new plans for the future, so keep a notebook and pen handy!

16.Play Cards

Playing cards can be as easy as Go Fish, Speed or even a little more challenging, like enjoying a game of poker.  If you don’t know how to play any card games, you can easily google how to play!  Even better, there are a lot of videos on Youtube showing you exactly how to play!  Cards are simple, cheap and can lead to a lot of laughs.

17.Build/Make Something

Is there something fun that you’ve always wanted to try?  Build a birdhouse?  Make a garden?  Make a Chalkboard?  Hang up some framed family pictures?  Make a fun date of it!  If you don’t know how to do any of these things but want to, check out community education classes, your local library courses, or ask a friend who’s more experienced to help you plan the basics before getting started.

18.Exercise together

I’ve already mentioned hiking, biking and taking walks, but breaking out a workout DVD or pulling up a workout on youtube to try together can be a lot of fun!  Just make sure to take it slow if you don’t work out on a regular basis!

19. Read Together

Did you find an awesome book at the library or do you have a favorite you’d love to read again?  Make it a date night book.  Take turns reading chapters out loud (or pages if the chapters are long).  No cheating and reading without your partner on non-date nights though!

20.Pamper Each Other

Put on face masks, file each other’s nails, or paint them if you’re feeling adventurous!  Take a relaxing bath together, if your bath is big enough!  If you don’t have a big enough tub, have a detox foot bath.  Give a nice back or shoulder massage.  Both men and women love to be pampered!

I hope these 20 fun free date ideas have inspired you for a date night of your own!  What is your favorite thing to do on a date night?  Have you given any of these a try?  Let me know in the comments!




We Went 2,341 Feet Underground!

We Went 2,341 Feet Underground!
Camping, Day 5
The Soudan Mine

Since it was another rainy day, we decided to head out to see The Soudan Mine.  I didn’t know what to expect, but it sounded interesting.  I had never been in a real mine before.

When I was little, my parent’s would take me to an amusement park in Burnsville.  One ride that I’ll always remember is the Mystery Mine Tour.  It was a fake mine shaft that shook and showed passing rocks.  The doors opened and showed a mine scene while a voice over the speaker gave the guided tour.

For some reason, I loved it.  I would beg to go and my Dad would take me.  Every time, I would get afraid when the mine started to shake and I would climb up my Dad like a monkey.  He would hold me in his arms and I would watch the rocks fly by the small window.  Since I was so young, I thought it was real, even though my Dad insisted it wasn’t.

Driving up to the mine I was rewarded with a beautiful view that stretched for miles.  I love a good view and this one did not disappoint.  The buildings were older and made from brick, but they were well maintained.

We purchased our tickets, but since there were so many people there, our tour didn’t start for another hour.  This gave us plenty of time to check out some of the other exhibits.  In the main building, there were a lot of fun souvenirs.  I purchased two books, one on mushrooms in our region and one about berries in our region.  There were also a lot of historical photographs.  I really enjoyed the rock exhibits.  The kids liked the scale models of the mine.

We went to see the first visible building on the site, the hoist house.  There they had giant machinery.  One of the biggest things was an enormous spool winding up giant steel rope.  This was attached to the cages which lower and raise people from the mines.

Since it was getting close to our tour time, we went back to the main building to use the bathroom and wait for our tour to be called back.  We had more fun in the gift shop while we waited.

We started our tour in a theater room.  While we waited we watched a short video with different facts on the screen.  After that, our tour guide talked to us about what to expect and highlighted safety rules.  Then he led us to get our safety hats on and filed us toward the mine shaft.

The shaft itself was outside.  It was open to the air and quite small.  Just like in mining days, we were packed into the small cage like sardines in a can.  Unlike in the mining days, we were not each loaded with mining equipment.  Our cage descended into the ground.  I was close to the front, so I could see the rocks flying past the window.  I had flashbacks to the fake mine tour as a child.  Periodically I could see different levels of old mine shafts.  We were going down so fast that I could only see them fly by for a brief second.  Our guide chatted calmly, cracking jokes about past tours with geologists being packed in at an even larger number because they all wanted to go down at once.  It made me feel at ease and not so afraid and aware of the fact that we were sinking deep into the earth.

Arriving at the bottom, the door opened to a cold, semi-dark room.  It was about 15 feet deep before us.  To the right, the tunnel was full of a bunch of utility equipment, to the left, a long tunnel spanned into the distance.  Behind us was an opening to a laboratory that was bright big and modern.  The ceiling was maybe three stories high on the modern side.

In the middle of the room was a train ride.  Our tour guide led us away from the doors and off to the side to begin our tour.  He talked about how the temperature was a comfortably cool 51 degrees year round and gave us some interesting facts about how deep into the ground we were.  Then we all climbed about the train.  We were cautioned to keep all extremities inside the car at all times, lest we wanted to lose a hand or an arm.  Although we were able to enjoy a fun, windy ride to the next tour site, I was amazed at the fact that the men who used to work there walked so far in complete darkness.

Arriving at the end, we were led upstairs to a giant cavernous room.  I was amazed at how beautiful it was.   It was basically just a giant room full of rocks, but there were lights highlighting the walls in different areas with mannequins as pretend workers.  Although our path was smooth and well lit, the original workers would have had to climb over and around rocks in the dark.  They would have had to avoid the holes in the ground to keep from falling into the lower tunnel.  Thankfully for us, there were wooden barriers built around each one, but these did not exist in mining days.

I loved hearing facts about mining life and the stories of the men who had worked there.  I found out that women were not allowed anywhere near or in mines.  There were tales of deaths and superstitions so strong that when the owner of the mine, unaware of the superstitions, brought his wife to work, all the men quit and walked out!

Returning on the trains and the elevator cage going up was just as fun.  I think it might have been more fun because I was less afraid.  The temperature outside was considerably warmer once the doors opened.  A whoosh seemed to envelop us.  The children were giddy after the excitement of being 2,341 feet under4ground and 689 feet below sea level.

We walked the grounds and checked out the other buildings and sights.  After having been underground, I enjoyed seeing where all of that iron ore was going.  We followed it all the way down to where it was put into train carts.

We found another painted rock!

Our whole family agrees that this was their favorite part of the camping trip.  I really recommend checking out the Soudan Mine if you’re in the area.  If we’re ever in the area again, we’ll probably go back!

We stopped at a grocery store on the way back to the campsite.  There, I was able to find a safe cream for my tea!  That, mixed with the maple syrup I found at the farmers market, made for an awesome dandelion root latte.

Nate cooked up the remainder of the meat for dinner.  He and the big kids enjoyed a feast.  Princess and I happily ate the fruits and veggies I found at the store.

After dinner, Cat and I played with my glass globe.  I’m pleased with the way the images turned out.  I think I’ll use it more in the future.  Mr. Awesome found a toad!  All of the kids were thrilled with their new friend.  I had to convince them that he would be happier staying there, in the wild, rather than at home, cooped up inside.

We finished off our last night of camping relaxing by the fire.  We all enjoyed smores, Princess and I had corn free ones of course.  It was a great end to a fun day.

Have you been to the Soudan Mine?  What was your favorite part?

Check out our video!

Continue on to Camping Day 6!
http://cisforcomfort.com/getting-lost-norberg-trail/

Did you miss Day 4?  Read about it here!
http://cisforcomfort.com/4-year-old-caught-fish/