- Free outdoor summer concerts, from downtown jazz, to university bands, to bluegrass at someone's home
- Heading downtown for ice cream cones and a walk through the park
- Many cities, including ours, have free Shakespeare plays in the park
- Meeting up with friends for an iced coffee (you can get them for free on May 15 at Dunkin' Donuts)
- Going to the lake for a picnic to watch the sun set
- Completing a fun project at home
- Shopping for a special item, such as patio furniture, or a new outfit.
- Art museum concerts or lectures
- Tandem biking
- Roller blading (I really just put this on here for you, because Brian really doesn't care for it, but he used to do it with me. )
- Reading a book or poetry to each other
- World music or open mic night at the coffeehouse, another shows documentaries and indie movies
How do I find all of these things?
- Many cities have free publications that list local events, newspapers do as well. Post any concert schedules you find inside a cupboard door for easy reference.
- Go to your own visitors center and pick up materials - you'll find plenty of things in your area for dates, family nights, and day trips.
- Order your own state's visitor guide
- Bookmark all of your city's websites, as well as all local towns and other nearby cities, and write any events in your date book. We have a town that has weekly jazz concerts, a state park that has bluegrass concerts, a science center that has folk concerts, a city that has weekly concerts on three different nights within 30 minutes of us - and that's just the short list! Don't forget to bookmark recreation district websites, state park sites, and historical sites.
- Keep tabs on your favorite stores. Whole Foods, for example, often has musicians, cooking demonstrations, and wine tastings. Ten Thousand Villages has cultural events.
No babysitter? Try working out a babysitting swap with another couple that you know well. Same night every week, one week you keep their kids, the next they keep yours. Or try working out a deal with a college student - free food and use of the washer and dryer might lower your overall cost. Or maybe a free art or music lesson.
Need some ideas? I love these books:
One of our favorite weekend "getaways" ever was a conglomerate of ideas from lots of books. We were newlyweds and pretty broke (but gas was really cheap!). Friday night we covered all of the electronics in the house and turned all of the clocks around and put the watches away. We slept in with a plan to go to Denny's whenever we wanted to eat since they serve breakfast all day, then we went to see a movie because there were several good ones playing, so we knew that we could choose one regardless of the time of our arrival.
Later we played "spy" following a random car at a distance, and when we lost track of it, we just made random turns to see where we would end up. We ended up not far from another city, so we headed to their mall for a ride on the carousel. It was a crazy, very relaxing weekend.