Ten summer date ideas that won't send you broke

December 08, 2015
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It’s that time of year again. The days are getting longer and the Frosty Fruits are melting faster, and those assessment deadlines seem like a lifetime ago. Yes, it’s summer; a time when uni-goers have a three-month stint of drinking cold beers, catching up with mates during never-ending nights and blissfully pondering over what the future may bring. To put it mildly, it’s a good time of year.

Summer is also when we creatures wake up from hibernation. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I think there’s something about (Mary) the weather that causes a proliferation in flirtatious glances, dancing bodies, number exchanges and first dates.

So, whether you’re in a long-term relationship with your beau or sheila, single and ready to mingle, or tentatively entering the dating game, we have you sorted. Here are ten cheap date ideas that won’t give you sweats the morning after when you check your bank balance.

Go on a picnic

Picnics are more than just soggy sandwiches. They can be tailored to your exact desires: think antipasto, apple cider and sunsets. They’re relaxing, intimate and romantic, and you won’t have to make a dinner reservation. Remember to bring a blanket, and Bob’s your uncle.

Go bushwalking

You don’t need to be Bear Grylls to appreciate the wilderness. So why not look up some scenic tracks around your neighborhood and go out for a day adventure instead? The exercise will release endorphins, you’ll have plenty of time to get to know each other, and you’ll discover a new place. Australian Geographic has a list of the best walks in Australia to get you started.

Outdoor cinema

This should be on everyone’s bucket lists. While outdoor cinemas these days are as rare as finding someone without a Facebook account, perhaps that's part of their charm. Twilight and snuggles - what’s not to like?

Cook for them at home (plus wine)

This one’s guaranteed to get you some brownie points. We all have one or two meals in our repertoire we can nail, and cooking for someone shows off your creative side and the fact that you don’t rely on your mum anymore. Get your #Masterchef on.

Take them to a BBQ with mates

Life doesn’t get much better than having a Sunday afternoon BBQ: the Coronas are aplenty, the music is pumping, and the laughs and good vibes are flowing. If you’re freshly dating, bringing your partner to a BBQ is a casual way to spend time together, free of social pressures and expectations.  

Head to an art gallery

Art! History! Small cafes! Galleries aren’t just reserved for the art connoisseurs of the world, so grab your buddy for an interesting and eye-opening day out. Plus, the air-con is always on point in summer.

Go market-hopping

Get out your woven bag and get ready for a jam-packed morning. Check out your local paper for when your nearest markets are on, bring your special friend, and get immersed in the music, $2 clothes, antiques and burgers.

Do some painting

You don’t need to be a Pablo to enjoy splashing some blue and red on a canvas. It’s a cheap and original date idea to challenge the usual dinner and movie, and you might just be able to get your Ghost on.

Head to the beach and go snorkeling/paddle boarding/kayaking

When the weather is creeping up to 40 degrees, sometimes there’s no other option than to head to the beach. Make a day (or date) out of it by getting into some water activities.

See a band

I’ve saved the best for last. People connect over music, where all you’ve got is that awesome band you’re watching, the $7.50 beer you’re clutching and a few good opps for sneaky handholding.  

Avril Treasure

Avril studies Journalism at Notre Dame in Sydney. In her spare time she enjoys playing cards with her grandfather, drinking one too many margaritas and pondering hypothetical questions.

Image: The Notebook official Facebook page