July 21, 2017 1:52 pm
Updated: July 21, 2017 3:26 pm

Cheap summer date ideas: 15 things to do this season


Days feel longer, the sun is out and for anyone who is looking to date this summer, it’s all about being outdoors.

Dating coach Chantal Heide, says the season is also a good time to break out of the traditional “interview mode” style of dating.

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“Get outside, get walking, and if there are silences, they’re far from awkward because there’s so much more to take in if you’ve put yourselves in interesting surroundings,” she tells Global News. “Remember, chemistry can grow with feelings, so find someone who makes your mind click and the rest might just fall into place.”

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And with more people on dating apps and sites in general during the summer, Heide adds one important thing to remember is to be upfront with the type of dating you want.

“If you’re dating for just fun, then have all the fun you want. But if you’re dating to spark a relationship, don’t be afraid to say so straight from the get-go, and avoid playing ‘the hoping game.'”

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Below we list some of our favourite summer date ideas and our experts also share theirs.

Take a walk

“Walking in a park, walking through a market, walking at that food fair or trade show or museum. Just get out and get walking, and be open to meeting up at places you’ve never been before. Better yet, somewhere you both have never been before! See how this new person reacts and adjusts to new situations,” Heide says.

Take a shopping trip

Life coach and love guru Tonya Tko suggests going to a bookstore, antiquing, flea market or farmers’ market as a date. “Be sure to use your budget to buy your potential mate a gift or trinket they can take home with them. This trinket will keep you on the person’s mind, and potentially be a meaningful keepsake if the relationship goes long-term,” she tells Global News.

Plan a day trip

Maybe as a fourth or fifth date, plan a local day trip. Explore a new national park (they are free this year for Canada’s birthday), hit up a rural part of your city or head to the nearest beach. And to save money, take the train or use a local car-sharing program.

Head to a local brewery or winery

If you both have a passion for brews or wine, check out a local brewery or wine-tasting tour in your city. “Stop in at a local brewery and take the tour, followed by a tasting to find out what sort of palate you both have,” Heide says.

Check deals online

There’s no shame in finding a good deal, even if it is for a date. Check sites for coupons or discounts for things like rock climbing, adult trampolines, go-karting or amusement parks, Tko says.

Volunteer your time

It may not be dinner and drinks, but Heide says great conversation can come out of volunteering together. Figure out what interests both of you — gardening, cooking, organizing — and find an organization or shelter that needs the support.

Summer festivals

Whether it’s a music festival or food festival, often, you can find events within your city that are low-cost or free. Try out some new cuisine, listen to the latest homegrown talent or just explore a new part of a neighbourhood. And if your city has one, don’t forget to check out the annual summer fair.

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Take a long train ride

“Travelling brings out the feelings of adventure and bonding. Changing scenery with your potential partner increases the feeling of bonding and associates you with freedom, luxury, and life-long memories,” Tko says. Choose a location about an hour away or get off the last stop on the line.

Explore free galleries

Many cities have small galleries that are free to the public. Spend a night taking in art and head to dinner to talk about some of your favourite pieces after.

Rent kayaks

Head to the lake and rent kayaks. And although it isn’t anything fancy, it’s a great activity that will challenge both of you — and make things a little competitive. You can also get away with kayaks for two.

Paint night

Many major cities also offer paint night services — a night for amateur painting as well as some wine. Tko suggests exchanging paintings with your date at the end of the night.

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Throw a BBQ

Instead of going out for dinner and drinks, turn on the grill at home (or on the stove top), put together some summer salads, and cocktails with fruit. Not only will you be on budget, but you can enjoy dinner and drinks in peace.

Join a local game

Although this isn’t much one-on-one time, Heide says this a good way to see how the other person acts in social settings. Search up local beach volleyball games or tournaments looking for members.

Netflix and chill

Seriously. Instead of going out, find a new show to binge watch together or watch each other’s favourite movies.

Plan a picnic

“Find out your mate’s dietary restrictions and use your budget to buy gourmet and artisanal foods and beverages,” Tko says. “Find a location which will allow you two plenty of time to converse and get to know one another.”


© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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