Quality time together is easy when you’re dating! You don’t see each other everyday, you might live with your parents so you’re not thinking about rent, groceries or bills, and every activity feels new and exciting. But after you’ve been married a few years it’s hard to not look at date nights as a waste of money. This is not the part where I tell you to suck it up and pay hundreds of dollars a week because your marriage is worth it. I will say this, marriage is hard work and the answer is not to eliminate time together to save money but rather find fun new ways to spend quality time without breaking the bank. Here are some of our favorite SoCal inexpensive date night activities.
Downtown Disney Walk Through
With three hours of free parking why not take a stroll through the shops?! With the smell of churros in the air and the themed music being piped through, it practically feels like you’re at Disneyland minus the $1,000 day. If you time it right you can even make it in time for a firework show and a cup of coffee! Don’t forget the Grand California Hotel pianist! You can sit in the lobby and listen to beautiful renditions of Disney classics tickled on the ivories while you cuddle up next to your honey by the giant fire!
Living in California, we do have our pick of beaches, but if you really spend time at whatever one you choose you’ll find hidden gems. By this we mean small private beaches that don’t cost money but your average tourist won’t waste time trying to find. Stay away from the hustle and bustle of families and relax side by side in the warm sand with the soft crashing of waves sending you into an afternoon siesta! Parking can cost money but if you don’t mind a small hike there are a few street spots that have a few hours free! Don’t forget to window shop at the adorable coastal shops and boutiques winding along the dock.
Did you know almost every museum has a free admission day each month? It’s done so that these displays of incredible art and culture can be shared with the public which definitely bodes in our favor! You can check what days are free by visiting each museums website, sometimes it’s a certain day every week or it’s a certain day every month. It takes a little planning ahead but it makes for a great date afternoon activity!
This requires a little planning ahead with your groceries. Find a cooking show on youtube (our favorite is Barefoot Contessa) and pick a meal plan that you’d like to cook together. Then, while watching the show, cook right alongside one another while also enjoying a glass of wine perhaps (A little Trader Joe’s 2 buck chuck never hurt anybody 😉 ) Set the table with the china you registered for from your wedding, light a few candles, and voi la! A candlelit dinner made with love for one another and no corkage fees, tips, or valet costs!
Newport Beach -Balboa Island
So this one can cost about $15 if you want the full experience (which I highly suggest!) but you could eliminate the paid activities and have a free afternoon as well. However, if you decide to pay the little extra here’s what you’d get! An quick afternoon crossover ferry ride amongst the other boats in Newport Harbor, a stroll down the narrow cottage-like streets of the island, Balboa Bars (basically the best thing you’ll ever eat on a stick: vanilla ice cream bar dipped in chocolate and then dipped again in anything you’d ever want!) and then a mile long walk around the entire island to see the gorgeous mansions side by side with the water. Top it off with a sweet ferry ride back across the harbor to your car. Doesn’t sound too shabby for less than $20 huh?!
We’re always looking for new ways to enjoy each other without paying a fortune. Sometimes it’s just sitting around in pajamas watching movies, or it could be a fun activity, the important thing to remember is it’s not about spending money to have the best time and being happy, it’s about being together!