Two smiling teens stand together in front of an orange background

17 budget-friendly and fun date ideas for teenagers


- If you choose a no-cost or low-cost activity, a fun date doesn’t have to be expensive. 

- Fun date ideas for teens include grabbing ice cream, outdoor activities like bike rides, or chill dates at home like a movie night.

- Some fun date ideas are great for groups too, so a date doesn’t have to be limited to a one-on-one activity.

Young love is something special! If you’re looking for fun date ideas with your romantic interest, you may be feeling stuck. Traditional date-night ideas, like dinner and a movie, are expensive, and some date night venues just aren’t accessible for teens.

This list runs through many date ideas for teenagers and includes plenty of low-cost and even no-cost options to help you save money. We’ll cover lots of fun ways to pass the time, whether it’s a first date or a 15th!

The recipe for fun date ideas for teenage couples

The true recipe for a good date as a teen is a fun activity with a fun person. But there are a few other things to consider as well. For the most part, teen date ideas should be affordable (or free), age-appropriate, and accessible given your transportation situation. But with the right person, you can make almost any activity fun! 

Look for options that allow you to spend time together in an engaging and creative way. And for younger teens, you’ll likely need parental approval for some options — so be sure to check in with the parental units before making plans.

These are just a few things to keep in mind, but the list below will give you plenty of ideas to get started.

17 fun date ideas for teenagers

Want the perfect date idea? Think about the things your romantic interest might enjoy, and then pick some options from the list below.

1. Grab a treat 🍦

Date ideas for teenagers: Two teens sit on the edge of a fountain and eat ice cream

You really can’t go wrong with an ice cream date or even a stop at the donut shop for a budget-friendly treat. Pair it with a walk in the local park or a neighborhood stroll for a casual, fun, and affordable date night.

2. Check out the farmer’s market 👩‍🌾

If there’s a farmer’s market in your town, that can be an easy free date idea. Just wandering around is fun, but if you have a little money to spend, farmer’s markets usually have prepared food and drinks as well to stop and have a refreshment. If it’s a second date or beyond, and one or both of you likes to cook, you could even buy some ingredients and head home to cook up a nice meal together!

3. Shop at the thrift store 👗

Who doesn’t enjoy buying new clothes? Or used new clothes, in this case. Local thrift stores provide a cheap way to pass the time, and teenage couples might enjoy trying on cute outfits for each other! Plus, talk to your parents beforehand — they might be willing to give you some money to knock out some back-to-school shopping at the same time!

Bonus points: Talk to your parents about Greenlight, the money app for teens. Greenlight can help you learn more about personal finances and manage the money you save with those sweet thrift-store finds! 

4. Get your bowl on 🎳

OK, we’ll be honest: The bowling alley isn’t exactly the most romantic place on earth. But it is legitimately fun, and you don’t need much experience with bowling to have a good time. 

Plus, this makes for a good double date idea (or even triple date) because a single lane can usually accommodate 4-8 people. And as far as indoor activities go, bowling is fairly affordable (think around $10-$20 per person for a couple games and shoe rentals).

5. Go window shopping 🛍

Here’s a fun idea: Wander around downtown, popping in and out of shops, and maybe grab a coffee or a juice in between. You don’t have to buy anything, necessarily, and it can be a fun time to just browse.

6. Get active 🚲

Two teens take a break from rollerblading to eat a healthy snack

Like to spend time outside? Fun activities like hiking, rollerblading, kayaking, bike riding, and even ice skating can be a ton of fun. It’s also a way to avoid some awkwardness, as you’ll have an activity to do and won’t need to be talking the whole time.

7. Relax at the movies 🎥

OK, so this one isn’t too creative. But it’s a tried-and-true date idea for a good reason! The movie theater is a low-pressure option for a romantic date, and if things go well you can always take a walk or check out the photo booth that many theaters have. 

Plus, many theaters are located in or near the mall, which provides plenty of opportunities for post-movie activities. 

To save some money and make this a more affordable idea, check to see if your theater has a discount day or go to a matinee showing, which are usually less expensive than night-time tickets. 

8. Do an escape room 

Escape rooms are paid activities where you are “locked” in a room and must solve puzzles and mind games to get your way out. They usually take 45-90 minutes to complete and require teamwork, creative thinking, and focus. Escape rooms can be a little stressful, so this is probably a better choice for couples who’ve already been seeing each other for a while. 

This option can be a little pricey ($25-$50 per person). This could be a good option for a group date, too, as most rooms can accommodate many players. And in general, prices go down as the number of people goes up — so you could go with a group of friends for a much lower per-person cost.

If you usually go on free or more low-cost dates, you can save up for a date that’s a little more expensive or make some extra money for the date through a side hustle.

9. Go rock climbing 🧗‍♀️

If there’s a local rock climbing gym in your town, this can be a fun, active, and unique way to impress your date. Most gyms have “bouldering” areas, which are beginner-friendly and don’t require you to climb up high (or use belay ropes). Again, this is probably best for existing couples rather than first dates, as climbing can be a little nerve-wracking!

10. Splash around at the water park 💦

If it’s summertime, the local waterpark might be a good option too. Water parks are relatively affordable for the fun-to-cost ratio they offer and can be a great date idea. Be warned, though, there may be a lot of kids around, particularly on weekends!

11. Go stargazing 🌟

Want a free activity that’s a classic romantic date? Drive out of town to a darker area and gaze up at the stars! Research ahead of time to find a good stargazing spot, and be sure to dress warm if it gets cool when the sun goes down. For the complete package, pack blankets and snacks to enjoy with your date.

12. Stay home for a game night 🎮

Date ideas for teenagers: Two teens sit on a couch and play video games

Games are a fun, free activity to enjoy at home. A game night could include card games, board games, or video games — just be sure you’re doing a game that both parties will enjoy! Game nights are also a good cheap date idea for groups, particularly with things like board games that can handle a crowd.

13. Check out the mini-golf course ⛳️

Another fun active date idea is to go mini golfing. Mini golfing is way more accessible (and more affordable) than standard golfing, and it’s pretty fun even for first-time putters! There are standalone mini-golf courses out there, and various amusement parks and activity centers also have mini-golf as an option.

14. Binge-watch a show or romantic movie 📺

A simple, no-cost date might be to just curl up on the couch and watch your favorite show or a new movie that you both might enjoy. And you can even make popcorn and snacks to enjoy while you watch.

15. Play frisbee at the park 🏞

If it’s a nice day, heading out for a casual activity in a nearby park is a great option. Frisbee, hacky sack, or even something like volleyball could all work — and could all accommodate double dates and friend tag-alongs as well.

16. Pack a picnic 🍉 

Another idea for a nice-weather day is to head out into nature with a prepared picnic and enjoy it with your special someone. You can pick up supplies at the grocery store or just raid the fridge at home. Pack a blanket, napkins, drinks, and shareable food items. This could be a good first date idea or a solid option for existing couples too!

17. Come up with your own romantic date idea 💡

Get creative with it! Think about what your date might enjoy, and come up with a DIY date idea that is sure to please. Maybe your date loves music, and you could take them to an all-ages show. Or maybe your special someone enjoys sports, and you could take them to your high school’s soccer game. Just try to focus on an activity that you think your date might enjoy, and you should have a good time.

Memorable dates for teens don’t have to cost a lot of money!

The recipe for a good date is pretty simple: A fun activity with a fun person. There’s no need to spend a lot of money, particularly with the teenage date ideas that we’ve covered above.

And speaking of money, having your own debit card and some of your own cash is pretty essential for dating as a teen.

Talk to your parents about getting started with Greenlight, the debit card and money app for teens. Greenlight makes it easy to manage your money, save, spend, and even invest for your future. Try one month of Greenlight, on us.

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