Romance doesn’t need to be big bouquets of flowers, fancy restaurant dinners, or expensive jewelry. In fact, romance can be created with little to no money at all if you approach it creatively. Not everyone has the budget to fritter away money every weekend on dinners at the hottest new restaurants in town, go to the movie theater, or go out dancing all night. But the good news is you really don’t need lots of money to make a memorable romantic night for you and your love.

Here are some great ways you can light that fire without burning up your budget.

1.  Have a Sunset Picnic

Pack a dinner that’s easy to serve al fresco. Don’t forget the wine too! Grab a blanket and head to a peaceful and secluded spot where you two can dine under the setting sun. Linger afterward to look up at the stars.

2.  Get Things Cooking

A fantastic romantic dinner doesn’t need to involve a fancy restaurant. Plan a menu, shop for the ingredients, and cook together. Or surprise your love by doing it all yourself. Dim the lights and light some candles, and voila! You’ve got the most romantic spot in town!

3.  Go Bowling or Skating

Sometimes the simplest activities really spark that romance. Things like bowling, roller skating or ice skating are often the cheapest ways to go out for an evening. There’s nothing more fun than clutching to each other as you try not to fall or laughing when you get a gutter ball. Call around your city and you’re bound to find one or more of these establishments have a special price on certain nights, making it even more affordable!

4.  Have a Sweet Treat

Another inexpensive way to go out is to simply go out for dessert or coffee. Find a cozy café with outdoor seating, or head to the ice cream parlor. You’ll spend much less than you would if you went out for a full dinner.

5.  Visit a Festival

Check your city’s list of events for upcoming festivals and carnivals. These things generally require no admission and only cost whatever you choose to spend on food, rides, or trinkets. Sometimes just walking around and sharing a funnel cake can be the most romantic thing ever.

6.  Go Camping

Pull an all-nighter outdoors. Grab a tent and for real romance, just one sleeping bag. Pack up the other camping necessities and get out there. Snuggling up by a roaring fire while making s’mores couldn’t be more romantic!

7.  Try Something New Together

One of the best ways to make romance bloom is to have a new experience together. It could be a Thai cooking class, pottery and wine, or anything else that you both find interesting enough to try. You can find a lot of these things for cheap or free, and the experience of fumbling through it together will strengthen your bond forever.

Do you have any other romantic date night ideas for free or cheap? Let me know!