Inexpensive Date Ideas Around Grand Rapids
Dates Worth Going on Without Breaking the Bank
Kids can make date nights expensive! By the time you pay a babysitter, it’s hard to get out of the house without spending a small fortune. And once you get the sitter–what do you do?
Dinner and a movie is hardly quality time together (but I get it, sometimes we just need to unwind with popcorn). It’s time to think outside the box!
We have 20 creative date ideas to get you out for a date for under $20. So call the babysitter and make some plans to go on a fun date!
Still want to grab a bite at some point? Check out our handy Date Night Restaurant Map to pick the perfect spot!
20 Date Ideas Under $20
I was able to attend a private dinner event here once–and it’s so cool. I’m kind of an architecture nerd, but I think it could be fun for anyone!
Details: Only open Sunday (1:00-4:00 PM), Tuesday (10:00 AM – 1:00 PM), and Thursday (10:00 AM – 1:00 PM). Plan on about 90 minutes to complete the full tour and watch the accompanying informational film.
2 – Take a Hike Together
I hike frequently with my kids, but it’s a totally different experience to hike without them. The peace! The quiet! Nobody strapped to your back! We have a surprising number of awesome hiking trails in and around Grand Rapids.
Cost: FREE (potentially a small parking fee)
Pro-tip: Pack some bug spray and sunscreen! Maybe even pack a picnic!
3 – Margarita Mondays at Luna
Make Mondays a little brighter with half-off (almost all) margaritas at Luna. All day long! Cheers!
Bonus tip: Get the salsa flight too–you won’t be disappointed!
4 – Play (Pin)Ball at the Pyramid Scheme on Commerce
Grab your quarters and get ready for some competitive fun! The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids offers 24 different pinball machines. You could play a lot of pinball for $20!
Cost: Starts at just 25 cents.
Pro-tip: The first Sunday of the month you can play the machines for free! If this sounds like a better date to take you kiddos on, they also offer all-ages pinball on Saturdays from 4:00 – 8:00 PM.
5 – Do a Little Wine Tasting
Places around greater Grand Rapids like Robinette’s, Cascade Winery, and Kayla Rae Cellars all offer tastings for a small fee. If you’re up for a drive, Saugatuck is a treasure trove of tasting rooms. Grand Haven also has a Lemon Creek and 12 Corners tasting room.
Cost: Varies, usually around $5 a person
6 – Enjoy Card Games and Coffee
Grab your favorite game (Bananagrams anyone?) or a deck of cards and head to a local coffee shop. Biggby is a great spot to get cozy with a latte and unwind.
Pro-Tip: You can get an extra shot of espresso for free on Fridays–yum.
7 – Visit the Grand Rapids Art Museum on a Tuesday or Thursday
It’s no secret that you can check out all the amazing art at the GRAM on Tuesdays for free, but did you know you can visit on a Thursday night for free too?! It’s true! This is a great way to visit without any pressure to stay for a long time. Enjoy the beautiful building, take in some art, learn something new, and be on your way.
Details: Admission is free on Tuesdays (10:00 AM – 5:00 PM) and Thursday evenings (5:00 – 9:00 PM).
8 – Stretch and Sweat Together With a Yoga Class
Kula Yoga in Grand Rapids offers Outreach Flow classes for all skill levels on Friday and Monday evenings at 6:30 PM for a $5 cash only donation. This class is good for all skill levels. It can be fun to try something new together!
Cost: $5 cash.
Details: Bring your own mat or rent one for $2. No registration is required, but the class is first come, first mat space.
Bonus Idea: Check a yoga or fitness studio near you for a similar class or an introductory offer.
9 – Park Your Lawnchair (or Hammock) at the Lake
Ditch the kids, grab a book, and head to the big lake! While a trip to the beach fun with your kids, a trip without them can be downright relaxing.
Cost: A small parking fee possible
Bonus Idea: Stop for ice cream on the way home–you won’t even have to share or wipe sticky fingers and faces. If you’re in Grand Haven, you have to stop at Temptations–and if you’re closer to Holland, Captain Sundae gets my pick (team Pirate’s Booty Sundae forever).
10 – Try Fowling, the Bowling-Football Game that Originated in Detroit
I honestly still don’t really know what Fowling is–but it looks like fun! Fowling Warehouse offers Open Play hours daily for adults 21 and up.
Cost: $10 per person for Open Play
11 – Enjoy a Movie on Monroe in Summer
Seasonally, you can enjoy a double feature outdoors on the river–for free! Movies on Monroe is back and in a new location. You can catch 6 double-features throughout the summer. Pack a cooler with snacks and drinks (even beer and wine are okay!) and grab a couple chairs.
Cost: FREE (so you splurge on some fun snacks or a bottle of wine)
Details: Check their website for movies, dates, and details.
12 – Volunteer at a Grand Rapids Organization That’s Important to You
Do a little good with your date night and volunteer together. This might require some advanced planning as some volunteer opportunities require training, but it’s sure to be worth it! Not sure where to start? This list of places around Grand Rapids that need a little volunteer power is sure to help.
13 – See What the “Beer City” Hype is About With a Brewery Tour
Tour New Holland’s Knickerbocker facility to learn all about how the beer gets to your glass along with a little history about New Holland Brewing. The tour takes about one hour and includes samples and a pint glass to take home.
Details: Sign up in advance to reserve your spot and wear closed-toe shoes as it’s a working production area!
14 – Take an Instagram-Worthy Photo Tour of Grand Rapids
Follow our guide to 20+ Instagram-Worthy Pics to Take With Your Kids in West Michigan…but ditch your kids.
Pro-Tip: Make it a day-date so you have great lighting for all your photos! Don’t hesitate to ask someone to take a photo for you or prop-up your phone and set the self-timer.
15 – Find the Cheap Seats and Enjoy the Movies for Less than $20
Catch a movie at Celebration Cinema on a Tuesday for just $6! T.A.C.O. Tuesday is a great way to see a movie on the big screen while saving some of your date night budget for popcorn–yum!
Details: Doesn’t include all movies. Be sure to check their website before making your plans.
16 – Shop Your Local Farmers Market
Greater Grand Rapids is filled with quality Farmers Markets in the summer season. Challenge yourselves to pick out all the ingredients you need for a locally sourced dinner for under $20.
Cost: under $20
Pro-Tip: Fulton Street Farmers Market tends to have the most options and excitement–but Holland is hot on its heels!
17 – Get Grand Rapids Classic at Yesterdog in Eastown
Can you really call yourself a Grand Rapidian if you’ve never had a Yesterdog? Probably not. Stop at this iconic GR restaurant for hot dog or two. While you’re in Eastown, you may as well stay awhile and stroll about to enjoy its brick road beauty.
Cost: Hot dogs start around $2.50
18 – Swing Dance the Night Away Downtown
Try your hand at swing dancing at Rosa Parks Circle! The first Tuesday of the month features a live band for an extra layer of fun, but you can practice your moves most Tuesday evenings at Rosa Parks Circle or Ah-Nab-Awen Park. The energy is contagious and it might be your new spring and summer date night staple!
Details: Location varies, be sure to check their website for details.
19 – Kick it Old School at Open Skate in Grandville
Roll down memory lane in some roller skates! Terry Hall offers Friday and Saturday night open skate sessions. Anyone else hearing I Saw the Sign playing in their head from elementary school skating parties?!
Cost: $7 to skate and $1 for roller skate rental or $2 for rollerblades.
20 – Hit the Driving Range
When weather allows, practicing your swing a local driving range can be a fun way to spend time together. It’s like a grown-up version of putt-putt golf (which is totally an acceptable date idea, too).
Cost: Varies, but most places you can hit a lot of balls for $20!