Cheap Date Ideas that are Under $25
Date nights and finding things to do as a couple can get expensive, especially when you factor in dinner and sometimes a babysitter.
But, if you’re ready to think outside the box, there are a lot of local options that will still leave you $$ for gas and groceries.
Here are 20 local free or cheap date ideas to get you out and having fun for under $25!
1 – Play Pinball
Several local venues are just waiting for you to drop in and see who can get the high score.
Great places to play:
The Pyramid Scheme offers 24 different pinball machines. You could play a lot of pinball for $25! (Bring quarters.)
Address: 68 Commerce SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Cost: Starts at just 25 cents.
Pro-tip: If this sounds like a date you’d like to take the kiddos on, they also offer all-ages pinball on Saturdays & Sundays from 4:00 – 8:00 PM.
Pinball Land Retro Arcade is an open play pinball and retro video game arcade. No quarters needed, just pay the admission fee and play during your allotted time.
Address: 114 Courtland St, Rockford, MI 49341
Cost: 2 hours for $12
Pro-tip: Level up and play all day for just $3 more.
Retro Electric Arcade is another open play pinball spot with both modern and retro pinball and arcade games to play.
Address: 2163 W Main St Suite 150, Lowell, MI 49331
Cost: $12 for unlimited day play.
Pro-tip: The GQT Ada-Lowell 5 Movie Theater is next door if you want to extend your date. Adult evening tickets are $9.
2 – Play Games at House Rules
404 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Self-described as a friendly local game store meets bar & lounge, $25 will get you gameplay and goodies at House Rules Board Game Lounge. Their bar features 20 rotating local craft beverage drafts,as well as packaged drinks, nonalcoholic options, and snacks. BYOFood but not your own alcohol.
Cost: $5 per person gaming fee
House Policy: Choose from hundreds of games in their lounge library, or bring your own. A minimum purchase of $10 per gamer (ages 12+) is required. Reach this minimum by purchasing any combination of beverages and/or games. There are no additional charges to play games from their library.
Pro Tip: Make reservations online, this place gets busy.
3 – Crack Up at The Comedy Project
540 Leonard St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
The Comedy Project is a comedy and cocktails theater just outside of downtown GR. With improv, sketch comedy and variety shows, you’ll find something here for your affordable date night.
Cost: Most shows $12 per person
Pro Tip: Love improv? Sign up for a class and try it for yourself!
4 – Explore Grand Rapids Art Museum
101 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
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 (Noon – 6 PM) and Thursday evenings (5 – 9 PM).
5 – Go to the Movies — for Less Than $25
2175 W Main St, Lowell, MI 49331
Yes, going to the movies can be one of your cheap date ideas!
Catch one of these showtimes at the GQT Ada-Lowell 5 Theater and you still might have $$ for popcorn:
Monday & Tuesday all day – $5.50
Matinees (noon – 6 pm) – $8
Pro Tip: Buy the refillable pocorn bucket for $17.95 and refills are just $1-2.50 for the rest of the year.
GQT Holland 7 – 500 S Waverly Rd, Holland, MI 49423
GQT Grand Haven 9 –17220 Hayes St, Grand Haven, MI 49417
6 – Tour the Frank Lloyd Wright Meyer May House
450 Madison Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Touring the historical gem is pretty unique as far as cheap date ideas go.
I was able to attend a private dinner event here once- it’s so cool.
I’m kind of an architecture nerd, but going through the Meyer May House would be fun for anyone!
Details: Only open Sunday (12-3 PM), Tuesday & Thursdays (10 AM – 1 PM).
Plan on about 90 minutes to complete the full tour and watch the accompanying informational film.
Pro-tip: Make reservations far in advance for this one, tours fill up quickly.
7 – Find a New Place to Hike Together
West Michigan has a surprising number of awesome hiking trails, with many located 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!
Favorite Local Hikes: Cascade Peace Park, Saugatuck Dunes, The Ledges, & Seidman Park.
8 – Give Fowling a Try at Fowling Warehouse
6797 Cascade Road SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Fowling = football + bowling!
Yes, it’s weird, and yes, it’s super fun.
Fowling Warehouse offers Open Play hours daily for adults 21 and up.
Cost: $12 per person for unlimited Open Play
How it Works: Show up, check in, pay.
See an open lane? It’s yours – start playing.
Lanes full? Call “next” and wait. Winners stay, losers find another lane.
9 – Get Cozy Over a Locally-Brewed Coffee
Grab your favorite game or a deck of cards and head to a local coffee shop.
Get cozy with a latte and chat the afternoon or evening away.
Pro-Tip: Lyon St Cafe is open till 7PM Tuesdays-Fridays and The Stray is open till 10PM Thursdays-Saturdays, often featuring entertainment. If you’re up for some poetry, Scorpion Hearts stays open until 7PM on poetry nights.
10 – Hit the Driving Range or Try Mini Golf
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!
11 – Catch a Lake Michigan Sunset
Grab a book, pack a picnic, and head to the big lake!
Pick almost any Lake Michigan beach, they’re all a great bet.
Stay for the sunset and seal the deal as the most romantic, cheap date ideas ever.
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).
12 – Do a Little Wine Tasting
How can wine be one of the cheap date ideas? You go to a wine tasting!
Places around greater Grand Rapids like Robinette’s, Cascade Winery, and Kayla Rae Cellars all offer tastings for a small fee.
– Cascade Winery/Sierra Rose Cellars, 4665 Broadmoor Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
– Kayla Rae Cellars, 31 Courtland St, Rockford, MI 49341
– Robinette’s, 3142 4-Mile Rd NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525 ($9 per person)
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, but it’s very easy to keep your date night visit under $25 for two people.
13 – Kick it Old School With Open Skate at Tarry Hall
3330 Fairlanes Ave., Grandville MI, 49418
Roll down memory lane in some roller skates! Tarry Hall offers adult skate on Thursdays, 8:30 – 11 PM.
Hold hands, race, eat snack bar candy and have a wonderful retro time.
Cost: $8 to skate and $2 for roller skate rental or $3 for rollerblades.
14 – Experience the Classic Yesterdog in Eastown
1505 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
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 the brick road for more cheap date ideas like a stop at Sticky Fingers candy store or Spirit Dreams.
Cost: Hot dogs start around $3
15 – Outdoor Movies: Drive-In or Movie in the Park
Summertime outdoor movies are super fun.
There are several drive-ins around West Michigan where you can score a double feature for less than $20/couple.
Local parks also feature FREE concerts and movies in the park throughout the season. Pack a cooler with snacks and drinks (even beer and wine are okay in most places) and grab a couple chairs.
Cost: FREE or less than $20/couple
16 – Go on an Insta-Worthy Photo Tour of GR
Mural tours show off the splashiest, most creative walls and streets around town.
You can also take this riverwalk tour downtown Grand Rapids and see cool sculptures to serve as your selfie backdrops.
Either way, these cheap date ideas will help you see the city and get your steps in at the same time
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.
17 – Learn to Swing Dance in Downtown GR
Try your hand at swing dancing at Ah Nab Awen Park (303 Pearl Street NW Grand Rapids, MI 49504) or the Public Museum.
The energy is contagious and it might be your new spring and summer cheap date ideas staple!
Practice your moves every Tuesday night at 7 pm at Ah-Nab-Awen Park.
All skill levels and abilities.
18 – Grab Dinner Ingredients from the Farmer’s 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 $25.
Cost: under $25
Pro-Tip: Fulton Street Farmers Market tends to have the most options and excitement–but Holland is hot on its heels!
19 – Volunteer Together
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!
Did we miss something? Drop your cheap date ideas in the comments below!