Cheap Date Ideas: 20 Fun Things to Do for Under $25 in West Michigan

cheap date ideas grand rapids west michigan

Fab Cheap Date Ideas around Greater Grand Rapids

Date nights and finding things to do as a couple can get expensive, especially when you factor in dinner and 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!

Waterside Date Night Ideas West Michigan feature image

Hungry?

Use this handy Date Night Restaurants List to pick the perfect restaurant for your next date.

Cheap Date Ideas that are Under $25

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 (68 Commerce SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503) offers 24 different pinball machines. You could play a lot of pinball for $25! (Bring quarters.)
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 (114 Courtland St, Rockford, MI 49341) is an open play pinball and retro video game arcade. No quarters needed, just pay the admission fee and play during your allotted time.
Cost: 2 hours for $12
Pro-tip: Level up and play all day for just $3 more.

Retro Electric Arcade (2163 W Main St Suite 150, Lowell, MI 49331) is another open play pinball spot with both modern and retro pinball and arcade games to play.
Cost: $12 for unlimited day play.
Pro-tip: The GTQ Ada-Lowell 5 Movie Theater is next door if you want to extend your date. Adult evening tickets are $9.

Use only for Pinball at the Pyramid Scheme
Pinball at The Pyramid Scheme

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.

House Rules Board Game Lounge cheap date ideas in Grand Rapids

Get Laughing at The Comedy Project

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!

Explore Grand Rapids Art Museum

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.

Cost: FREE
Details: Admission is free on Tuesdays (Noon – 6 PM) and Thursday evenings (5 – 9 PM).

GRAM interior Grand Rapids Art Museum

Go to the Movies – for Less Than $25

Yes, going to the movies can be one of your cheap date ideas!

Catch a movie at the GQT Ada-Lowell 5 Theater (2175 W Main St, Lowell, MI 49331) with this pricing and you still might have $$ for popcorn:
– Monday & Tuesday all day – all shows $5.50
– Matinees – noon to 6 pm – $8

Cost: $5.50+
Pro Tip: Buy the refillable pocorn bucket for $17.95 and refills are just $1-2.50 for the rest fo the year.
Additional Locations:
GTQ Holland 7 (500 S Waverly Rd, Holland, MI 49423)
GQT Grand Haven 9 (17220 Hayes St, Grand Haven, MI 49417)

celebration cinema

Tour the Frank Lloyd Wright Meyer May House

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!
Cost: FREE
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.

Pearson Meyer May House FLW Frank Lloyd Wright Grand Rapids

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.

Traverse City fall getaway Hike Sleeping Bear Dunes Trails

Give Fowling a Try

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.

fowling warehouse valentines giveaway

Get Cozy Over a Locallly-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.

Cost: Varies
Pro-Tip: Lyon St Cafe is open till 9 PM most days and The Sparrows on Wealthy is often open till 8 PM.

the sparrows coffee barista eastown hunt
The Sparrows Coffee Shop on Wealthy St SE

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!

Make a Beeline to Lake Michigan for the 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, affordable date 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).

South Haven sunset Pearson Lake Michigan

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.
– 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.

robinette's wine tasting room
Wine Tasting at Robinette’s

Kick it Old School With Open Skate

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.

Tarry Hall Roller Rink

Experience the Classic Yesterdog in Eastown

Yesterdog, 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 about to enjoy its brick road beauty.

Cost: Hot dogs start around $3

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

Movies on Monroe Greatest Showman

Take a Brewery Tour

New Holland Brewing Co, 417 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

(On break for 2022) 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.

Cost: $5
Details: Sign up in advance to reserve your spot and wear closed-toe shoes as it’s a working production area.

Go on an Insta-Worthy Photo Tour of GR

Follow this guide to find 20+ Instagram-Worthy Pics in Grand Rapids.
Or, go on a mural tour.
Either way, these cheap date ideas will help you see the city and get your steps in at the same time!

Cost: FREE
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.

Central District Cyclery Mural by Chaltry Creston
Central District Cyclery Mural in Creston Neighborhood

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.

Cost: FREE

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!

Fulton Street Farmers Market tomatoes Hunt
Fulton Street Farmer’s Market

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!

Not sure where to start?
This list of places around Grand Rapids that welcome volunteer power is sure to help.

Cost: FREE

Drop your cheap date ideas in the comments below!

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