General Question

delirium's avatar

Things to do as a couple (or with close friends) without spending money?

Asked by delirium (13691points) June 29th, 2008

Lets hear some creative ideas. I am always at a loss for them. Once in a while we go out and do fun things, but it always seems like we end up spending money. Keep in mind all times of the day/night and creativity is key!
Ideas already used that I can think of are going out and flying kites. (Failing miserably at that, too.) Picnics. Art Museum. More walks than you can imagine.

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40 Answers

Bri_L's avatar

I chime in only because I need the ideas to! Right now we are trying to discover as many local parks as possible. Also, the library has DVDs for free.

trudacia's avatar

Couple of bottles of wine and pictionary or similar board game.

delirium's avatar

;) I had a sense that other couples needed ideas too. This seems like a common problem. Nathan, however, rejects sitting in front of the TV at home. Its against his whole universe, practically.

Also, try and keep everything alcohol/drug free. Nate and I (and my closest friends) are all purists about that kind of thing.

delirium's avatar

Also I find that most board games/pictionary really really suck with just two people. Unless you’re suggesting board game clubs or orgies?

shilolo's avatar

@Delirium. Are you talking about in NYC, or in general? I know that in the summer, there are a ton of free concerts in Central Park and at various other venues (same for San Francisco, where I live now). These concerts can be day or night, you just have to seek them out.

Optimism101's avatar

its kind of silly but me and my girlfriend both have crazy imaginations so a lot of the times when we stay at home we play a game where one of us is a therapist and the other is the crazy man/woman and see what kind of crazy story we can come up with. It’s a silly role play, the other ” role play” is just as fun

delirium's avatar

Sorry, in general. (I live in Ohio)

thebeadholder's avatar

Gosh, this is a tough one. How about cards? Me and my hubby used to sit and play card games for hours (I miss those days). We’d play Kings in the Corner, Gin….I can’t remember and he’s asleep now. This is also something you can do with friends.
Just sitting here thinking…most everything costs money, delirium. I am at a loss.

Trance24's avatar

I am at a loss for ideas. Sadly I need them too. It just seems when ever there is something to do it falls through, or others aren’t interested. Two weeks ago how ever one thing did work out. It happened to be with a group of my girl friends. We went to a park had a picnic, then we walked around the mall a bit, then we decided to go to another park. There we found our selves standing at the edge of the river ankle deep skipping rocks. It was innocent fun and I enjoyed it. But it seems that no one ever enjoys these simple innocent activities anymore. I feel like good old fashioned fun doesn’t exist anymore.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Parks are good, cheap fun.. you could also create a group on for a couple’s board game night if you want to get more people involved. For that matter, you could search for other people doing all sorts of stuff (going on hikes, playing games, having dinner, etc.) that will cost little to nothing, depending on the activity. I just looked on there myself yesterday and was pretty jazzed to find a wide variety of groups that I’d actually be interested in joining!

If you get a group together, you may be able to get reduced group rates for your museum trips, which can save you money.

thebeadholder's avatar

How about a bike ride?

delirium's avatar

He’s a cyclist. I hate biking with him. Also my wrists can’t support me doing that for very long. Sadly.

He also doesn’t trust the internet… and we tend not to get along with other couples so well. Nathan nor I do smalltalk.

delirium's avatar

Skipping rocks is a very good one. I like that one. Maybe fishing?

thebeadholder's avatar

Yes…fishing is great, as long as you already have the poles, tackle and bait. Otherwise…$$$!

delirium's avatar

Good point!

thebeadholder's avatar

Swimming…one of my most favorite things to do (besides beading)! Or what about doing art together. Perhaps, drawing? I stink at it but it is good simple fun. In one of my elem. ed. classes, the teacher read a poem (The Great Bicycle Crash) and we had to envision the poem and draw it. I thought it was great. Needless to say, they all laughed at my stick figure drawing of the bicycle crash and I was crushed :-( I still love it though.

marinelife's avatar

If you can find some people you are compatible with, what about having them over and cooking together. It could a potluck brunch or dinner with a theme. Progressive dinners are fun where you do the starter at one person’s house, the entree at the next, and the dessert somewhere else.

What about a tea tasting since alcohol is not something you do?

I like to crank up the oldies (or music of choice) and dance.

Not totally free since gas is involved, but car rides are really fun. Here are some great Ohio day trips.

Trance24's avatar

Fishing is great. Its fun and entertaining especially if you are unfamiliar with it. I love fishing myself.

Trance24's avatar

You could create a new way of art, just go crazy make a big project with the things you already might have. Get really creative with it, make something wild. Expand, and stretcht he meaning of “Art”.

marinelife's avatar

Or tackle a room a la HGTV’s free makeover shows.

jacksonRice's avatar

i don’t know where in ohio you live but if you live in a walkable city, just walking around is nice. if you need a destination, create one at random, one that’s really far away but through nice neighborhoods…

or you could just build a fort & make popcorn & tell each other secrets.

generalspecific's avatar

haha.. that’s my problem with me and my friends. we hang out at parks a lot, pretty lame i guess.
then again, that’s why nearly everyone in this town does drugs. nothing else to do.
i mean really.. kids hang out in the schnucks parking lot for heavens sakes. it’s pretty sad, i won’t lie.

shrubbery's avatar

You could tape lots of big pieces of butchers paper (or slightly stronger large sheets of normal paper or card if you were planning on keeping it) together on a wall and go crazy with the paint and create a huge mural. If you wear old clothes and overalls it could get quite fun, paint fight! Although I suppose you would have to buy the paint.
I do agree with everyone who said go to the park, I always go there with my friends to swing, sit in a circle and chat, chase each other round, kick a ball, throw a vortex or clamber over the equipment and pretend to throw baby tantrums…

andrew's avatar

Can you borrow a GPS and go geocaching?

scamp's avatar

Here are free things to do around Ohio, and here are free things to do in the Cleveland area. What part of Ohio do you live in? I grew up there so I may have a few more ideas.

delirium's avatar

@Andrew: I can! I have a few GPSs but feel guilty for driving around to get out of somewhere in such a short period.
@All: The outdoor art ideas make me smile because I did a HUGE outdoor art project a bit ago. Here’s a link to the flickr set of it, if you want to see. I did three of these giant canvasses. Sadly I have no photos of my favorite one. I’ll get it back from my professor at some point, though.

@Scamp: I’m in columbus, and sadly that site does a 404 error when I try to see listings for here.

scamp's avatar

How ‘bout the Ohio craft museum?

cool canvas work!!

andrew's avatar

@delirium: What if you MADE a really kick-ass geocache? A multi-stage puzzler?

delirium's avatar

Andrew! That is the best idea that i’ve heard in a REALLY long time. Seriously. I can’t wait to see what nate thinks of that. Yeep! SUCH a perfect idea. Geez. I’ve always had all these really absurd ideas for treasure hunt like things. I always look way to hard in to weird little things I find in books because I am secretly hoping that the world works that way.

delirium's avatar

I’m also going to have to check out that craft museum, scamp. It looks really neat. I’ve never actually heard of it before.

scamp's avatar

Let me know how you like it!

shilolo's avatar

@delirium. To follow up on my previous post about music, I found this site, as well as this more generic site listing a bunch of free Ohio activities. Have fun.

scamp's avatar

I found a few more for you.

A candy factory tour
A great bookstore
The Museum of Science and Industry

The Franklin Park Conservatory
Indian Caverns

All are either free or low cost and in the Columbus area.

noraasnave's avatar

@delirium. You could sit on a bench and count stars and make new constellations. You could give/receive hand and/or foot massages to each other. Do some mall watching. Sit in a place with good visibility and watch people walk around. This could be hours of entertainment if you are with witty company. Window shopping is one of my personal favorites, since the Marine Corps isn’t exactly making me a millionaire. You could practice home improvement on some one else’s house first, of course you get them to buy the materials then go to work. If you charge no labor it is a win-win situation you get experience, they get their house ‘changed’. Set some fitness goals and be each other’s personal trainer, you don’t have to buy anything to do pushup, crunches, or to run, it is a free country you can go outside and do these things anywhere. Get in shape in a park, document it via digital camera, and start generating money by selling the videos when you get your perfect bod. I have many more ideas if you want.

noraasnave's avatar

Part 2: I have tailored my answers to a couple because I am always thinking up new ways to be romantic on very little money because we have three children. Some more ideas are: Reconnoiter new places to get frisky in ‘public’ (meaning hidden, not literally in public. Some examples might be behind restaurants, on the non-busy side of shopping malls, behind toys-r-us stores after dark, playgrounds at night, a secluded closet at a party (in someone else’s house preferably), these are some that I can… ahem…say that…ahem… worked or could work well…ahem. Some other ‘PG’ rated activities are: Walk on train tracks together like a balance beam see who can get farther while you talk about the topic of choice, work together silently (there is something extremely bonding about this one), Feed homeless people together (you might fall in love again with this one-watch out!), destroy your old annoying printer together with a baseball bat or sledgehammer (as seen in office space), Go to a national park with a digital camera and take turns taking pictures, then make a powerpoint presentation for friends and family noting your different perspectives on nature and other topics. Now my creative juices are really working…but will give you time to breathe ;)

noraasnave's avatar

Part 3: Send care packages to Marines (smile, wink). Engineer a creative website together (for the cost of a cheap website design for dummies book-used). I know a couple that didn’t know very much about websites, but they found a way to display their families daily digital pictures online. That stuff can last for generations, since memory online is so inexpensive.

Start the day reading a wikipedia article and discuss it, or upgrade to Essays, then to literature, or if these are too heavy. Read the latest movie reviews on and discuss over morning coffee or afternoon tea.

Print of some of Noraasnave’s answers and discuss them. Take turns agreeing and then disagreeing with me ;)

have an informal family appreciation day at work, where you go unannounced to your spouse’s or friend’s work and dress like a ninja and stealth around the inside of the building, then hide close to your S.O. or friend’s workspace and when they pop out to use the bathroom or take a smoke break put your finger in their back and say “give me your wallet” so some other glib line, then proceed to get frisky some place private at their work. Bathrooms work in a pinch, but desks or sooooo much more delicious.

volleyballgirl's avatar

An idea you can use for group dates or just with a group of friends is a picture scavenger hunt. You make up a list of items they can be in clue form or just “take a picture of a park bench.” You can get really creative with them. Split into groups and have a race to see who can get their pictures done first. Then meet back up somewhere and share your group’s pictures. You can set rules like you have to stay 5 under the speed limit the whole time or everyone but the photographer has to be in the picture, or you have to rotate who takes the picture.

Another group idea is ABC shopping. Go to a store like Wal Mart or anywhere. Split into groups. Each group has a basket and you have to find things in the store starting with letters of the alphabet in order. Then when you have found all your items meet somewhere in the store and switch baskets. Then put everything away. There are many creative way to do this one to. you can make it so that if two groups have the same object it is canceled, it can be a timed thing, most creative.

I hope these ideas help someone. I know my friends and I have had many fun times doing crazy things like this.

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morilee's avatar

Here are some of the things that men and women can do equally. These things sustained a straight edge relationship for me for several years: drawing, drawing each other, drawing each other with your eyes closed, cards, have a conversation by writing on a piece of notebook instead of talking (using different forms communication can be amazing!), Madlibs, find a river with a rope swing and you will never be bored, sports that your boyfriend are terrible at, going to the recycling center and cashing in for a movie rental, create trash sculptures after dumpster diving if you are brave, lasagna night with friends, salvation army spree, pick outfits for each other to wear on a coffee/tea shop date, read a foreign newspaper or book together with a dictionary, get ‘mistake’ paint from Home Depot for a dollar and paint an accent wall, cook a normal meal and find a rooftop or forest to set up candles and and have a night ‘out’! One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is volunteer work. Usually people don’t drink or do drugs while they volunteer, it’s rewarding, and allows some level of socialization. Find something you both like, non-profits always need volunteers, and actually you can get into some pretty rad venues and events as a volunteer for free and also not feel like you’re just standing around, in other words it keeps you busy! (concerts, festivals, benefit dinners, theater, cleanups, owl prowls or free nature hikes, jazz fests, an about a million more things). Good luck!

AmiShalom's avatar

i’m 14 yrs old and it seems like we dont know wht to do with our time because everything is so consumed by electronics, and as i was talkin with my mom about her childhood it seemed back then kids would also stay innocent for longer and now kids are havin sex at sucha young age that the things our parents used to do when they where our age seem childish but that i personally have fun doin like making “mud” castles and paint with our hands or walk from your house to your friends house instead of driving there little old fashion things are the best!!!

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