For Guys Only: 5 Outdoor Budget-Friendly Dates She’ll Love

How to get her buzzing to her friends -- without spending a dime

It’s never a good feeling when you have to say, “No, boo” when she wants to go to Nobu. And it’s outright pointless if you have to go with no boo.

OK, sorry, but you get the point.

Sometimes you just don’t have it like that. Not to worry. The weather is getting warmer all over the United States, ushering in a wave of activity to get to know her better that doesn’t involve a hefty bill … which arrives as she pretends to play an impromptu game of Temple Run on her iPhone.

1. The Bike Ride: I hope this goes without saying, but make sure she can ride a bike, first, before you decide on this date. If your city or town doesn’t have a bike sharing program (which are all the rage), head to a bike shop and rent two bikes you can ride around while getting it comfortably with. Keep in mind: women almost unanimously love adventures and surprises. This one delivers. If she has a bike already, at least spring for the ice cream.

2. The Classic Picnic: Lunch on the grass on a plush blanket with all sorts of goodies is an afternoon that will never fall out of fashion with the budget-minded, the romantically-inclined. Grapes, strawberries, lunch meats, cheeses, wine, Prosecco — all cheap and can be tucked away to consume when you’re ready. If you’re particularly enterprising, break this out after the bike ride. Y’all will both be starving.

3. The Free Concert, Movie or Play: If you’re budget says Coachella and Made in America are not in your future, be sure to hit up the free concerts in your city. New York has plenty in Central Park, and even the outer boroughs. Free movies are always playing in downtown parks and, if you’re in New York, Bryant Park in particular. You pay taxes, so don’t let your hard earned dollars go to waste!

4. The Volunteering Expedition: You can go ahead and consider this throwing a curve ball on a 3-2 count. You get a girl’s number, text back and forth, talk on the phone here and there and ask her on your first date. She’s all excited, can’t stop talking to her friends about how cool you are, gets ready for the date, and two hours before you plan, you call and say, wear clothes that you wouldn’t mind getting dirty.

You’ve done several things.

Her mind’s racing. She’s got all sorts of ideas going through her head. And she’s likely wondering if she even has any clothes that she wouldn’t mind getting dirty.

So, there’s a few ways you can go with the actual execution of the date. Identify and contact your local community garden. Volunteer to clean up, plant things, dig up dirt, and overall just get your green thumb on. This can also be a learning experience. I’m no Paul Brunson or anything, but I imagine that when two parties are learning the mental stimulation that so often plays a part in a first dates is sort of built into the structure of the date itself.

Getting to know someone can be difficult, but it’s always easier when you’re engaging in an activity. If she’s already got a garden or something, reach out to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, or an organization like NY Cares, which is currently doing projects related to homes impacted by Sandy.

5. Two words: The Beach: Need I say more? No, this is self-explanatory. But let me just add that the beach is one of the all-time underrated first dates in the history of dating. Depending on where you are, it’s like you’re taking a front seat to one of the great spectacles of the Earth: the horizon. You can build sandcastles, play a game, read, bring lunch, take a dip, etc. Do not sleep on the beach.

So what are your best budget-friendly dates or experiences? Share them in the comments!

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