Emily Waddell, 27.02.2018

The best free dates ideas to try in 2018

When you’re dating it can be tricky to figure out where to take your potential beau. Dinner? A movie? Paintball? Skydiving? Often people try too hard to impress on the first few dates. However, introducing the idea of doing something totally free is usually music to most people's ears. Setting yourself the challenge of doing something completely for free can spark some creativity, and help come up with ideas that you might never have thought of for a date night activity.

Date nights in Canada can be costly, but they don't have to be! Here are our recommendations for the best free date night ideas - whether it’s a first or second date, these are all undeniably fun date ideas for any couple: 

An active date idea - hiking

If you dropped a pin on a map of Canada, it’s likely you’d find at least one beautiful hiking trail nearby. Hiking is the ideal activity for a free date. It requires planning though, so make sure your partner has all the equipment needed, even for a short hike. It’s also a great way to get to know someone on a first date. Navigating a map, challenging yourself physically and the tranquil surroundings make for an amazing bonding experience.

Free date idea - act like a tourist

Most people are hesitant to admit it but we don’t know our own neighborhoods very well. If you’ve grown up in an area then doing the ‘obvious’ or ‘touristy’ things never occur to you as a fun date idea. Even if you’ve made a city or town your adopted home, you’ve probably always been trying to seem like you’re not interested in the touristy aspects of an area. In truth, it’s a fantastic free date idea to do a tour of your own neighborhood. Or, take the subway and see where it leads you - if you're in a bigger city, you can even use our subway date maps:

Free date night at a museum or gallery

Enriching one's mind is the best way to drum up some great conversation and it’s an easy free date idea. Canada's cities are among the best places to enjoy lots of free museums and galleries. Find your local favourite and discover your own local exhibitions for a fun day out. It’s educational, culturally stimulating and a fun, free date idea.

Simple free date idea - a day at the beach

For some people, a day at the beach can be a dream or a nightmare. And, if you're dating in city like Saskatoon or in Winnipeg, a date at the river might be easier. But, caveats aside, a water-side date can a dreamy, romantic (and free!) affair. Bring a blanket to sit on, and maybe a cooler, and get to know each other in beautiful surroundings. 

A free date night idea - tour a brewery

Although we don’t like to admit it, sometimes when you’re nervous on a date (especially if it’s the first date), a drink can break the ice. Well, if you want to show off about your alcohol know-how, a tour of a brewery is the perfect free (or at least cheap) date idea. Especially here - Canada is full of fantastic breweries. From Steamworks in Vancouver, to Wild Rose Brewery in Calgary, to Good Robot in Halifax, Canada's beers and breweries are eclectic, fun, and delicious.

Free samples galore at a food market

A market is the best way to get a real sense of a city and it makes for a perfect free date idea. Most markets will be offering up samples to prospective buyers, and who can resist a free sample?! One of the most diverse markets is the ByWard Market in Ottawa. It not only has delicious delights for everyone but it also has a wide selection of choices, from fresh fruit and veggies, to cheeses, maple-infused chocolate, and more. An easy free date idea to get to know someone, as well as stocking your kitchen full of goodies. 

Plan a free date night at a comedy show

Sometimes the best way to get rid of nerves is to let someone do the talking for you. A comedy show is a great date night idea. If you go to an ‘open mic night’ they tend to be free as this is where comedians get to try out their new material. So, brace yourself, they might be terrible. But even if they are, this is a great way to suss out your date's sense of humour and whether it matches yours. Plus, when comedians are really bad, sometimes it’s still pretty funny!

Feel like you want to try some of these out but have no one to ask? Join EliteSingles and go on some adventures with these free date ideas with our professional, local singles.

EliteSingles editorial April 2018