Cash Strapped Dating Ideas for Summer

Cash Strapped Dating Ideas for Summer

Romance doesn’t have to be expensive!

Summertime in San Diego offers abundant opportunity for fun and romance, but our current economic climate puts a damper on dating for many couples.  Several people get stuck in the cliche of “dinner and a movie” and while that can be great fun, it can also come with a great price tag.  Below is a list of date ideas that are either free or on the inexpensive side.  Take a look and get creative yourself!  Thinking outside the conventional date box cannot only save you money, but create opportunity for different experiences with someone you care about. Plus, dating is not just for those getting to know one another, it is a great tool to keep a long standing relationship strong and healthy.  It’s good maintenance for any relationship and helps to keep the doldrums and complacency away.

1. Take a picnic lunch to the Torrey Pines Gliderport and watch the take offs and take in the scenery.

2.  Free Spreckels Organ Concert every Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa ParkIt’s the world’s largest outdoor musical instrument.

3.  San Diego PadresPark Pass” game tickets are $5 each. Pack your lunch or dinner and even bring your dog along if you have one.

4.  Free movies in San Diego:  There are many parks and communities showing free evening movies during the summer. Here is a page link listing all places, movies and times. Great opportunity to pack a dinner, a blanket and enjoy a perfect San Diego evening.

5.  Have a bonfire!  Claim your fire ring and have a bonfire and dinner at one of the many San Diego beaches or Fiesta Island.  If you go to Fiesta Island, you can watch evening fireworks from Sea World.  They are displayed every night of the summer.

6.  Go to and look for great deals for dinner or outings.

7.  Grunion Run!!  Through August 19th, Grunion will be running in San Diego late at night.  Either go to observe or participate (bare hands only and fishing license required to catch.) Click here for all the info.

8.  For the home bodies out there, order a Netflix or get to a Redbox and have a movie and picnic in the living room.  Perhaps make some food together and have that be part of the date.

9.  Free Museum Tuesdays at Balboa Park: Every Tuesday, different museums have free admission. For a complete list of dates and museums, click here.

10. Go to the tide pools!  San Diego has a variety of great locations to view the pools. For a list of tides and locations, click here.

11. Go to Dog Beach in Ocean Beach or one of the many off leash parks in San Diego.  Even if you don’t have a dog, but like them, this can be extremely fun and entertaining.  And, if you don’t mind fighting off competition, you can bring a lunch, too.

12. Take a walk, bike ride, or skate on the San Diego boardwalk in Mission Beach or Pacific Beach.

13. Feed the squirrels in Balboa Park.  Bring a blanket and bag of peanuts and you’ll be quickly surprised how many squirrels will be sharing your space and eating out of your hand.

14. Stargaze Outside Reuben H. Fleet Science Center Huge telescopes are made available at no charge the first Wednesday of every month for incredible views of the sky.

15. Pack a picnic and choose your spot.  San Diego has a lot of different environments to offer from beaches, parks, to mountains.

16. Go for a hike.  San Diego has a lot of local hikes, but if you want to make more of a day out of your date, try Julian or Mount Palomar as they are beautiful and out of the ordinary. For an evening hike, pack a dinner, and hike Iron Mountain to watch the sunset. Bring a headlamp or flashlight on the way down. Trail head entrance corner of Highway 67 and Poway Rd.

17. Go to Encinitas Classic Car Show.  Every third Thursday through September from 5:30 to 7:30, hwy. 101 is lined with classic cars, including Woodies. Live music as well.

18. Build a sand castle.  When is the last time you’ve done this? Maybe it’s time to feel like a kid again.

19. Have a game night.  Whether it’s board or card games, find one or more you both like and have a night out of it.

20. Free outdoor San Diego concerts.  Throughout the summer, San Diego offers many free outdoor concerts. For info, click here.

Sylvia Flanagan, MFT is a San Diego therapist with a private practice in Mission Valley.  For more information on San Diego therapy, feel free to call or email her.
Office hours are Monday through Thursday 9:00 to 6:00.

Get Started Today

I offer individual counseling, couples therapy and premarital counseling. The issues I work with are diverse and range from problems arising from sudden circumstantial changes to long standing and complex struggles. My approach to counseling is varied since individual needs and circumstances inform the methods I use. I don’t approach any two people the same and personalize my methods for each situation and client. Click the button below to book a session and we can begin your journey to rediscovery.


To top