Sharing these here because...
I know a lot of us are in the same boat: trying to make time for date night is sooo hard.
We’re almost 6 years into marriage and have two little ones, and sometimes Nate and I look at each other and we’re like, “wait, how is it possible that these two tiny humans now take up AAALLL of our time, energy, and money?” Haha. Can you relate?
We’re committing to 2X/monthly date nights. (Weekly just felt too challenging.) We’ve booked a sitter and we. are. doing. this.
My favorite date night idea is going out to a restaurant. (No surprise.) This is what Nate and I do most often. We check out a new Austin restaurant together, or visit a new brewery or cocktail bar. We love taking in the ambiance, talking about the food, looking over the menu together and trying to figure out which menu items look the most boring but will taste the most interesting (we always do this!)
But…sometimes you just want a free date night idea in Austin. Big fancy restaurants definitely aren’t the qualifier for a good date night. Some of our most memorable moments together have been when we’re walking around the lake together, just talking and soaking up the sights.
Here are a few of my favorite FREE date night ideas in Austin:
See the bats. This is only possible in the summer months in Austin, but it’s totally free and I love doing it every year. Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony in the world (like 1.5 million bats!!!) and at dusk they emerge for their nightime insect feeding. They go all over the city and eat the bugs! And you can stand under the Congress bridge and watch them come out.
^ Seeing the Austin bats with my sister a few years ago!
Don’t let the overwhelm of a “perfect date night” deter you.
Go on a walk. See the skyline. Sit in Zilker Park.
Walk around the lake. The boardwalk is my favorite place to walk because it offers such a beautiful view of the downtown Austin skyline. This is such a simple date idea, but if you’re intentional with it (having a really meaningful conversation, or simply relishing in the company of your significant other) the experience can be wonderful. It costs exactly zero dollars, and it’s a perfect hour-long activity to enjoy together. Nate and I used to do this all the time before his car accident, and now we enjoy shorter walks together whenever we have the chance.
Lounge in Zilker Park. I’ll be honest – this is one of our favorite family activites, but it would make a great date night, too. I love to pack a picnic, bring a soccer ball, and let the kiddos run around in the grass. Again, it’s so much fun because it’s totally FREE and you get to enjoy this absolutely killer view of downtown Austin!
As far as inexpensive date ideas go, craft breweries are one of the best options. A beer costs about $5-6, and there are so many fun places to go in Austin! We have visited dozens (maybe a hundred?) of breweries around the world together. It’s always fun.
Hope this ignites your spark to get out and enjoy some time with you boo! It doesn’t have to cost a lot (or anything!) to enjoy some intentional time together.