top 4 {free} summer date ideas

i'm the "thrifty" (devin would say cheap) one who prefers not to spend money, so when it comes to date night ideas, i've got to be ready with suggestions. while mini-golf, getting ice cream, and day trips to the beach are also some of my favorite summer activities, if you can have fun for free....why not, amiright?

so, in no particular order....

//1// home-run derby: all you need are some softballs, a glove, and a bat, and chances are someone you know has some that you can borrow if you don't already have some old gear laying around collecting dust. [we got a pack of 4 baseballs softballs (are you crazy?! i'm not letting devin hit baseballs anywhere NEAR me!) from wal-mart for like, $5.] then, you find a local park where the boy scouts and t-ball leagues aren't dominating all the space, and you take turns hitting the balls as far as possible. or, if you're feelin social, invite along some friends and do couple versus couple! 

//2// bonfires: this will be our all-time favorite. we gather sticks from our yard, lint from the dryer and old newspapers, and we head out to the backyard for drinks and a fire. it's so relaxing after a busy day to sit back and watch old kitchen cabinets (or sticks, because maybe you're traditional with your firewood) burn away while chatting with your friend/bf/spouse/dog/houseplant. 

//3// hiking: while pennsylvania doesn't have amazing trails or 14,000-foot mountains to climb (all you colorado people out there better know how lucky you are!), devin and i still love finding a good trail and bringing lunch along (if we're planning ahead. don't start out on a long hike with just 1 granola bar unless it's for a premarital counseling exercise and there's some deep lesson at the end about sacrificing the small snack for the sake of the other person. really, bring food.) and not only is hiking free, it's good for you! and it's even more fun when it's sunny! duh! but who doesn't get excited about sunshine! 

//4// yard games: this has been a fun evening activity because devin and i get real competitive with yard games, all of which people have given us for free. if, however, you don't look pathetic enough to have been given yard games/you don't own any, again--ask a friend. or check out the thrift store! our favorite yard games are ring toss, ladder ball, horse shoes, and badminton. hopefully this summer we'll make our own corn hole (or kanjam!). 

and, just as an added bonus, here's proof we have fun on our cheap thrifty date nights that also sometimes involve a hammock :)

what are some of your favorite date ideas? have you ever done any of these with friends? 

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