By Brooklyn Walters
Having a weekly date is a priority for my husband and me. While we love a fancy dinner or a movie, it’s also great to save money but still have a good time. We have been on several low-cost or free dates in Lexington that have been equally as wonderful as the expensive ones. No matter where the date is, doing something together each week where you are intentional about spending time with each other is worth it.
Here are some of my top choices for free and cheap dates in the area:
1. Feeding the ducks at Lexington Green then wandering around Joseph Beth
We love to come to the pond at Lexington Green and feed all the swans and ducks in the water. They are so fun to watch and it’s a great place to unwind and talk about our day. During summer, we like to pack or buy breakfast and take it there to eat outside. They have a wonderful space to sit, and we enjoy being outside, so it’s perfect for us.
Afterward, we go into Joseph Beth and look at books. It’s fun to get to know each other even better through introducing books we like or want to read to each other.
2. Visit one of the many parks in Lexington
Jacobson Park is one of our favorites to go to and take a walk together. There is a playground, a place to fish, picnic tables and walking paths there. In the summer, they also offer pedal boats—this will not be free, but it is very fun and low-cost!
Veterans Park is also a great place to go if you’re looking for something more wooded. They have many trails and beautiful grounds.
3. Go to antique stores and thrift stores in the area
Goodwill is a classic, but we have recently discovered Uptown Cheapskate as well, and it’s great! We have fun looking at the sometimes outrageous things you can find and picking up a few things we’ve been on the hunt for.
Antique stores are a bit more pricey, but we love to go to them just to look at what they have. There is a great one just outside of Lexington in Nicholasville called ClaireBourne Antiques. It’s just before the Brannon Crossing shopping center.
4. Board game night at home
Get some snacks, bring out your favorite card games or board games and spend some time together. This is an idea you can do anywhere, and I’ve found that it causes us to put our phones down and be intentional about connecting with one another.
5. Visit the farmer’s market
When the farmer’s market is open, I love to stroll around, looking at everyone’s booths. My husband and I both love gardening, and we appreciate talking to the vendors about their produce as well.
6. Window shop in the mall or The Summit
Shopping doesn’t have to be expensive, even if you are visiting expensive stores. Walking around looking in stores can spark fun conversation and make great memories. Walking in the mall is good especially for colder or rainy days where outside activities are less desirable.
7. Movie night
Stream a movie you’ve never seen and enjoy being at home together. You can also buy snacks and make popcorn so it feels like a theater experience right in your own living room.
8. Take a drive
The area surrounding Lexington is beautiful horse country, and it is worth experiencing. Take a drive and talk to one another, giving you some private, relaxing quality time.
We are partial to taking drives just for the beauty of it. Some of our best conversations happen when we’re in the car, driving around without a specific destination.
9. Have a coffee and reading date
As students, we generally get caught up doing homework when we go to coffee shops, but I find it very serene to take a book I enjoy to a coffee shop and read it while sitting with my husband. It’s a good way to be together intentionally without talking the whole time.
10. Cook together
My husband loves to cook, and I have grown fond of it myself, so making dinner together is special. This makes for a date night that is practical, peaceful and very enjoyable. Having a slower-paced dinner together where we are focused on enjoying something we cooked together is a great wrap-up to a hectic week.