15 summer date ideas for the budget conscious and the big spender

Summer is finally here and for those of us who don’t have the luxury of year-round warm weather, it is time to get the most of being outside and soaking up the sun! The kids are out of school and the radiant season of bbqs and beach days is here.

If you’re at a loss for ideas this summer, here are fifteen activities that should fit a variety of wallet types!

Shrimp, scallops, green peppers and apples

Cheril grilling shrimp, scallops, green peppers and apples in our backyard

1-Spend a day at a lake

Beaches are cool if you live close to one, but let’s face it. Many people don’t. If your nearest shore requires a plane ticket or you just don’t want to spend the day on an overcrowded beach lugging a heavy cooler to and from your car, how about seeking out a local lake instead?  Lakes are usually less populated, offer more shade areas and have opportunities for swimming, kayaking, or lazying on a hammock with a good book and more.


2-Go to a drive-in movie theater

This is something we plan on doing this coming weekend. It’s been on Cheril’s bucket list for a while and we’re lucky enough to live close to New Jersey‘s only drive-in theater. Check out this link to see if there’s one near you and go out for a vintage date night. If you can’t find one nearby, try to turn your backyard into a theater if you have the space. Check out this DIY movie projection article on how to do that.

3-Camp in your own backyard

Since we’re talking about what you can do at home, if you’re one of those people who always wanted to go camping but was unsettled by the idea of being without comfortable bathroom or bedding facilities, how about camping in your own backyard? We haven’t done this yet, but Cheril is bent on trying it at some point! If you beat us to it, let us know how it goes. Just be sure to set everything up during the day when you can see, forego your smart phones and find a way to make it fun like hiding gifts for each other in the yard. If you have dogs, you might want to pick up first if you’ve been lazy when letting them out! 🙂

4-Go to an arcade


Chances are you don’t have to go to a boardwalk to find an old school arcade. Take an afternoon to be a kid again with ski ball, Pacman, Ghostbusters and whatever else your local gaming spot may have on hand.

5- Go berry picking

Who doesn’t love fresh fruit in the summer? This is a great time of year to experience picking your own!

strawberry picking

Unless you’re in the middle of the a big city, desert or some other remote, dry area, there is probably a farm nearby. Try picking some sweets with your honey and going home to make a pie together. Check this link to find a farm that lets you pick your own fruit near you.

6-Go fishing

Well, that’s pretty self-explanatory. 🙂

7-Charter a boat and set sail

This is a luxury activity that we love to do every other summer or so. It can be romantic and rejuvenating or simply fun-filled with friends, which would also cut the cost.

2010 yacht charter for Cheril's 30th birthday

2010 yacht charter for Cheril’s 30th birthday

8-Take a helicopter ride

We plan to check this off our list this year when we visit Alaska. While we have been in a small engine plane when Monica was taking flight lessons, we’ve never been in a helicopter and are excited about the experience! What better place to do it than Alaska?

9-Go for a hot air balloon ride

This is another one that needs no explanation. It’s on the expensive side, but if you’re not afraid of heights this could be a beautiful afternoon.

10 – Go on a factory tour

These are usually very cheap and end with samples of whatever food or drink the factory makes. From wineries to chocolate to pasta, you never know what local factories are near you and offer tours to the public.

11-Non-typical sporting events

Here’s an area that is especially great for ladies with families. We’re not talking about the NFL or NBA here, but ABA basketball, arena football or minor league baseball games. These events are usually incredibly cheap and fun for the whole family providing you like sports. So far this year we’ve seen the Philadelphia Spirit run the basketball court and the Philadelphia Soul football team rock the Wells Fargo arena.

Philadelphia Spirit ABA basketball game (that was actually played in NJ)

Philadelphia Spirit ABA basketball game (that was actually played in NJ)

Philadelphia Soul game

Philadelphia Soul game

Alternatively, you can also try boxing, MMA or hockey if you enjoy sports with a little more physical contact. lol

We went to see a fight in Atlantic City

We went to see a fight in Atlantic City, NJ

12-Hit the gun range

Cheril and Monica shooting clay targets

Cheril and Monica shooting clay targets

We’ve shot shotguns a couple of times in the wooded mountains of NJ, and really have a great time. Next week we’re going to shoot machine guns! This may or may not be for you, but we like to do a variety of activities to keep things fresh and interesting.

13-Mini golf

An easy date for two or a whole family. Heck, you can even take your parents on this outing!

14-The zoo

Same as above, though it would be a bit more expensive for a big family. We love the zoo.

15-Take a class

Pottery, sewing, woodworking or any other thing that “you’ve always wanted to do,” why not do it this summer? With all the fun in the sun, some indoor activities might give just the right balance.

These are just a few ideas that we hope will get your wheels spinning. We aim to do things like this all year round so that we always have new things to experience and talk about together. We’ve been together many years and sometimes it’s easy to feel like, “what do we do now?” but honestly, there’s always so much to do and learn together. And if all else fails, just go to a drag queen show. That ought to entertain you!

Dirty bitches drag queen show in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Dirty bitches drag queen show in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Just kidding. Sorta. Look, we hope this entry has been helpful to you. Feel free to let us know your thoughts or even drop some of your own plans in the comments section. You never know who else is looking for date ideas.

Have an amazing summer!

-Cheril and Monica

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