Best Dates to Go On (From Someone Who’s Never Been on a Date)

Kaylee Powell, Staff Writer

With special days like Valentines and 2/22/22 (on a Tuesday) coming up, it’s about time to come up with date ideas for your friends or loved ones. Although I haven’t had a Valentine outside of my mom since elementary school, I’ve come up with a list of dates that are perfect for any pair.

I enjoy hanging out with people but sometimes it can get really expensive. Especially if we’re adding in food, drinks, driving, and lots of time. This first date takes care of half of those issues.

Birthday Freebies Collection 

If you and your date are into eating free food, this date is for you! Many restaurants like Starbucks, Denny’s, and Nothing Bundt Cake give away free food to their app users on their birthday. You can take advantage of these freebies by signing up a week in advance and set your birthday up as whichever day your date is planned for. On the day of your date, you can meet up and pick up all your free food. If it’s warm outside, you can set up a picnic and eat all of your free food. If it is cold outside, you could sit in the back of someone’s SUV and eat like royalty in the trunk.

I like this date because it’s cheap and requires little planning outside of what free food you want. This is probably my go-to when someone asks for ideas. Below I have listed a few of the free foods you can get.

Main course

  • Moe’s: a free burrito
  • Firehouse Subs: a free regular sub of your choice
  • Denny’s: a free grand slam breakfast
  • Red Robin: free burger and fries
  • IHOP: free pancakes


  • Starbucks: free drink or snack of any size
  • Cinnabon: free smalled iced coffee


  • Panera Bread: any pastry for free
  • Auntie Anne’s: free pretzel
  • Dunkin’ Donuts: free drink


  • Chick-fil-A: a dessert of your choice
  • Crumbl Cookie: free cookie
  • Krispy Kreme: free dozen glazed donuts
  • Nothing Bundt Cake: bundlet of your choice
  • Rita’s: small Italian ice
  • Baskin-Robbins: scoop of ice cream

This is probably my favorite date idea because it’s cheap and involves food, two things I love. This date is great for cheap foodies and can be done however many times you want with new e- mails.

A-Z Date

This date requires a lot of driving and could possibly be mixed with the freebie date. For this date, go to a restaurant or store that starts with every letter of the alphabet. For example, you would go to Arby’s, Bojangles, Cava, ect. Each time you make it to a new restaurant/store you take a picture. You could even combine these first two dates and receive your free food.

To spice this date up, you could turn this into a double date competition where whichever couple finishes all twenty six letters first wins. You can come up with your own rules related to  how you find these restaurants or if eating is required. This date works well for double dates or just a fun photo shoot moment with your partner.

Drive-in Theater

An oldy but a goody would definitely be a drive-in theater. This date cost about $10 per person at the Starlight Drive-In Theater and Flea Market (2000 Moreland Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316.) This is a 30- to 40-minute drive from the school depending on whether you like the highway or not.

For this date, you’d need a car with a working radio, maybe some blankets, and probably a few snacks. There aren’t many things around outside of a bunch of random churches so getting food ahead of time would be the smart choice. However, if you forget your snacks there is a food bar there where you can buy extra food.  This date is great for a relaxing time with your partner, allowing you to just sit back and enjoy a movie. This location offers a wide range of movies so you guys will probably find something you both like.

I realize that a lot of these date require the ability to drive so these next few dates only require the ability to get to one location or that you could do at home. This way you don’t have to rely on someone else too much.

Fancy Dinner

If you and your date are really into the fancy lifestyle but don’t have much money, a great idea would be to dress up in your fanciest clothes and go to Waffle House. Waffle House has a great variety of food and is kind of a staple of Atlanta. Why not go there in your best clothes and eat some cheap food? There are so many Waffle Houses around that I have no doubt that you and your date will find a location near both of you. Another plus to this idea is that many of their locations have free WiFi. This means you can play games on your phones together without having a data issue. Of course, you don‘t have to go to Waffle House; you could swap this with any cheap restaurant of your choice. The goal is just for you to have fun and eat cheap food in your best clothing.

Upside Down Puzzle

Another cheap date I enjoy would be going to Dollar Tree and buying a puzzle of any size. You can get some paint, paint brushes, and an optional picture frame as well. Once you get everything, reconvene at your chosen location and put your puzzle together upside down. The brown or gray should be facing up.

Together, you can paint whatever you want on the back. Once your painting has dried, you can either put it into a picture frame to hang it up or take it apart and put it back in the box that way you can continuously put it together.

I like this date because it’s very artistic and it’s something you and your date can play with over and over again. This could be a cute inside joke/thing that only you guys have. You can also do this multiple times to leave at each person’s house.

Painting Switch Off

If you and your date are really into cheap painting dates, I’d suggest buying one canvas per person and some painting supplies. All of which could be bought at Dollar Tree.

Once you find an ideal painting location (park, house, or recreational center), sit down and paint for five minutes. Keep switching paintings every five minutes until you are satisfied. For the last round switch canvases (you should now have the other person’s canvas) and write a letter for your date. This date allows for each person’s artistic ability to come out and show how much you care for the other person. I’m not the best painter but I love doing art like this and I think this would be a great way to make something with your friend that you can hang up on your wall. Then, whenever you want you can just look at this picture to see how much the person cares about you. Plus, I could always use some more wall decorations.

Pottery Partners

This is my last painting date, I swear! This date also doesn’t require too much artistic ability. When I was 13, I was in a travel camp at the YMCA. One of the field trips we went on was to Eye Candy Art Studio, where we painted our own ramekins. I still use mine to this day. You and your partner could paint together in a zen location and have some chill conversations. The one downside to this date would be having to wait a day or two for your masterpiece, but that’s just the price of good art.

First and Last 

This date starts off simple but can be modified to become more exciting. For this date, one person has to have a subscription to any streaming service. You and your date watch the first episode of a really long show and then watch the last episode of either the season or full show. It’s just as simple as that. To add a few steps or excitement to this date, after watching the first episode, you guys can both place bets on what you think will happen. Each time you are correct the other person has to do a dare. This will keep the show lively. You can also do this with Hallmark movies where you watch the first 10 minutes and predict the ending. This date can be mixed up in many ways to get the maxim enjoyment out of this.

Fort Building

A great throwback to childhood would probably be building pillow forts, so why not do it again. You can meet up at one person’s house and build the best fort you can come up with. Once this fort is built, you and your date can bring in snacks, drinks and a computer to watch TV on. If you want to spice it up you can build up the fort around the TV for maximum secrecy. Once you’re comfortable, you and your date can play board games and discuss random things that make you nostalgic.

Overall, these are just a few ideas that I’ve come up with for upcoming holidays. These dates don’t require too much work and can hopefully be done with whoever you want.