Cheap Date Ideas Houston

Cheap Date Ideas Houston

Houston may be a big city, but a romantic evening doesn’t have to break the bank.

From exploring the beauty of McGovern Centennial Gardens to catching a free comedy show, there are hidden gems around every corner. Embrace your inner artist with the James Turrel Twilight Epiphany Skyspace or the Menil Collection or delve into Houston’s history with a free Downtown Tunnels tour.

These are just a taste of the many affordable date night options that Houston has to offer, ensuring a memorable evening without emptying your wallet. Check out our guide on fun cheap things to do in Houston for couples and plan that unforgettable date! 

Cheap Date Ideas Houston – Categorized by Interest

Free Date Ideas Houston

Cheap Outdoor Fun For Couples

Affordable Arts and Culture Activities

Cheap Date Ideas For Active and Adventurous Adults

Affordable Romantic and Intimate Date Ideas in Houston

Cheap Food and Drinks Options in Houston

Deal Alert: – Save 50% On Houston Museums & Other Top Attractions

Houston CityPASS Tickets

Houston CityPASS Tickets

The CityPASS is the best way to enjoy museums and other popular attractions around Houston. It offers prepaid admission to five must-see attractions including Space Center Houston, Downtown Aquarium, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston Zoo OR Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Kemah Boardwalk OR Children’s Museum of Houston.

Child passes are valid for ages 3–11; adult passes are valid for ages 12 and up. Definitely among the smartest things to do in Houston! Click here to Save 50% on Admission at Houston Attractions!!!

Quick Hit Summary of Cheap Date Ideas Houston

Houston is brimming with exciting and affordable date night options. For the adventurous couple, a kayaking adventure through the Armand Bayou Nature Center offers a chance to explore the unique ecosystem and spot local wildlife like alligators and birds while paddling through the cypress swamps and mangroves.

You can also go thrifting and choose date night outfits for each other or choose to spend the weekend volunteering for a cause that you both care about! Other things you can do together for free include taking a fitness class or going for a stroll through the Hermann Park Japanese Garden.

For the foodies on a budget, the Galleria Food Truck Park offers a vibrant and diverse culinary scene. With a wide array of food trucks offering everything from international cuisine to classic American fare, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your cravings at an affordable price.

For our complete list of Cheap Date Night Ideas in Houston, read below!

Editor’s Note: Our staff works hard to bring you the latest information. However, all information mentioned in this article is subject to change. As always, please confirm before heading out. Also, a few links in this article may help HoustonOnTheCheap earn a small commission if you buy something using those links.

This article is on Cheap Date Ideas in Houston. For a full list check out our article on Date Night Ideas in Houston!

Free Things to Do in Houston for Couples

Catch a Concert Under the Stars at Discovery Green 

cheap date ideas houston

Cheap Date Ideas Houston | Image Credit: Discovery Green

Enjoy a free concert with your date at Discovery Green, a sprawling urban park in the heart of Houston. The park hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts, movies, and fitness classes. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs and pack a picnic for a memorable date night.

  • Highlights: Free concerts and events, beautiful green space, variety of activities.
  • Insider Tip: Check the Discovery Green website for the latest calendar of events, and arrive early for popular concerts to secure a good spot. Free parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Location: 1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010
  • Hours: Daily 6:00 am – 11:00 pm
  • How much: Free

Catch a Free Outdoor Concert at Miller Outdoor Theatre 

Miller Outdoor Theatre isn’t just for movies! Throughout the year, they also host a variety of free concerts featuring everything from classical music to jazz and international sounds. Pack a picnic basket and enjoy a delightful evening under the stars.

Go Antiquing in the Heights

The Heights neighborhood is known for its charming antique shops and vintage stores. Spend an afternoon browsing through unique finds with your date, you never know what treasures you might uncover!

  • Highlights: Find one-of-a-kind pieces, support local businesses, and enjoy a unique shopping experience.
  • Insider Tip: Some shops may offer discounts on multiple items, so plan to spend a few hours exploring the different shops in the Heights.
  • Location: The Heights neighborhood is roughly bounded by I-10, White Oak Bayou, Shepherd Dr, and Woodland Park.
  • Hours: Hours vary by shop, but most are open weekdays and weekends
  • How much: Free to browse, prices of items vary

Volunteer Together for a Cause You Care About

Give back to your community and bond with your date by volunteering together. Many organizations in Houston need volunteers for a variety of causes.

  • Highlights: Rewarding experience, connect with your community, feel good about helping others.
  • Insider Tip: Search online for volunteer opportunities in Houston that match your interests. Some organizations may require a volunteer orientation.
  • Location: Varies by organization
  • Hours: Hours vary by organization
  • How much: Free

Go Thrifting for Treasures

Hit the racks together and find some unique treasures on a fun and affordable thrifting adventure. Houston has a variety of thrift stores and vintage shops to explore, offering the chance to score amazing finds for a fraction of the price.

  • Highlights: Fun and adventurous, find unique clothing and items, support sustainable shopping.
  • Insider Tip: Be prepared to spend some time browsing, some shops may have special sales or discounts. Prices vary depending on the item and the store.
  • Location: Varies by thrift store/vintage shop
  • Hours: Hours vary by store
  • How much: Prices vary depending on your finds

Take a Free Fitness Class

Get your heart rate up and enjoy some exercise together with a free fitness class. Many parks, gyms, and community centers offer free fitness classes like yoga, Zumba, or boot camp.

  • Highlights: Free and healthy activity, try a new fitness class together, bond over exercise.
  • Insider Tip: Check online listings or community center calendars for free fitness classes offered in your area. Some classes may require pre-registration. Prices may vary depending on any rental fees (like yoga mats).
  • Location: Varies by park, gym, or community center
  • Hours: Hours vary by class, typically offered mornings or evenings
  • How much: Free (rental fees may apply)

Go Stargazing at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Garden 

Escape the city lights and marvel at the stars with your date at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Garden. This beautiful green space offers plenty of open areas with minimal light pollution, making it a perfect spot for stargazing.

  • Highlights: Free admission, romantic atmosphere, chance to see the Milky Way on a clear night.
  • Insider Tip: Download a stargazing app to help you identify constellations, pack a blanket to sit on, and arrive on a clear night for the best stargazing experience. Free parking is available on-site.
  • Location: 22376 Aldine Westfield Rd, Humble, TX 77338
  • Hours: Daily 8 am-5 pm
  • How much: Free

Cheap Date Ideas Houston – Outdoor Activities

Stroll Through the Serene Hermann Park Japanese Garden 

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city with a peaceful stroll through the Hermann Park Japanese Garden. This beautiful oasis features koi ponds, cascading waterfalls, and meticulously maintained gardens, offering a tranquil escape for a romantic date.

  • Highlights: Free admission, serene atmosphere, stunning landscaping.
  • Insider Tip: Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy under the cherry blossom trees (in season), and visit during the week for smaller crowds.
  • Location: 6000 Fannin St, Houston, TX 77030
  • Hours: Daily 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • How much: Free

Catch a Free Flick at Levy Park 

Enjoy a cozy movie night under the stars with your date at Levy Park. This popular park in the Upper Kirby District hosts free movies throughout the year. Screenings typically take place on weekends, so pack a picnic basket and snuggle up for a romantic evening.

Check out our recent article for the complete list of the Best Parks in Houston

Cruise Down Buffalo Bayou on a Kayak 

Explore the scenic Buffalo Bayou with your date on a kayak adventure. Kayak rentals are available from several vendors along the bayou, offering a unique and active way to spend an afternoon.

  • Highlights: Enjoy nature, see the Houston skyline from a different perspective, and get some exercise.
  • Insider Tip: Book your kayak rentals in advance, especially on weekends. Consider kayaking during the cooler hours of the day. Prices vary depending on the rental company and duration of your rental.
  • Location: Texas, USA
  • Hours: Varies
  • How much: Varies

Visit the Houston Zoo 

Get up close and personal with amazing animals on a date at the Houston Zoo. The zoo offers a variety of exhibits featuring creatures from around the world, making it a fun and educational outing. General admission is free every Monday from 2 pm to 5 pm, making it a budget-friendly date option.

  • Highlights: See a variety of animals, fun for all ages, free admission on Mondays.
  • Insider Tip: Take advantage of the free Monday hours, pack a lunch to enjoy in the zoo’s picnic areas, and consider renting a stroller if you plan on spending a long time exploring the zoo. Paid parking is available on-site.
  • Location: 6200 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030
  • Hours: Daily 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • How much: Starts at $27.20

Check out our article on ways to Save on Houston Zoo Tickets! 

Picnic in the Park at Memorial Park 

Memorial Park is one of Houston’s largest urban parks, offering plenty of space for a relaxing picnic date. Pack a basket with your favorite foods and drinks, find a shady spot under a tree, and enjoy some quality time together.

Explore the Diverse Shops at Discovery Green Marketplace 

Discovery Green Marketplace, located next to Discovery Green Park, features a variety of local vendors selling handmade crafts, clothing, jewelry, and more. Browse the unique shops with your date, find a special treasure, and support small businesses.

  • Highlights: Support local artisans, find unique gifts, and enjoy a vibrant atmosphere.
  • Insider Tip: The marketplace is open on weekends and features live music on Sundays. Check their website for specific hours and events.
  • Location: 1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010
  • Hours: Daily 6:00 am – 11:000 pm
  • How much: Free

Explore the Houston Farmers Market 

Immerse yourselves in the sights, sounds, and smells of the Houston Farmers Market. Browse fresh produce, local crafts, and artisan foods from vendors throughout the region. Grab a coffee and pastry for a light breakfast or pick up some ingredients for a picnic lunch in the park.

  • Highlights: Fresh and local food options, supports local businesses, vibrant atmosphere.
  • Insider Tip: The market is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays year-round. Arrive early for the best selection of produce.
  • Location: 2520 Airline Dr, Houston, TX 77009
  • Hours: Daily 6:00 am – 7:30 pm
  • How much: Free

Check out our article for a complete list of Farmers Markets in Houston

Take a Day Trip to Galveston Island 

Escape the city for a day trip to Galveston Island. Relax on the beach, explore the historic downtown area, or visit Moody Gardens amusement park. There’s something for everyone on Galveston Island, making it a perfect choice for a fun and memorable date.

  • Highlights: Beach relaxation, historical exploration, amusement park thrills (at Moody Gardens).
  • Insider Tip: Factor in gas, parking, and any entrance fees (like Moody Gardens) when budgeting for your trip. Check ferry schedules and prices if you plan to drive to the island.
  • Location: Galveston Island, TX 
  • Hours: Varies
  • How much: Varies

Check out our article on Fun Things to Do in Galveston

Take a Day Trip to Galveston for a Ghost Tour 

Explore the spooky side of Galveston on a haunted walking tour. Learn about the island’s history and legends as you visit historic sites and graveyards said to be haunted. A fun and unique date night for those who enjoy a bit of a thrill.

  • Highlights: Learn about Galveston’s history, and spooky and thrilling atmosphere, and explore unique locations.
  • Insider Tip: Book your ghost tour reservations in advance, especially around Halloween.
  • Location: Galveston, TX 77550
  • Hours: Daily 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
  • How much: $25

James Turrell Twilight Epiphany Skyspace 

Immerse yourselves in a unique light and space experience at the James Turrell Twilight Epiphany Skyspace. This architectural wonder features a pyramid-like structure with a square opening at the top that frames the sky. As the natural light changes throughout the day, particularly during sunrise and sunset, the colors and perception of the sky transform within the Skyspace.

  • Highlights: Free public art installation, unique light and space experience, serene atmosphere.
  • Insider Tip: The Skyspace is open year-round during daylight hours. Arrive early for sunrise or stay late for sunset to experience the most dramatic light effects.
  • Location: Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion, Houston, TX 77005
  • Hours: Daily 6:00 am – 8:00 pm 
  • How much: Free

Cheap Date Ideas Houston – Arts and Culture

Explore the Houston Museum of Natural Science 

Journey through the wonders of science and nature at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. This world-renowned museum offers a variety of exhibits on dinosaurs, mummies, gemstones, and more. Visit on Tuesday evenings for a free, interactive date night!

  • Highlights: Diverse exhibits, perfect for curious minds.
  • Insider Tip: Check the museum website for special exhibits or events. Paid parking is available on-site.
  • Location: 555 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030
  • Hours: Daily 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • How much: Free general admission on Tuesday 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Explore the Art Scene at the Menil Collection 

Immerse yourselves in modern and contemporary art at the Menil Collection. This renowned museum features works by Picasso, Warhol, and Rothko, among others, offering a stimulating and visually captivating date experience. General admission is always free, making it a budget-friendly option.

  • Highlights: Free admission, world-class art collection, beautiful museum building.
  • Insider Tip: Consider grabbing lunch at the on-site Bistro Menil after your visit. Paid parking is available nearby.
  • Location: 1533 Sul Ross St, Houston, TX 77006
  • Hours: Monday – Tuesday CLOSED | Wednesday – Sunday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • How much: Free

Explore the Art Scene on First Saturdays 

cheap date ideas houston

Cheap Date Ideas Houston | Image Credit: First Saturday Arts Market

Immerse yourselves in the vibrant art scene on First Saturdays. Many galleries and museums in the Houston Arts District open their doors late with special exhibitions, live music, and artist talks. It’s a free and festive way to experience art and culture.

  • Highlights: Free and festive atmosphere, explore art galleries and museums, discover local artists.
  • Location: 540 W 19th St, Houston, TX 77008
  • Hours: First Saturday of the Month 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • How much: Free

Catch a Performance at TUTS Alley Theatre 

Enjoy a professional theater performance at TUTS Alley Theatre. This intimate space showcases a variety of productions, from classic plays to contemporary works.

  • Highlights: Immerse yourselves in live theater, see professional productions, and enjoy a unique cultural experience.
  • Location: 615 Texas Ave, Houston, TX 77002
  • Hours: Hours vary depending on the performance schedule
  • How much: Varies

If you’re looking for more museums to explore with your loved one, check out our Best Museums in Houston article. 

Cheap Dates in Houston – Adventures and Games

Putt-Putt for Prizes at Puttshack Houston 

Channel your inner child with a fun and competitive game of mini-golf at Puttshack Houston. This high-tech venue features interactive games, delicious food and drinks, and a lively atmosphere.

  • Highlights: Upscale mini-golf experience, interactive games, delicious food and drinks.
  • Insider Tip: Weekday reservations are recommended, happy hour specials offer discounted drinks and food, and download the Puttshack app for contactless ordering and scoring. Valet parking is available for a fee.
  • Location: 1200 McKinney St Suite 100 & 300, Houston, TX 77010
  • Hours: Sunday – Wednesday 11:00 am – 11:00 pm | Thursday – Saturday 11:00 am – 1:00 am
  • How much: $14 per player

Go Kayaking Through the Mangroves at Armand Bayou Nature Center 

Explore the unique ecosystem of the Armand Bayou on a kayak tour. Paddle through the cypress swamps and mangroves, keeping an eye out for wildlife like alligators, birds, and fish.

  • Highlights: Immerse yourselves in nature, see unique wildlife, learn about the ecosystem.
  • Location: 8500 Bay Area Blvd, Pasadena, TX 77507
  • Hours: Monday – Tuesday CLOSED | Wednesday – Saturday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm | Sunday 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • How much: Varies

Explore the Downtown Tunnels

Embark on a unique adventure and explore the historic underground tunnels of Houston. Learn about the city’s hidden history and see remnants of the past on a guided walking tour.

  • Highlights: Learn about Houston’s history, explore a unique location, interesting and educational activities.
  • Insider Tip: Bring money for souvenirs along the way and food from restaurants you’ll pass by!
  • Location: 909 Fannin St #1650, Houston, TX 77010
  • Hours: Saturday – Sunday CLOSED | Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • How much: Free

Check out our article on Downtown Tunnel System Guide and Best Restaurants in Houston Tunnels

Go for a Group Bike Ride with Critical Mass Houston

fun cheap things to do in houston for couples

Cheap Date Ideas Houston | Image Credit: Critical Mass Houston

Join a large group of cyclists for a social and fun bike ride through Houston with Critical Mass. Explore different parts of the city on two wheels and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow cyclists.

  • Highlights: Free and social activity, explore Houston by bike, meet new people.
  • Insider Tip: Check the Critical Mass Houston website or social media for upcoming rides. Be aware of traffic regulations and safety precautions when cycling in a group. Bring a helmet, water, and sunscreen to the starting point, Guadalupe Plaza Park!
  • Location: 2311 Runnels St, Houston, TX 77003
  • Hours: Last Friday of the Month 7:00 pm
  • How much: Free

Go for a Roll at the Dairy Ashford Roller Rink 

Lace up your roller skates and enjoy a retro date night at the Dairy Ashford Roller Rink. Glide around the rink, listen to classic tunes, and reminisce about your childhood days.

  • Highlights: Fun and active date, enjoy classic roller rink experience, relive childhood memories.
  • Insider Tip: Check the roller rink’s website for public skate times and pricing. Rental skates are typically available if you don’t have your own.
  • Location: 1820 S Dairy Ashford Rd St, Houston, TX 77077
  • Hours: Wednesday CLOSED | Thursday 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm | Friday 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm | Saturday 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm & 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm | Sunday 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm | Monday CLOSED | Tuesday 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • How much: Varies

Fun Cheap Things to Do in Houston for Couples – Romantic and Intimate

Have a Romantic Picnic at Sunset at McGovern Centennial Gardens 

McGovern Centennial Gardens offers a stunning backdrop for a romantic picnic date. Explore the beautiful rose gardens, koi ponds, and manicured lawns, then find a peaceful spot to enjoy a delicious picnic spread as the sun sets.

  • Highlights: Free admission, beautiful gardens, perfect for a romantic atmosphere.
  • Insider Tip: Pack a blanket, basket, and your favorite food and drinks. Arrive early to claim a good spot, especially on weekends. Free parking is available on-site.
  • Location: 1500 Hermann Dr, Houston, TX 77004
  • Hours: Daily 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • How much: Free

Stargaze at the George Observatory 

Head to the George Observatory for a free stargazing session on a clear night. Peer through telescopes, learn about constellations from astronomers, and be amazed by the wonders of the universe.

  • Highlights: Free and educational activity, see the night sky through telescopes, explore astronomy.
  • Insider Tip: Check the George Observatory website for their public stargazing schedule, which varies depending on weather conditions. Dress warmly for night-time temperatures.
  • Location: 21901 FM 762 Rd, Needville, TX 77461
  • Hours: Sunday – Friday CLOSED | Saturday 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm
  • How much: $6 – $10

Planning a little romantic getaway? Check out our Romantic Hotels in Houston article and book the perfect room.

Cheap Date Ideas Houston – Food and Drinks

Eating Out at the Galleria Food Truck Park 

Enjoy a casual and vibrant atmosphere with a wide variety of food options at the Galleria Food Truck Park. With a diverse selection of food trucks offering everything from tacos and barbecues to gourmet burgers and international cuisine, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your cravings.

  • Highlights: Casual and social atmosphere, diverse food truck options, affordable and convenient.
  • Location: 2829 Chimney Rock Rd, Houston, TX 77056
  • Hours: Sunday – Thursday 12:00 pm – 12:00 am | Friday – Saturday 11:00 am – 2:00 am
  • How much: Varies

Dinner at Backstreet Cafe 

Enjoy a taste of New Orleans in the heart of Houston at Backstreet Cafe. This lively restaurant serves up classic Cajun and Creole dishes in a fun and festive atmosphere.

  • Highlights: Lively atmosphere, delicious Cajun & Creole cuisine, fun and casual date night.
  • Location: 1103 S Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77019
  • Hours: Monday CLOSED | Tuesday – Thursday 11:30 am – 9:00 pm | Friday 11:30 am – 10:00 pm | Saturday 10:00 am – 10:00 pm | Sunday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • How much: Varies

Romantic Meal at La Lucha 

Experience the vibrant flavors of Mexico at LA LUCHA. This popular restaurant offers a wide selection of tacos, burritos, and other Mexican specialties made with fresh ingredients.

  • Highlights: Lively atmosphere, delicious Mexican cuisine, extensive menu.
  • Location: 1801 N Shepherd Dr #A, Houston, TX 77008
  • Hours: Monday – Thursday 4:30 pm – 9:00 pm | Friday 4:30 pm – 10:00 pm | Saturday 10:00 am – 10:00 pm | Sunday 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • How much: Varies

Indulge at Maharaja Bhog 

fun cheap things to do in houston for couples

Cheap Date Ideas Houston | Image Credit: Maharaja Bhog Houston

Embark on a culinary journey to India at Maharaja Bhog. This vegetarian restaurant offers a flavorful and authentic Indian buffet lunch experience.

  • Highlights: Vegetarian Indian cuisine, extensive buffet lunch, affordable and delicious.
  • Insider Tip: Prepare for the buffet-style meal here!
  • Location: 8338 Southwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77074
  • Hours: Tuesday CLOSED | Wednesday – Thursday 11:30 am – 2:30 pm & 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm | Friday – Saturday 11:30 am – 3:00 pm | 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Sunday 11:30 am – 2:30 pm & 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm
  • How much: Varies

For more foodie date ideas, check out our Romantic Houston Restaurants and Late Night Food Spots articles!

There are always lots of fun events going on in Houston. Check out our weekly updates to Things to Do in Houston this Weekend, and Things to Do in Houston this Weekend with Kids to stay up to date! 

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