10 amazing free or cheap date ideas to try in Vancouver this summer

Planning a date can be stressful and expensive these days, so we thought we’d give you some ideas of what’s fun to do around town this summer on the cheap! Whether you’re looking to save money, try something new, or find unique places to meet someone, this list is for you. Cheap or free dates make the best memories!

Here are 10 amazing date ideas to get you started.

Walk the False Creek Seawall

Photo via Shutterstock

Hey, it’s a classic date destination for a reason. Stunning views of the water, mountains, and downtown, a winding path perfect for hand-holding (or not), and plenty of secluded benches to get cozy.

If biking is more your jam then this is the perfect place to do it. Connect with your date on Granville Island and burn Lee’s donuts (2.50 each!) with a wonderful bike ride along the seawall.

If you get a little tired on your trip, you can always stop by CRAFT for their daily happy hour specials or check out 33 Acres. There are an abundance of breweries in the False Creek & Olympic Village area with local beers for under $6.

Where: False Creek

Have coffee

Sure, it’s simple, but having a cup of coffee (or tea) with someone is a great way to get to know them a little better, and not just their coffee order. Luckily, Vancouver has an amazing cafe scene and there are a ton of options in the cafe-bakery variety.

Whether you stop at the 49th parallel or end up in one of Vancouver’s many “hidden” corner cafes, we can pretty much guarantee that with the right drink and ambiance, you won’t even have need a wingman.

Where: Check out our picks at the link above
Cost: Less than $10

Take a walk on Granville Island

We alluded to this earlier, but Granville Island is easily a great destination on its own. Stroll through the Public Market, enjoy the free live music (donations strongly encouraged!), and take in some of Vancouver’s best city views. Plus, Tap & Barrel Bridges is now open, and they have more than plenty of patio space to spread out for some summer bubbles.

If the market is a little too crowded for your preference, you can always pick up delicious ingredients to cook dinner with your date or S/O at home.

Where: 1689 Johnston Street
Cost: Varied

Strike a happy hour or two

Vancouver isn’t known for being “affordable” in any sense of the word, but we have some great happy hour deals dotted around the city that are definitely worth noting. Main takeaways: Not all delicious meals or bevies come with a high price tag. If the sun is out (or even if it isn’t), it might be time to try a new local watering hole!

Where: Check out the link above for our picks
Cost: Varied

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Visit the Vancouver Art Gallery

vancouver art gallery dates cheap vancouver

Photo via Lissandra Melo/Shutterstock

ICYMI – every Tuesday evening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Vancouver Art Gallery is by donation. So if you and your date want to see some art while saving some money, be sure to go on Tuesday nights. We promise you won’t regret it.

Where: 750 Hornby Street
Cost: Sorry

Eat your way through Chinatown

Vancouver’s Chinatown has some of the best restaurants in town and what’s even better is that most of them are very affordable. And while it all works on a mostly take-out format, it’s a great way to try multiple places on one date. We recommend stopping at Kam Wai Dim Sum and New Town Bakery to start.

Where: Chinese district
Cost: Varied

Hike and swim

lindeman lake vancouver hiking cheap dates

Photo via Shutterstock

Remember folks, you can always tell your date to take a hike. Or better yet, you can make a whole set! Besides paying for gas, there are tons of free hiking trails and parks around the province that won’t hurt your wallet. If you need some ideas, you can check out our roundup of hikes with water access – because things should be heating up this time of year!

Plus, there’s nothing more rewarding after a long summer hike than a refreshing dip in the water.

Where: Check out our picks at the link above

Picnic at Vanier Park

vanier park cheap picnic dates vancouver

Photo via Shutterstock

Vanier Park is easily one of Vancouver’s most scenic parks. And it just so happens to be the perfect place for a picnic, weather permitting! Just grab your food, a portable speaker and a blanket and head over – there’s tons of open space to set up for a cozy conversation.

If Vanier Park doesn’t have it for you, there are a ton of other scenic spots to settle in this season.

Where: 1000 Chestnut Street

Rent a kayak or paddle board

kayak vancouver cheap dates 2022

Photo via EB Adventure Photography/Shutterstock

While the weather isn’t super favorable for kayaking or paddleboarding right now, who says you can’t plan a great paddleboarding session with your crush anyway? British Columbia has some pretty spectacular bodies of water, so you might as well take advantage of them. Go for an afternoon on the water or an evening with glow-in-the-dark paddle boards to light your way.

Where: Water Adventures in Vancouver
Cost: 2-Hour Double Kayak Rental for $35

Watch the sunset at Lighthouse Park

lighthouse park west vancouver cheap dates 2022

Photo via James Chen/Shutterstock

Yes, it requires going through the Côte-Nord, but the view is definitely worth it. You and your date can pack some good snacks and cocoa and wait for the sun to give you a show. We promise you both will like it.

Where: 4902 beacon lane

OK, folks, that’s all for now! We hope you enjoy these cheap and affordable date ideas and take advantage of all the additions we’ve mentioned that might match the vibe!

So go out and have fun!

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