Romance Isn’t Expensive
It ain’t cheap living in Singapore, and getting hitched isn’t going to help your finances for the foreseeable future, unless you’re a woman seeking alimony. In which case, power to you, but please leave me alone.
As for the rest of you, it doesn’t have to be that way! A cheap date isn’t necessarily bad. In fact I highly recommend it for a first date! Think about it, you hardly know each other and it could go either way. No point blowing $160 ($80 each) right off the bat on a fancy dinner. Besides, how are you gonna top that later on?
So grab your partner and prepare for your journey of romance, minus the overpriced restaurants and champagne. These cheap date ideas that will keep your wallets and love life happily fulfilled.
1. Lepak By the Bay
Yes it’s cliche, but the bay view at The Esplanade is still my favourite spot to gaze upon the city skyline. It’s pretty romantic too! The Esplanade organises free concerts almost every weekend at the outdoor stage from local bands to traditional cultural performances. You can check out the calendar here.
You can also watch the MBS light show at 8pm and 9.30pm with an additional 11pm show on weekends! Remember to lean in for a kiss at the end of it.
2. The Picnic
I know what you’re thinking,”It’s waaay too hot! Are you crazy?” well, yes. But hear me out. What if you did it at night? Sure it’s dark but that’s nothing some candles and maybe even a lantern couldn’t fix. Plus think about how romantic it would be with her mascara not dripping away with sweat.
If you wanna up the ante, I’d suggest packing a speaker, get on the Spotify app and pick a romantic playlist to set the mood. They have playlists for everything so you’re pretty much settled.
3. Go On a Nostalgia Trip
You know what gets people going? Feeling things, and one of my favourite cheap dates is to just take them out to where I used to hang as a kid, Tanjong Pagar. I’d show them where I used to go to kindergarten, walk past the mama shop where my mum used to buy me ice cream on the way home from school, and into the park where my favourite tree to climb was.
Don’t just steal my story, I’m sure you have your own. It’s a great way to show each other more of yourselves and a different side of you. There’s nothing like stepping into the past hand in hand with someone you love back to a time of young, ignorant bliss.
4. Explore Your Cultural Side
Museums are a great place for artsy folks or those who would like to feel more cultured, and they are also mostly free! There’s free air conditioning, and if it’s your first date, there are plenty of interesting things to talk about all around you.
If you’re willing to pop $20 you can hop over to the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands. They usually have cool exhibits featuring mummies or dinosaurs or something equally awesome.
5. Take Her to the Ranch
City life gets tiring, and you may do well to just skip on over to one of the many farms in Singapore. What farms you say? Well just check out my awesome guide to hidden farms in Singapore.
It’s a non conventional date idea, but most of the farms on the list are free to visit. Just make sure to bring along some mosquito repellent and a sunhat. They say you never really know people until they’re under pressure. So keep an eye out on your partner as they try to navigate their way around a minefield of goat poop. Fun times!
6. Play Pretend
One of my favourite things to do as a kid was to play murder mystery with my friends or pretend we all went to Hogwarts. It was so fun, and it still holds true today. For an added touch of romance, just try to court your lover all over again under a different guise. Perhaps you could be scandalous, thieving rouge and she could be a certain pampered princess longing for adventure.
Trust me, an ounce of imagination and childishness is going to go a long way here and it will be one of those dates you’ll keep talking about and last in your memories.
Queen and King of England (It’s fun to randomly wave at very confused people and smile)
Bonnie & Clyde
Anastasia Steele & Christian Grey
7. Meet People Together
Sometimes it can get tiresome facing the same people day in, day out. So throw in a few wild cards and make some new friends together! If hitting the bar is not your thing, there are plenty of ways to do it.
Interest groups you join on Facebook are a great way to meet new people, set up a Meetup account and see if anything interests you, or host backpackers with Couchsurfing and take them out with you!
8. Hop On a River Taxi
The closest you can get to a magic carpet ride in Singapore. It still flows with the song if you replace “carpet” with bumboat. I know, I’ve tried it. It’s pretty cheap at $4 for a one way ride along the many stops of the river taxi and you get to see some pretty cool sights. And if you’re lucky, you get to take a picture with the captain when the boat docks.
9. The Cliche Ikea Date
The date popularised by 500 Days of Summer. Ikea is a family fun time, and I’d reccomend this idea to couples who have been dating for a while.
Window shop for furniture for your ideal future home, talk about how many kids you wanna have etc. You get the idea. It’s really sweet, but couples who get turned off by talks like this ought to stay away.
10. Lend a Helping Hand
Look at you and your first world dating problems, For shame! Well now you can at least try to redeem yourself by helping out the less fortunate, together. There are many hospitals or homes in the area that would gladly accept your help and you’ll also get to see the more compassionate side of each other. You can check out individual hospitals for more information or here to volunteer.
Affordable Dating Ideas In Singapore
I hope I’ve managed to save you a couple of bucks with this list, it’s important to remember that it’s about the memories you create during your time out that matters and not the amount of money you spent. If you’re still struggling for ideas here’s a list of free things to do in Singapore.
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