Perpetual singles in Singapore are often quick to point out that dating is expensive, and that they’d rather save their money, thank you very much.
But nobody is asking you to constantly impress your date at expensive restaurants and overpriced hipster cafes, or pretend you live a lifestyle that’s a lot more Instagrammable than your reality of flip flops and hawker meals.
With the right person, a date night doesn’t have to be an expensive affair. It could actually be free!
In fact, some can actually end up helping you spend even less money than you would on a regular day, such as the following:
Date nights at free museums and libraries in Singapore
If you and your partner are book nerds, a trip to one of the many beautiful libraries in Singapore can be a great date night idea. Whisper sweet-nothings as you each sit with a book near the window at [email protected] in Orchard Central, or walk around to check out the art installations.
You’ll get to know your partner a little more as you talk about the books you like and learn each other literary tastes. What’s more, every book you borrow rather than buy is money saved. The library closes at 9pm. Do take note that it is closed on Public Holidays.
Not really bookworms? Then visit free museums in Singapore, where you can
take instagram photos appreciate art. In the beautiful spaces in National Gallery, for example, you can admire a wide collection of modern art from Southeast Asia. It closes at 7pm from Saturdays to Thursdays, but you can hang around until 9pm on Friday.
Picnic under the stars on Esplanade’s rooftop with Singapore’s skyline as backdrop
Most tourists are satisfied with taking a picture with the durian exterior of the Esplanade, but few venture inside and up to its roof top.
If you go all the way up, you’ll find yourself standing on a free viewing platform that overlooks the glittering CBD and the Singapore River. On weekday nights it is usually quiet and peaceful for a romantic date night.
If you happen to be visiting on the first Sunday of the month, Esplanade’s Beautiful Sundays programme puts up free concerts featuring Singapore’s homegrown musicians. Yay for entertainment that does not burn a hole in the pocket!
Glamping at Changi Beach Park
Glamping (glamorous camping) can cost a bomb if you hire a company to set everything up for you. The cheapest package on Glamping Society costs around $270.
I don’t know about you, but the elements that make glamping special are the sound of the sea, the night sky and sleeping under the stars, which are actually (gasp) free!
So why not DIY the glamping experience? A tent from Decathlon costs $25, and you can get some snacks and bottles of wine to share for less than $50 from the supermarket. You can also re-use some of those Christmas fairy lights you have in the attic and bring plushies from home to make your tent extra cosy and romantic.
Cook a romantic dinner at home
Singaporeans eat out so often that a trip to a restaurant is no longer a special occasion.
Conversely, eating at home is a luxury that fewer and fewer people enjoy, either because of a lack of time, a lack of privacy or cooking skills that leave much to be desired.
That makes a candlelit dinner at home all the more special—and cheaper, too. Plus, going grocery shopping and prepping ingredients can feel like a romantic couple activity, which earns you bonus points.
Sure, you’d need to buy some ingredients, but this is nothing compared to the $$100 sort of meal that people shell out at expensive restaurants (think: wagyu ribeye steak). You can also get good wines imported from France or Italy at Cold Storage, only this time, you won’t have to worry about needing CPR when the bill arrives.
Do creative couple activities and projects
Working together on a shared goal will teach you a ton about your partner, and also draw you closer together if you don’t end up tearing each other to shreds.
If you’re already living together, try home improvement projects. For instance, you might want to upcycle a furniture piece, create a photo wall to display your favourite pictures or even knit a giant pouf for your home. You’ll beautify your home without having to spend much money.
Not living together? Work on projects that will benefit you mutually.
For instance, you can buy a bunch of plain canvas tote bags or t-shirts and then design and screen print graphics for each other. Or you could try brewing your own beer with this home beer brewing starter kit, which will make alcohol cheaper for both of you in the long run.
What’s your favourite inexpensive couple activity? Share your recommendations in the comments!