5 Date Night Ideas in Raleigh That Won’t Break The Bank 

Going out for a date can be fun and great for any relationship, but sometimes it can become downright pricey! However, there are some inexpensive options for two in Raleigh without having to break the bank. 

In this list, you’ll learn five of our favorite cheap date ideas in Raleigh. From picnics in the park to strolls around the local museum, you’re bound to find the perfect date idea!


1. Have A Picnic In One of The Many Raleigh Parks

Just down the road from the Spencer Properties office is a beautiful tract of land that was left to the city of Raleigh to remain untouched. Think nature preserve, not swings and seesaws. The Annie Louise Wilkerson, MD Nature Preserve Park is the perfect place to spend a romantic date while enjoying a true gem right here in North Raleigh. You’ll quickly forget about the pesky errands you have to run, or your bad day at work, and allow yourself to focus on each other. 

If the weather cooperates for your planned adventure, pack lunch, a blanket, and a kite or two. The open field located at the foot of the Mountain to Sea trail is just begging for a couple of love birds to lay down, let the kite string way out and catch up with each other the way you used to when you first started dating.

However you may enjoy one of the many other parks in Raleigh to spend your date night. Pullen Park, the Raleigh Rose Garden, William B. Umstead State Park and the JC Raulston Arboretum are a few more of our favorites. Each of these are guaranteed to provide the perfect picnic spot for you and your date. Then, take a stroll, hand in hand, through the breathtaking trails, enjoying nature and one another’s company. 

2. Go For A Hike

Raleigh has a tremendous outdoor presence, from hundreds of miles of greenway trails to a climbable mountain of buried trash. Yes, you read that right! While you may not think of Landfill Park as a date destination, we respectfully disagree.  

Way up high on top of an old garbage dump lies one of the most magnificent (and odor-free) views to be had in all of North Raleigh. And while you can’t see Alaska from up there, you sure can see as far south as downtown Raleigh—and points so far North that they very well could be Virginia. It’s so quiet on top of Landfill Park that you may lose yourself for a while—sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

Put on your comfy shoes and plan to hike about six minutes from the bottom to the top, depending on your pace. Then plan on canceling your plans for an hour or so while you unplug and reconnect with each other. Pack a little snack and take in the view while you brainstorm a bucket list together, plan your next weekend getaway, or simply enjoy the silence together. Something about being so far up and seemingly far away from everything below will trigger a little reset on life for both of you.

3. Rent a Nostalgic Movie

Whip up some fresh popcorn, roll out a blanket and some pillows, then turn back time by watching an Oscar-winning movie. But not just any movie—pick one that was released the year you started dating, or from the year you were married. A quick Google search for “Oscar Best Picture nominees from 19XX” will give you a good starting point. 

Here’s a tip from Jill Kuhn: Don’t try MapQuesting a Blockbuster movie rental store. You’ll most certainly arrive at a women’s boot camp gym space or at a Mattress Firm—neither of which are good date ideas. So we suggest sticking with Netflix, Redbox and Amazon Prime. That is unless you were in the market for a mattress, or the sorest triceps imaginable. 

Your special year might match that of a few of our team members here at Spencer Properties, so in that case, we’ve already done the “Best Picture” research for you:

  • 1987 – Platoon (Mark checked with Karen to make sure this was the right year)
  • 1996 – Braveheart (both Jennifer and John and Anne Marie and Ed share this milestone)
  • 1998 – Titanic (Cori and Matt were joined in matrimony that August)
  • 2001 – Gladiator (Jill and Dean were married in November of this year)
  • 2002 – A Beautiful Mind (Patty and Jeremy were married in February of this year)
  • 2013 – Argo (The year that Kara got married to Ben)

4. Go Out To Eat

If you weren’t already aware, we have some strong opinions about where to eat here in Raleigh. But when it comes to a date night, we always want to pick the most romantic places that won’t bust your budget. 

Cameron Village Draft House 

This restaurant is located in the heart of downtown Raleigh. Plus, it’s surrounded by one of the best neighborhoods in Raleigh, Cameron Village. With quaint shops that are perfect for a little after-dinner shopping, this restaurant is definitely date night bucket list-worthy.

The Draft House has the classic pub atmosphere with both booth and bar seating, as well as patio seating when the weather is nice. 

With weekly specials and over 100 beers to choose from, you’re both bound to love this adorable spot in Cameron Village. We just love the cozy feel of this place. It’s especially charming around the holidays with twinkling lights and displays. Definitely a great spot for a date!

Village Deli & Grill

This restaurant is also located in Cameron Village. Not only are their nightly dinner specials delicious, but many of them cost less than $13! 

The best thing about this restaurant is that they have four locations around Raleigh. You can visit the Cameron Village location, or head towards the locations in Lake Boone Trail, Wake Forest, or Morrisville. Keep in mind that the menu varies from location to location though! Here’s a sample of the specials from the Cameron Village location:

  • Monday – Teriyaki Glazed Salmon
  • Tuesday – Meatloaf
  • Wednesday – Spaghetti
  • Thursday – Fried Chicken
  • Friday – Fish Tacos

Why take the time to wash and dry dishes at home when you can dine out together for less than $25?

5. Visit The Museum Together

Sometimes, there’s nothing more romantic than a museum—especially in Raleigh. While there are plenty of Raleigh museums to visit on a rainy day with the kids, we recommend the North Carolina Museum of Art for a cheap but entertaining date idea. Public tours are free, so you can meander through the rooms of the museum, or walk the two-mile outdoor path around the park. 

When you’re done, top the date off with a meal at Iris, the museum’s onsite American cuisine restaurant. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays as well, making for the perfect day date. After all, who doesn’t love a good brunch?

These are just a few of the many dates you can have in Raleigh. No matter what you and your significant other are looking to do, you’re likely to find it in Raleigh! If you need more ideas, the team at Spencer Properties is ready to help. 

We believe Raleigh is truly the place to be, so if you’re looking to call Raleigh home, give us a call. We’ll work with you to find your next dream home in the Triangle.