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8 Great Dates (for $10 or less)

Investing in your marriage doesn't have to break the bank!
8 Great Dates (for $10 or less)

Remember those long walks, romantic dinners, and intimate conversations you had when you and your husband were falling in love? Now that you're married, it's easy to let lack of energy, time, or cash put romance on the back burner. But here are some fun ways you can't afford to miss to bring back the romance!

1. Dinner In The Park Date

Raid your refrigerator and put together a picnic basket of goodies. Then pull out your best dishes, crystal, silverware, tablecloth, linen napkins, candelabra, and CD or MP3player with your favorite music. Dress up as though you're going to a five-star restaurant, then head for the park. Have your own black-tie affair under the stars. Cost: $2 or less for the price of gasoline.

2. Marriage History Date

Remember all those pictures, videos, and slides you've planned to organize one day? Now's the time! Spend this date revisiting your past. Buy an inexpensive scrapbook and catalog your memories. Memories of past good times can pull you together and give you hope for the future. Cost: $10.

3. Music Date

City symphonies often give free concerts in the summertime. Keep your eyes open for new artists. You may be among the first to hear a future great. Once, my husband, Dave, and I heard Garth Brooks at a local establishment before he was well-known. Check with area colleges for free concerts, or go to a coffee shop where a local musician is playing and have two cups of coffee. Talk while you enjoy the music. Cost: $8.25 for 2 grande mochas and biscottis.

4. Book/Video Date

Go to your local library and choose a book or audiobook you'd like to read or listen to together. Research a part of the world you'd like to visit. Or check out a DVD of a romantic classic you watched while you were dating. Most libraries have free video rentals. Cost: $0.

5. Tourist Date

Pretend you're a tourist in your own town. Go to the Tourist Bureau and pick up free brochures about your area. Then, on a budget of $10, see what you can discover. Visit a museum or take a walking tour of the downtown area. Pack a snack and keep this date cheap. Cost: $10.

6. Parade of Homes Date

Each year I look forward to this date! For $5 each, Dave and I visit 3 different home developments and scope out the latest in home design. We fantasize about how we would decorate each house if it were ours. Check out your area. If you don't have a Parade of Homes, watch the papers for open houses. It's a great way to pick up new ideas and have fun! Cost: $10 for 2 tickets.

7. Lobby Date

Visit a plush local hotel and enjoy its lobby. Ask for brochures—and a peek at the bridal suite. Maybe you'll celebrate your 50th anniversary there! Have a cup of tea in the coffee shop. At the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, you can enjoy watching the ducks swimming in the indoor fountains. Cost: $8.95 for 2 cups of herbal tea and cookies.

8. Walk and Talk Date

My favorite date is free, and good for our relationship and our health. Invest in a good pair of walking shoes. Then check out the walking trails in your area or investigate an interesting new locale in your city. If you make this date a habit, it may well be the best marriage energizer around. Cost: just the calories you expend!

Claudia Arp has co-authored numerous books with her husband, Dave, including 10 Great Dates (Zondervan) and 52 Dates for You and Your Mate (Thomas Nelson). For more dating suggestions, visit the Arps' Web site at www.marriagealive.com.

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

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