New York is expensive; it’s a place where $5 for a beer and $1300/month for a shoebox apartment in a crummy neighborhood are considered “cheap”.  Dating can also be pretty expensive, and going out in New York with your significant other can do a number on your wallet.  If cheap date ideas aren’t cutting it, there are all sorts of stellar free date ideas that are just as fun and easy and they are cost-effective.  I recently came across an article that shared some of these, listed below:

Nature Walk: There isn’t a whole lot of wildlife in New York outside of the zoo (except for rats and dirty pigeons, but those hardly make for a romantic date idea).  Yet any bit of green space can help relax you in the concrete jungle that is New York.  Find urban guides, which can teach you how to identify the different species of birds and insects that can be found in New York’s parks.  

Bushwick street art tour: The rows upon rows of warehouses in Bushwick and East Williamsburg are home to some amazing street art, with artists turning the bleak industrial cityscape of Bushwick into something truly beautiful.  Guided tours require a reservation, but you can also take a self-guided walk with your camera.

Outdoor movie night: With the summer upon us, outdoor movie screenings at the various parks make for one heck of a date idea.  All sorts of movies play in the parks, from Jaws to Chocolat.  So grab a blanket, sneak in a flask and get ready for the movie!

Central Park Summerstage: Free outdoor live music is one of the few things that could actually be better than free outdoor movies, which is why Summerstage is such a great place to be.  From now until the end of September, there’s live music for every kind of music lover, from rap to opera.  

UCB comedy night: Although you have to pay for the bigger names here, it’s definitely worth visiting for free weekly events.  It’s a bit inconsistent, but at times can be well worth watching!

River to River Festival: From June 16th to 26th, the parks of lower Manhattan and Governor’s Island are alive with music, dance and visual art.  

Wine tasting at Astor Wines: Not only does this East Village spot have one of the biggest wine selections in New York, they also offer classes and free tastings.  If you want to buy a bottle to bring home, the knowledgeable staff will help you pick a winner from their various offerings.