10 Cheap and Memorable Anniversary Ideas

Photo by Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

A nice dinner out might be the classic date, but it certainly isn’t the cheapest (or most unique) way to spend your anniversary. According to a Zagat survey, the average restaurant meal now costs $71.30 for you and your spouse. Throw in a couple of 3-D movie tickets and popcorn, and you’d easily spend $100 this year – pretty expensive (and a little boring).

If you’d rather save money and do something more memorable this year, check out our ideas for cheap and fun anniversary dates.

1. Go camping

Want to get away from it all without paying for a hotel room? Camping is an inexpensive option with plenty of fun and romantic activities – like hiking, bird watching, or sitting around a campfire under the stars. Most campsites we checked out cost $12 to $24 a night. You can even book your stay online at any federal campground through the National Recreation Reservation System.

For camping equipment, borrow tents and gear from friends or family if you don’t have your own.

2. Go on a picnic

A picnic at a local park isn’t only cheaper than going to a restaurant, it’s also more memorable. Pack your favorite foods, a blanket, and an MP3 player and spend the day eating and relaxing in the grass. You can find local parks through the National Park Foundation’s Find a Park site.

3. Paint ceramics

Creating something together is a great way to commemorate your anniversary. Ceramic painting studios are inexpensive and don’t require a whole lot of skill. Just sit back and paint. Many studios also offer specials. For example, Sunshine Glaze in Southlake, Texas, has “Fee Free Sunday” — studio fees are waived the first Sunday of every month. You just pay for the ceramics you paint. Check out studios in your area for specials.

4. Visit art galleries

Art galleries are free to browse and many offer free wine and cheese plates to patrons. To make a day of it, head to a nearby city and spend the day walking through the art district, hopping in and out of galleries.

5. See a standup comedy act

You won’t find cheap tickets to big names like Eddie Izzard or Louis C.K. but you can still see some funny standup acts by amateurs. Many bars and clubs host amateur comedy nights with minimal or no cover charge. Check out your local newspaper for a list of upcoming amateur comedy acts.

6. Take dance lessons

Want to learn a new dance? Many clubs and community centers host weekly dance classes, and some are even free. For example, NOLA Jitterbugs Dance School in New Orleans hosts free swing dance lessons for adults. Classes last at least an hour, so you’ll have lots of time to learn and work up a sweat together.

7. Go back to the spot where you first met

If you’re looking for something more romantic, try re-creating the day you first met. Surprise your spouse by taking him or her to the first spot, or branch out and create a miniature tour of your best moments together. You can stop and take pictures at each place and reminisce.

8. Create your own walking tour

Tour companies often host walking tours of historic areas, but you don’t need to pay for the ticket. Grab a map, mark some places you’d like to see and spend the day walking around the historical district in your town or a nearby city.

9. Go floating

Whether you call it “floating” or “tubing,” spending the day lounging on the river on a rubber raft is a cheap and unique way to get some sun and relaxation together. Bring some food and drinks, stop in a secluded spot, and have lunch before finishing the trip.

10. Host a murder mystery dinner

A murder mystery night is a cheap and fun way to bring your friends and family in on your anniversary celebration. To cut down on the cost, host the party at home and make dinner yourself. Need some menu ideas? Check out:

If you want to liven things up, ask everyone to dress from a certain period – like the Roaring Twenties – and scope out thrift stores for cheap costumes.

Need help putting the party together? Night of Mystery has a how-to guide.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
If My Spouse Dies, Can I Get Her Social Security?
If My Spouse Dies, Can I Get Her Social Security?

If a spouse dies, will the survivor collect the other’s share in addition to his or her own?

7 Ways Coupons Waste Your Money and Time
7 Ways Coupons Waste Your Money and Time

Here’s why I hung up my scissors and quit clipping coupons.

10 Tools You Need for Financial Stability
10 Tools You Need for Financial Stability

Have these tools and accounts in place so you can weather whatever comes your way.

13 Streaming TV Services That Cost $20 a Month — or Less
13 Streaming TV Services That Cost $20 a Month — or Less

Before shelling out for more expensive options, check out this diverse list.

9 Purchases That Will Make You More Productive
9 Purchases That Will Make You More Productive

These Amazon products can give you an extra edge at work and other parts of your life.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners
8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Some of these deductions and credits are available to a wide swath of homeowners.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

17 Surprising Things You Can Sell for Extra Money
17 Surprising Things You Can Sell for Extra Money

You probably don’t realize these items are worth decent cash.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable
10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable

There are lots of things Uncle Sam can’t touch — so long as you play by the rules.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

These 5 States Are the Most Expensive Places to Retire
These 5 States Are the Most Expensive Places to Retire

If you expect to have modest retirement income, you may want to avoid spending your golden years here.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.