Updated July 2023

Looking for budget-friendly date ideas in Durham? Don’t worry, you don’t need to break the bank to have a great time with your partner. Durham, North Carolina, offers plenty of affordable options for couples on a budget.

From exploring parks to discovering local art, here are 30 date ideas that won’t cost you more than $25. (Truthfully, mostly free!)

Cheers to love!

1. Cheer on the Durham Bulls (Tickets start at $8)

2. Take a behind the scenes tour of DPAC ($0)

3. Do a coffee tasting at Counter Culture ($0)

4. Go on a walk or bike ride on American Tobacco Trail ($0)

Date Ideas Durham NC Paleteria La Monarca Michoacana
Paleteria La Monarca Michoacana © Photo: Katelyn Belch

5. Cool off with a frozen treat from Locopops or Paleteria La Monarca Michoacana

6. Learn more about our city at the Museum of Durham History ($0)

7. Take a hike at Eno River State Park ($0)

8. Grab some dinner at the famous King’s Sandwich Shop (prices vary, but very affordable)

9. Catch a free summer concert at American Tobacco Campus, Brightleaf Square, or Durham Central Park ($0)

10. Grab some beers at Clouds Brewing

11. Spend a warm summer night with the Durham Symphony (They often host free concerts in the summertime, check their schedule)

12. Take in the art at 21c Museum ($0)

13. Attend a free wine tasting at The Wine Feed (Wednesdays)

14. Indulge in some churros together at Cocoa Cinnamon

Date Ideas Durham NC Discovery Garden at Sarah P. Duke Gardens
Discovery Garden at Sarah P. Duke Gardens ©Katelyn Belch

15. Have a picnic and explore the discovery garden at Duke Gardens (Admission is free, just pay for parking.)

16. Explore the historic West Point on the Eno park and picnic by the waterfall

17. Step back in time at the Duke Homestead and learn about the tobacco farming heritage of Durham

18. Go on a Preservation Durham Tour ($0)

19. Go on a Pony Bike Ride that ends at Ponysaurus Brewing or play Music Bingo Wednesday nights at the brewery

20. Experience the Museum of Life and Science (Check out Durham County Residents Free day)

21. Discover some amazing art at Third Fridays

Take a tour of Durham’s street art and murals

22. Get creative together at The Scrap Exchange, where you can find recycled materials for art projects and unique gifts

23. Rent a scooter and ride through Downtown Durham (Prices vary)

24. Scope out some of Durham’s murals together ($0, find a walking guide here!)

25. Spend a Saturday Morning at the Durham Farmer’s Market and pick out some fresh veggies to cook together

26. Take a tour of the Durham Distillery ($14 each)

27. Spend an afternoon at the Nasher Museum of Art (Free every Thursday)

28. Pack a picnic and go to the Satellite Park at the Duke Arts Annex

Date Ideas Durham NC The Durham Hotel
The Durham Hotel ©Katelyn Belch

29. Watch the sunset from rooftop of The Durham Hotel

30. Dip your toes in the Unscripted pool and sip some cocktails

31. Groove to live jazz music at The Blue Note Grill (Most shows are free or $5-10 cover)

32. Experience the perfect blend of live music and great food at Beyu Caffe

La Vita Yoga Class Durham Hotel

33. Take a yoga class together at Bull City Ciderworks or the rooftop of the Durham Hotel ($12/ea includes a pint of cider, cidermosa, or kombucha after class)

34. Watch a movie together at the historic Carolina Theatre (Film tickets are usually around $7.50/each)

35. Visit Duke Chapel then grab lunch at the Brodhead Center afterwards

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Katelyn Belch
Author: Katelyn Belch

Founder of Best of the Bull and Shop Durham. It’s my chief goal to keep you in the know about all things Durham.