Cheap Summer Date Nights // A Guest Post from Julie Hood

Since we have a lot of newness over at our house right now, I've lined up a few awesome blogging friends to guest post for me over the month. I'll still be posting regularly, but I thought it would be helpful to plan ahead and give myself a little flexibility, as well as introduce you guys to some great bloggers who I've loved getting to know. Be sure to check out their blogs and follow along!

Hey, I'm Julie Hood, and I blog over at

A Hopeful Hood

, where I talk about faith, married life, diy projects, and fixing up our little house. Feel free to come by and hang out--I'd love to chat about life, Jesus, or your favorite summer craft project. Or, you can find me on

Instagram

,

Twitter

,

Facebook

, and

Pinterest

!

I'm so excited to be sharing some of my favorite summer date night ideas! My husband and I got married at 20 (we were

babies

, I know) but we've been married for 3 years now, which means tons of dates before and after we've been married. Plus, we've had to figure out fun things to do on a budget! So, here are some of my favorites:

1. Have a bonfire in the backyard:

Admittedly, this requires a firepit. But you could also find a state park that has spots for fires! We trash-picked a firepit and have since been given one, and it's been a staple of those cooler nights--and we've had just great conversations around the firepit. It's a good chance to get out from in front of the tv and get outside, even when it's dark out.

2. Go exploring in the city/town near you:

Make new memories by trying a new restaurant, finding a new park, or strolling through some artsy shops. One night, Devin and I took the train to downtown Philadelphia and ate at a bar that someone recommended that had twinkle lights and outdoor seating. their food was

SO

 good, and it broke our normal routine of going to dinner around our house. Plus, since we took the train, we got to walk to and from the restaurant on a beautiful starry night!

3. Find a local festival, concert or fair:

This is kind of like #2, but try searching for events near you. I know Philly has a

bunch

 of free fairs and concerts during the summer!

4. Go stargazing:

We have yet to do this, but it's on my list! Our plan is to pile Devin's pickup truck with pillows and blankets and drive to an open field, park, and look at God's beautiful starry skies, away from the city lights. But you don't need the truck--just a blanket and some wide-open space!

5. Hike or walk a trail:

Devin and i love

hiking

, and it's free, good exercise, and usually includes a great view at the end! If hiking isn't happening, try to find a trail near you that's relatively flat. Although it wasn't for a date, I just did this with my sisters-in-law! So fun, and we got to enjoy the scenery amidst great conversation.

6. Plan an overnight trip:

Our favorite way to make this an inexpensive trip is to go camping! But you can also find a cheap hotel on all those sites that have annoying commercials (Kayak, Hotwire, etc.) Borrow a tent, pick a state park, and go on a mini-vacation.

7.

Skip mini-golf and

hit the driving range or chip and putt

! (unless mini-golf is your thang. In which case, nevermind.) We love

whacking a golf ball

as hard as we can and working on our terrible form in chip and putt. Plus, sometimes you can find coupons online!

8. Get the family/friends together and host a BBQ, for no reason:

It's summer! Guys can fire up the grill (or girls can, I'm equal opportunity pro-grilling), and it's always more fun with people. We love playing horse shoes and we have big plans to make corn hole so that our cookouts are amp-ed

up

.

What are some of your favorite summer date ideas?