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If you’re in the dating game, going out to a restaurant can start to get repetitive and it could start to feel like Groundhog Day after a while. But what can you do – anything a bit more inventive will end up seriously pricey, right?

Actually, it doesn’t have to – there are plenty of fun dates you can do without breaking the bank. Say no to dull as dishwater dates and try one of our unusual ideas instead. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed!

1) Volunteer at your local dog sanctuary: have a search for a kennels for abandoned dogs near you and see if they need volunteers to take some out for a walk. As long as you’re both animal lovers, it will be more fun than just going out for a stroll together and any first-date awkwardness will evaporate when you have to chase after any escapee dogs!

2) Tour your city: you probably think you know all there is to know about your city, but cast aside your cynicism and have a day exploring all of the tourist traps where you live. Take along a disposable camera and take photos of each other all throughout the day. It will make a nice change not to worry about Instagram filters and you’ll get some really funny shots when you can’t just press delete on the ones you don’t like!

3) Play board games in a café: if you’re just meeting up for a lunch date, let out your competitive side by finding a café with free board games to play. You’ll only have to pay for a couple of coffees and you’ll really get to know what your date is made of after you’ve beat them at Scrabble for the third time in a row!

4) Search the Living Social deals: sign up for the Living Socials, Groupon, Amazon Local and any other deals newsletters. Have a look at offers in your area and pick the first one that’s under budget, even if it’s something crazy. For example, in London the two of you could currently go on a walking tour for £10, a comedy and cocktails night for £9 or even a wrestling match for £12!

5) Treasure hunting: get out and about in your local area with a print-out Treasure Trail. Solve a ‘whodunnit’ puzzle, crack a spy code or hunt for (imaginary) treasure with a trail in your area. You can buy trails for £6.99 and it will be fun to work out the different clues together. It’s a great way to get to know each other and you’ll be able to let your inner kid out if you manage to successfully figure out the clues!

What’s your go-to date idea? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

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