Whether it’s your first date or your 30th anniversary, Portland has great options for free and cheap dates.
Instead of staying in or doing what you always do, try one of these fun dates ideas focused on quality time with your love. All of these also make great friend dates!
You can also explore fun and cheap events around the city on our calendar pages:
What’s your favorite inexpensive date in Portland? Email me all the details!
Best Free and Cheap Dates in Portland
Visit OMSI and the Aerial Tram
OMSI is one of Portland’s best museums. Science lovers and explorers of the unknown will marvel at the special exhibits, hands-on labs and planetarium, 4-story screen theater and more. You can save on admission during OMSI discount day ($2 per ticket) or if you’re a Bank of America cardholder, you can get one free admission during Museums on Us weekends.
When you’ve finished exploring OMSI, take a stroll across the Tillikum Bridge and go for a ride in the sky. The Portland Aerial Tram is a right of passage you can experience together ($5.65 each for round trip). After your ride, there are many great places to eat at the bottom of the tram, including Elephants Delicatessen, Cha Cha Cha and food carts.
Enjoy Live Music and Comedy
In Portland, the live music possibilities are endless, but why pay more than $20? These five venues offer unique vibes and cheap tickets, and have shows almost every night of the week.
We’re also lucky enough to have a great comedy scene. If you’re a couple who loves comedy and want to see the talent right here in your community, attend one of these free and cheap Portland comedy nights.
Kickstand Comedy hosts free comedy in the park at Laurelhurst Park multiple times a month from July through September.
Explore Portland’s Urban Parks
If you’re looking for a totally free date, plan a trip to one of Portland’s best urban parks. Pack along a picnic and stroll through the beautiful natural landscapes. Tryon Creek Natural Area even hosts free guided walks on Saturdays.
Spend the Day at Washington Park
Washington Park is the keeper of many of Portland’s best attractions. Access these attractions on the Washington Park free shuttle. It is also the location of one of Portland’s best free rose gardens, which overlooks the city for a great view and place to stop and spend quality time. The shuttle and rose garden are free.
Uncover Portland’s History
Looking for a one-of-a-kind experience to retrace Portland’s history in an arboretum? Take a tour of Portland’s historic Lone Fir Cemetery. There are multiple historical tours of the cemetery each month that retrace the incredible lives of our city’s pioneers.
If you’re looking for an indoor option, the Oregon Historical Society is free to Multnomah County residents. If you’re looking for more free and cheap admission, find the best days to visit Portland attractions.
Go to the (Cheap) Movies
Seeing a movie is always something I look forward to. Portland has an abundance of movie options, and most with a great selection of food and drinks that show first- and second-run movies. Here’s where you can see a movie for $7 or less.
During the summer, enjoy free outdoor movies at parks all across the city.
Find a memento to decorate your home or a new outfit for your next date night. Portland has more than 50 thrift and consignment stores filled with treasures. Pick a Portland neighborhood you haven’t spent time in and explore a few shops.
Hold Hands while Roller or Ice Skating
Oaks Park has the only remaining roller skating rink in our area. For $12, you can roll around the rink hand in hand. From October through May, the rink also hosts special glow skate nights. If you want to relive even more childhood nostalgia, ride the train and carousel for free.
As for ice skating, there are four ice skating rinks in and around Portland. At Lloyd Center Ice Rink, you can get special discounts on specific days of the week. During Cheap Skate and Rock ‘n Skate days, you’ll pay a discount rate that includes skate rental.
Take a Hike to the Pittock Mansion
The Pittock Mansion resides in the west hills with an incredible view of the city. The 16,000 square foot French Renaissance style home was built in 1912 by Henry Pittock, the former publisher of The Oregonian. The mansion is now a beloved museum with beautiful grounds.
While the Pittock Mansion does not offer free tour days, you can visit the ground for free. It is worth it for the city views, manicured gardens and picturesque curb appeal of the home.
The best way to access the grounds is by hiking from Lower Macleay Park, one of Portland’s best urban parks. Take Lower Macleay Trail along Balch Creek and connect with Wildwood Trail, which leads to the Pittock Mansion.
Pittock Mansion is located at 3229 NW Pittock Drive in Portland.
Go on a Picnic
The idea of a meal shared al fresco in a lovely natural setting has been around for a very long time. So while picnics don’t really represent an up and coming trend, they do rank very high as a budget-friendly way to enjoy each other’s company while eating a good meal. I’ve gathered a list of Portland seven best picnic parks.
Do the Time Warp together
Have you ever attended a midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Clinton Street Theater? If not, add it to your Portland bucket list. Pick out your best outrageous costume, practice the signature moves and head to the Saturday show. Tickets range from $10-$12 per person.
Go to the Adult Arcade
Live up your mutual love for arcades at Ground Kontrol. After 5 p.m., Ground Kontrol is an adults-only gaming playground (21+). Two times a month, Ground Kontrol free play events let you ditch the game cards and unlock unlimited game play. For just $10, you’ll get access to all 100+ video games and pinball machines all day long.
Ground Kontrol also has super cheap drinks and food items, ranging from $4-$10, with lots of vegan and gluten-free options.
Go Crabbing at the Coast
Did you know you can crab from public docks for free? Take a day trip out to the coast and catch your own gourmet dinner of Dungeness crab.
Crabbing from public docks and piers generally means you’re tossing pots into the tranquil waters of Oregon’s numerous estuaries and bays. The best months for bay crabbing are late September through November, yet any month can turn up a catch. Here’s a guide to Dungeness crabbing on the Oregon coast.
Celebrating a Birthday?
If you’re looking for an inexpensive way for your beau to feel special on their b-day, visit all the places that offer free and cheap birthday deals in Portland.