Free Date Ideas in the Coastal Bend:: For Couples on a Budget


It never fails – the minute my husband and I get the chance to have a date day or date night our budget seems to be tighter and we are often left at home without ideas.

So I was inspired to put together this list of FREE {or nearly FREE} Date ideas in the Coastal Bend.

Free Date Ideas

I know not everyone loves a picnic or a trip to the beach., so I have searched lots of different ideas and places that could get you a free or mostly free date with your significant other! Tell me, do you love this list? Do you have any ideas that you and your spouse use frequently to save money but spend quality time together? We would love to hear your ideas, you can comment below or join us in our community group!

Stroll through the Museum:

I love going to museums when we travel, but I often forget that we have amazing museums here in the Coastal Bend, and many of them have free admissions! Taking your spouse or significant other to a museum is a fun way to spark some new conversations that don’t revolve around kids, and you can even discover new things about yourself.

Art Center of Corpus Christi– you and your significant other could take a FREE stroll through the Art Center!

Walking Tour Through Heritage Park– Corpus Christi Heritage Park is a collection of 12 historic homes. You can even download a map with information about the homes here.

Texas Surf Museum– This small downtown museum is tucked away in the shopping center off Water Street. And it is a GREAT place to see old photos from Corpus Christi.

The History Center for Aransas County– Outdoor and indoor exhibits tell the stories of the real people of Aransas County.

Bay Education Center– The Mission-Aransas Reserve operates a visitor center in Rockport at 121 Seabreeze Drive, Rockport, Texas. Whether you live in the area or are just visiting, this is a ‘must see’ and is free and open to the public.

Selena Museum– This one is not free, but the admission for adults is $5.00 so for $10.00 you could go to this museum and see some amazing things from a legendary woman born and raised right here in the Coastal Bend.

Port Aransas Museum– Open Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays 1:00 pm- 5:00 pm and free admission to the public.

The Beeville Art Museum– Take a drive with your significant other to Beeville and browse this gorgeous art museum in an old restored home. Open 6 days a week with Free admission!

Skidmore Historical Society & Museum– This little museum is PACKED with history and has a historical marker in front of it.

Historical Markers Tour– one goal of mine is to do a historical marker tour one day. Whenever we take road trips I am always tempted to stop at every single historical marker sign that I see. This would be a fun way to spend the day with your spouse and learn some new things about the place where you live. I have linked a list of local markers, but you may need to do a little bit more research to find the markers you’d like to visit.

Visit an Outdoor Market:

There are so many different markets in the coastal bend that you can visit during the week and on weekends! While you may be tempted to shop and spend money you can take a free stroll through the market together and have fun spending time outdoors. You can also set a small budget for yourselves and go home with some fresh veggies, or a small hand-crafted item from a local artisan.

Corpus Christi Southside Farmers’ Market– This Farmers Market is year-round on Saturdays.

First Fridays ArtWalk Downtown– On the first Friday of the month Downtown Corpus Christi puts on a big evening market! This is a GREAT spot for a free date stroll.

Grow Local Farmers’ Market– Wednesday Evenings in Corpus Christi, 5-8 pm.

Portland Farmers Market– Held on the first Saturday of the month (except in July).

Rockport Fulton Market Days– held every third weekend of every month.

Jim Wells County Farmer’s Market– Held the first Saturday of March-June & September-November in Alice Texas.

Victoria Farmers’ Market– Open Every Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Kingsville Farmers Market– Open every 4th Saturday of the month from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Aransas Pass Farmers Market– First event is Aug. 21st, 2021!!!

Beach Walk:

No Coastal Bend “things to do” list would be complete without mentioning a visit to the beach. I will warn you it is not free to park on the beach and places like Rockport Beach require a small fee to enter, so you will have to account for that in your date budget. Or you can find a place to park for free and walk. You can use this time to slow down and talk, find shells and make a keepsake with them like this Shell Wreath,or you can pack some food and have a beach picnic dinner and just enjoy the sights and sounds as you eat. Below is a list of beaches you can visit.

Rockport Beach                                                    South Packery Jetty Beach

North Beach                                                        Padre Island National Seashore

McGee Beach                                                       J.P. Luby Surf Park

Whitecap Beach                                                   Mustang Island State Park

I.B. Magee Beach

Picnic at the Park:

Sometimes when we are thinking of date ideas with our spouses we overcomplicate things. We often think we need to do something elaborate or out of the ordinary for it to be special. But most of the time the act of intentionally spending time together is all we need. Pack up a lunch or dinner from home and visit a local park to sit, eat and connect. You can pick a park that is a family favorite, or even find somewhere new! Below is a list of ALL the parks all over the Coastal Bend! The best part aside from the food this is a free resource we have available to us here in the Coastal Bend!

Coastal Bend Area Parks and Playgrounds Guide

Instagram Photoshoot:

As an elder millennial I enjoy finding a good spot for a fun picture for the gram! Even better if me and the hubs get a chance to get out explore and take some fun pictures together! Local Coastal Bend family The Bartels made a video about a year ago with their top 5 Instagram-worthy spots on Northbeach! You can see that video here. Visit some of these spots or explore and find your own! You could even find all of the local murals to visit and use these as your photoshoot spots! Or just see how many you can find!

Go Play Disc Golf: 

Disc Golf is a fun twist on the game of golf, and there are a bunch of different courses all over the Coastal Bend, and since most of them are located in public parks they are free to use. The only expense would be to get yourself some discs to use. You can find a set at Academy for around $20.00 or find a set you can borrow from family/friends, then look through the list of parks to see if there is a course you would like to visit. My husband and I actually did this for our second date ever when we first met, and it has always been a fun memory for us. To learn more about disc golf here is a short video to explain the basics.

Take a Hike: 

If you have a good amount of time to spend kid-free getting out and exploring the outdoors might be the perfect date idea! You can pack up some trail snacks and water and hit the nature trails all over the Coastal Bend. If you need trail ideas we have a whole list of Hiking trails here.

Take a Drive:

Sometimes even just getting in the car with your favorite tunes is a great way to slow down and connect with your partner. In the Corpus Area, you can drive what is known to locals as “The Loop” or “The Beach Loop.” It takes about an hour (depending on the ferry) and is a great way to see areas of the Coastal Bend you do not visit often. You might even find a new place to stop and have dinner together (obviously this depends on your date budget) but if you do not stop anywhere this is a totally free adventure! If you are not near Corpus or want to think of a different spot to take a drive, hit up some backroads without a destination or game plan, you could even flip a coin to choose which way you turn at each stop sign. This could be hilariously fun, especially if you end up a little lost! Our family recently took a road trip and it always seems like our GPS finds the most backward, back road routes to take us, and those are some of my favorite memories in the car laughing and trying to figure out where we might end up next.


Did this list of free date ideas help you make some plans? Do you need more ideas, take a look at our other date night ideas here!

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Jennifer is a Coastal Bend Native, born and raised in Ingleside. She began contributing to the Corpus Christi Moms Blog in 2018 and stepped up as the Community Engagement Coordinator in 2019. She is happiest when she is crafting, writing, or doing anything artistic. She loves music, especially ANYTHING from the 90's, and is often seen dancing around the kitchen to Nsync while cooking dinner. She is married to Derik and has two kids, Connor and Keeley (pronounced Key-Lee). Jennifer still feels like a novice when it comes to parenting and enjoys letting other moms know they are not doing life alone. She also admits she watches copious amounts of Netflix, but balances that out by reading to and with her kiddos as much as possible each day.