January 8  |  Our Communities

13 Affordable Date Ideas in Fort Collins

Whether you’re planning a first date or a special night out for you and your long-time spouse, there are plenty of great date night activities in Fort Collins. And better yet, there are plenty of affordable options!

Dating on a budget doesn’t have to look like take-out pizza and Netflix at home (although there is nothing wrong with that). Explore our incredible city and its diverse attractions with your date — without spending a fortune! From romantic stargazing adventures to free brewery tours and bowling to archery lessons, these date night adventures are sure to please your date — and your wallet.


Go on a Brewery Tour | Free

Odell Brewing Co. Tour

Both New Belgium Brewing and Odell Brewing Co. are popular destinations for beer in Fort Collins, and both offer free tours! The 90-minute New Belgium tours start at 11:30 a.m. and leave every hour until 4:30 p.m. While the tour is free, spaces fill up quickly so you must book your space well in advance to guarantee a spot. Odell Brewing offers free daily tours at 12, 1, 2 and 3 p.m. The tours are approximately 45 minutes and limited walk-in spots are available, so be sure to book your spot online in advance by midnight the day before your visit. After your tour at either of these well-known breweries, sit down for a full beer or two in their taproom. At this point, you’ll be an expert on their process and beers!


Visit the Museum of Art Fort Collins | $4–5

Some museums cost an arm and a leg to get into — but that’s not the case at the Museum of Art Fort Collins! The museum is located directly adjacent to Oak Street Plaza in one of the prettiest historic buildings in downtown Fort Collins. Inside, you’ll find rotating exhibitions exploring everything from masks to fine art photography. Admission is just $5 for adults, $4 for students and seniors, $1 for kids ages 7–17, and free for kids 6 and under.


See a Movie at Holiday Twin Drive-In | $5–8

When the temperature warms up, Holiday Twin Drive-In is the place to be! This historic theater has been serving Fort Collins and the surrounding communities for over 30 years, and is one of only six drive-ins currently operating in Colorado. It hosts two giant screens, which play a double feature every night during the spring and summer. Grab a blanket, some snacks, tune your radio to the right station, and enjoy a current movie in a nostalgic setting for a low price.


Admire Beauty at the Gardens on Spring Creek | $11

Gardens on Spring Creek Fort Collins, CO

The Gardens on Spring Creek is the community botanical garden of Fort Collins. In 2004, the 18-acre site opened to provide us with a venue for horticulture education and appreciation. Their mission is to enrich the lives of people and foster environmental stewardship through horticulture, and they’re continually expanding their programs and their site! This makes an excellent date activity on a warm, sunny day — especially because admission is just $11 per person.


Hike the Cache La Poudre River Trail or Horsetooth Reservoir | Free or $9

There are few things more cost-effective (and enjoyable!) than a scenic hike exploring all the incredible parks and trails throughout Northern Colorado. Pack a picnic (or even just a snack) and hit the trail — either along the Cache La Poudre River Trail or throughout Horsetooth Reservoir. Both offer exceptional views, varied terrain and a variety of outdoor activities to do nearby. The Cache La Poudre River Trail is free to access and there is a $9/vehicle entrance fee at Horsetooth Reservoir.


Enjoy Unlimited Bowling at Chipper’s Lanes | $9.95–14.95

With several locations throughout the region including one on Horsetooth and College Center, Chipper’s Lanes is a favorite amongst kids and kids at heart in Northern Colorado. In addition to bowling, Chipper’s Lanes offers arcade games, laser tag, live music, a restaurant and endless fun for an action-packed date night. Keep an eye on their amazing deals, like their ever-changing Daily Deal, Chipper’s Fivers, and our favorite, Unlimited Bowling, which ranges from $9.95 to $14.95 per person during specific times (in the morning and afternoon on weekdays with late night options all week long!).


Grab a Cup of Coffee + Pastries at Bindle Coffee | About $10

Bindle Coffee Fort Collins, CO

Photo Courtesy of Bindle Coffee

One of our favorite coffee shops in Fort Collins is Bindle Coffee. Husband and wife owners Andrew and Jenn Webb care deeply about where their coffee beans come from and how both the farmers and consumers are treated. Their global worldview is obvious while inside their shop, as they have a large world map displayed on the wall which tells where their current beans are from. They roast those beans in-house — a house which is a beautifully transformed 19th-century mechanic’s shop! Grab a cup of coffee and a delicious pastry for a laid-back date with your significant other.


Tour the Avery House | $6

The Avery House Fort Collins, CO

Photo Courtesy of the Poudre Landmarks Foundation

History buffs will love a history-filled date exploring this iconic landmark. The Avery House was originally built for just $3,000 in 1879 using sandstone from local quarries. Franklin Avery and his wife Sara raised their children in the house and added several additions throughout the years. Today, the house, the Margareth Merrill Memorial Gazebo, the fountain and the carriage house are all part of the Avery House Historic District listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and it’s all maintained by Poudre Landmarks Foundation. To learn about private group tours and weekly open houses, click here.


Act Like a Kid at The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery | $12.50

Who says the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is just for kids?! Stay forever young with a visit to this interactive history and science museum offering thought-provoking fun for all ages. The 16,000-square-foot main gallery combines hands-on and artifact-based exhibits that cover everything from music to fossils and first peoples to outer space. It’s time to explore the Northern Colorado region via its history, science and technology with your date! Admission for adults is just $12.50.


Ride Birney Car 21 | $2

Birney Car 21 Fort Collins, CO

Photo Courtesy of FCMRS

Birney Car 21 is Fort Collins’ historic trolley, and it is now officially 100 years old! Today, you can visit Birney Car 21 on summer weekends and holidays for a 3-mile round trip between City Park and Howes Street in downtown Fort Collins. It’s a great way to enjoy local history and take a unique tour of our city center. Because this attraction is seasonal, be sure to check the schedule before you make your date plans.


Go Stargazing with the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society | Free

The Northern Colorado Astronomical Society is a local non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the science of astronomy and to encourage and coordinate activities for amateur astronomers. Whether you consider yourself an amateur or a professional astronomer, the society has plenty in store for you and your date. They host dozens of public observation events throughout the year at locations like Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area, Bobcat Ridge, Carter Lake and more. Volunteers will be available to share knowledge about stars, planets, galaxies and more. The events are free but reservations must be made in advance. Search “stargazing” on the Larimer County event page to see what upcoming events are happening!


Try Your Hand at Archery at the Jax Archery Range | $6–12

Channel your inner Katniss during a one-hour archery lesson at Jax Mercantile. The Fort Collins store offers an indoor archery range complete with a 20-yard range that can hold up to 12 archers at a time. So why not make it a group date?! No matter your skill level, Jax’ experienced instructors are there to teach you the ropes!

The range is open during store hours but is closed to the public on Saturday morning. For just $12/hour, you can rent equipment from Genesis Compound Bows and Re-Curve Bows or pay just $6/hour to use your own. May the odds be ever in your favor!


Explore Jessup Farm Artisan Village | Varying

Jessup Farm Artisan Village Fort Collins, CO

Photo Courtesy of Kelli Kroneberger via Jessup Farm Artisan Village

Spend an afternoon exploring all that Jessup Farm Artisan Village has to offer. Here, you’ll find a coffee shop (that we discussed earlier!), adorable shops, a brewery, two restaurants, an ice cream shop and more. You could spend as little as $10 on a couple of ice cream cones at Josh & John’s or go big with an extravagant meal at The Farmhouse and post-dinner drinks at Barrel House — it’s a choose-your-own-adventure experience!


Love Is In the Air

What budget-friendly date would you add? Let us know in the comments below!

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