great dates

50 Free and Cheap Super Dates in Portland

Keeping the romance alive can be easier than you might think.  Portland (and the areas close-by) is completely FILLED with great date opportunities for you and your sweetie to reconnect and adventure.  

Here's a list of 50 free summer date ideas (and around) in Portland this summer:

Soak together

There are TONS of incredible hot springs near Portland and across the state.  Hike in and soak with your special someone!  Here's a great list with a map!

Eat local

If you're a foodie you know Portland is a great place to eat.  But the summer produce from local farmers makes it even better for food-inspired folks.  Go to any of the farmer's markets to taste or challenge yourself to see new parts of town by attending all the markets on this map this summer.

Watch a movie

Portland parks shows free movies all over the city three and four nights a week.  Bring a blanket and your favorite movie snacks and watch a silly show with your neighbors.  Here's the whole list.

You can also attend the rooftop movies at Hotel DeLuxfor a more grown up movie night.

Go swimming

There are over 6000 lakes in Oregon.  Start with a visit to any of the lakes on this list of 60 great summer swimming spots!

You can also attend the Chunky Dunk, or Naked Goddess Swim, if that floats your boat.

Picnic in the parks

One of my creative couples started checking off a list of every park in Portland last summer.  Their goal?  Visit every park with a picnic basket.  There are 279 parks in town- so this adventure list could keep you busy for a while!

Attend the symphony

Oregon Symphony puts on a show at Tom McCall Waterfront park for 20,000 Portlanders every summer.  You should check it out.  Here's the deets.

The Portland Festival Symphony puts on five additional shows in various parks throughout the city.  Check out the listing here.

River Festival

Free music and performances at the gorgeous Cathedral Park.  Come dance with your sweetie and celebrate how beautiful the Willamette is!

Eat some berries

Oregon overflows with berries in the summer and there are a lot of fun ways to eat them.  Attend the berry festival, go to u-pick farms near town, or wander one of the great berry picking spots off trails with your honey.


Oregon is one of the best places to beach comb around.  Head to the coast at any of these spots to find agates, jasper, shells and more.

Street Fairs

I cannot believe how many neighborhood street fairs happen in Portland.  It seems like there's one every weekend.  If you've missed the early ones this summer don't worry you can still check out any of these:

Clinton/Division Street Fair

Fremont Fest Street Fair

Mississippi Street Fair

Soapbox Derby

Yes, Portland is home to an annual Adult Soapbox Derby, and if you get there early enough you can watch other adults zoom past- narrowly avoiding fate with hundreds of other onlookers.

Dessert date

Pix patisserie hosts Wednesday beer garden movie nights with free popcorn all summer.  Get something sweet for your sweetie.

Vegas in Portland

Tony Starlight is Portland's best answer to the glory of old Las Vegas.  You can pay for a show throughout the year, or attend the free Fernhill Park show this July.

Support state parks

My partner and I started this adventure list a while ago and it has given us so many beautiful days.  Support the state parks by hiking, camping, fishing, riding through or cleaning up any of the parks listed here.

Concert lunch date

Pioneer Square hosts noon concerts all summer.  Meet your sweetie for a nooner lunch date and check out the show.

Mermaid Parade

Either attend or dress yourselves up (or both) for the mermaid parade this year.  That simple- Mermaid pride!

Smell the roses

If you're into flowers- but not able to buy them consider a trip to the rose garden.  There are thousands of flowers for you and your sweetheart to choose favorites from.  

Obon Festival

The Oregon Buddhist Temple shares a traditional Japanese holiday with Portland each year.  Bring your sweetie and try something different.

See some art

Portland is such a great city for artists.  You can support art in every neighborhood.  Attend Last Thursday on Alberta, or First Thursday in the Pearl.  Or go to one of the free days at the Portland Art Museum.

Fossil Festival

Attend the Northwests Largest Fossil Festival and geek out together over the incredible diversity of rocks, gemstones, and fossils found in our home state.

Go for a ride

Portland Parkways is a program held by Portland Parks and Rec every year to quiet a neighborhood and give space for pedal-powered riders.  Bring your bike and a lunch and watch a zillion toddlers learn to pedal.  

Float the river

There are so many ways to float the rivers in and near portland.  You could attend the Big Float in town or head outside the city to float the Clackamas or the Sandy River.

India Festival

Celebrate Indian cultural heritage with other Portlanders at Pioneer Park- it's totally free.  

Nude not lewd

If your relationship is ready for public nudity, there are two clothing-optional beaches near Portland, Collins on Sauvies and Rooster Rock.  Both have cheap day-use fees ($5 and $7 respectively) so you can really soak in the sun.

Highland Games

Okay, it's not free- but it sounded so fun I had to include it.  Attend the Scottish Highland Games in Greshambecause it's that fun.

Take a hike

Oregon is arguably the most beautiful state to live in.  Get outside together to enjoy the beauty!  Here's a list of 75 awesome day hikes in driving distance of Portland.

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