12 Cultural Date Ideas In Aberdeen That Cost Nothing

Dating can be expensive – dinner, drinks and movies all add up, especially if you’re seeing someone worth the costs. The port city of Aberdeen is a beautiful place to date, and you’ve just got to be a little creative to find some romantic but cultural date options that won’t cost you a penny. I have compiled my absolute favourite date ideas that will inspire you to learn new skills, get healthy and expand your mind as you get to know your date in Aberdeen for free.

1. Attend a lunch hour concert at Aberdeen Art Gallery

At Aberdeen Art Gallery, there is a great line-up of free concerts to attend during your lunch hour. It’s a perfect option for meeting a date who loves culture, but lacks time due to a heavy workload or has children to look after in the evening. Browse the extensive list of concerts here.

2. Have a bike ride along Aberdeen Beach boardwalk

aberdeen coastline

The two-mile stretch of the beautiful, sandy Aberdeen Beach is the perfect setting for a romantic dog walk or paddle in the sea. Also perfect for a race or ride along the boardwalk for fitness lovers. Enjoy the sound of the waves and watch the seagulls as you get to know your date. No bikes? No problem. Borrow your bikes for free from beCyCle, Aberdeen’s community bicycle workshop.

When asked about the dating scene in Aberdeen, dating site comparison website, Top Aberdeen Dating Sites commented, “There are a great range of free and affordable, but memorable hotspots to take a date in Aberdeen, come rain or shine, whatever the budget. Our favourite spot has got to be Aberdeen Beach at dusk, with a picnic and a bottle of champagne.”

3. Spot dolphins at Aberdeen Harbour

Aberdeen Harbour dolphin watching

If you walk along the Aberdeen harbour’s edge, you may catch sight of seals and dolphins that often play near the entrance. What could be more romantic than watching dolphins play whilst breathing the fresh sea air?

4. Attend a free Edinburgh Quartet concert

Edinburgh Quartet

It’s rare to have the opportunity to listen to music for free, but the vastly popular Edinburgh String Quartet provides free concerts that includes numbers by Beethoven, Mozart and Shostakovich. Open to all, and hosted all over Scotland, you’ll find a concert and a date to suit you.

5. Take a free workshop at Aberdeen City Library

Aberdeen City Library host free workshops such as drawing, sketching and crafts for those who like to get creative. It’s a perfect chance to learn a new skill or hone an existing one for free whilst enjoying the company of your date in a relaxed atmosphere.

6. Meditate with your date at Aberdeen Wellbeing Centre

Meditation is probably not the first thing that springs to mind when figuring out where to take a date. It’s actually a great opportunity to wind down and be in the company of someone new without the pressure of having something to talk about! You’re sure to be super-chilled following your session, and have something to talk about afterwards.

7. Take a guided tour of Aberdeen Maritime Museum

Aberdeen Maritime Museum

Image source: planetware.com

If you’re of a nervous disposition around new people, especially ones you’re attracted to, a date idea like this is a great option as there is always something to turn your date’s attention to if you feel the conversation is drying up. The free tours at Aberdeen Maritime Museum are a perfect introduction to the Museum which tells the story of the city’s long relationship with the sea.

8. Listen to the Lunchtime Talks at Aberdeen Art Gallery

Lunchtime Talks at Aberdeen Art Gallery

If the history of Aberdeen interests you, a free Lunchtime Talk at Aberdeen Art Gallery may be right up your street. It’s the perfect way to spend a lunch break from work, or a midday date.

9. Go on a nighttime bike ride

If you’ve gotten to know someone a little better, you may want to look for things to do at night that don’t involve drinking and eating. How about attending a free nighttime bike ride around Aberdeen’s centre, hosted by beCyCle, Aberdeen’s community bicycle workshop?

10. Master the orienteering courses at Duthie Park

Orienteering in Aberdeen

For dry days, orienteering is a fun activity to enjoy with a date. There are two free orienteering courses at Duthie Park in Aberdeen. It’s also a great option for dating single parents who want to spend time with each other’s children.

11. Have an outdoor adventure with the Countryside Ranger Service

Aberdeen Nature reserves

If you love nature, consider attending a free outdoor adventure with the Countryside Rangers. From mushroom spotting to guided walks, to shelter buildings, there is something for every taste and age.

12. Get to know the countryside with a Health Walk

For those looking to increase their physical activity, take part in a series of free Health Walks. As well as getting some fresh countryside air whilst chatting to your date, you’ll also get to burn a few kcals.

Keep your game fresh by introducing some cultural but affordable dating options into your life. You and your date will be sure to have fun whatever the cost.

Image Credit: Music book via unsplash.com; beach via visitabdn.com; harbour via bbc.co.uk; Edinburgh String Quartet via edinburghquartet.com; painting via unsplash.com; meditation via unsplash.com; art gallery via aagm.co.uk; bike ride via unsplash.com; park via bhowie25.wordpress.com; woman with binoculars via naturalawakeningsmag.com; countryside via unsplash.com

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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