Everybody wants to go out on elaborate and exciting dates in college. College is a time for trying new things and for expanding your comfort zone. So why shouldn’t we be going on dates that involve casinos, skydiving, fancy dinners downtown, hot air balloon rides or going to see a concert? I’ll give you the one and only reason why these are not the typical college dates— money.
However, being broke does not limit the fun you can have while dating in college. It just makes you more creative. Check out our list of inexpensive and creative date ideas!
1. Make a themed dinner - Going out to dinner is obviously much more expensive than cooking at home. However, simply cooking dinner for your date can be kind of boring. To spice it up and make it a special experience, have a themed dinner date. Pick a romantic place, such as Italy, and together cook an Italian dinner complete with an Italian set table (candles and Italian hors d’oeuvres). Play some classic Italian music in the background and create an atmosphere that will make you and your date feel as if you just landed in Rome. After dinner if the mood is feeling right, you could watch a romantic Italian movie together, my personal suggestion would be Letters to Juliet, the perfect Italian romance. After the movie, surprise your date with a classic Italian dessert, such as Gelato.
2. Go stargazing - This date is awesome because it is absolutely free. Stargazing is about romantic as it gets so you can not go wrong. Just grab a blanket and head out to a grassy spot on campus and lay down and enjoy the phenomenon that is the starry sky. You can impress your date by preparing ahead of time and learning to identify the big dipper and other constellations.
3. Go to a city park - Most parks are free of charge and are a great activity to do on a date. Look up where the nearest metro parks are to your college town and take a visit! Metro parks give you the opportunity to take a nice scenic walk with your date.
4. Go to the movies with your campus ID - Normally, most movie theaters located near a college campus offer discounted movie tickets with proof of your student ID which helps when you get to the concession counter.
5. Go to a school sporting event - Attending most sporting events in college is 100% free to students. Take your date to a swimming meet or a lacrosse game. This is a great way to take advantage of being a student. However, if you wanted to take your date to a football game, which usually does costs money, student tickets are relatively cheap so this still could be a fun idea if it is in your budget. But if not, there are plenty of other sporting events going on weekly at your college and they are free.
6. Study together - We all have to do it, so why not make a date out of it! Studying doesn’t have to mean spending hours at the quiet library all by yourself. Get creative and invite your date over for a study session complete with some junk food from the vending machine and popcorn.
7. Have a movie marathon - A great way to get to know someone is to watch movies with them. After you watch a movie the best thing to do is to discuss it. Renting movies is relatively cheap, so rent a whole stack of movies and invite that special someone over for a movie marathon. This time of year, you could think about renting scary movies. Or, you could rent classic movies, your favorite movies, their favorite movies, silly movies, or bad movies so that way you can talk through them about how dumb they are. Any type of movie you decide to rent, you are sure to have a good time with good conversation.
8. Go to the zoo - Almost every city has a zoo, so find the one nearest you and take your date there for the day. The zoo is an inexpensive activity, especially if you are a college student because most zoos offer discounted tickets with your student ID. Going to the zoo is secretly an activity that everybody loves, so why not enjoy it with the person you like?
9. Make a scavenger hunt - This date could be completely free if you plan it right. While this idea is the most labor intensive of them all, it is the most fun and most impressive date you could conjure. There are endless possibilities to how one could go about creating a scavenger hunt date. You could lead your date around campus finding clues based off of things that you know they like. For instance, you could give them a clue that says, “this is where your favorite band played last year,” and that will lead them to the bar where another clue will be waiting that says, “go to the place where your favorite study spot is at and look for the book with your name on it.” This will lead them to the room at the library that they love the most, and in that room you could put a book in there that has their name on it and the next clue could be taped to that book. Eventually, lead your date to meet you at a special place for dinner or dessert or something fun like that. This date could get really creative and could make memories that you will be telling your grandchildren, if all goes well...