Cheap date ideas

You’re in college, you have a bunch of new dates and a city to explore – yay! It sounds like you have a fun semester ahead. But what happens when your date is super sweet, wants to show you a great time, but is strapped for cash? Or maybe you want to treat him for once but are limited on funds? Check out these free or low-cost date ideas for a great time and less worry!

On-campus is a great place to start. Search your local school listings for new plays, interesting speakers, cultural performances or even one of your school’s athletic teams in action for a fabulous way to bond and have something interesting to talk about afterward. And – they’re mostly free or at reduced rates! Head to a late night joint on campus and finish off the night with a munchies-mart meal under the stars. Sporting events and pep rallies are no-brainers when it comes to dates. They are free for students, immediately engaging and allow your friends to casually meet your new man. Finally, look for workshops where you learn and interact together. One of my favorite events was a sushi-making session. We learned about sushi, made it, then ate it! It keeps the pressure off a new date, shows each other what each of you are made of, and creates an easier date dynamic.

Off-campus is a great way to explore the city around you and to create a little adventure. Most places like art exhibits, festivals and museums have student rates at half or more off the cost of a regular-priced ticket. Many cities have interesting locations or monuments to explore. If you’re into learning while your together, check out the coolest sites online and make a fun day of exploring those sites. The local zoo is also a great option.

For the adventurous couple, pack a picnic with basic favorites (fruit, couple of cold sandwiches or go for a cheese and meat plate), hike or bike to any one of the natural escapes in your school’s town, and end the trek with a well-deserved meal. Make sure you are in public areas and that you let someone closet to you know where you’ll be (always a good rule of thumb no matter what you’re doing!).

Have fun on your date and remember: No matter how simple your date, the important thing is to get to know each other and to enjoy the moment. Exercise your creativity, and you will likely find that many of your least expensive but most interesting dates were also the most memorable.

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