While UT Dallas is known for its computer science and engineering programs, you might be too quick to assume that there isn’t much to do in this small college town. If you are going to go out on a date there are several hidden gems throughout the city that are perfect for you to enjoy. Being part of the UTD community is to think outside of the box -and these date ideas will surely take you and your date places you didn’t expect.
1. Enjoy a slice or two at Olive Oil’s Pizzeria.
Pizza here is prepared the moment you order which is great because then you have some room in between pizza to spend more time with your date. The quality is extra tasty, it fulfills your hunger, but it will not leave you with the overwhelming feeling one usually gets after eating pizza (which is perfect because then you’ll have room for dessert)! Olive Oil’s Pizza is close to campus and offers student discounts on pizza.
2. Sample homemade ice cream and produce at Hidden Honey Farm.
Just under an hour away from UTD, Hidden Honey Farm is a rescue bee honey farm that has local honey, strawberries, homemade ice cream, eggs, and pumpkins. This can be a great place to take your date because not only is it something you would do every day, but it gives you an opportunity to share your thoughts on nature. Can you imagine the delectable taste of homemade strawberry ice cream? Also during the month of October there is a pumpkin patch and picturesque background for selfies.
3. Fly up in a hot air balloon at the Plano Balloon Festival.
The Plano Balloon Festival is massive. There is always so much more to see, you will definitely need an entire day to fully enjoy. At the festival you will find foods from your local restaurants ranging from Greek, Indian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Italian, and southern cuisines among others. As well as the variety of foods you would typically find at the fair (hot dogs, corn dogs, funnel cakes).
You will also find a lot of booths for local retail vendors where you can choose a little something for your date. If you plan to go, do look up the schedule for each day because different events happen during the days the festival occurs. Plan to enjoy a nice tethered balloon ride. This year the festival will take place starting September 23rd through September 25th.
4. Attend Shakespeare in the Park.
Established in 1971, Shakespeare in the Park is a must-do date venue! Every year Shakespeare plays take place at a designated park where attendees can bring their picnic baskets, blankets, and lawn chairs to enjoy the grand productions. Perfect way to have a picnic and enjoy some theater.
5. Spend a (late) night at the museum!
Every month on a Friday night the Dallas Museum of Art keeps its doors open until midnight while also hosting an array of events ranging from movies, cheese tastings, and live music. Right across from the museum you will find Klyde Warren Park and the late night continues with your choice of food trucks for some late-night eats in the park.
6. Watch a Drive-In movie.
Galaxy Drive-In theatre is open every night. Here is where you can watch 2 movies for the price of 1 at the low price of $7. This takes movie night to a whole new level. All movies are recently released in theatres so only you get to enjoy them from the comfort of your car. Their snack menu is pretty vast and the prices are very decent–you will not pay an exuberant amount for a hot dog or a drink.
7. Hike the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve!
Enjoy the outdoors with a hike on the hiking trails of the city of Plano that are minutes away from campus. This preserve is a 200-acre park perfect for jogging, hiking, bird watching, running, and biking. They also host community events for the City of Plano such as the Haunt Jaunt 5K taking place in October and the Christmas Market in mid November.
8. Sail on Lake Hubbard.
If you’re new to Dallas you may not know that there are a lot of lakes spread out all throughout the city and its surrounding towns. Lake Hubbard is 30 minutes away from campus and sails year-round on weekends at different times of the day. Rides are usually two hours long and you can come aboard with your own food and drink.
9. Try Paddleboarding at Lake Carolyn.
Learn a new skill: paddle on water while standing! This is an interesting and fun activity to share with your date in a private or group lesson. This aquatic activity will test your endurance and patience because of all that focus and concentration standing on water. You can rent all the equipment and a guide is readily available for everyone.
10. Stop by the Bishop Arts District.
Whether you visit during the week or the weekend you are guaranteed to find an interesting stop somewhere along the Bishop Arts District. If you visit on a Saturday morning you can enjoy the local Farmers Market, brunch at Oddfellows, grab some coffee from Espumoso Caffe, and walk on over to Dude Sweet Chocolate and Emporium Pies. There are also several specialty local shops where you’ll find unique vintage finds and accessories.