Are you living on a college budget, but also want to surprise your girlfriend or the guy in your chem class with a cute date? Don’t let money hold you back from finding your soul mate! Here are 15 cheap and fun date ideas near the University of Florida, and most of them are completely free.
Set up a romantic picnic by Lake Alice under the stars
With a nice blanket, some candles and fairy lights, and some tasty finger food, this idea could easily top this list as the most romantic date. Some major tips are definitely to bring bug spray, and to watch out for gators since you’re on the lake in swamp country. Some spots around Lake Alice tend to not have many people, especially at night, so this is also a great way to get some alone time and get away from the dorms.
Watch a free and recent movie at the Reitz
This idea gets so underrated because the Reitz Union movie theater isn’t promoted too often outside Gator Nights, but every Friday through Sunday, movies that are even still in theaters are played. This is also free to all University of Florida students!
Get your game on at a Gator sporting event
Show off your gator pride together at a UF game! You’re not limited to football games – there’s basketball, lacrosse, tennis, etc. Other than football, all the games are also free for all University of Florida students. You can have some fun getting ready together by painting your faces or coloring your hair.
Pop, lock, and drop it at a hip-hop fitness class
Hip-hop fitness is intense, but also extremely fun whether you can dance, or not. Be prepared to sweat, and you might want to put some hair spray on if this is a first date – and don’t forget the deodorant! If you do happen to have some moves, this is a great way to show off what you can do. If you don’t happen to be able to shake what your momma gave you, there’s other fun classes for you both to try, including yoga and cycling. Why not include fitness on your cheap and fun date ideas near the University of Florida list!
Stroll through the farmers’ market in Downtown
Every Wednesday from 4-7 pm, there’s a farmers’ market running in Downtown Gainesville! Wander through the stands and pick up some snacks or mementos. Downtown is also an adorable place to sit and talk, so don’t hesitate to just pick a spot and get to know each other a little. This is both a cheap and fun date idea near the University of Florida!
Get some popsicles and watch a band
Also in Downtown is Hyppo, the most amazing gourmet popsicle store. Popsicles run around four dollars each, and are entirely worth it with flavors ranging from chocolate cheesecake to the Elvis Presley. Free concerts also play on Friday nights at the Bo Diddley Plaza, so grab a treat and hang out in the grass. This should be top on your cheap and fun date ideas near the University of Florida list!
Make a splash at Lake Wauberg
Lake admission is free to all University of Florida students, so you can just hang out by the water or enjoy a nice picnic. If you’re up for even more adventure, there’s also rock climbing, disk golf, canoeing, kayaking, water skiing, wakeboarding, and a challenge course to try out. There’s such a variety of cheap and fun date ideas near the University of Florida!
Watch the bats fly at sun down
When the weather gets warm, down by Lake Alice at sundown all the bats will fly out of the UF bat houses at once in a spectacular show. This is also a tradition in the F book for students to accomplish, so why not do it together and snap a pic? This date can help you get a cord for graduation! DEFINITELY add this to your cheap and fun date ideas near the University of Florida.
Take a trip to the museum and butterfly garden
Yet another free admission for University of Florida students is the Samuel P. Harn Museum and Butterfly Rainforest just past the Southwest Recreation Center. Explore the simulated rainforest set up for the butterflies and birds, and get a history lesson inside the museum.
Show off your skills at Broward Recreation Center
At the outdoor recreation center behind the Broward dorms and dining hall, there’s all kinds of sports and activities for the two of you to try. Skateboarding, basketball, beach volleyball, hockey and tennis – if your date is athletic, this is a great chance to get comfortable with each other.
Split a pizza pie bigger than both of your heads
Big Lou’s pizza is a cute, affordable, and delicious place for dinner in Downtown Gainesville. Did I mention the pizzas are huge? Make the dinner even cheaper by splitting the bill or using some student coupons. Another great place to get pizza is Piesano’s if you wanted somewhere closer to the University – it’s right at the end of midtown, and it tastes amazing.
Check out that weeks’ Gator Night theme
Gator Nights is so underestimated by students. The themes are always really fun, including things like Casino night or the Great Gatsby, and there’s all kinds of crafts to do together (sometimes you can even get free plants, if you’ve failed to snag some at Turlington). There are also games, free food, free movies, and free pool and bowling, and it’s all just steps from your dorm rooms.
Fall all over each other at Skate Station
Nothing brings two people together like embarrassment, right? Realizing both of you forgot how hard it is to roller skate will definitely spur an inside joke you won’t forget. Wednesday nights are also adult night, and skating is only $5.
Get lost in the stars
The observatory at UF is a great place for a romantic evening under the stars. With large telescopes you can explore the universe together – for free. The observatory is open on Fridays from 8:30 to 10 pm, but make sure it’s a clear night! It might also be packed with students trying to complete astronomy assignments, but the wait is worth it, and it gives you two time to talk.
Netflix and Chill via the library
Did you leave all your movies at home? Besides just having millions of books, Library West has an enormous selection of movies for you to check out! From Deadpool to Casablanca, there’s certainly a movie you can both agree on. Run by the POD to grab some $.99 popcorn and turn on your fairy lights and you have a romantic movie hideaway – if you can kick out your roommate for a few hours.