As far as location goes, the University of Vermont is about as ideal as it can get. We’ve got Lake Champlain on one side, and mountains on the other, and in between them sits our beautiful campus, and one of the best college towns in the good old U.S.A.. So every year when the cold weather sets in,there’s no need to spend all of your time with bae in a dorm room watching Netflix and trying to ignore the sounds of your roommate panicking before her human development midterm, because there is still plenty to do around town, all without breaking the bank. Keep reading for 15 cheap and fun date ideas near UVM!
1. Delicious hot chocolate at Lake Champlain Chocolates.
As all of us who have ever spent part of Parent’s Weekend in downtown Burlington know, the Lake Champlain Chocolates store pulls a big crowd, and for all the right reasons. From the minute you walk in, you’re surrounded by caramel, peanut butter fudge, and vats of sugar. The hot chocolate, to quote The Polar Express, “Tastes like it was made of melted chocolate bars”. Wander around a snowy Church Street, or stay inside the store while sipping something sweet, with someone sweet. It is easily the most delicious of date ideas near UVM!
2. Donuts and juice at the Saturday Farmer’s Market.
Burlington hosts a year round Farmer’s Market, which, due to the number of farms in the area, is pretty darn impressive. My personal favorite stand would be the one with homemade donuts (try the chocolate coconut), which will set you back two dollars. If your trying to recover from the previous night’s jungle juice, take the time to grab a detox juice at one of several stands. Additionally, this market is in a downtown park during the summer, but comes to our very own Davis Center (first floor) every Saturday during the winter. Location, location, location.
3. Study with a cup of the best latte at Uncommon Grounds.
If, like yours truly, you are in a study-heavy major (looking at you, nursing students) ditch the library (all three of them) and spend your afternoon sipping on a latte in Uncommon Grounds, on Church Street, while your most attractive study buddy helps you out with that oh so tricky review sheet.
4. Hike Camel’s Hump!
For our more outdoorsy couples (definitely not unusual at UVM), going for a hike is always at the top of the list. Take advantage of the Instagram opportunities, and hop up on Camel’s Hump, or one of the other mountains, and spend your day, not your money, with your favorite person.
5. Walk along the lake.
This one is the perfect date for all our romantics out there. Wandering along the side of a pristine lake at sunset. Enough said.
6. Wander through Church Street.
If you haven’t already done this one, either solo or with your friends, it’s really time to get off campus. Church Street is always packed with performers in the warmer months. The magicians are entertaining, and the music is legitimately something to look forward to. An outdoor ally concert under the rainbow twinkle nights is never a bad idea.
7. Have breakfast at Skinny Pancake.
This goes out to all of you brunch and breakfast lovers. This is one of the best date ideas near UVM for you. Maybe it’s the morning after and you want to get to know the lucky gent, or maybe you happen to be one of those miraculous morning people, but the skinny pancake hits the magic trifecta of college students: cheap, fast, and good. And with an on campus location, go ahead and add easy to that list.
8. Go to City Market!
One of the trademarks of Burlington is the grocery stores. Small, busy, and absolutely incredible. Almost all of them (with the exception of Trader Joe’s, but that’s a chain so it doesn’t count) include a bomb cafe/sandwich shop, which offers not only food, but excellent opportunities for people watching, totally negating the dreaded awkward silences. My personal favorite? The chicken pesto at City Market, but the coffee cakes at Healthy Living are not to be missed.
9. Lunch at Gardener’s (Williston Location).
A true hidden gem. Gardener’s is actually a nursery, as in the sells trees kind, not the baby kind. It is also the most magical place in Vermont. If you want to take great pictures, then this is one of the best date ideas near UVM for you! Gardener’s sells everything from plants, to home decor, and also features an on point cafe, specializing in the kind of soups and sandwiches that make you question why you spend any money on your meal plan.
This is one of the most classic date ideas near UVM. The UVM ski and snowboard club offers a wicked ski pass discount, so if you both already own one, go ahead and make it a date. A caution: skiing is an all day activity, so make sure you’re up for that.
11. Emjoy a classic meal at Brennan’s.
Crunched for time? Fresh out of money? Lacking in motivation to leave the Davis Center? You literally cannot go wrong with the menu at Brennan’s.
12. Ride the campus bus.
Okay, bear with me on this one. UVM’s free shuttle is a necessity in the winter. Ergo, if you do not yet have a date, and would like one, hop on the bus, claim the seat next to the stud in the UVM Rugby jacket, and fire up a conversation.
13. Ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s Downtown.
My recommendation is a cute sundress, curls, and peanut butter fudge core ice cream. Bonus points if you can endearingly wipe some ice cream off your guy’s chin where he somehow got it. Every time, I try this, they flinch.
14. Go for a ride on the campus bike trail.
For those miraculous fitness couples who seem to love working out together. The bike trail which starts next to the soccer field runs along some gorgeous houses, is the perfect length, and features handy benches at intervals, which are my favorite place to recuperate, after a brief episode of pretending to be athletic.
15. Dessert at My Little Cupcake.
Eating cupcakes in an attractive way is usually impossible. However, when they happen to be mini cupcakes, it becomes, dare I say it? A piece of cake. Hard to go wrong with any of the choices in the store, but my favorite is the almond raspberry. It’s also easy to grab a half-dozen and take them to the lakeside to enjoy. An alternative route? Grab the box of cupcakes and sprint approximately a mile back to your dorm to eat them. Really, you can’t go wrong.