15 Cheap And Fun Date Spots Near George Mason University

Do you ever find yourself stuck to the same old routine, going to the same places and doing the same things with your SO? This can happen very often when you are in college. When both of you have cramped schedules or are too lazy to go off campus, and more importantly, when both of you are broke because….well….college, it can be hard to find nice places to go out on dates. Here are some good ideas for date spots near George Mason University to spice up your love life!


1. Free concerts at the CFA for art and music lovers

If you’re both into art and music, this would be the perfect date! There are always concerts going on at the Center for the Arts (CFA) in George Mason University, many of them provide free student tickets! Just show them your student ID upon purchase (depending on the concert, some provide you 1 free ticket for one student ID, some provide 2. So if your SO doesn’t go to GMU, this is still an option!) then voila! You got yourself a free ticket to an artistic, cultural and romantic date! What are you waiting for? Go look up upcoming shows and get started on the CFA website! 

2. Movie Date at University Mall Theater

Watching a movie in movie theaters could be expensive but one of the benefits of going to GMU is our easy access to the University Mall Theater! Their movie tickets are significantly cheaper than other places ($4 for GMU students, just make sure you bring your student ID!) And a lot of the times, you’re able to get free movie tickets for the University Mall Theater at the HUB’s Student Involvement office! Just show them your ID card and you’ll get your free movie ticket for any movies. In college, people always watch movies in the dorms on their laptops, maybe sometimes, on the TV in the common room if you’re lucky. Now time for a change and go to the movie theater for a special date!

3. Go for a stroll at nearby parks! Walney, Burke Lake Park and more

Want to escape from the everyday campus and urban setting? Go for a walk! There’s plenty of parks around GMU. Great opportunity to go breathe in some fresh air, de-stress and appreciate nature! There’s the Walney Park (Ellanor C. Lawrence Park) in Chantilly and Burke Lake Park! Feel free to buy/pack some food and drinks and enjoy them in the gazebos!


4. DC area, museums

One of the perks of going to GMU is how easy it is for us to casually go to the U.S. capital! This just opens up the possibilities of date spots near George Mason University. There are soooooo many museums in DC, you are guaranteed to find something you and your loved one are interested in! There’s the National Air and Space Museum, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Gallery of Art….. you name it! The best thing is…. They’re free! (Some fancier museums might include an entrance fee, like the International Spy Museum, but most museums are free!) You could go to the museums during the day, and just walk around the city and enjoy the beautiful city lights at night! 

If you don’t want to drive to DC and have to worry about parking, you can easily just take the shuttle from campus to the Vienna metro and take the orange line to the Smithsonian station (or other nearby stations).

5. For animal lovers out there, the Smithsonian National Zoo

It can get a little overwhelming/boring to always see humans around campus. It’ll be perfect to go to the zoo and look at adorable animals for a change! The Smithsonian National Zoo is free of charge but that doesn’t undermine the quality of the zoo! They have countless animals around for you to appreciate!

You can take the shuttle to Vienna Metro station and go to the Woodley Park Zoo Metro station or the Cleveland Park station and walk to the zoo! I’ve walked there once and the neighborhood is extremely stunning! It was during the fall/winter season so there were colored leaves all over, very beautiful!

Pro Tip: Try not to go there during colder seasons, since a lot of the outdoor animals are being transported to some inaccessible indoor areas, there won’t be a lot of animals to see.

6. Walk around the Georgetown neighborhood

If you are in the mood for some historical, cultural and European vibes, Georgetown is a great place to go to! The neighborhood is such a charming historical place with good food and views. It would be really romantic to discover new places with your SO and have new experiences together. Check out list of things to do in Georgetown from

7. Go on a hike at Great Falls Park

If you both love nature, why not go on a hike at Great Falls Park! Only a 30 minute drive away, there’s a whole realm of nature waiting for you to explore! You could even pack some food and have a picnic there! So relaxing!

8. Window shopping

Don’t want to spend money? Doesn’t mean you can’t go to the mall! Window shopping could be really fun! There’s numerous malls around campus, many of them within the shuttle system (Fair Oaks Mall, Fair Lakes Center). If you have a car or willing to take the metro, you could go to Tysons Corner Center when you got bored with the ones within the shuttle system!

9. Book panels for book nerds

If you are both book lovers, this would be a really special but effortless way to bond with one another! Fall for the Book Festival is an annual book festival during the fall season at George Mason University. They have numerous book panels, author signings and other book-related activities every day for you to attend.

10. McDonald’s/Wendy’s at 2 in the morning

If you are down for a college experience, go to University Mall and grab a bite late at night/early in the morning. It’ll be a fun little experience!

Cheap options:

11. Getting your dancing shoes on at Glen Echo

If you guys are feeling groove-y and up for some non-party dancing. Glen Echo Park is the place to go! They always have different dance classes and social dance events going on! Swing, waltz, tango, you name it! They have live bands playing great music during the dances, really great ambiance! Perfect for an unforgettable night. 

See Also

The tickets itself aren’t that expensive. It ranges from $5-20, and they sometimes offer student discounts!

12. Ice skating!!

If you guys are feeling active, go ice skating! There’s plenty of ice skating rink nearby. There’s one at Tysons Corner Center (you can get there by metro), and the Reston Ice Skating Rink. They’re around $10. 

13. Get your roller skates on and skate!

If ice skating is too cold for you, go roller skating! Have some fun rolling around holding hands! There are a few roller skating rinks around campus, the Skate and Fun Zone is one of them! It’s around $5. 

14. Disney On Ice!

If you guys are Disney fans or skating fans, this would be the ideal date! There’s Disney On Ice shows at the Eagle Bank Arena and the Capital One Arena in  DC once in a while. The tickets aren’t that expensive either, it’s only $15 for students!

15. Have a puppy or love puppies? Santa Paws at Fair Oaks Mall (Around Christmas time)

If you guys love Christmas and puppies or even own a puppy, this would be such a fun and cute little date! Fair Oaks Mall hosts the Santa Paws event every year around Christmas time, letting puppers take photos with Santa! If you don’t have a puppy, no worries. A lot of people bring their furry friends to get their pictures taken, so there’s going to be A LOOOOOT of them in the mall. You can just go to the mall and casually look at (or even pet, if you have the owner’s permission) adorable doggies! Imagine being surrounded by millions of enthusiastic adorable puppers who are ready to take a photo with Santa.

And if you love Christmas, the Christmas decorations in Fair Oaks Mall would definitely make it a romantic date!


Know of any other cheap or free date spots near George Mason University? Let us know in the comments below!
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