Whether you’re brand new to the university or just about to be set free into true adulthood, here are some awesome cheap and fun date ideas around Florida Gulf Coast University. Because let’s be honest, every couple can do better than making plans to Netflix & chill.
1. Grab some dollar ice cream.
Seriously?! Is there honestly anything that can beat ice cream? And dollar scoops at Cold Stone on a Tuesday means you can have it at any time of the week. Plus, bring your student I.D. card and you can get a student discount. Talk about a good deal!
2. Play with puppies.
Thought Cold Stone couldn’t get any better? Right next door is a puppy adoption center called Lil Rascals Puppies that specializes in selling smaller breeds. That’s right, not just puppers – tiny puppers. You can sit and play with them for as long as you like. And it’s a great stress reliever!
3. Take an art class.
More of a creative couple? Painting With A Twist at Gulf Town Center offers classes ranging from $20 to $45 where you and your partner can spend time together learning new skills in a small or private class. What better way to spend your Sunday than competing to see who can paint Santa better?
4. Get some Slurpees.
This is one of my favorite cheap and fun date ideas. If you both don’t have a ton of money, hit up any 7/11 and get some Slurpees. Mix it up with the flavors and then find a special spot where you two can hang out. Take your Slurpee, sit on the car and just talk. Recommended for first dates: cheap, fun, and cheesy romantic.
5. Mix and match appetizers.
Again, pardon me and my cheapness. Another awesome way to have a lot of food, without going broke is ordering maybe three to eight appetizers in place of two expensive entrees and just sharing. Often the outcome is better than most entrees the restaurant serves anyway, and your date won’t be mad you broke his or her budget. Recommended places include Applebee’s, Outback Steakhouse, Miller’s Ale House, or Cheddar’s.
6. Stuff your faces with unlimited sushi.
If you and your partner prefer to eat somewhere classier, Blu Sushi offers unlimited sushi from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for only $16.95 per person. With this awesome deal, you get a choice of unlimited starters, sushi rolls, blu rolls, and blu specialty rolls. The rules are: only two items are allowed per time, no sharing, substitutes, or to-go containers allowed, dine-in only, and the last order must be made by 2:15 p.m. Sounds like an all-around good deal.
7. Cook together.
If you prefer a quiet night in and you’re lucky enough to have the cooking equipment, making a healthy meal for two together at one of your apartments is great. New Era Produce and Coconut Point Green Market have fresh produce available every day straight from the countryside. Spend the day finding fresh veggies and the night making a great home-cooked meal.
8. Take em’ to the movies.
Another great first date idea, take your date to the movies. Whether it’s the blockbuster of the year, or a love story movie for the ages, at Regal Gulf Coast Stadium 16 with an FGCU student discount you won’t be breaking the bank.
9. Go to Game Time.
More of a competitive couple? Why not go to Game Time? It’s a family entertainment center with indoor amusements including video arcade games, simulator rides, redemption machines, great food and more. There’s enough at Game Time that it’s perfect for group dates, too!
10. Challenge each other to a mini golf game.
Another all-time group date favorite is mini golf. Glowgolf offers an indoor glow in the dark experience, while Castle Golf’s course offers an incredible outdoor layout and atmosphere. Challenge your partner and bet to see who will pay for dinner afterwards.
11. Go for a strike at the bowling alley.
Another one of my favorite cheap and fun date ideas is bowling and pizza. I would recommend this especially for a first date. Gator Lanes has their $2 Tuesday offer after 9 p.m., and the rest of their prices can be viewed here.
12. Hammock and chill.
If you’ve been on campus at any point in the afternoon, you might have noticed quite a few students hanging out in hammocks studying, watching Netflix, or just enjoying the Florida sun. The Hammock Club at FGCU sells hammocks starting at $40. Once you and your partner have your hammocks, you can set them up anywhere on campus! You can study together, watch Netflix together, or enjoy each other’s company. Check out the FGCU Hammock Club’s Facebook to find out how you can get one.
13. Visit the FGCU Waterfront.
Another component of FGCU to not miss is the incredible waterfront located in North Village. Reserve a time slot on the Axis Wake Boat, check out any of their canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, and sailboats, or just cool off in the swim area. Also, FGCU students get access to everything here completely free with a valid FGCU Eagle ID.
14. Get skating.
Let your inner skater fly free at Bamboozles where you and your date can rent out skates and hit the floor. Bamboozles offers great low prices and even has a double Saturday special going on every weekend. Check out the Bamboozles website for their Super Saturday and Glow SK8 deals.
15. Head out to the beach.
What better way to spend a Saturday or Sunday than by spending some time in the Florida sun? Head out to Fort Myers Beach and spend the day sunbathing, splashing in the crystal blue waters with your toes deep in the snowy white sand. Build a sandcastle, collect seashells, go snorkeling, snack on some ice cream and share a kiss under the tropical sunset. Spending the day with your favorite person should be special and there’s nothing more special than a real Florida beach.