Going on dates can be so fun, but also so nerve racking. You have to ask them first, then pick a day, then pick a time, then pick where, then pick what, and then what you’re gonna wear, etc. It’s all a lot sometimes and taking dates to the same places is plain boring. Spice it up a little bit, whether it’s your girlfriend of 2 years or your first date on tinder, I won’t lead you astray. Just remember to come prepared with a little money and maybe a light jacket for these cozy fall months. Keep reading for 10 cute date ideas around UW Madison!
1. See one of your favorite bands perform live!
Madison is packed with local venues that host tons of artists throughout all times of the year. There’s no better way to find out what your tinder date is really about than to see what their honest reaction is to your favorite band. The Orpheum, Majestic, Barrymore or even local bars host music both indoors and outdoors to cater to whatever time of the year you’re date is. Don’t forget the instagram pic of the two of you to end the night right!
2. Go for the classic dinner and dessert downtown.
Nobody can deny that we have some 5-star deserving restaurants downtown. Taking your date out for dinner is not only a classic, but also always successful. If you want to keep it casual you can hang out around state street for teriyaki at Glaze and a waffle cone at Chocolate Shoppe. Otherwise you can take it up a notch and dine fancier around the square. Basically everyone loves food, especially if it’s free.
3. Walk around Lake Mendota and take pictures.
Nothing is more romantic than a stroll next to the water at dusk. Lake Mendota has to be one of the best cute date ideas around UW Madison! There’s no better excuse to just talk and enjoy the views with your babe especially in these cozy fall months. The best thing about this date too, it’s free!
4. Go to a game at UW!
UW is famous for our athletics because we’re good at winning and they’re fun as hell. Most of the students on campus love going to games because the company you’re with makes it all the better. You don’t have to stick to just football and basketball too, volleyball and hockey are just as fun! Whether you both have season tickets or not throw on your red and have fun supporting the team in the student section.
5. Visit the Chazen Museum.
This date is perfect for the one who’s into art or the one who’s majoring in philosophy. Going to a museum is pretty cool for everyone and the locality is unbeatable. We don’t get a chance to see art all the time and the idea of holding hands and drifting around the dimly lit rooms is too cute. Plus, this date is a good way of seeing if you and your date see eye to eye on things, figuratively and physically.
6. Go see the cute giraffes at the Henry Vilas Zoo!
This date is only accommodating for the nicer months in Wisconsin, but still totally cute. I’ve never met someone that doesn’t like the zoo, because duh giraffes and polar bears are awesome. The Henry Vilas Zoo is close to campus and has really nice exhibits despite being free. If this is the only thing you do on the date or one of the many, they will definitely have a good time checking out the animals and maybe you too.
7. Catch a movie at one of the local theaters.
This is another classic thing to do, but also a practical and enjoyable one too. There’s literally always a movie I want to see in the theater and I’m sure your date feels the same. There’s a few local theaters: The Marquee in Union South, Hilldale Cinema, or Marcus Point Cinema if you are willing to bus or have a car. Even though this was one of the most popular dates in middle school, it’s 100x better than Netflix and Chill with your roommates hanging out on the couch with the two of you.
8. Rent a boat at Memorial Union.
You can’t go wrong at the union. Grab a scoop of ice cream, sit on the docks, drink a pitcher of beer, take the iconic picture in the big chair, devour a brat from the brat stand, see live music in the theater, rent a boat, make pottery, blah blah blah. Take your date here and let them decide what they want to do because it won’t be hard.
9. Snack at the campus food carts.
This date idea is surpassed often, but shouldn’t be! The food carts on campus are to D-I-E for, seriously. Plus, they’re only out until 2pm so this calls for a quick in between class rendezvous or skipping class lunch date (seriously who cares about your 1:20 discussion??!). Like I said earlier, we all love food and eating the best of the best at that. Don’t forget to bring the cash if you’re paying!
10. Shop around at the local farmers market.
On the occasion that there is no game day, or game day is at night, and it’s summer/fall this date is perfect. The farmers market is so quaint and adorable for Saturday mornings it’s worth getting up early with that hangover. This date is also great if you like getting away from campus for a bit and being close to the capital. Definitely impress your date by buying fresh veggies for your “fancy pinterest meal” your planning and of course Stella’s cheese bread if you get there in time.