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We all know the big struggle of finding the perfect place for a date in college. First date, lunch, dinner, fancy, casual…the list of what you’re looking for is endless and campus seems limited in that department. But you’d be surprised how many spots there are right on campus or close by that won’t break the bank. Here’s a guide to some date ideas on and around the SMU campus:

1. Dallas Hall Lawn


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As students, we get used to the view, but it really is one of the prettiest places on campus, and maybe even in Dallas. In the evening, the usual bustle across the lawn is over and it’s the perfect place to throw down a blanket, play some music and eat with your significant other. Enjoy the view of Dallas Hall and the background noise of the fountain. You might even get lucky and meet some furry friends walking across the lawn with their owners!

2. Go out for tacos!

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You can never go wrong with tacos, and you’re in luck because Dallas is home to a huge variety of great taco places. My favorite quick and inexpensive taco places are Torchy’s Tacos (unique tex-mex style), Velvet Taco (tacos that far exceed the limit of the taco norm) and Urban Taco (new takes on tacos from all across Mexico). And all these spots are within five minutes of campus. If you’re willing to go a little further away, El Come Taco (a mix between traditional and modern tacos) and Revolver Taco Lounge (Deep Ellum upmarket tacos) are also great options!

3. Meadows Art Museum 


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It’s free for SMU students and open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays, so it’s perfect for any art-lover’s date night. If you’re really into art, the Dallas Museum of Art also has late nights on the third Friday of every month with special performances and events (student discount is $5 per ticket). Check out the amazing art pieces Dallas has to offer with your date!

4. White Rock Lake


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Take a run, go for a bike ride, sit by the shore, kayak—the lake is the place for a morning exercise or evening stroll date. Early in the day, there are tons of people running, biking, rowing and walking their dogs all around the lake. In the evening, the sunset is gorgeous. This is a great option for taking in the scenery and having a casual conversation! If you’re up for it, it’s a five-mile bike ride from campus or a quick 15-minute drive.

5. The top of Binkley Parking Garage

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On a late night, it’s the ideal spot on campus to park your car, turn on the radio and lie beneath the stars with your date. Listen to music, talk or just enjoy the peace of one of the most deserted places on campus. And, if you ever want to watch soccer together, this is a prime spot for a great view of any games going on.

6. Sons of Hermann Hall


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Go and swing dance all night with your date! If you can’t dance, don’t worry, because they have classes and you can learn a few moves before hitting the dance floor. For any level of dancer, Wednesday nights at this historic ballroom are a great time! This is an awesome way to get close to your date and learn some dancing skills.

7. Weekend brunch


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Dallas is full of excellent places for pancakes, French toast, eggs or anything brunch-y you can imagine. Yolk, Halcyon and Toulouse are just a few of the brunch places Dallas has to offer. Another option is heading over to the Dallas Farmer’s Market, which has brunch spots and also a myriad of delicious, fresh food (especially fruit). Sit down and enjoy some delicious food with your date on a nice switch-up from eating on campus.

8. Go to the movies


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The Angelika Film Center is right on Mockingbird Lane and is a great place to go see indie and artsy films (perfect for a first date!). Even better, they have Student Tuesdays where your SMU ID will get you a ticket and bottomless popcorn for only $8. Hold hands with your date, share some snacks and enjoy the movie-theater-date vibe!

9. Sports games


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Don’t forget you’re in Dallas, where there is every type of sporting event all year-round. It’s almost certain that there will be something going on, whether it’s a Cowboy’s game at the AT&T Stadium, cheering on the Stars at the American Airlines Center or seeing a soccer game at the Toyota Stadium. With the constant sporting action, you’ll never run out of things to talk about and many events have student discounts!

10. Study date


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Remember, we’re in college. Why not combine studying with a romantic evening? Reserve a study room at Fondren or Hamon, grab some coffee and spend an evening quizzing each other over school work. It’ll be so much fun you’ll forget you’re studying!

Isabelle is a first-year at Southern Methodist University studying biology and anthropology on the pre-med track. She is from Austin and loves doing anything outdoors, from hiking to scuba diving. When she's not in the library studying, Isabelle is out exploring Dallas, listening to 80s music, or fueling her addiction to chai tea at the nearest coffee shop.
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