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Sex + Relationships

7 Free Date Ideas That Are Right Here on Campus

Dating is expensive. No matter how much you like a person, going out to dinner, buying movie tickets or taking extravagant trips will make you broke. Yet nobody wants to be stuck with “Netflix and Chill” as their sole date night option. Luckily, there are a bunch of free date options right here on campus, if you know where to look.

Free Movies At Russell

Every weekend, Carolina Productions shows two movies at the Russell House Theater. They’re typically just-out-of-theater blockbusters, and they range across all genres. On Friday nights they also give away free popcorn (but it is movie tradition to sneak in some of your own snacks). They also do special screenings like Rocky Horror on Halloween and a special foreign films week. Some highlights for the rest of the semester include The Meg, The Nun and a Mama Mia! marathon.

Stargazing at Melton Observatory

There’s truly nothing more romantic than looking at stars with your crush. Unfortunately, when you live in a city, this becomes a bit less realistic. Most nights the light pollution clouds even the brightest constellations. Luckily, there’s an observatory on campus that has public viewing nights. There’s nothing like getting cozy and looking at something so bright. It’s open Mondays from 9-11pm.

Farmer’s Market

Soda City market sets up every Saturday morning along Main Street starting just a block from the State House. Tons of vendors sell a very wide array of products – most of them handmade. Plus, they sell every type of food imaginable. There are typically musicians and singers throughout the market as well, showcasing their talent. It’s a wonderful place to people watch, and there are always tons of dogs to pet. Many stands give out free samples. You don’t have to spend any money to have a great time here. There’s also a mini farmer’s market on Greene Street every Tuesday, and there are always tables giving out free samples and information about resources on campus.  

Carolina Productions Events

Throughout the year, Carolina Productions puts on events throughout campus, ranging from free concerts to escape rooms to swing dancing. There’s always something going on, and they tend to advertise all over campus. Their karaoke nights are classic, and they have thousands of songs to choose from, so you and your SO can find the perfect duet. You can find their calendar of events here.

Tackling the UofSC Bucket List

The UofSC bucket list has 100 challenges for students to complete before graduation, and a bunch of them require a partner to complete. A picnic on the horseshoe can be totally romantic – just make sure to bring a blanket with you (and it’s not cheating to use your meal swipes to buy the food). Kissing on the Horseshoe during a full moon is super sweet too.

Cooking Classes

Taking a quality cooking class with your partner at a restaurant or cookware shop could set you back over $100. On campus, cooking classes are available to students at no charge. These classes are offered throughout the semester, and they have a variety of themes from “Budget Bites” to “Flavors of Fall.” The classes are typically small and super hands-on. You and your partner can sign up together through myhealthspace.

McKissick Museum

Most campus tours start at the McKissick building at the top of the horseshoe, but did you know that it’s actually a museum? Plus, it’s free to the public. They have rooms full of beautiful pottery and artwork to admire, as well as walls of gemstones and rocks. It’s a great place to go exploring with your partner.

Spice it up for your next date night right here on campus!

Jenna Cameron

South Carolina '21

Jenna is a social work major with a minor in criminal justice at the University of South Carolina. She is a sophomore and this is her first year writing for Her Campus.
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