Dating at UF feels hard, but I’m here to make it easy!
Dating at UF can be brutal, but once you’ve clicked with someone, figuring out what to do together should not be the hard part. As a certified broke college girl, Alachua County resident and hopeless romantic, I’ve got you covered. Gainesville has so many affordable and fun spots for dates and I’m here to give you the scoop. Here are the top 10 dates you can go on for under $10:
At UF’s Center for Outdoor Recreation and Education (CORE), students can rent hammocks for $4 on Saturdays. You and your date can chill out and chat, read or swing around together at spots like Lake Alice, Plaza of the Americas or Lake Wauberg.
9. How Bazar
How Bazar is a clothing store downtown that hosts fantastic and affordable events. Make sure to visit its night market and block parties for free and enjoy DJs, skate competitions, fashion shows, dance battles and unique vendors. How Bazar also hosts “Get Down Disco” night every Thursday with tickets for $5 each. Follow How Bazar on Insta at @the.how.bazar to look out for all of their events.
8. Grab a Snack
Gainesville has so many options for wallet-friendly eateries to enjoy together. The top affordable spots I love are The Bagel Bakery, Hyppo Popsicles, Midnight Cookies, Curia on the Drag, Sweet Dreams and TeaStori. Each offers delicious foods and drinks, and you can score servings for two for less than $10.
7. Arts and Crafts Center
The UF Arts and Crafts Center (ACC) is an absolute hidden gem on the bottom floor of the Reitz Union. The ACC hosts fun and affordable activities for students every day like Watercolor Wednesdays, where students can come every Wednesday to make watercolor paintings for free. There also are free sewing workshops, so you and your date can make a goodie to take home together. Pop in throughout the week to paint a ceramic piece together for about $10.
6. Visit the Market
Gainesville has so many fantastic markets for you and your date to check out. Keep an eye out for the Florida Vintage Market, Haile Market, Heartwood’s Farmers Market, Grove Street Farmers Market and plenty more.
5. Fitness Class
Recsports hosts a variety of fantastic free classes every day where you and your date can get a great workout together! Some of my favorite classes are yoga, total body, dance fit, kickboxing and boot camp.
4. Retired Horse Farm
Mill Creek Farm, located just a half-hour drive from campus, serves as a sanctuary for retired horses. While entry to the farm costs two carrots, I suggest bringing a whole bag along with a handful of bananas for the toothless horses for an even more enjoyable visit. You and your date can stroll along the farm’s walking paths, which span 2-3 miles, and interact with and feed the elderly horses. Do note that the farm is open exclusively on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
3. Friends of the Library Book Sale
Twice a year, Friends of the Library Alachua County hosts a huge book sale! The sale lasts for four days this year, from October 21 to October 25. On the second to last day, all books are half off, and on the last day, every book is a dime. After you and your date buy all the books you can carry, you can drive four minutes over to Depot Park to cozy up and read together.
2. Fruit Picking
Amber Brooke Farms is in Williston and has strawberry, blueberry, vegetables and flower picking throughout the year. The farm’s “U-pick” tickets are free, and you buy whatever you pick around the farm (unless you snack on it before you get back)! It also hosts events like the Blueberry Festival and Fall Festival, which do require an extra ticket.
1. Lake Wauburg
Lake Wauburg is UF’s free lake for students and up to four guests. You and your date can have a blast at the North Shore, trying out paddle boating, sailing, grilling, playing sports, tanning, taking a swim or just chilling in hammocks. If you’re feeling more adventurous, the South Shore has climbing, bouldering, disc golf, fishing and even mountain biking. So much to do without spending a dime.