Cheap Date Ideas That are Actually Cute (and Fun)

Dating in college can be stressful. You meet a cute boy and start spending more quality time with him to figure out if this fling has any potential. Dating is already stressful enough with worrying about if this boy actually likes you or if he is just looking to “hang out." The last thing you want to worry about is if you have enough money for that theme park ticket or dinner date. Here are some cute date ideas that won’t hurt your bank account.

Have a picnic in a local park

Take your crush for a small picnic in the park because it is the perfect way to spend some relaxing quality time together. It will be beautiful outside, especially with this fall weather coming up. Take a big blanket and lay out a nice set up with homemade sandwiches, fruits and cookies. Enjoy the outside scenery and perhaps go take a long walk at Paynes Prairie where you will be able to spot alligators and horses. You can even pay a visit to Lake Wauburg, which is free with your Gator 1 card. (What's not to love about that?)

Go play with some puppies at the Humane Society

I’m absolutely obsessed with dogs so if a boy ever said let’s go spend the day playing with puppies my heart would drop. If your love interest is also interested in dogs, they would love the Alachua County Humane Society. There are dozens of sweet dogs of all ages that would love to play and be cuddled. Plus, this would be a perfect opportunity to bond over your something you both love. The best time to visit the puppies would be adoption hours, which are held Thursday through Sunday from 12 pm to 6 pm.

Take a road trip to the beach

Being landlocked in Gainesville can be extremely boring sometimes, especially if you are like me and have lived by the water your entire life. Take your date to the nearest beach to have some laughs by the water and catch some rays. St. Augustine Beach is only an hour and a half away from Gainesville, and it is absolutely beautiful. The white sand is perfect for tanning — and on those extra windy days, the waves are great for surfing. After taking a trip to the beach, stick around St. Augustine to see the Spanish architecture and enjoy the various attractions like the Spanish fortress.

Be scholarly and have a study date at the library

Finding a good chance to spend quality time with your significant other can be hard when you’re constantly worrying about all the homework assignments that are due soon. We do go to UF, so dating and maintaining your Dean's List standing isn't always a breeze. Why not set up a study date at Library West? That way, you guys will be able to see each other while studying for upcoming finals (and you can snag some Starbucks while you're at it)!

Decorate cupcakes

It’s the holiday season so it is a great time to start decorating festive cupcakes. Baking cupcakes is extremely easy and fun to make. All you need is cake batter, icing and sprinkles. I also like to add a little food coloring in the icing so that there are plenty of colorful options to decorate the cupcakes with. Blast some music in the kitchen and start getting into the holiday mood while decorating (and hopefully eating) some sweet cupcakes with someone you love.

I know there is a bunch of pressure to plan the perfect date, and it is believed you need to spend a lot of money to make a date special. I hope these fun date options will make you realize you don’t need to waste a lot of money to have a great time with that special someone.