6 Cheap Date Ideas in Salt Lake City

Dating. Some people cringe when they hear that word, others wish that they could do it. However, to the go-getters and love birds who manage to land a date with that crush they've been “accidentally” bumping into every Tuesday and Thursday after Poetry class, it's easy to find yourselves in a position of realizing you have no plan whatsoever on where to go for that date. Sure, you can throw money at the date and hope it goes well, but then again, what money? You’re in college.


You could ALSO invite them over to your dorm room where it smells like B/O and listen to your roommate lament the fact they can't get a date through the paper thin walls. Which would be...well, bad.

But don't fret, listed below are 6 fun, easy, and cheap dates that are bound to make you seem like the type who prefers quality over quantity.


1.) Pet Shop Date

Do you love animals? Does your date love animals? Well, if the answer both of those mostly rhetorical questions are “yes” why not take a trip down to your local Petco or other local pet stores and take a stroll. Nothing is more attractive than showing off your voice that you only do for babies, cute pets, and making fun of friends who like someone, only to find your date has one too! See cute animals and show off your nurturing side as you pretend you want to adopt all of them because they're adorable and need homes. If you love animals (dogs or cats especially) nothing puts a smile on a date's face faster than adorable puppies or kittens. Check out your local pet store and see when they have open adoption days and play with puppies or kittens up for adoption, win, win! (Just try not to actually adopt a pet unless you're ready for a real commitment).


2.) Picnic at a Park Date

Do you enjoy sunshine and fresh air? Well, too bad we live in Utah where fresh air isn’t exactly our priority. But, hey? Why not try a picnic? It doesn't need to be extravagant or expensive, heck, they might even be impressed with your PB&J making skills. The important part is the aesthetic that comes with a picnic. A soft blanket on the ground, offering them something you made in order to feed them, and maybe a couple of sodas or beverages of your choice that gives you and your date a chance to enjoy the public space and one each other's company.


3.) Nickel Arcade Date

This one does require a little bit of money, but honestly it's worth it when you consider the amount of time you can spend there. Arcades are fun and energetic and full of different stuff to do. This date shows off your competitive side, while there are a lot of activities that showcase your ability to share and win together. Play some arcade games and show of your skills, or get in one of those arcade games where you have to sit next to one another and save the world and shoot zombies. Honestly it doesn’t matter as long as you show them you're there to blow off some steam and have fun. Just make sure you get enough tickets to buy them a silly trinket that will remind them of how fun and outgoing you are. Or, if you're trying to get extra points for being kind, try giving the rest of your tickets to that small kid who's just so close to getting that army man with the parachute that becomes impossibly tangled after one use.


4.) Local Open Mic Night Date

Lots of coffee shops and bookstores host open mic nights! These are nights when amateur poets, musicians, comedians, etc., come to showcase their skills and talents to casual on goers. This date is almost full proof to have something for every date. It can range anywhere from your date being impressed with a lot of the material and gushing about how deep and raw it was, or all the way to making fun of the act where some guy wrote a trilogy of poems about his breakup that was four years ago. Either way it doesn't matter, it's free entertainment and it provides something to talk about. This date gives you an opportunity to gauge what kind of person your date is, and their interests in art.


5.) Barnes and Noble Date

Do you love the smell of new books? Well, it doesn't matter because this date isn't just about smells, surprisingly. Going with a date to Barnes and Noble can be so much fun. This store is full of so many nooks and crannies littered with interesting books and knick-knacks. And essentially there is no real reason you need to buy anything, this date can be completely free. But if you're looking to spend a little cash, many of Barnes and Noble stores have their own coffee shops built inside that can provide a little more purpose if you're having trouble leading the date. What people read says a lot about them, and sometimes it's the most fun when you find you both enjoy making fun of the same things. Grab a love novel and try to read it as seriously as possible, or express you joy for a book that really means something to you. Regardless this store is full of a ton of material to open discussions about and if the date ever feels uneasy or just not going well, you can always excuse yourself since it's not a time sensitive date.


6.) Cheap Movie Ticket Date

Most movie theaters offer discounts for matinees or they have days that have awesome deals. If you do a little research, there's usually a day of the week where movie theaters will offer a ridiculously cheap ticket because it's statistically the worst day for them to make sales. For example, Century 16 offers a five dollar Tuesday ticket to any show before 7. This can be an awesome way to see a good movie for cheap, and offer to buy the ticket for your date. (You're on your own with snacks though, sorry). Though I wouldn't recommend a movie for the first date, movies are great way to share emotions and thrills together. It also gives room to discuss about the movie and decide whether it lives up to the hype.


To sum it all up, there are lots of cheap dates that you and the person you’re checkin’ out can go on and have a great time! Best of luck to all of you!

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