Five Fun Dates That Won’t Leave You Broke


Valentine's DayWhether you have been in a long-term relationship, or you’re just starting to date someone, Valentine’s Day can create some serious stress. You can’t escape it. Everywhere you look, people are going above and beyond to impress their loved ones, and they are constantly buying extravagant gifts, posting sappy love quotes or uploading romantic clips from movies. How is anyone supposed to compete with that? If you’re a broke college student, it can be even more difficult to put together a plan for a special Valentine’s Day experience that meets such inflated expectations…unless you have a little help. And that’s where we come in. We’ve done our research and found that there are some fun and inexpensive ways to impress your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day. Here are five of our favorites that are sure to please your special someone.


Snow Date

1. Create a Winter Wonderland

If you live in a state that is currently covered in snow, use that to your advantage. Find a quiet spot and build a snow fort or snowman together. Be sure to take plenty of before and after pictures, too. When you both start to get a little cold, bring out a basket filled with treats and a thermos of hot cocoa. Wrap up in a large blanket and use the weather as an excuse to enjoy a little snuggle time together.


Scavenger Hunt

2. Go on a Scavenger Hunt

This is a fun way to either relive your first date or learn more about each other. Create clues that lead your date to places that hold a special meaning or where you have hidden little trinkets for him/her. The final clue could lead to a romantic picnic or dinner at your favorite restaurant. It’s also a great way to make new memories and collect some fun photographs along the way.  


Thrift Store

3. Get Thrifty

Okay, so this one might not be suitable for those girls who are high maintenance or seriously materialistic, but if you both have a great sense of humor and an adventurous spirit, it can be a lot of fun. Head to your local thrift shop and set a budget of $20 each. Then, each of you will create an outfit for the other to wear on your date. Depending on your sense of style, or comical nature, the evening may go smoothly or land you on an episode of What Not to Wear. Just be sure to have some fun and don’t forget your camera!



4. Step Into the Movies

Remember when I mentioned all those romantic clips from the movies flooding social media? Well, if your significant other is one of those who secretly wishes to be a character in a Nicholas Sparks movie, now’s your chance to make it happen. Consider registering for a pottery class together (Ghost), heading to a furniture showroom (500 Days of Summer), meeting at the top of the tallest building in your area (Sleepless in Seattle), or belting out a compilation of romantic songs (Moulin Rouge). If you need additional ideas, check out this list of the 50 Most Romantic Movie Moments from Total Film. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.


Puppy Love

5. Have a Play Date

Do you really want to tug at your date’s heartstrings this Valentine’s Day? Consider going to the local animal shelter; nothing is more adorable than fluffy puppies or cuddly, little kittens. You can volunteer to walk and play with the animals, which will give you time to talk and get to know each other better. It’s perfect for a first date, but also for couples who may have fallen into a rut and need to change things up a bit.

Just remember…you don’t have to spend a fortune to impress your significant other this Valentine’s Day; there are plenty of thoughtful, creative ways to show you care without going broke. Need some more ideas? Check out Just for Men: Surviving Valentine’s Day on a Budget and our list of Valentine’s Day Gifts for College Couples. Good luck, and “Happy Valentine’s Day” to you and your special someone!

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