Tight budgets and limited income keep many college students from enjoying a nice night out on the town, especially for under $40. Unconventional date ideas can help pinch pennies while simultaneously courting the crush of one’s dreams.
Dates seem far and few between in a town of 60,000 students–which may very well be attributed to rising inflation of traditional movie-dinner dates.
According to Tallahassee Magazine, a full-course dinner for two at an upscale restaurant can range from $50-80. Add drinks, and the bill can easily rise an additional $10-15. Movie tickets hover at about $13 a piece, totaling the night at a staggering $65. Add refreshments, and the date can easily reach over $85.
Some consider splitting the tab to ease costs, however this tactic is deemed tacky by most standards.
“I would politely excuse myself and leave him with the bill,” said Hilary Standifer, a third-year elementary education student from Jacksonville. “Why would a man ask me on a date if he wasn’t completely able to afford the date?”
Diamond Ivey, a third-year nursing student from Cleveland, said splitting the bill is not considered a date.
“That’s just two people deciding to go out with one another,” she said.
Tallahassee offers a wide array of activities that are not only inexpensive, but fun:
Rockclimbing at FAMU’s Rec Center wall. Daters, along with an instructor, may test their physical limits on the 36 foot wall. The wall is available Monday through Friday from 5-8 p.m. Total cost: $6 ($3 per person)
Picnic at Lake Ella
Who doesn’t love a romantic picnic for two? Picnics are a less expensive twist on a traditional dinner date. Lake Ella’s open scenery offer daters pleasant views and leaves room for conversation. Food ideas can vary, ranging from sandwiches to gourmet cheese. The possibilities are limitless. Total cost: $10-25
Beach Day at Alligator Point
On hot days, it’s always refreshing to enjoy a nice day at the beach. While popular beaches, like those in Panama City, are a student favorite, the two hour drive may cause an unwanted dent in one’s gas tank. Alligator Point is located 50 minutes from Tallahassee. The quicker drive is gas friendly, and it’s the perfect opportunity for daters to enjoy each other’s company. Total Cost: $0
Happy Hour at 101 Restaurant and Lounge
101 Restaurant and Lounge offers two daily happy hours serving half-off drinks. Enjoy a quick afternoon date between 4-7 p.m., or dress up for a sexy late-night date from 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. 101 also serves $4 apple and cosmopolitan martinis all day.
Total Cost: $15-25
First Friday at Railroad Square Art Park
For more artistic daters, the monthly First Friday festival features dozens of vendors and art exhibits. Vendors offer items such as food, home collectibles, clothing, jewelry and body art. Local artists also come out to showcase their music through live performances. The outdoor festival is held on the first Friday of every month from 6-10 p.m. at Railroad Square Art Park. Total Cost: $0
Wine Tasting at New Leaf Market
New Leaf Market, andorganic supermarket, offers monthly red and white wine tastings. Here, one may step out of their comfort zone and sample a variety of affordable wines from around the world. Daters have the opportunity to discover each other’s tastes in fine wine.
Total Cost: $6 ($3 per person)
Sunday Brunch at Lucy Ho Azu Restaurant
Want to try a twist on Sunday brunch? Lucy Ho Azu Restaurant offers Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The buffet includes a sushi bar, several appetizers, soup, salad, fresh fruits and dessert. The quaint atmosphere is ideal for a first date.
Total Cost: $25.90 ($12.95 per person)