60 Cheap College Date Ideas (Besides Netflix & Chill)

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60 Cheap College Date Ideas (Besides Netflix & Chill)
Cheap Date Ideas for College Students | Fun | Frugal

60 Cheap Date ideas, College Date Ideas, double date ideas for college students, date ideas for college students

Ahhh college – a time where potential dates are plentiful, but money is not.


There are tons of college date ideas that can be done on the cheap. Or better yet, for free!

College Date Ideas

A college student’s life is a filled with homework, late nights and often times a lot of dating. And sometimes, balancing a dating life and a budget can get difficult.


Stressing about how much a date is going to cost can take all the fun (and romance) out of it.  🙁 But it’s not about how much you spend, it’s about who you spend it with.

With that in mind:

I made this list of cheap date night ideas for college students that go beyond just Netflix & Chill. There’s lots of fun to be had within and all with minimal spending to be done.

And yes – “Cheap” and “Fun” can be heard together in the same sentence when it comes to dating!


Here are 60 cheap college date ideas to use next time you ask out, or get asked out, by a special someone. Many of these would even make good double date ideas for college students!

60 Cheap Date Ideas for College Students

1. Go on a Scavenger hunt at Walmart or another store.
People watching is always entertaining, right? 
Well with a scavenger hunt you can look for certain items or you can look for certain types of people – like someone wearing pajama pants.

Come up with your own list of things/people to take picture of or use an already made list.

2. Be the test subjects at a beauty school.
Pamper your sweetie on the cheap with this college date idea!

Beauty school students offer their services for rock bottom prices because they’re practicing. And if you’re worried about ruining your hair, skip the hair cut!

Go for something else, like a manicure or an indulgent facial.

3. Try a recipe you’ve never made before.
Even mom’s famous spaghetti gets old after awhile.

Expand your taste buds together by trying a recipe you’ve never made before. Who knows – it could become a new favorite (this one did for me!).

4. Volunteer at an animal shelter.
Often times you can’t have a pet when you’re a college student.

Your rental situation may not allow them or you simply don’t have enough time to give a pet the love and attention it needs. That’s why going to the animal shelter can be SUCH a rewarding college date night idea, because you get to fill the pet shaped hole in your heart.

Even if it is just a temporary dog and cat fix.

5. Build a blanket fort, make your phone into a projector and have a movie night.
Cozy cuddles with a big screen, perfect for a rainy or cold wintry night.

6. Fill a truck bed with pillows and blankets to go stargazing.
Get away from city light pollution and spend the night taking in all the awes of our galaxy.

For being a free date idea for college students, it can actually be pretty romantic. And if you have a telescope, that can make it even better!

7. Go geocaching with your phones.
Geocaching – it’s not just for nerds with GPS’ anymore!

Anyone can do it with just an app! It’s an activity that’s like a fun little mini adventure where the coordinates reveal an unknown treasure.

Don’t forget to leave a little something for the next geocachers, though!

8. Go to an open mic night.
Comedy – local comedy – you never know what you’ll get, and that’s the fun in it!

If you or your date are feeling brave, you could even try your hand at telling jokes to the crowd.

9. Put googly eyes around your city.
Cheap, silly, unadulterated college fun.

10. Go garage selling.
I love checking out what people have at garage sales.

You could just browse or give yourself a small budget of $10 to work with. This could even be made into a game of who can get the best find with their money.

11. Play ultimate Frisbee.
This is one of those double date ideas for college students I was talking about.

The more the merrier! Plus you could team up which will encourage further bonding over friendly competition.

12. Attend a local sporting event.
Baseball, soccer, hockey – there’s bound to be a local team in your area that would be fun to watch.

Tickets are always uber inexpensive, too – and not just for nosebleeds!

13. Check out your local farmers or flea markets.
Fresh harvests and locally made crafts are a few reasons I love going to my city’s farmers market.

14. Play strip Yatzee, Scrabble, Cards Against Humanity, Boggle, Sorry, Battleship, etc.
Board games, but with an adult twist. 😉

15. Have a picnic in a park you’ve never been to.
Outdoors in nature + food = the perfect recipe for a college date idea.

16. Go to a National Park on a free park day.
Yes – more nature!

National Parks are a treasure, capitalize on seeing them when you can. Time it right and your date will be F-R-E-E!

17. Go sledding at night.
Get in touch with your inner kid, but with a twist.

Sledding under the night sky with fresh powder and cool air, it’s sure to be a blast!

18. Go fishing and release what you catch.
Or keep your catches and cook ’em up for dinner!

Whatever floats your dating boat.

Cheap Date Ideas for College Students | Fun | Frugal

19. Rent a kayak for the day.
Make that two kayaks – one for you and one for your date.

Splashing around in a lake or a river can make for a fun filled day.

20. Do the touristy things offered in your town.
Yes it’s a cheesy date idea, but that’s the point!

cheap date ideas, college date ideas, double date ideas

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