Valentine's Day Date Ideas For The Penniless Student...

Valentine's Day is the epitome of romantic cheesiness. It's a horrible day for singletons and lovebirds alike. There's so much pressure to be with someone romantically. If you're taken, there's pressure to do something epic and romantic, which can sometimes be too much for students. The money you spend on a dozen roses and a special dinner date could probably feed you for a month. If you do have someone special in your life and you want to use this opportunity to show them how much you care, here are a few ideas to celebrate your love without leaving you completely broke. Plus, you can do a few of these in one night, so you could mix and match.

1) Forget Going Out For Dinner, Cook For Them Instead

Bribe or blackmail your housemate to vacate your place for the night and make your them dinner. But don't just stop with the dinner. Greet them at the door all dressed up, with a bouquet of fake flowers - they won't whither and die or cost a bomb - lead them into your kitchen where you have a table set up, with cutlery laid out and candles and maybe even have your iPod set up in the corner playing some soft background tunes. Serve dinner, I'd recommend pasta, you can hardly screw that up. Offer them a drink, you can get a cheap bottle of wine from the supermarket. So you've more privacy than you would have at a restaurant and it will probably cost you a quarter of the price if even that - plus any leftovers can do you for tomorrow night.

2) Leave The Cinema, Have a Movie Night Instead

I love going to the cinema, but even I get pissed at the prices, even with a student discount. Does your date love the movies? How about instead of bringing them to the cinema, have them over for a movie night? It might appear to be something that you do all the time, but make it special: aka, get rid of your housemates. Do you have access to a projector? If so use it so when V-Day comes around set up your sitting room like the cinema, except better because you can order pizza there and cover yourselves in blankets. Let them pick the movie. Make out session, guaranteed.


3) Take Advantage Of Free Culture

A lot of art galleries and museums are free. Is your Valentine a history or art buff? Why not explore the culture available in your city? The art students in your college might even have an art exhibit around campus. After having your fill of art, bring them out for coffee and cake. Cheap and cultural, plus it's always fun to go around a gallery and discuss how the art makes you feel, ironically or not.

4) Scavenger Hunt

Super cute and creative. Think back over your more memorable dates, like your first one, where you first kissed etc. All the cute times. Makeup clues to each location with small presents do to with that date it leads you to at each location, e.g. coffee at the place you went on your first coffee date etc. Feeling extra creative? Make them riddles that rhyme. Spend the day recreating the best moments of your relationship. Super romantic and super cheap. Why not document it with a disposable camera and keep the photos to give them at a later time, even take photos with your phone and get them printed off, cute idea for a present.

5) Midnight Picnic - Weather Depending


Grab blankets, a flask of coffee and cookies and head out to a park or a beach. Somewhere where there isn't too many people, or too many streetlights where you could potentially light a fire (if it's allowed, getting arrested isn't the best way to end a Valentine's date) and toast marshmallows and go star-gazing. Worried that you don't know the constellations? Don't be! Make them up with your Valentine, yours will be more accurate than the traditional ones.

6) Build A Fort

I don't really think I need to explain the appeal of this. If you don't find this to be one of the most amazing ideas, then you don't have enough imagination to fill an egg-cup.

7) Go To A Comedy Gig

Does your college offer discounts to local comedy shows? If so take advantage. Does your college have an improv group or comedy club? Take advantage of the discounts and have fun night out. Even if it isn't that funny, make fun of how unfunny it was. Have a few drinks and a few laughs. A non-conventional romantic night out but it could be a great night. Comedy not your scene but you love live music? Why not check out local bars that have open mic nights, you might hear some great tunes, and some terrible ones, but it's all part of the fun.

8) Recreate A Scene From A Movie They Love

Arrive at their house with placards telling them how you feel like Love Actually, or better yet go for a walk around your city with them while listening to the random music on your iPod that you wouldn't normally share with anybody like in Begin Again. This one can be super cheesey, but a whole lot of fun, especially if it ends with a drink in your favourite bar.

Orlaith Costello
Article written by
Orlaith is a Creative Writing graduate from NUI Galway. Hailing from the low lying fields of Athenry, or at least what’s left of the low lying fields. She enjoys the internet as a means of living vicariously through others from the safe confines of her own bed. She will initiate a dance off after at least two drinks on any given night out.

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