Dates can be cheap and memorable

Brittany Westerberg

Brittany Westerberg

With Valentine’s Day upon us, people will stop to think about dating and what they want to do for the “holiday.” Some people with a significant other think they have to make the day memorable by spending $50 on flowers and chocolates, buying expensive gifts and going out to eat at nice sit-down restaurants. If you are one of these people, Valentine’s Day can take a good chunk out of your wallet.

Personally, I don’t like doing that to my boyfriend. We’re both in college and on limited budgets. Unlike some girls you might know, I mean it when I say that I don’t want a huge expensive piece of jewelry or a gourmet meal on special days. I just want a special day that I’ll remember later on in life.

John, a friend of mine, told me about his favorite, most memorable date with his girlfriend. What did they do, you ask? They went for a long walk. They were sitting around trying to think of something new to do, and so they went outside and walked around campus. They ended up at the Campanile and sat on the steps for an hour or so, just talking. In his words, “You don’t have to spend money to make memories.”

Now, granted, it’s the middle of winter, and so I don’t exactly recommend walking around for long periods of time unless you’re in full winter gear, including long johns, mittens, scarves and hats. There are other things you can do, though, that are both inexpensive and memorable.

If you are looking for something fun to do outside on a winter’s day, why not go buy a couple of cheap plastic sleds from Wal-Mart and go sledding? You can also rent them from Jacks’ Place in The Union for $1.05 per sled per day. It’s guaranteed to give you some exercise, put some color in your cheeks and most likely, leave you laughing after your couple hours (or half a day) spent out in the snow. You could even take a trip back into your childhood while you’re outside and build a snowman or have a good old snowball fight. Just be sure to wear warm clothes! Afterwards, you can go get a cappuccino or hot chocolate to warm up.

If you’re looking for something involving more sports, go to a basketball or hockey game. If you are a student, you get into basketball games for free, and you can split the snacks (or the guy can pay for them himself, if he’s trying to impress the girl). Hockey games cost a little, but the snacks are cheaper. Another good thing about this idea is that if there is an unexpected lull in the conversation, you both can focus on the action to fill the awkward moment.

Why not stay in for the date? Invite your significant other over and make a meal together. You can try some random recipes you have not tried before or buy some ready-to-bake cookie dough and just pop that in the oven. Play a board or card game. Then watch one of your favorite movies, settle down and have some quality time.

If you don’t have a significant other, don’t count these ideas out! Each of these can be turned into a larger group activity that can make your Valentine’s Day fun. Go sledding with a group of friends, go to a sports game or have a party at someone’s house and just hang out.

Whatever you do during this day, make a point to spend some time with people you care about, because really, that’s what Valentine’s Day is about.