Dating More for Less! How to do date night on a budget

By Selena Garrison

When money is tight, the fun stuff tends to get cut first. Yes, food, electricity and rent are all important, but all work and no play makes for a grouchy couple. Having fun together is important for your relationship, so do not put date night on the back-burner if you can help it! Living in Gainesville has lots of perks, especially when it comes to finding fun things to do on a tight budget. Whether you are looking for budget date night ideas or planning to take advantage of Gainesville’s many outdoor activities with a fun day date, consider one of these nine options all for under $30.

Possum Creek Park

Possum Creek Park is entirely free! It is a beautiful open space area where you can walk your dog, bike or even just stroll around the beautiful trees that cover the area. Take your lunch and picnic at the park. It is a beautiful way to enjoy the outdoors for absolutely no extra money!

Paynes Prairie

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park also makes for a great day with your special someone! With 21,000 acres of outdoor beauty, you can see alligators, bison and over 270 different species of birds! At $6 per car, you can hike, bike, canoe, kayak, fish or just walk the trails.

Ichetucknee Springs

You can float in the river at Ichetucknee Springs with your significant other or you can hike, snorkel or enjoy wildlife viewing at the state park. The fee is only $6 per car, but if you bike there (or walk, for the more athletically inclined) it is just $2 per person.

Santa Fe Zoo

One great option is the Santa Fe zoo! The zoo is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., and adult admission is $10 ($6 for UF staff and students and FREE for Santa Fe staff and students).

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

At $10 per adult, the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is another beautiful and peaceful option for a day date. With two picnic areas, you can even bring lunch to enjoy on a beautiful day.

The Hippodrome

Check out what is going on at the Hippodrome. Depending on what they have scheduled in the Cinema, you can have a great night out for less than the cost of your traditional movie theater.

Gator Baseball Game

Tickets for Gator Baseball games start at $5 per person, and if you want to make it a family date night, you can get four tickets, four hotdogs and four drinks for $20 every Friday!

Butterfly Rainforest

The Butterfly Rainforest is just $14 for adults, but if you are a Florida resident then it is down to $12.50 admission – and it is free for UF students and museum members! You can see hundreds of free-flying butterflies, as well as fish, turtles and birds from all over the world.

Regardless of what you and your special someone like to do, Gainesville has so many options for fun, inexpensive dates. Take advantage and find some things you love to do right here where you live!

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