Going out with that someone for not so much money

Frivolous spending seems to be sweeping across the dating scene, when all that truly counts is spending quality time with your loved one. Photo Illustration: Tyler Pauly/Iowa State Daily

Tyler Pauly

Frivolous spending seems to be sweeping across the dating scene, when all that truly counts is spending quality time with your loved one. Photo Illustration: Tyler Pauly/Iowa State Daily

Alissa Atkinson

The dinner-and-a-movie date is a typical choice for many couples, both new and established. Depending on the time of the show and the restaurant of choice, this date can be expensive.

Because many college students don’t have an abundance of extra cash to throw around, planning more creative and less expensive dates can be fun and necessary.

1. See a movie, but skip the theater

Seeing a movie doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many fun alternatives to going to the theater.

“We would just rent a movie and take it out on the MWL field at night on a blanket and watch it — cheesy, but fun and cute,” said Jamie Stueve, sophomore in hotel, restaurant and institution management.

See a movie through SUB Films, which shows various genres of film Thursday and Friday nights. Movies will be at various locations, such as at a pool and other outdoor spots. Movies are free of charge and tend to be new releases. Upcoming films include “Hancock,” “Stepbrothers” and “Pineapple Express.”

Be creative and fearless. Try a themed movie night. If you and your date enjoy scary movies, try recreating Halloween. Get candy to eat during the movie, light candles and play scary music during dinner.

2. Get ice cream

Rain or snow, hot or cold, ice cream has always been a favorite date night experience for many students.

“I love Chocolaterie Stam. [230 Main St.] The Italian ice cream is $3.50 for a small, $5.00 for medium and $6.50 for a large. You can get it there or to go,” Stueve said.

“Dairy Queen [316 Lincoln Way, 3308 Orion Drive] is probably the best quick ice cream, but Hickory Park [1404 2. Duff Ave.] ice cream is the best by far,” said Lydia Lowry, junior in animal science. “If you’re looking for fancier desserts, the Cafe [2616 Northridge Parkway] is unbeatable. And in the summer, getting snow cones at Tropical Sno is always good, too.”

Elizabeth Ortiz, sophomore in pre-diet and exercise, said she and her boyfriend have always liked Cold Stone Creamery ice cream, 1310 S. Duff Ave.

For the creative, try making your own ice cream at home. Ice cream makers can be purchased at Wal-Mart, 3015 Grand Ave. and 534 S. Duff Ave., starting at $25.

3. Break the ice

You’ll fall, get covered in ice shavings and repeat the process. What could be a better way to break the ice? Ice skating is available at the Ames/ISU Ice Arena, 1505 Gateway Hills Park Drive. Open skating times vary each month. Visit www.cityofames.org or call 515-292-6835 for current times.

Admission is $4.75 for adults and skate rental is $2.75 per person. Ice skating will be free select nights throughout the year, sponsored by ISU AfterDark. For a schedule of upcoming events, visit www.afterdark.iastate.edu.

4. The great outdoors

Going camping can be a fun date for two, but would be a great opportunity for a double date with mutual friends. Camping near a lake presents opportunities to fish, swim or boat.

Camping is available at Hickory Grove Park and Dakins Lake. Forty-three modern camping sites, most with electricity and a shower house with flush toilets and hot water in the main campground, are available through mid-November at Hickory Grove Park. The cost is $17 per night per site. Ten primitive camping sites are available for $7 per night.

Ten camping sites with electrical hookups are available at Dakins Lake. The cost is $7 per night per site. Visit www.storycounty.com for camping rules and regulations.

5. Dance like no one’s watching

“Swing Dancing at Lake Robins is one of the most fun dates there is,” Lowry said. “It’s in Woodward, Iowa, but the little bit of a drive is worth it. Usually it’s only $5 to $15 to go, too.”

ISU Ballroom Club also hosts a social dance — swing, waltz, tango and salsa — from 7:30-9:45 p.m. Fridays. Dancing takes place at 196 Forker and is free.

6. Be creative

You don’t have to go to great lengths to be personal on dates. Taking a walk in the park can be a fun and creative alternative to a typical date. Going on walks can be a nice way to talk and get to know someone on a first or second date, or a good way to catch up with a boyfriend or girlfriend if you’ve been busy with classes. Pack a picnic and watch the sunset after your walk.

Tyler Stafford, sophomore in pre-advertising, said he recommends couples “get two disposable cameras and go around Ames and campus, taking pictures of each other. Go get the pictures developed, and while they are developing, go to Pita Pita, 2508 Lincoln Way, because it’s cheap, has a free salad bar and activities.”