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Oh, college. It’s a magical land where coffee flows like unending rivers and Ramen is an all-season staple. It’s a time of full spirits and empty pockets, rich opportunities and poor paychecks. So how do you woo that special someone when your bank account looks like a big LOL? Here are six inexpensive date ideas to get you through anniversaries, Valentine’s Day and every outing in between.

1. Check for Free Days

A lot of really great places offer free or discounted days. For instance, did you know that Norman’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is always free? Or that the OKC Zoo offers complimentary admission every Monday December through February? In this case, it really pays to do your homework.

2. Channel Your Inner Chef

Whether you’re cooking with them or for them, the time and effort required are sure to swoon . Be sure to have all the ingredients beforehand to really project that “date” vibe. Remember: It’s called Great Value because it’s capable of great things.

3. Host a Movie Marathon

Blankets? ✔

Popcorn? ✔


Looks like you’re all set for a cozy night in. To keep this from looking like a lazy Sunday afternoon, try to have everything ready beforehand. Bonus: Go for a lineup of his or her all-time favorite flicks.

4. Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Cliché, right? I know, I know – but the options are as vast as the Oklahoma plains. Head to Red Rock Canyon for a day of hiking. Bike around Boomer Lake or long board through the Paseo. Picnic outside the Botanical Gardens. Who knew that nature could save you so much green?

5. Get Festive

Local music and film festivals are a great way to support budding artists while enjoying a little free entertainment. Also, many cities like Moore, Edmond, Yukon and Midwest City also offer free weekly concerts as part of their summer music series.

6. Ask for Help

Still stuck? Nobody knows Oklahoma better than Travel OK, which is why they’ve developed a handy list of 50 free places to visit. Or, if you’re looking for events, try heading to the Visit OKC website. So help me help you, and see what these great sites have to offer.

For maximum effect, try pairing these suggestions to create your ultimate date combo. Or, if you’re ready to tackle the black diamonds, go for the element of surprise – because unexpected dates are often the best dates.  I hope you’ve found some inspiration here, and I wish you the best of luck. Happy dating!