Relationship 101: Six Simple Madison Date Ideas


by Cassie Hurwitz, Lifestyle Staff Writer

The Madison-area holds an incredible amount of date opportunities. While dating may not seem very prominent on UW-Madison’s campus, the thrill of a fun night out can add excitement to the standard routine of classes and exams. Whether it is with a partner of many years, or a new date that leaves you full of butterflies, plan one of these dates with someone special and watch your connection grow.

Picnic on Bascom Hill

While ideal weather for this date idea is becoming more scarce every day, it is still a great option to keep in mind for next spring and summer. Grab a basket to fill up with sandwiches, fruit, lemonade and a few sweet treats, bring a blanket and then head over to Bascom. You do not even have to make the trek up the whole hill! Set up camp at the bottom, and have a nice afternoon eating and laughing with your loved one.

Movie Night at the Marquee

UW students have access to many cost-effective resources on-campus, including the Marquee Cinema at Union South. The Marquee frequently shows free movies for students and community members. If you love film but are unable to find transportation to the nearest movie theater or are watching your spending, the Marquee is right at your front door! Look out for some new releases or broaden your horizons by choosing an older film that neither of you have seen. Make sure to remember your student ID!


Visit the Zoo

If you are an animal lover, the Henry Vilas Zoo is a quick bus ride from campus. The facility houses monkeys, big cats, apes, bears and, of course, badgers. This is a great way to get outside and spend some quality time with your significant other. Bonus: the admission is free!

Lakeshore Path Walk

When the leaves change colors in October and November, Lakeshore Path is the perfect place to soak in the gorgeous red, orange and yellow tones. Have a low-key date by finding a spot along the lake to sit and chat (or walk all the way down to the Babcock Dairy Store). Share a scoop with your sweetheart and indulge in a waffle cone of some Orange Chocolate Chip ice cream.

Free Museum Tour

There are many ways to explore Madison without spending a penny, like taking advantage of the free museums. The Chazen Museum of Art is the place to visit if you want to see beautiful pieces dating back to pre-fifth century, while the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art offers wonderful exhibitions from this century. Further culture yourself by visiting the Veterans Museum or Wisconsin Historical Museum, or learn something new at the Geology or Science Museum on campus. When you are done, compare your favorite exhibits and discuss what you both learned.


Afternoon at a Bookstore

Check out some of the great, independent bookstores in downtown Madison, like A Room of One’s Own or Paul’s Books, and roam the aisles looking for new titles or old favorites. Play a game by picking out a book for each other, promising to read and report back on whether or not you liked the other’s pick. Not only does this make for an afternoon well spent, but it also gives you an excuse to talk again later.

Dating may seem scary at times, but each of these options is requires little stress or money. Spending quality time with someone can strengthen your bond and lead to a healthy and happy relationship. Try out one of these ideas the next time you want to impress your significant other with a fun-filled day!

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