Tired of study dates? Want to go on a romantic outing but everything that remotely inspires affection seems to be at least 5 km away? Looking for new things to do around campus? Still feeling nauseous from how cheesy the title was?
Wake up and smell the love, U of A, because I’ve faced these problems myself and I’m about to serve you a slice of affordable, accessible romantic wisdom. No matter your interests, this campus is full of hidden gems, many of which are better enjoyed with a “Plus One”. Whether it’s with a friend, your significant other, or just yourself, here are 14 easy date ideas you should try at the U of A.
(And here’s to having new ways to spend most of your waking life at school.)
Bio Sci Greenhouses
8th floor Bio Sci, all along the South side of the building. It’ll perhaps feel illegal for you to be there but just act like you belong; nobody has ever arrested me. Plus they’re all botanists so they’re pretty easy-going folk.
CCIS Observatory: CCIS 5-240
It’s scientifically proven that looking at distant gaseous astronomical bodies together makes people fall in love. Or feel really insignificant in the scope of the universe. Either or.
MUSEUMS. So. Many. Museums.
If you’re in the mood to nerd out or learn something new, this is it. The U of A has 34 museums and galleries on campus, many of them available to the public or by appointment. Check out this quiz to find out which U of A museum is best for you!
Pack it. Eat it. Boom. Romance.
(Note: Best consumed in not winter)
Nature Walk in the River Valley
You’re in for a real tree-t.
Google “Outdoor photo hunt clues” or “photo scavenger hunt”, pick what looks fun to you, and try to do it within the campus limits! Do it as a double, triple, etc. date to bring in that sweet, sweet, competitive edge.
Note: Good on ANY U of A Campus - all of 'em!
Go play what you know and/or learn a duet together at a public piano!
- ECHA-Health Sciences LRT Station Pedway
- HUB-Humanities Pedway
This student group offers “free group kitchens where students are taught the skills required to prepare healthy and affordable meals at home”. Different themes every month, and held at East Campus Village. Check ‘em out here.
Social Dance Class (or another fitness class)
Whether it’s ballroom dancing or rock-climbing, it’s more fun when you do it together. Check out Rec. Services’ registered and drop-in programs.
UASU Events Movie Nights
Free and about twice a month in Myer Horowitz. The next movie is Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on February 14th at 5:30 p.m.
Bruce Peel Special Collections
This book is so tiny!! Hanging out at the Bruce Peel collection of rare books today, may not leave. #ualberta #yeg pic.twitter.com/QSzPdSu3Pl— Alex Boyd (@alex_n_boyd) June 28, 2016
This place holds literally thousands of weird, crazy, old and new books. Ask their librarians to show you something cool and they will. Example: a book as big as an encyclopedia whose pages are solely made of fake panther fur. True story.
It’s in the basement of Rutherford South. Go.
Not only does the FAB Gallery have super cool exhibits, the whole building is full of strange works of art that are sure to disturb and delight.
Date à la Campus Saint-Jean
First, stop by Campus Saint-Jean over in Bonnie Doon via the Minibus™ (schedule here) and play a few games of foosball or ping pong in the student lounge. Then, cross the street and head over to Café Bicyclette. Their menu is full of tasty, unique dishes, from omelets to hot drinks, including fresh pastries. Bon appétit!
Breakfast at Dewey’s
Breakfast at Dewey’s is one of my personal favourites. In the morning Dewey’s is a peaceful haven lit by the first rays of sunshine peeping through the second floor windows. Dewey’s breakfasts are cheap and include all your favourite breakfast classics, Tater Tots n all. Ideal for cozy, quality time.
I hope some of these ideas inspire you to go out and see campus in a new light with your S.O. (or at least with some daring friends). Remember that the quality of an adventure is only as great as the people you bring along with you.
Catherine is a 2016 BSc graduate (in Bio and English) who will be tackling a BEd in Secondary Education this September. She currently works at the Centre for Teaching and Learning and her passions include children’s health and flat-faced pets. When she isn’t eating or chuckling to herself, Catherine enjoys playing piano, exploring the river valley and spiralling into existential reflections while stargazing.