Inexpensive Date Ideas in Bloomington

Ever want to take that pretty girl or dreamy boy from your finite class on a nice night on the town but your pocket money is running a bit low? Don’t worry that your budding love life will fade away, WIUX has you covered. Here are some great places to take dates when on a budget that are sure to impress.

IU Cinema

Is your special someone interested in art films or music documentaries? Show them your indie side by taking them to this theatre. It has super comfy seats that might even be memory foam and a stealer speaker system. Tickets are often free or incredibly discounted for IU students and can be got from the IU auditorium box office.

IU Union Board Films

Every week Union Board brings new films to the Whittenberger Auditorium that can be seen for free with a student ID or $2 without one. They bring all sorts of movies – The Lego Movie, Django Unchained – for your viewing pleasure.

Any IU Improv or Sketch Comedy Group’s Show

Indiana University has a wide range of Improv and sketch comedy groups with free weekly shows on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights. Although the rooms they are producing giggles from sometimes change you can typically be updated as to where the funny will be at from the group’s Facebook pages. Plus everyone knows that laughter is the way to someone’s heart. Some classic groups include The University Twits, Awkward Silence, and Boy in the Bubble.

The Slam Poetry team

If the one you fancy loves clever word play and well-presented stories a poetry slam might be the place to go. Typically on Friday nights, slams are held anywhere from the Bishop to Racheal’s Café. They aren’t every week so you’ll have to keep your ear to the ground to hear when the next one happens. A warning though, your sweetheart might fall for a member of the slam team and their witty tongue.

A Picnic in the Arboretum

There are actually more than one place to picnic here on IU’s campus besides the Arboretum but it is simply a classic. Bring a blanket and some sandwiches, or even order food to be delivered. As long as your potential lover isn’t allergic to nature this is will a great date that could stretch out into the evening. Try not to be too concerned if it starts to rain, just bring an umbrella and remember how The Notebook taught us that it is romantic to kiss in the rain.

Homemade Dinner

They say the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach so cooking a homemade meal is sure to catch their attention. Can you only make pancakes? Breakfast for dinner is always a winner. Can you only make grilled cheese? Add spinach or tomatoes inside the grilled cheese and a can of soup to dip the sandwich in and it’ll become a solid meal. Do you burn water? This might not be the date for you!

Jacobs School of Music Performance

With multiple graduate and undergraduate recitals every week showcasing anything from boson to violins to percussion, this is a great for a last minute activity.  Mostly located in the Simon building, you can check the Jacobs website for event details ( No tickets needed and free, you can just show up to enjoy some quality tunes that prove sophistication to your soon to be sweet heart.

IU Art Museum

Prove yourself to be suave and debonair by going to the Art Museum. It is free with great pieces of art including a Jackson Pollock. Do a quick wiki search of some of the artists beforehand and you are sure to impress.

Tour the Kinsey Institute

This is a museum of controversial sex research that is right on campus, it might send a message but not necessarily one they want to receive. Always remember though, consent is sexy.

Kirkwood Observatory

Open to the public and no reservations required to gaze up at the beautiful, and might I add romantic, starry night sky. It can, and will, be closed to the public on short notice if bad weather crops up. If you follow the observatory on twitter it can let you know when it is open.

Hike in Brown County National Forest

Nothing gets your heart pumping more than a brisk walk in the woods except for the one you are walking with. Truly beautiful scenery, exciting plants or animals, and just about a 30 min drive outside Bloomington makes it well worth the trip. Before you go, make sure you know how to identify poison ivy to save yourself and your special someone from the itchy rash it can cause.

Rose Well House

Located south of the union, this is the place to place a special kiss on your loved one at midnight. As the story goes, if you kiss them there at midnight they will be your love forever.

Listen to WIUX!

What could be more romantic than listening to your favorite radio station? Well… one or two things – but listening while on your way to one of the above activities could quite possibly get you a second date!


WIUX, helping build the soundtrack to your love stories.