College students are usually two things: busy and broke. With the traditional Valentine’s Day date including roses, chocolates and a luxurious four-course meal, college couples lack the time and money to splurge on an evening. However, this does not constitute as an excuse to forego celebrating. Here are six ways every couple can enjoy the season of love without spending too much money.
Picnic in the Smokies
Many students are drawn to UT because of its proximity to the mountains. Sadly, when on Rocky Top, many of us forget to enjoy the trails a short car ride away. Pack a picnic basket or swing by a drive-thru and head to the mountains to enjoy a quiet dinner in the Smokies. The picturesque view will undoubtedly be worth the drive. This is the perfect date to take a break from the busyness of campus and spend the evening with your partner. See the Smokies all without breaking the bank.
Whether you are in it to win it or playing for laughs, grabbing a classic board game is a great way to spend the evening. Similarly, organize a couple’s game night and plan a tournament. Local thrift stores usually sell an assortment of classics and new games at discounted prices. With a fun date idea that ranges from free to cheap, this date night option is a sure win. Not board game fans? Test your knowledge at a trivia night. If lucky, your meal could be paid for in gift card prizes.
Why splurge on a fancy, mediocre dinner when you can check out Knoxville’s dessert scene? Bakeries such as Duck Donuts and Knoxville Chocolate Company are advertising holiday themed desserts. Duck Donut’s “Love Assortment” consists of a dozen unique donuts garnished with festive toppings and costs $14.25. In addition, locals love Knoxville Chocolate Company’s hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries. Half dozen is only $14.95, making it the perfect, zero-effort and cost-effective treat. Due to the popularity of both the holiday and businesses, place an order ahead of time before they sell out.
Zoo Knoxville: share some love with the animals
With Valentine’s Day being on a Thursday this year, many couples are opting to celebrate during the weekend. Spending Saturday at the zoo provides new meaning to a date night. Zoo Knoxville is one of the city’s local attractions often forgotten. Adult tickets are under $15. It is a great alternative to a luxurious evening out, all while ditching the heels and ties. With over a dozen habitats to view, this is sure to be a unique and unforgettable Valentine’s Day experience.
Sometimes the best way to celebrate is by relaxing and watching movies. With all the deadlines and stress college entails, movies are a good way to escape from work. Netflix contains no shortage of romance movies. A few notable favorites are “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” “Definitely, Maybe” and “Mamma Mia.” Order a pizza and stay in your sweats this Thursday. Don’t forget to check out the free HBO account if you live on campus. Above all, though, stock up on snacks from your favorite POD Market.
Bowling with the punches
For the couple that wants to do something new for their Valentine’s Day date night, bowling is a more upbeat date night option. Luckily, the bowling scene in Knoxville is thriving. Strike and Spare, Main Event and Maple Hall are Knoxville’s main bowling alleys, all offering different experiences. However, make sure to secure a spot at Maple Hall before the nighttime rush- space is limited. This is a great idea for couples looking for competition and laughs on their Valentine’s day. Most importantly, don’t forget to pack socks.
Edited by Lauren Claxton and Grace Goodacre
Featured image by Pexels.com