How to be romantic on a student’s budget

Being broke and dating do not usually mix, but we will show you the How To.

Have you ever wanted to take that beautiful girl or hot guy out on a date he or she would never forget but don’t have the budget? With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, the idea of spending money and taking that significant other on a special date has probably come across every student’s mind once or twice.

A perk of living in Tampa is that there is so much to do — catering to any type of budget.

“The more creative the date, the more memorable,” said Liz Villarroel, a USF student.

Creative dates include little things, like watching the stars fall while sipping wine at Clearwater Beach.

“Going to the beach on a first date is always fun; the nighttime is the best. Clearwater Beach is open during the nighttime and there, I can just relax and talk,” Villarroel said.

For the sports fans there is always the option of going to a nearby baseball game or even cheaper, a free USF basketball game (if you and your date have student IDs).

“The baseball games are a lot of fun for me because I get really excited when there is action on the field, and (my date and I) always leave happy,” Villarroel said.

The price of the cheapest Devil Rays admission ticket is $3 at Tropicana Field.

Another option is to take advantage of the outdoors.

Fishing may sound boring for a first date, but the Skyway Pier has excitement throughout the night. The pier is open 24 hours and the fish are constantly biting. With the world’s longest fishing pier (according to, there is nothing to lose.

The price of this date would be $3 per vehicle and $2 per person.

Besides the blue ocean, Florida is known to have silent picturesque rivers and magnificent scenery.

There are many parks around USF that are free of charge and are ideal for a daytime date.

One is USF Riverfront Park, where you can play Frisbee golf, canoe, kayak, picnic, and fish.

The park neighboring it is Lettuce Lake Park. There is about a mile and a half of trails through the palmetto bushes, cypress trees, oaks and pines with several boardwalks branching out into the secluded cypress swamps of the Hillsborough River.

“I usually spend time here rollerblading around the path and picnicking in the huts along the river,” Villarroel said.

Another park located off I-75 and Fletcher Avenue is Morris Bridge Park. This park has miles of off-road trails perfect for an afternoon bike ride. These trails loop around in a thick wooded area with some scenic stops along the way.

If you want nightlife, Tampa has it all. From Fun-Lan Drive-in Theatre to the IMAX experience, there is plenty in store for those who are on a tight budget.

“The way that the film is stretched over the giant screen looks really cool and it is a great place to take a girl,” said Billy Pensler, a USF student.

MOSI has special discounted rates for USF students. USF sells packages of four tickets for $10.

Fun-Lan has three screens and is a fun alternative to the boring dinner and a movie date. Its admission price is $4.00 and it is open seven days a week.

“The Fun-Lan movie theatre provides for a more personable movie date and it lets my date and I do whatever we want without bothering other people,” Villarroel said.

Tampa also has lots of pool halls, including Peabody’s on Bruce B. Downs Avenue.

Here, students can play pool in an atmosphere full of fun, food and beer.

“This place is fun, they have darts, pool, a bar and it is inexpensive,” Lauren Stoller, a USF student said.

A date here during the daytime would cost $1.75 per person unless a drink or lunch is purchased and in that case, the pool games are free. During the evening, Peabody’s charges $3.50 per hour to play pool except for Monday nights, when the first two hours are free for men and on Wednesday nights, when ladies get the first two hours free of charge.

Valentine’s Day should no longer be dreaded by those who are on a tight budget. Here in Tampa, there are plenty of activities and inexpensive things to do.

So don’t hesitate on asking that special someone on a date. Just go ahead and ask because being on a tight budget should no longer be an excuse.