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Top 5 Cheap Dates in State College

It’s that time of the year again. You’re hopelessly in love with a special someone and want to take them somewhere nice, but alas, you have no money. Maybe you invested your life savings in Lehman Brothers, or maybe you’re in an incredible amount of debt due to your school’s loss of endowment. Regardless of the reason, you have very little money and a very demanding date, and on Valentine’s Day of all days. So what is a man/woman/manwoman to do? It’s easy at Penn State, where there are tons of options for the romantic at heart with nothing in the bank. We have compiled our top 5.

5. Palmer Museum of Art palmer

The Palmer Museum of Art is a great place to take a date. Taking your romantic interest here will show that you are a refined, cultured human being worthy of respect. Best of all, it’s completely free! This would have been much higher, but the museum is only open from 10AM-4:30PM on most days, and it’s closed on Mondays. Probably not the best place for a first date, unless you want to make the first move on a Tuesday afternoon.

4. Going For A Walk

It may seem cliched, but going for a walk with a date can be a great idea. You could perhaps even make it “A Walk To Remember” (remember that movie?). Try walking downtown or along one of the stunning paths outside of the HUB. You two will have plenty of time to admire the scenery, get to know each other, and enjoy a nice, free day of entertainment. The only downside is that it’s entirely weather-dependent. Don’t take someone on a walk if it’s raining and sleeting outside. That’s a rookie mistake.

3. McLanahan’smclanahans

For all of your food/clothing/toiletry needs, McLanahan’s in the place to go in State College. It may seem a bit unorthodox for a date, but there is so much to do and so much to buy there that you may never leave! Everything is available at a cheap price, and what could be a better Valentine’s Day dinner than frozen microwavable buffalo wings courtesy of T.G.I. Friday’s?

2. Late-Night Movie at the HUB

Ah, the classic movie date. Well, if you’re both Penn State students, then this is the place for you! With a proper ID, you and your special someone can see one of those not-quite-in-theaters-but-still-not-on-DVD movies that you’ve been wanting to see – for free! The security guards don’t let you bring in food or drinks, though, so you will need to smuggle those items in (note: I do not condone any such actions). The movie selection can be pretty hit (Burn After Reading) or miss (Twilight), but who cares? It’s free!

1. Your Room messy

Sure, maybe your place is messy. Perhaps it’s not the most “happening place to be”. But it is your sanctuary, the place where you sleep, and the place where you live, so you should have nothing to be ashamed of. It’s also completely and utterly free, not including room and board expenses. If a sugar momma or sugar daddy doesn’t like you because of your room, then they weren’t worth it anyway. You know you’ve found someone special if they can appreciate your dojo. Besides, your room is the easiest place to have some fun after dark ;)

Don’t hesitate to comment if you agree with this list, have some gripes about it, or if you want to suggest your own cheap dates.

[Photos courtesy of,, and]

About the Author

Evan Kalikow

Evan Kalikow co-founded Onward State in November 2008 with Davis Shaver and Eli Glazier. Having previously served as a Writer, Editor, Standards Editor, and Community Manager, Evan is now a proud alumnus of both Onward State and Penn State. He was also named "Person of the Year" by Time Magazine in 2006.


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