Ericka Saves: Frugal Date Ideas

Ericka Chatman

This list of frugal date ideas has a variety of date ideas for those who want to have fun on a budget.

Cupcake A La Mode on Mondays

Every Monday, Cupcake A La Mode has cupcakes for $2.  This is a great idea for an afternoon date. Sit indoors or outdoors and enjoy cupcakes while talking and people watching. Cupcake A La Mode is located at 4639 Wornall Road on the Plaza.

Visit The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Nelson-Atkins Museum is free, and a short walk from campus. The museum has an extensive collection of art ranging from Asian art to contemporary art.

Gym Date at Swinney Recreation Center

“A couple that sweats together, stays together” is a popular saying. Enjoy a nice workout together, play a game of basketball, enjoy a swim or a game of racquetball at Swinney Recreation Center. Visit for operation hours.

Lunch at Subway

For the month of September Subway is offering its famous “$5 Footlong” deal. Split a Subway sandwich for lunch and chat.

Take a Walk at the Rose Garden at Loose Park

The Jacob L. Loose Park is located at51st and Wornall Road, just a few blocks away from campus. The park is home to the Kansas City Municipal Rose Garden. The rose garden has over 150 varieties of roses.

Have a Scavenger Hunt Date

A good way to have a fun, free date is to create your own scavenger hunt. Each person creates a list of unusual items, and then the couple can spend time searching for those items on campus or around the city.

Visit the Kansas City Zoo

The Kansas City Zoo is open year round as has a huge selection of animals to view, such as the famous polar bears Berlin and Nikita, tigers, lions, elephants, pandas, gorillas, sea lions and more.  Admission for Jackson and Clay County residents is $5 for adults. Visit for details and admission price for non-residents.

Attend a UMKC sporting event

Attend one of the UMKC women’s or men’s soccer or basketball games, or women’s volleyball games together.  The games are free for students with valid student IDs.

2 Eat for $20 at Buca di Beppo

Enjoy dinner for two at Buca Di Beppo, located at 310 W. 47th Street on the Plaza. Last week’s issue of University News had a coupon insert for Buca di Beppo. The coupon was a 2 eat for $20 meal deal, which includes house bread, salad and a choice of pasta, such as spaghetti, ravioli, margherita pizza, fettuccine and more. Note: last issue is still be on the stands, and the coupon should still be present

 Movie night at Cinemark

A movie date has been one of the most popular date ideas for decades. Save money by having a movie date at Cinemark. The movie theater is a short walk from campus located at 526 Nichols Rd. and has all of the newly released movies.  Prices are $4.25 before 6 p.m. and $6.25 after 6 p.m. Cinemark also has an email club where free weekly concessions coupons are sent out. To sign up visit


 Video Games and Pool at The Student Union

UMKC’s Student Union has an X-Box 360 and Wii, and students can check out video games and play in the lounge area of the Student Union.  Also, play a game of pool at the pool tables at the union.  The Student Union closes at 11 p.m.