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Low-Cost and Free Union Date Ideas

After buying your textbooks, paying tuition, rent and a security deposit, you may be reaching into the bottom of your about-to-be-washed jeans’ pockets for your Friday date night funds. Now, we’re not saying you shouldn’t still hope for that mysterious crumpled $20 bill. But, either way, you can still have fun at many Wisconsin Union events. Our events calendar is rich with low-cost (and often free) date night ideas. Here are some options for date night fun that won’t affect your funds:

  1. Film showings – Free!
    Let’s go to the movies (for free)! Union South’s Marquee is go-to place for films on campus. You may even catch a film before it’s released in theaters, and each month is full of films of all kinds. Some will have you asking your roommate if you can keep a light on at night, while others will take you on a journey of self-discovery. And for the low, low price of free, it pays to go to the Marquee. Click here for your next film watching adventure.
  2. Live concerts – Free!
    Live music has filled Memorial Union since it opened in 1928. It’s part of the Wisconsin Union’s DNA. Come share in some good tunes and good times. Plus, it may be music to your ears to learn that more often than not, the music you’ll find at the Union is free. Click here to tune in to good times at the Union.
  3. Badger Bash – Free!
    If you want to be a Badger, just come along and follow us to the best home football tailgate in town: Badger Bash! Join us before each home football game for performances by the UW-Marching Band, the UW-Madison Spirit Squad and celebrity emcees. All this is at Union South, which is just steps away from Camp Randall, and is free! And no worries, the fun doesn’t stop at Union South when the game starts. Enjoy watching the game at the Sett, where a live DJ and your favorite game day songs will give you an unforgettable gameday experience. Click here for more information about the football gameday bash that’s impossible to beat.
  4. Free Art Friday – Free!
    Two of many people’s favorite things come together once a month at Memorial Union: free and Fridays. On the first Friday of each month, UW-Madison staff and faculty, Wisconsin Union members (Yes, UW-Madison students, you are Union members!), and guests plug in to the creative outlet known as Wheelhouse Studios to create art for free. Whether you feel art is in your wheelhouse or not, you are welcome to create art with the Wisconsin Union. Click here for more information about Wheelhouse Studios.
  5. Bowling – $4 per person per game
    Whether you bowl all strikes or gutter balls, your bowling date will be a winner. We’ve got the shoes (not fashionable, but don’t worry, you’ll rock ‘em), the lanes, the bowling balls and a menu of food and beverages to keep your bowling game strong. You may not even know about this low-cost date night option in Sett Recreation, right below the Sett at Union South. Click here to plan your next date night at Sett Rec.
  6. Snowshoeing – Starting at $7 per person per night
    Sure, there’s no snow yet. But soon Wisconsin’s winter wonderland will return. While, sure, you may miss boating on Lake Mendota and yoga on the Memorial Union Terrace, your outdoor experiences don’t have to hibernate this winter; snowshoe your way into an unforgettable date. Snowshoes will soon be available at Outdoor UW in Memorial Union. Begin your winter trek by clicking here for more information about this service.

Author: Shauna Breneman

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