Help me have fun dates in Colorado
August 12, 2011 9:19 AM   Subscribe

I'm in College, thus I am poor. I go to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. Please help me come up with some fun dates.

I typically do the normal let's get coffee in Old Town & enjoy the sights type of date, but that doesn't seem to work so well. Maybe it's the date, maybe it's me or both, but the date ends and that's the last I ever hear from the girl.

I personally don't like eating out, I have lots of food issues, I need gluten free food & lots of allergies etc...

Interests: Music, hiking, biking, swimming, eating good food, computers, technology, syfy, cooking & reading.

Maybe it's me, or the fact we met online. But what are some fun, in-expensive dates great for College Students or people who live in Fort Collins Colorado?

Maybe I need to take up a new hobby, something offline?
posted by snow_mac to Human Relations (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Back in my college days (1998-2002), we had pretty much free dates in um, our dorm rooms.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:23 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: @roomthreeseventeen

I do not live in the dorms. But that sounds like something.
posted by snow_mac at 9:24 AM on August 12, 2011

o hai there Fort Collins person!

I'll be back later with more ideas, I think, but:

- The Bean Cycle does free poetry readings, town hall meetings (like, talk to local farmers, etc.), and book clubs.

- Go to the Old Town farmer's market together on Saturday mornings! Then coffee, or cook your yummy new food up together.

- maybe volunteer on a local farm together? better for several dates in prolly.

- Mama Said Sew at Mountain and Remington does a free crafty party on First Fridays. Fun and different. Taking a beginning sewing class together there (they do a cheap blue plate special class once a month, and a cheap buttons-and-beer class) might be fun, too.

- brewery tours? free, fun.
posted by peachfuzz at 9:25 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

You guys could go...hiking. Or biking. Or have a picnic in a park somewhere to which you bring good (safe for you) food. Or some combination of the three.

If you have any zoos in the area, zoos are a winner.
posted by phunniemee at 9:26 AM on August 12, 2011

and of course the endless opportunities for outside dates here—ride up the Poudre Trail, bring a picnic, instant super-romantic date against the best backdrop in the world. Get bikes from the bike library if you don't have your own.
posted by peachfuzz at 9:28 AM on August 12, 2011

I can offer no suggestions because I have been in a relationship for 6 years now. When I was single I was in my early 20's and gay so my date strategy was coffee, Thai food, naked time. It just doesn't translate well.

But, don't worry about first dates not going well when you meet the person online. I will suggest that you push for a coffee "meet-up" early on. The longer you interact online exclusively the greater this online persona becomes solidified in the date's mind. Expectations about who you are can be radically different from who you are in person.
posted by munchingzombie at 9:39 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Dude I'm telling your right now, indoor rock climbing is a blast and most places will give you a day pass for under $15.

You're in the rock climbing capital of the US so it shouldn't be a problem finding a cool gym!

posted by BobbyDee at 10:30 AM on August 12, 2011

Oh, man. I love Fort Collins.

Sadly, I am old and not very cool, so any suggestions I have for stuff I like to do would probably be stupid and gross.

Here's a local guide to music and events, though, some cheap and free:

What about Rocky Mountain National Park? It's huge and awesome, and you can usually find some little patches of snow and ice around the continental divide even when everything else is miserably and oppressively hot. And there's really enough to see and do there that just about anyone would have a good time. You don't even need to plan anything specifically, but just stop and explore anywhere that catches your (or her) fancy.
posted by ernielundquist at 11:09 AM on August 12, 2011

Go for a walk with a body of water as your destination. Surely there is a park with a pond or some such thing? Pick up flat rocks along the way and then sit at the shore and skip rocks.
posted by to recite so charmingly at 11:22 AM on August 12, 2011

What To Do on a Date
(This MST3K short is funny but not presented as a joke answer. It's actually interesting and heartening to see that some issues remain the same across generations, and it does offer some practical, albeit dated, ideas.)</small)
posted by The Deej at 11:31 AM on August 12, 2011

First Friday gallery walks.

Go to the tasting room at New Belgium (and go on a tour if you book early enough in advance).

Concert at the Mish.


and for the next morning...

Cartoons and cereal at Lyric Cinema.
posted by sugarbomb at 11:42 AM on August 12, 2011

Whenever I go home to Ft. Collins to visit my mom we always joke about how there's nothing to do in town but eat. Which is unfortunate given your diet restrictions. Therefore: get out of town!

The Poudre Trail is beautiful, and if your date isn't into hiking so much it can be a great scenic drive. Pack a picnic and stop at one of the day sites. Also, check out the various lakes in the area. I'm partial to Dowdy and Red Feathers from my childhood but there are a ton of others. Again, great for people who maybe don't want to commit to a full-on hike, you can just mess around the shore line, go on the surrounding easy trails and climb piles of rocks and take silly pictures (Dowdy has a lot of these rock piles). You can fish if you've got a license and the gear, and your date does too, or is willing to buy a day pass.

During the summer, you can go swimming in Horsetooth Reservoir.

In Town:

Bike Cherry Creek Trail through town for easing your date into biking if it's not their thing. And if they overheat and throw up like I tend to do, you'll be close to a Transfort line to get back to the car/their home.

Go to open skate at EPIC, it's cheap and cold and a lot of fun.

Check out the productions from Bas Bleu Theatre and Open Stage. They have reasonable ticket prices (and student rates). Open Stage tends to be much better priced than typical Lincoln Center shows, and with the renovations (of the Lincoln Center) you get to go to a whole bunch of different places.

Go to the Colorado Welcome Center out on Prospect near I-25 and pick up as many free brochures and booklets as you can carry for more ideas. I do every time I have friends visit me out there and I usually find something new.
posted by syanna at 12:40 PM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Holiday Twin Drive-In can be a relatively cheap date, as movies go (and they're cool with bikes). Or you could make yourselves a picnic along the Poudre or Spring Creek, or drive up to the ridge overlooking town and eat while you look at the lights down below. Plenty of music options too, which you can find without my middle-aged help.

But look... one of my more memorable college-era dates was spent blowing bubbles together as we walked and chatted, total expenditure around $0.75. You don't have to stick to the traditional dinner/movie/show format. And since you live off-campus, there's always cooking your own food. Chicks dig that -- at least, that's what my wife tells me.

A lot of people who end up in Fort Collins (and CSU) choose this place over others for the recreational opportunities. So that means hiking (cheap), biking (cheap if you have a bike, and what on earth would you be doing in Fort Collins without a bike?), and so on: rock climbing, X-C skiing, snowshoeing, birdwatching, autumn elk watching, stargazing, etc., etc., etc. Most of these things can be very affordable, though some require equipment, know-how and/or gas money.

As a CSU student, you also have the Rec available. The climbing wall is awesome (but maybe stick to bouldering until you know each other better?), and the hot tub/steam room/sauna would be fun too. Also, there's the OAP (Outdoor Adventure Program), which offers classes and trips for all kinds of fun stuff. That would be a good way to break into the winter sports scene safely. The OAP also rents gear (PDF), which is key for some of those activities I mentioned above. You can also rent gear and find out about free or paid classes & outings at Jax and REI.

Or you could volunteer together with Animal House, FC Cat Rescue, or the Rocky Mountain Raptor Center if you know that you share an interest in [the same kinds of] animals.

Put some of these things together - try to set it up so there's plenty of time to talk, chances for either of you to opt out early if it's not working out, and a fun, varied evening together. And hey, if you get involved in some of the things I mentioned above, you'll meet people, too, and (call me old-fashioned) I think those relationships tend to work out better anyway.
posted by richyoung at 10:24 PM on August 12, 2011

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