Dating on a dime: Ideas for Valentine’s Day activities

Spending quality time with your significant other doesn't have to break the bank. (Caleb Pfeifer | Collegian Media Group)

There’s no need to spend a great deal of money on some lavish display of affection to enjoy the day with your loved one. Show your love for your partner by not breaking the bank on your Valentine’s date of choice.

Appreciate some art

Art museums are both peaceful and romantic, and on top of that, Manhattan’s own Beach Museum of Art is free to the public. There’s always something new to see — they often have traveling exhibitions.

Take a hike

Though today might be a bit brisk for this activity, if you don’t mind a little cold, this can be a fun and free way to enjoy the outdoors with your partner. Manhattan offers many opportunities for hiking, including the Konza Prairie and Pillsbury Crossing. The gas isn’t free to get you there, but the view is worth it.

Visit the animal shelter

The best and cheapest way to show some love to some animals in need. The only downside is that this date isn’t free if you fall in love and end up bringing home a furry companion.

Go wild at Sunset Zoo

Manhattan has a surprisingly nice zoo to offer for a town of its size. It is $5.50 per person, open until 5 p.m.

Go ice skating

Manhattan Ice Rink is a relatively affordable way to get some exercise and keep you and your partner by falling on your face. It’s only $3.50 a person with another $3.50 for skate rental. The rink is only open until Feb. 21, so now’s as good a time as ever to go check it out.

Enjoy classical music

If music is your love language, there is a brass quintet & piano concert sponsored by the Hale Library Concert Series at the St. Isidore’s Catholic Student Center. Tickets are $10 for students, but as far as concerts go, it’s relatively cheap.

Get your yee-haw on

If a concert sounds boring to you but the price point is about right, you can check out the K-State Rodeo at 7:30 p.m. in the Weber Arena. It’s $10 for students with an ID.

Whatever you do…

DON’T go out for a cliche dinner on Valentine’s Day.

Nothing is worse than being stuck at a table, in a crowded restaurant with an overworked staff, only out of obligation to make a public display of affection for your significant other. But that’s just my opinion.

Rebecca Vrbas is the Collegian’s culture editor and a senior in journalism and mass communications. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to

My name is Rebecca Vrbas. I’m the culture editor at the Collegian and a junior in journalism and mass communications. My hobbies include obsessing over an ever-expanding pool of musicals and cats (not the musical). I love writing because of the infinite intricacy of language, as well as its power to cultivate a sense of community through sharing experiences.