New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

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5 cute and casual on-campus date ideas

It can be challenging for students to squeeze in time to see potential partners, but with these five date ideas, you can spend quality time not far from the square.

When it comes to dating, the extravagance that goes into organizing a romantic night out can be additional stress in an already packed college schedule. After long essays and caffeine-fueled study sessions at Bobst Library, taking time to swipe through the apps and schedule a date with a stranger can be draining. Hyperfixating on a cute person in class often seems easier. Instead of waiting, why not take the initiative and ask your class crush out to a casual rendezvous around campus? This approach offers the perfect balance between keeping up with your readings and making way for a budding romance.

Here are some casual date ideas around campus to take the social, emotional and financial pressure off of planning a date with your favorite class crush.


Stroll down Washington Mews with Amorino Gelato

A hand holds yellow, pink and white gelato with two spoons sticking out in front of colorful buildings.
(Allison Zhu for WSN)

Whether it’s a chilly winter day or a breezy spring evening, a trip to Amorino Gelato on 60 University Place is an easy and budget-friendly way to spark conversation with a potential crush over a sweet treat. If you’re worried your partner thinks this romantic date is just a casual hang, we suggest splitting a cup of gelato to not only spice up the vibes but figure out their taste in treats. If you’re going to be their partner, it’s essential to know their favorite flavors, and this is the perfect time to do so! 

But don’t let the date end there! The cozy setting of Washington Mews offers an intimate atmosphere only a couple of blocks away from Amorino Gelato. Whether you’re taking a stroll along the cobblestone streets or just sitting on the sidewalk, this date will guarantee that you both feel like you’re straight out of a romance film. 


People-watch at the Kimmel Center

People passing through the rotating doors and front lobby at Kimmel Center for University Life.
(Lianna O’Grady for WSN)

Picture this: your class crush finally asks you to study together, and while caught up in the excitement of it all, you realize you have no idea where to go or what to do. All you know is the last thing you want to do with them is just study. The Kimmel Center for University Life might be your harbor of harmony. 

In all fairness, the Kimmel Center might not be the first place that comes to mind when deciding where to go on a date. But, Kimmel offers the best views of Washington Square Park that you can’t get from any other building on campus. From one of the upper levels of the building, you can have the best time observing characters while you find yourself drifting into deeper conversations. One second, you’re talking about your statistics homework, the next, you’re both making up a life story for a stranger walking in the park. 


Go to a performance at the Skirball Center 

Front entrance view of the Skirball Center, which includes the N.Y.U. logo and white graphics across the glass doors that read “SKIRBALL.”
(Samson Tu for WSN)

A date at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts promises a charming experience beyond the ordinary dinner or movie night. With various performances like musicals, art exhibitions and dance shows, this date idea is perfect for those who are particularly interested in the arts. Not only is it casual, but you can also form great conversations post-show to get a feel for your partner’s taste in the arts. Plus, it is budget-friendly, so you can keep your mind on the conversation and not the bill. It isn’t everyday that you go on a date at a theater, so this one will surely go down in the books of memorable date destinations. 


Play your cards right at Hex & Company cafe

Two pairs of hands arrange small letter tiles into columns and rows of words. There is a pile of tiles on the table next to a yellow sack labeled “BANANAGRAMS.”
(Matt Petres for WSN)

For this date idea, get your game face on to prepare to play a wide variety of games with your date at Hex & Company cafe. Their Union Square location, at 801 Broadway, Hex & Company is a board game cafe that not only has a delicious menu, but also a wide variety of games to pair with your treats. Especially if this date is with a class crush or a potential partner, what better way to break the ice than by breaking out the board games?

Even if you chose this cafe just to do work, you and your date can still take study breaks in between to spice things up with some friendly competition. This date is not only casual, but offers the perfect space to get to know a potential partner better. You will get to see their competitive side and maybe even their academic side in one sitting. 


A cozy night in paired with a new TV show

A woman with white hair rests her head on a man's shoulder. They are sitting on a couch watching television.
(Lianna O’Grady for WSN)

On-campus residents, this one’s for you. If you’re drained after class, get cozy at one of your dorms and watch a movie or start a new TV show on Max or Kanopy, free for all NYU students living on campus. 

Since you are keeping it casual, you can yap about your favorite show, crossing your fingers that they’ll get hooked just like you. With this date idea, you can relax with your partner without the worry of school or next week’s biology quiz, and instead dive into the drama from last week’s episode of your favorite TV show. 


Contact Chinara Dorancy at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Samson Tu, Magazine Managing Editor
Samson Tu is finishing his B.A. degree in politics with a thesis on the state of civil society development in the People's Republic of China. Synthesizing his experience in journalism and training in politics, Samson is going to attend the NYU School of Law after his undergraduate to study intellectual property law. Samson attempts to make sense of Heidegger and Sartre or edits photographs on his 15-hour flight between New York and Taipei. He always prefers the flights to New York. Send an email to [email protected] for ideas about WSN's monthly magazine issues!
Matt Petres, Photo Editor
Matt Petres is a first-year studying Economics. He is from Chicago, Illinois and likes to bike and kayak. You can contact him on Instagram @matt.petres

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