Best date ideas for UConn Storrs students 

Finding things to do in and around Storrs can be hard sometimes, so here are some close-by ideas for some date nights (or afternoons) you have! Illustration by Zaire Diaz/The Daily Campus

Whether you’re looking for date ideas or just bored and looking to keep busy, finding things to do in and around Storrs can be hard sometimes. However, it’s certainly not impossible. Here are some close-by ideas for the next date night (or afternoon) you have.

Mansfield Drive-in

Located a few miles off-campus, the Mansfield Drive-in is a great place to go on a date. Choose between a few selections of double features, pull your car up to the right big screen and relax. Tickets are $13 each, and the snack bar serves popcorn and other movie goodies. 

If you’re looking for something on-campus, UConn’s Department of Student Activities hosted a drive-in movie last fall as well. While The Daily Campus was told that this likely will not be recurring this year, keep your eye on the calendar to see if it returns next year.

The drive-in is also home to the Mansfield Marketplace, which is open on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Entry is $2 per car, which grants access to a flea market with more than 300 vendors.

While both the drive-in and the flea market are currently closed due to cold weather, both plan to be open by the beginning of April, and they stay open through the summer and most of fall.

Exploring nature

There are plenty of spots on campus to walk around or just be outside. Two of the classic options are walking up Horsebarn Hill and sitting by Mirror or Swan Lake. Both are great for some fresh air and peace, and you can even picnic if you want.

Off-campus, a great place to explore nature nearby is Mansfield Hollow State Park. It’s a 15-minute drive straight down Storrs Road, but it’s definitely worth it. There are open fields, multiple hiking trails, boating, fishing and more.

Eating out

If the other ideas aren’t your speed, there’s always the classic date idea of going out to dinner. Storrs Center has a plethora of places to eat, but if you’re looking for more of a sit-down experience, you usually have to go a bit off-campus. One option is Fenton River Grill, located about 15 minutes from campus, directly down Storrs Road.

Obviously the above options are not a comprehensive list, but the best advice I can give is to just explore Connecticut. Geographically, it’s not a very large state, and there are loads of things to do across many different parts of it. If you don’t drive, fear not. As UConn students, we have the privilege of having access to a U-Pass, which gives free access to all public transportation in the state. With this, you can go to the mall, hang out in one of the cities or even visit the coastline. For those who do drive, do not be afraid to visit a new area you’ve never been to — Connecticut is home to a bunch of cute little towns that are fun to walk around.

Also, if you want to leave Connecticut outright, it’s not called a drive-through state for nothing. New York City and Boston are both relatively accessible if you’re looking for something a bit bigger and you’re willing to make the trip.

Overall, there are a bunch of fun things to do in the vicinity of UConn, but the honest truth is that sometimes you just need a change of scenery, and that’s fine too. The great thing about here is that you and your partner get to have the best of both worlds in a way — all the local stuff is right here for you, but outside adventure isn’t too hard to find either.

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