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Mon River view | © hhm8 / Flickr
Mon River view | © hhm8 / Flickr

11 Free and Cheap Date Ideas to Try in Morgantown, West Virginia

Picture of Kristina Gaddy
Updated: 1 March 2018

If you’re a college student and you don’t have a lot of cash to throw around, or you just don’t want to spend a lot when you’re out on a date, we’ve got you covered with these 11 inexpensive and free date ideas in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Cheer on Mountaineer football

Mountaineer football is a big deal in Morgantown—such a big deal that the West Virginia University Hospital parking lot, located right next to the WVU Milan Puskar Stadium, transforms into tailgate central for the game. Tickets are only $10 for students and during certain special games too. Make sure you wear your blue and gold and know the words to John Denver’s “Country Roads” before you go—since you want to look good when the big sing-along starts.

Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium, 1 Ira Errett Rodgers Dr, Morgantown, WV, USA, +1 304 293 5621

Explore the universe at the WVU Planetarium & Observatory

As part of West Virginia University’s College of Arts and Sciences, the planetarium offers free shows throughout the year, but reservations are needed. Think of it as going to the movies, except it’s free. And in the process, hopefully, you’ll learn more about stars, planets, and space. The observatory’s telescope is also open to the public for sky viewing on the same nights as the planetarium shows.

WVU Planetarium, White Hall, 135 Willey Street, Morgantown, WV, USA, +1 304 293 4961 

Go for a walk at the arboretum

Another great amenity of West Virginia University is the Core Arboretum, located on the Monongahela River north of downtown. The green space is part of the Department of Biology and has three miles (4.8 kilometers) of walking trails open to the public from dawn until dusk. While it’s great in the summer and winter too, the colors in the spring and fall make for a particularly beautiful walk.

Core Arboretum, Monongahela Blvd, Morgantown, WV, USA, +1 304 293 0387

Taste wine at the Forks of Cheat Winery

Unlike a lot of wineries these days, sampling the products at Forks of Cheat Winery is free. Offering reds and whites, and some fruitier varieties as well, the winery is perched on a mountain with beautiful views and is a perfect spot for a weekend day date.

Forks of Cheat Winery, 2811 Stewartstown Rd, Morgantown, WV, USA, +1 304 598 2019

See the birds and bees at Cranesville Swamp

So, a swamp might not be what you think of when you hear “romantic date,” but the Cranesville Swamp is a magical setting where geological features create a habitat much more like something you’d find in Canada rather than West Virginia. It’s a place where rare plants and birds abound. Go for a walk on one of the trails and enjoy the beauty of your surrounds.

Cranesville Swamp Natural Area, White Trail, Terra Alta, WV, USA

View new art at the Mesaros Galleries

The Mesaros Galleries are part of the West Virginia University School of Art and Design and showcase the work of Masters of Fine Arts students at the university and curate special exhibits from artists working today. The galleries are open from noon until 9 p.m. every day except Sunday.

WVU School of Art & Design, 1 Fine Arts Drive, Morgantown, WV, USA, +1 304 293 4077

Be sub-par at Coal Country Mini Golf

The 25-minute drive south of Morgantown to Coal Country Miniature Golf is worth it. In addition to a perfectly West Virginia-themed course, you can play for under $6 a person, leaving plenty of cash to get a pepperoni roll for dinner at Colasessano’s, arguably the best in the state.

Coal Country Miniature Golf, 22 Coal Country Lane, Fairmont, WV, USA, +1 304 366 9300

Take a ride along the Monongahela River

Ready for a romantic ride along the river? Jump on your bike at the Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park downtown and pedal north or south along the Caperton Rail-Trail, and enjoy views of the arboretum, Morgantown, and the mountains surrounding the city. If you find yourself having a good time and a little parched at the end of the ride, grab a beer at the Mountain State Brewing pub right along the trail.

See a free movie or concert

At the amphitheater in Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park, you can watch free movies during the summer through the Movies on the Mon series or check out the Sounds of Summer Concert series.

Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park, 799 East Brockway Ave, Morgantown, WV, USA, +1 304 291 4884

Get on your fancy shoes and throw a strike

Show off your athletic prowess with a trip to the bowling lanes. While normal prices for bowling are pretty cheap, Suburban Lanes has specials like $2 Tuesdays and $3.50 games with free shoe rental on Sundays. The lanes, which are open late every night of the week, are a perfect spot for a fun date or a low-key group hangout.

Suburban Lanes, 735-A Chestnut Ridge Road, Morgantown, WV, USA, +1 304 599 3522

Hike Coopers Rock and snap a gorgeous selfie

If your idea of a great date is scenic vistas that confirm how beautiful and majestic the world is, then you have to go to Coopers Rock. The state forest is always free and open to the public, with views of the Cheat River Gorge. You can take it easy and just walk out to the overlook, go on a longer hike along one of the trails, or even try some rock climbing if you really want to feel your heart pound.

Coopers Rock State Forest, 61 County Line Dr., Bruceton Mills, WV, USA, +1 304 594 1561