Grab your partner and get active in Eugene: A guide to free activities you can do together.

Last night I had the pleasure of watching a local Eugene Generals hockey game at the Lane Events Ice Center located near the fairgrounds. I have never been to a hockey game before. Let me tell you-It was an experience! People bang on the plexiglass windows, encourage the players to use rough behavior, and cheer for penalty box time served. The variety of people there is expansive, and the players are between the ages of 16-20. It was a total blast! The air is filled with excitement, my husband is cheering with a beer in his hand as he teaches our six-year-old to bang his hands on the plexiglass and yell for the Emeralds. My son is smiling, laughing, and having fun. Then the epiphany hits me: Great date idea.

So, of course, it lead me to write a column about free and inexpensive active dates you can take with your partner in the Eugene area. I’ve included general costs and information and hope that it helps you plan a spontaneous date night/day out.

1.Eugene Generals

PO Box 25624
Eugene, OR 97402
(541)359-4154 voice/ticket office
(541)255-3323 fax

Our Home Arena:
Lane Events Center-Ice
796 W. 13th Avenue
Eugene, OR 97402

Tickets are completely affordable. Kids age five and under are free. Students and Seniors are $5, and adults are $8. They also offer package deals. Normal concession stand food is available, but it is a bit pricey. I recommend bringing your own snacks/beverages with you in a bag to save not only cash but also calories! The best part of going to a hockey game with your partner is that you get to spend time together watching an exciting and fast paced sport that you don’t particularly have to fully understand in order to enjoy it 🙂 It’s about camaraderie and fun. A Perfect date.

2.Fern Ridge Reservoir

Fern Ridge is a great place to go year round. During spring and summer months the expansive grassy areas, picnic spots, and playground are favorites for locals. In the fall and winter (when the US Army Corp of Engineers) partially drains the reservoir, it can be surreal to walk into the middle of a drained lake and see what is along the bottom of the lake. The cost for this activity is minimal. Parking is $3 (or use your Lane County Parks Pass), bring your own food and beverages. There are bathrooms facilities and garbage bins. Boating, swimming, and lots of space to walk around. A great place to lounge in the sun, or hold hands as you walk the lake.

3. Cinemark Movies 12 and Appetizers at Applebee’s

Gateway St., Springfield, OR 97477

Movie lovers unite! Cinemark Movies 12 has the best ticket prices in town.

On Mondays if you buy 3 or more tickets to a single movie, the tickets are only $.75 each. Seriously. Every Wednesday the tickets are $1.25 all day long! The rest of the week the tickets will range between $1.50-$2.00 each. Exceptional value! Prices for the concession stand are normal, but they will allow you to bring in a bottle of water.

Now, here is the trick to keeping the cost of eating before or after the movie at a minimum-Appetizers and beverages are half-off after 9pm at Applebee’s, which is located in the parking lot of the theater. Or choose one of Applebee’s  2 for $20 deals that give you and a date a complete meal. You could literally have a movie/dinner date night for under $30.

4. Dog Park it with your sweetie.

Eugene has amazing off-leash fenced dog parks. Plus it’s a free date you can do together while bonding with Fido. All of the parks have nicely maintained walking paths and information is typically posted about the length of each trail. It’s a terrific place to let your dog socialize and to meet other people. Plus, it’s a place where there aren’t a lot of outside distractions, just you, your partner, your pet, and nature.

5. Fiddler’s Green

91292 Hwy. 99N
Eugene, OR 97402
Call Toll Free: (800) 548-5500
Or Local: (541) 689-8464

Fiddler’s Green is a small course near the airport. While playing the course can be fun and inexpensive (9 holes is only $7-9 dollars!) I prefer to hit the driving range. I love getting the gold tokens for $1.50 (yields about 30 balls) gathering my little easter basket looking bucket loaded with balls and finding a stall not close to other parties (mostly because I suck at golf and only want my husband to see my silliness), and then hit away. My husband gives me tips, he can show me how to square my hips, we can talk and laugh, and there might have been a bet for $5 if you could hit the fully enclosed ball picker-upper-golf cart. Which, uhhhmm I might have accidentally gotten lucky enough to do 🙂 The sound of laughter and high-fives were the highlight. Golfing together, even just practicing gives you time to decompress and just enjoy your time together.

Whew. Sorry this blog was a long one, but I hope you have gotten some great ideas and info to plan a fun, sporty date with a special someone!

Please feel free to leave a comment, or idea for another activity.

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Grab your partner and get active in Eugene: A guide to free activities you can do together.

  1. As a student the the University of Oregon who is always looking for inexpensive activities, I found this post to be very helpful! It isn’t the time of the year for Saturday Market, but walking around on a Saturday morning while browsing the booths is always fun! Also, the Hult Center for the Performing Arts hosts “First Friday Night Artwalks.” The artwalks are completely free and offer people with the chance to come and view the art in the Jacobs Gallery. Thanks for the information – I will definitely use your suggestions in the future!

    • Juliane-
      Thank you so much for your mention of Saturday Market-it is definitely an activity worth experiencing with your partner. Plus, the fruit and veggies are super yummy! I haven’t been on a First Friday Artwalk, but have heard they are really fun to do. Thanks again for commenting-I really appreciate it!

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