5 Cute Date Ideas In/Around Berkeley

December 21, 2022

Picture this: you just asked someone out on your first date, and (of course) they said yes! But—you’re new to the Bay Area…what do you do now?

Fear not! As your new wingman, I’ve compiled a list of cute date ideas in and around Berkeley. There’s one for each season, and a few bonus ideas that work year-round. All of these places are accessible via the A/C Transit system, which all students have access to for free. You’re welcome in advance. (Keep in mind that these don’t necessarily have to be with a romantic partner—friend dates and solo hangouts also work with these ideas!)

Fall: Pumpkin Patches in Alameda

The Bay is blessed with at least 3 seasons, and the autumn colors are truly a sight to behold (this is all coming from a SoCal native, so take my words with a grain of salt). So, in the fall, I’d recommend checking out pumpkin patches in and around Berkeley! In freshman year, my friends and I made the trek out to Alameda (a little island-city about 20 minutes from Berkeley) to see the Speer Family Farm Pumpkin Patch. Equipped with hay bales and pumpkins galore, the patch was a great space for photo opportunities. The patch even came with inflatable bouncy houses and a petting zoo in case you wanted to let your inner child out! Would definitely recommend checking it out-- the surrounding area of Alameda is also super quaint and has a nostalgic feel.

Winter: Ice Skating in SF

Bundle up and get your skates on-- winter calls for obligatory slipping and falling on ice! Once the cool weather hits, the Union Square Holiday Ice Rink in San Francisco is open for business. Tickets are $20 for general admission, so grab a partner and hit the rink! If you’re not looking to glide on the ice, San Francisco has wonderful holiday decorations around Union Square, so feel free to cozy up with some Philz or Peet's hot chocolate and stroll around town.

Spring: Cherry blossoms in VLSB

If you don’t have pollen allergies, springtime is the perfect time to check out the fresh floral blooms around campus! My personal favorite is the cherry blossom bloom near the Valley Life Sciences Building (VLSB)-- around February to March, you’ll see rows of pink and white blossoms decorating the west side of campus. Would highly recommend bringing a picnic blanket, some music, and some snacks (or charcuterie if you’re fancy like that) and celebrate the beauty of spring!

Summer: Kayaking by the Bay

Though I’ve never spent a summer in Berkeley, I know that summer calls for some water to cool off. Luckily, with Berkeley right by the bay, water activities are just a transit away! I’d recommend going to the Berkeley Marina (via the 51B transit) and getting a kayak, pedalboat, or just walking around. If you’re looking for some activities beyond being in the water, Lake Merritt in Oakland often holds little festivals with street vendors on the weekends! The lakeside is also decorated with some gorgeous lights, and there are great restaurants and bars nearby for a post-lake dinner. 

Bonus: Picnics on the Glade

If you’re not looking to go far, we have a great date spot right on campus! Memorial Glade, located right in the heart of campus, is a great place to have a picnic or play some frisbee with your date. Total cost? Completely free*.

*(maybe minus the cost of the picnic)

Bonus: Concerts Year-Round

My personal favorite date idea is to go to a concert! The Bay is filled with concerts in San Francisco, Oakland, Concord, and even Davis/Sacramento (if you’re willing to take a quick train ride over). Would highly recommend checking out some new music through local concerts! If you’re not trying to travel out of the city, the Greek Theatre at Berkeley also has great events that would make a perfect first date.