Fun Date Night Ideas in San Diego – UCSD

Jon and I go on date nights every Friday, and it can be tough to come up with new things to do. Staying home and relaxing is nice some of the time, but after being bedridden from terrible nerve pain last year, I’m excited to get out of the house. Also, I feel like our dates, our moods, and our sex drive all get a boost when we get out of the house and go on an adventure. So in case you and your hubby are experiencing the same dating dilemmas, I’ll be sharing our date night woes and successes to hopefully help you have more fun date nights!

We live in San Diego, and not to brag or anything, but I literally think it’s the coolest place to live; I love it so much. But as my hubby and I start looking to the future, and talking about when Jon might retire, we started talking about possibly moving to a different city- where we could buy our home outright and not have a mortgage payment. This makes me sad to think about because I really do love it here, so, for now, I’m making our date nights all about exploring and experiencing our city like tourists. There are so many awesome things to do in San Diego, and I’m excited to take you along. Some of these things won’t be new, and some will, but regardless, hopefully, our date nights will spark ideas in you to make your date nights more fun.

After being bedridden all last year from back nerve pain, I’ve been wanting to get out of the house and do anything and everything! Each week as we go on the dates, I will share what we did, where we went, and what I’d recommend to you.

The first new spot we ventured to was UCSD (University of California San Diego). It might sound crazy or weird to go to a school on a date, but we had such a blast! There were two main things that I wanted us to see there were the Fallen Star art installation, and the Geisel Library, but we found a few extra things to see while we were there…

#1 The Fallen Star – You will find the most peculiar thing on top of the Jacob’s Hall building… A tiny blue cottage! When I saw it, I thought it resembled Carl Fredricksen’s house- the one that was carried away by balloons in the movie UP. It literally looks like the cottage fell from the sky and landed at an angle on part of the 7-story building (most of the cottage hangs over the edge of the building). The house is fully furnished, and, as you might hope, everything inside mirrors the same angles as the exterior of the house. But the biggest surprise is that someone actually lives here! It is said at night you can see the lights flickering inside, and smoke coming out of the chimney. (We went during the day so we didn’t see this).

This quaint cottage is complemented by its rooftop lawn and garden featuring plum trees and tomatoes.  How fun is that!? Tours of the home and garden are available Tues – Thurs 11am-2pm. I highly suggest going up, looking around, and taking in the views from the top of the building. Plan and call ahead to ensure that the hours are current & open. Learn more about the fallen star. Even if you can’t see it up close on the 7th-story, it’s still cool to see it in person.

Location: 9500 Gilman Dr. La Jolla, CA 92093
Phone: 1-858-534-2117
Where to park: We parked in the parking garage on Gilman Dr.

#2 The Geisel Library – It’s an awesome architectural building with a cool history, and my hubby and I love both of these things. After visiting the Fallen Star, we walked through a garden on a winding, sloping path through fruit trees and a smallish garden. It was interesting because the path didn’t have a straight sidewalk like most paths, it had curved edges and interesting tiles.  It wasn’t until we arrived at the library that we realized the path was actually the body of a snake! To read more about the snake art installation, click here.

I found out that the library itself is a monument built to honor Audrey and Theodor Geisel for the generous donations they made to the library, as well as their legacy to improve literacy. Fun fact: Theodor, or “Ted”, was famously known as Dr. Seuss. In addition to this library being an architectural marvel, the carillon that sits on the roof above the high towers sings its chimes daily starting at 7am with concerts every weekday at noon. Additionally, and this is really cool, special songs can be requested of the carillonneur to be played to celebrate special occasions.

I’m not sure if it works like this, but it would be worth a try to request a song for your special occasion. How fun would it be to surprise your gal with an impromptu slow dance to your favorite song, or a proposal after the carillon plays the song that best captures the love you two share?!  It could just be another thing that makes your date extra special.

Weekday tours can be scheduled with at least 3 days notice, and each tour lasts around 30-45 minutes. Learn more about the Geisel library. 

Location: 9500 Gilman Dr. La Jolla, CA 92093
Phone: 1-858-534-3336

#3 Dreaming and Planning

After visiting these two cool places, we found a spot with a table and chairs nearby to munch on some snacks that we brought. We sat at a table across from the library and jotted down the goals that we want to accomplish individually and as a couple. After doing a brain dump of all the things we wanted to do, we narrowed our ideas down to 2-3 things we individually wanted to do/accomplish each quarter.

One goal that we have each quarter is to go on a mini vacation – 2-3 days of just the two of us getting away to get refreshed. Other goals included tangible and measurable goals based on our goals and obligations throughout the year. It might sound crazy, but for us, it’s fun to focus and prioritize what really matters so we know how to respond to everything else that will come up along the way. If, down the road, we need to revisit these, we will, but for now, we are so excited about what we came up with.

What do you think about this date idea? Would you try something like this? Do you have other ideas of fun things you think we should do in San Diego? Let me know in the comments.

I’d definitely classify this as a cheap date night idea for things to do in San Diego, but it was fun too. Afterward, we grabbed dinner at Chipotle – I’m loving their Garlic Guajillo Steak Bowls right now!


For us, we’d give this date a 10/10 because we loved that it was different, peaceful, outside, and it gave us a chance to connect and plan for the future fun we wanted to have.

Until next time, go on more dates and have fun date nights! Come back to hear about our next adventure.