Photo by Matty Flader / Photo Reporter

By: Alannah DeAngelis, Contributor

Dates can be a fun way to get to know your partner better and try new things together. Between school, catching up on all your Netflix shows and hanging out with your friends, it can be tough to make time for date nights. Try out these five date ideas where you can stay on campus and avoid breaking the bank!

Planetarium Show

The W. J. McCallion Planetarium, in the basement of BSB, is an out-of-this world date idea! Shows run Wednesday nights and there is a new theme each week. Learn about outer space, stars, planets, comets and more. For more information, check out the McMaster Planetarium website.                                                                         

Cost: $7 per person.


Photo by Matty Flader / Photo Reporter

Video Game Room in Lyons New Media Centre 

Get your game on in the Video Games room on the 4th floor of Mills to find out which of you is the “Mario Kart” champion! There are five game consoles that you can choose from: Wii, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and PS4. They offer many games to play, all of which are available to rent for free. Bookings for this space can be made for up to 2 hours per day for all McMaster students.

Cost: Free! Just bring your student card to rent the controllers and games.

McMaster Museum of Art

Check out some cool art with your partner at the McMaster Museum of Art right on campus. The museum is recognized internationally for its European paintings, drawings and prints. It is also known for its specialist collection of early 20th century German prints. This highly notable museum is just steps away from the Student Centre.

Cost: Pay what you can (suggested donation is $2).



Silhouette Archives

Trivia Night at the Phoenix

Test your knowledge at the Phoenix Bar and Grill’s Trivia Night, which happens every Tuesday at 7 p.m.. The theme changes each week, so you are sure to never be bored. Top teams will win gift cards to the Phoenix; perfect to use for another date night! 

Cost: Free when you purchase food or drinks.


Silhouette Archives

Hike at Cootes

McMaster is surrounded by beautiful hiking trails with breathtaking views. Go for a hike at Cootes (start at the trail behind the Alpine tower) and explore what nature has to offer in McMaster’s backyard. Notably, the Sassafrass trail includes a lookout platform onto Lake Ontario. Who knows, maybe you will even see some deer along the way! 

Cost: Free! 


[thesil_related_posts_sc]Related Posts[/thesil_related_posts_sc]


Photos C/O Kyle West

By: Andrew Mrozowski

Big cities are beautifully illuminated at night, however one drawback is that it’s not often you can look up at the night sky and see constellations and planets. Hamilton is unique as it not only features a lot of green spaces that set the scene perfectly for stargazers, but also has a dedicated group of astronomers to keep the interest as alive as the stars in the sky.

One group that takes advantage of the clear, starry nights is the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers. The non-profit organization is the Canada’s largest independent astronomy club and is made up of 200 members who range from beginner to expert level astronomers.

“We strive to further not just the understanding of this fascinating science but also, and most importantly, the enjoyment of it,” said John Gauvreau, chair of the HAA.

Through free monthly events, the HAA holds meetings that are open to the public. At each of these events, a speaker showcases a presentation on astronomy or a related topic.




Kevin Salwach, a member of the HAA since 2009, presented A Step Back and a Look Up on March 8. Since the event was catered towards the general public, Salwach dropped all technical aspects of astronomy and highlighted the importance of amateur astronomy. He encouraged attendees to take a look at the bigger picture of the universe.

“I find stargazing to be one of the most humbling and relaxing hobbies out there. There is something about sitting under a clear, dark sky that brings me complete peace of mind,” said Salwach.

Starting from a young age, Salwach found himself fascinated with the world of astronomy after visiting the William J. McCallion Planetarium at the Burke Science Building on campus.

“I remember the student doing the presentation pointing out Orion’s belt on the projector, and then going home later that night and seeing the belt in the night sky with my own eyes got me hooked. I’ve been going back every Wednesday ever since,” said Salwach.

Originally opening in 1954, the Planetarium was the conception of William McCallion, a professor in the department of physics and astronomy. Before finding its permanent home in the basement of BSB in room 149, an old war-surplus parachute was hung from the ceiling and used as a planetarium dome. The planetarium was the first of its kind in Ontario to offer public shows.

Featuring two shows every Wednesday night, graduate students who are studying astronomy create and design a one-hour show on the topic of their choice.

Two upcoming shows at the planetarium are based on pop-culture. One show is set around the Star Trek universe. Attendees will be taken around the universe to explore different stellar objects and phenomenon that have been featured in the show. The other is set around the theme of Harry Potter as many names of the book’s characters are inspired by the field of astronomy.

For PhD candidate and manager of the planetarium, Ian Roberts, the space has become a second home during his time at McMaster.

“For me, I think it’s a totally unique experience — something that you are not going to get a chance to do in many places, to come in here when a show is going, it’s totally dark [in the room],”said Roberts. “The first time the night sky comes up, it is completely amazing. It’s very striking. Getting the opportunity to come to a facility like this is something that is super unique.” he added.

Between the McCallion Planetarium at McMaster as well as the numerous other events that the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers run every month, there is room for anybody to study the night sky, whether they have a general interest or are aspiring astronomers themselves.

“Anyone can go out and take a look at the night sky, it belongs to all of us. Especially for a university student who is bogged down with study and schoolwork, stargazing is a nice repose to the stress of school,” said Salwach.

There’s a lot of life down here on Earth, but if you take a look up, you will be introduced to a brand-new world filled with wonder and awe that is sure to strike your curiosity.


[thesil_related_posts_sc]Related Posts[/thesil_related_posts_sc]

Subscribe to our Mailing List

© 2022 The Silhouette. All Rights Reserved. McMaster University's Student Newspaper.