A problem that I have run into a lot as a seventeen year old is finding things to do with friends or with a significant other that are fun but also that don’t cost me much money. With college coming up and with the responsibility of filling my gas tank, my wallet has been a little light in recent months. My lack of money has forced me to become somewhat creative to keep a social life going. In my endeavors, I have found some pretty cool things to do locally that cost ten dollars or less, and these activities are way more fun than sitting at home and just watching reruns of your favorite shows on Netflix.
One of my favorite things to do is listen to music. Sitting with someone and simply listening to music isn’t much of a “date”, no matter how introverted you claim to be. However, there are definitely ways to combine music and datenight for little expense. Cornerstone Coffeehouse, a coffee shop on Market Street in Camp Hill, hosts local musicians every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. With this option, you not only get to see a live performance, but you can also grab a small bite to eat or a cup of coffee; the price of this date is the price of the food that you buy! Other coffeeshops, like the Midtown Scholar on 3rd Street in Harrisburg, have similar events, too. The Midtown Scholar holds TED Talks, Poetry Nights, and Comedy Nights (schedule of events can be found at www.midtownscholar.com); these are all great date options that can be quite inexpensive.
Let’s say you’re more of the stay at home type- that’s okay, too! There are plenty of things that you can do at home with friends or with a date that cost next to nothing. One of my favorite at-home activities is baking. Using typical kitchen ingredients, you can bake lots of easy to make baked goods, like chocolate chip cookies, chocolate covered strawberries, or banana bread- just google “easy to make desserts” for recipes. Another plus to this date is that it extends past the baking portion and allows you to pig out afterwards, which is always wonderful. Additionally, this requires little to no planning and can be done at any time of day.
Okay, now let’s say that you and your date are more of the outdoorsy type. There are lots of things to do outside, especially as it begins to get warmer out, for free or for little money. One of my all time favorite places to go is Children’s Lake in Boiling Springs. The area is absolutely beautiful, and there are lots of things to do once you’re there. Not only can you simply go for a walk or just enjoy the lake, but you can also pack a lunch for a picnic by the water or bring bread to feed the ducks. The area around the lake is really cute; there’s a small cafe right next to the lake that’s really good. The area is perfect for bike riding.
Central Pennsylvania is the perfect place to hike! If you and your friend or date like the outdoors, exercise, and beautiful scenery, check out some of the many places to hike in the area. Pole Steeple in Gardners, PA is a great hike for hikers of all levels. The trail is about 1.3 miles long, and the view at the end of the trail is breathtaking. Another great hiking trail is Hawk Rock in Duncannon, PA. This trail is about one mile each way and is uphill, reaching an elevation of about 750 feet. At the top of the trail is “Hawk Rock”, and it offers great scenery with an overlook. Of course, if you and your date aren’t huge on walks through the woods, then a walk around the neighborhood is always good, too– and all of these options are completely free!
At this age, dating someone or going out all the time with friends can get expensive. Hopefully with these activities, you can find new and exciting things to do in your area and mix it up on date night for next to no cost.