March 24, 2015
It's no secret that a college student's budget can sometimes get a little tight.
At the end of a busy week filled with classes, work and extracurriculars, all you want to do is relax and have some fun with friends without worrying about your personal finances.
So, take it from me (a college senior who's about to graduate and pay back those pesky little things called loans)... there are plenty of ways stretch a dollar!
Here's a list of 10 things to do around Susquehanna's campus for less than 10 of them.
1. Befriend an alpaca
Gather your human friends and head to Patchwork Farm Alpacas to visit some fuzzy animal friends. Located at 2908 Middle Creek Road in Selinsgrove, the farm is only about five minutes from campus. And it's free! Little bags of food are provided so that you can personally feed the alpacas. If you're having a bad day, these goofy animals will cheer you up in a heartbeat. The farm is open year-round from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except Thursdays and Sundays), and there's even a gift shop where you can buy handmade alpaca products. Fun fact: Did you know that alpaca fleece is hypoallergenic and flame resistant? Cost calculator: FREE!
2. Catch the latest blockbuster
If you’re a movie buff, Carmike Cinemas by the Susquehanna Valley Mall is your go-to destination. To save some extra bucks, attend a matinee show where the tickets are only $7 instead of the usual $9.25. Cost calculator: $7-$9.25
3. Hit the ice
Chill out with friends (literally) at the indoor ice skating rink in Sunbury, which is only about 20 minutes from campus. The rink is open to the public select hours in the afternoon and evening every day from October to March. Lace up your skates and get gliding. Never been ice skating? That’s okay! I’m personally about as coordinated as a newborn giraffe, so I know that learning to skate is an adventure. But the satisfaction you feel when you successfully do a full lap around the rink without falling on your face? Priceless. Cost calculator: $4 for student admission; $2 for skate rental
4. Break out the Bongo Bongo
Bongo Bongo dip might have a strange name, but don’t let it fool you. This food is a staple in any Susquehannan’s diet. Try it as a dip with garlic bread or on a chicken sandwich. Feeling hungry? Head to BJ’s Steak & Rib House on Market Street, order yourself some Bongo Bongo and bon appetit! Cost calculator: $9.95 for Bongo Bongo dip or sandwich
5. Collect the classics
This one is for all of the bookworms out there. DJ Ernst Books, located on Market Street, is a quaint little shop that will make your (nerdy) spirits soar. The store sells used books for as low as $0.50 to $1 per book. Sort through the stacks and find a novel to dig into during your free time (or if you’re a bit short on free time during the semester, you can stock up on some reading material for your breaks). BONUS: Once you buy your new (used) book, head across the street to The Kind Cafe and settle down with a nice caffeinated beverage (under $10). The Kind also serves yummy paninis and wraps (again, under $10). Cost calculator: Varies; can be as little as 50 cents
6. Relax on the river
Make the most of the Susquehanna River’s close proximity by going tubing on hot, lazy days. Buy or rent an inflatable tube, and spend the day floating down the river. Stuff a cooler with drinks and food, and you can stay on the river for as long as you’d like. And in the winter? Don’t let the weather stop you from having fun. Wait for the snowflakes to fall, and then grab a tube to use for sledding down the hills around campus. You can rent tubes from the Susquehanna Outdoor Recreation Center— just stop by the info desk in the campus center! Cost calculator: Rentals range from $2-$5
7. Appreciate the arts
Gain a greater appreciation for the arts without ever leaving campus! Events are consistently held year-round, such as art shows in the Lore Degenstein Gallery, student and faculty music recitals, theater department performances, and visits from acclaimed writers and performers. The good news is that most of these events are free, and as a student, you’ll often receive complimentary passes whenever there is a ticketed event. Encore! Cost calculator: FREE!
8. Root for the home team
Are you a sports fanatic? There are always athletic events being held on campus, no matter the season. Varsity sports, club sports and even intramural sports all host games during their playing seasons across campus. You can attend these events for no charge. Don some maroon and orange, and help cheer the Crusaders to victory! Cost calculator: FREE!
9. Pop some tags
Macklemore only had $20 in his pocket, but you can pop some tags at Community Aid Thrift Store for even less than that. Whether you’re looking for an eclectic dorm room decoration, some cheap utensils for your common area kitchen, or a piece of clothing for your latest Pinterest-inspired DIY project, Community Aid has the potential to be a gold mine ... if you’re willing to embark on a thrifting treasure hunt. To save extra money, shop on Wednesdays or Fridays. Wednesday is Family Day, and everything is 50% off. Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. is Student Night, so all clothing is 50% off. Cost calculator: Varies
10. Cruise to Knoebels
If you’re up for a day trip, head to Knoebels Amusement Resort, which is located in Elysburg, about a 45 minute drive from campus. Knoebels is the largest free admission amusement park in America, so it won’t cost you anything to get into the park. If you want to ride the rides, you just pay as you go. Perfect for those on a budget, those who only have a few hours to spend in the park, or those who are terrified of heights and would never want to ride the roller coasters anyway. Cost calculator: Free admission and parking; pay per ride