10 Dates for Under $10

By Mandy Boyle
Advertising Sales Manager/Entertainment Editor

You know the feeling all too well – an empty wallet. While being strapped for cash isn’t exactly the best way to go through college, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy things like spending time with friends or even going on a date. You can still have the time of your life without spending a ton, which is perfect for those trying to save up for the holiday season or for those who go through most of their college years feeling stressed over finances. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. The next time you’re looking to go on a date with someone special, don’t feel like you have to spend all of your hard-earned savings just to let that person know you care. You can still have a romantic, fun, or laid-back outing with someone you care about without feeling like you’ll have to give up eating for the next week just to be able to afford the occasion. Number one, you should always eat. Number two, here’s a list of ten date ideas under $10 that you can take advantage of:
Walk the Campus

Get some exercise and enjoy a romantic walk with someone you care about on campus. There’s no cost, no reason to leave, and no worrying about fighting for a parking spot when you get back.

Explore Roba’s Family Farm

While Roba’s Family Farm in Dalton may be the perfect place for experiencing the best of the autumn season with its corn maze and pumpkin patch, that doesn’t mean you can’t get in on a little holiday fun before winter break starts. During the Christmas season, which begins right after Thanksgiving, Roba’s does not charge for admission, so you can feel free to experience all that this beautiful farm has to offer without begging for a student discount. At the farm’s Dalton location, Santa Claus is usually on hand throughout this season to feed his reindeer – a great activity if you or your date loves animals. Plus, the Farm Animal Center and Reindeer Barn are open for all guests to enjoy before they pop over to enjoy some hot chocolate and cider donuts in the Barnyard Kitchen. Finally, make sure you drop by the Farm Market to check out the selection of handmade holiday crafts and gifts. No matter what you choose to take part in, Roba’s is a great way to have a simple and fun day out with someone you care about. Roba’s opens for the holiday season on Friday November 27, 2009 with the following hours: Monday — Friday 10am-9pm, Saturday 8am-9pm, and Sunday 8am-5pm. You can find more information and directions to their Dalton location at http://www.robafamilyfarms.com/.

Taste the Northern Lights

If you or your date is a coffee lover, then you’ve got to make Northern Light in downtown Scranton your date night destination. Located right off the square on Spruce Street, Northern Light Espresso Bar offers a casual, cozy atmosphere that’s perfect for enjoying some quiet conversation, and of course, great coffee.  Not a coffee lover? Then try out their hot chocolate or tea blends. Either way, you’ll enjoy the comfy couches and cafe creations that Northern Light has to offer. Who knows? You may even stop in on a night when there’s a local musician performing or a featured artists showcasing his or her work. Call (570) 342-3200‎ for info and hours.

Catch a Film at The Cinemark

Okay, at first glace, this doesn’t seem like an affordable date, but if you head down to the Student Activities office, it very well can be. When you use your student ID, the SAC office can provide you with discounted movie passes ($5 each) to see any film you’d like at the Cinemark in Moosic (exit 182 off of I-81). This is a huge savings from the theater’s usually $8.25+ regular admission price. For movie listings and times, call 1-800-FANDANGO Exp. Code 1133#.

Experience the Everhart Museum

Take in some local history, as well as fantastic exhibits in the Everhart Museum, located right in Nay Aug Park. The Everhart, which is NEPA’s largest public museum, offers a variety of exhibits in fine art, anthropology, natural history, and science. Not to mention, with student ID, you can enjoy admission to the museum for only $3. Through December 31, take in the Day of the Dead: Art & Culture in the Americas exhibit, which features contemporary art from nationally and internationally recognized artists, traditional folk art, and the Everhart Museum’s Pre-Columbian collection. Once you return from winter break, there’s also the The Art of the Brick exhibit, which opens in February. This collection focuses on the wonderful creations by New York-based artist Nathan Sawaya using only LEGO building blocks. Sawaya has been featured on “The Today Show,” “Late Night with David Letterman,” and “The Colbert Report.”   For more information, visit http://www.everhart-museum.org/.

NOTE: The Everhart Museum is closed for the entire month of January for routine maintenance.

Break Out Those Culinary Skills

That’s right – you can cook or bake together. Seriously. We’re not kidding. In most cases, ingredients for a great meal or confectionery creation cost well below the $10 mark. All you need is access to a kitchen, which several dorms have, and a little bit of creativity. This fun and romantic date idea is sure to have delicious results – plus, you’ll get to spend time doing something together that’s simply adorable.

Enjoy the Vintage Theater

The Vintage Theater is an all ages art venue, currently located at 119 Penn Avenue in downtown Scranton. From classic films to improv, poetry readings to live music, The Vintage Theater pretty much has something for everyone and is a great place to enjoy a date. Ticket prices vary for each event, however, in most cases, two tickets should be within the $10-$15 mark. Plus, while you take in the entertainment, you can also enjoy some great refreshments at the venue’s in-house cafe. The cafe, operated by Scranton Rhythm, will be open seven days a week, 3:00 PM to midnight and offers a variety of drinks and snacks, including coffee from the Grateful Roast Coffee Company. For a schedule of events, visit http://www.scrantonsvintagetheater.com/

Go for Dessert

Remember, dinner isn’t the only thing on the menu. Choose a restaurant that has great desserts that you could split or enjoy in lieu of a dinner. You still get that same romantic atmosphere and you’ll both have the chance to enjoy a delicious treat, some quiet conversation, and best of all, some time together. Not sure what places in Scranton have great desserts? I’d highly recommend Arcaro & Genell Restaurant in Old Forge for some delicious tiramisu; A Little Pizza Heaven on Boulevard Avenue in Greenridge for dessert calzones; or the Glider Diner on Providence Road (right across from the Scranton High School Stadium) for a great piece of pie. Check out http://www.menusnepa.com/ for more restaurant menus and listings.

Let Your Inner Child Out

Have you ever taken the time to feel like a kid again? On a first date, it’s probably one of the best things you can do to help both you and that special someone feel comfortable. Instead of trying to be all adult about it, make time to just have some fun – like a little kid would. Grab a coloring  book and some crayons and make each other works of art. Watch a favorite kid’s movie. Play a board game. Playdoh. The possibilities are endless – just try thinking like your inner child. You’ll both feel comfortable, it’ll still be romantic, and hey, you’ll get to actually do fun stuff!

Be Captivated by the Electric Theatre Company

Don’t think that entertainment is beyond your reach. You can still enjoy a fantastic theatre production without being hit with Broadway-like ticket prices. In the old Hotel Jermyn on Spruce St. in downtown Scranton lies one of city’s gems: the Electric Theatre Company. Each season, the ETC puts on a wonderful array of performances that can suit anyone’s preferences. Just check out their website, http://www.electrictheatre.org/, for more info, ticket information, and a listing of productions. The best part: Wednesdays feature Pay-What-You-Can ticket prices. You can stay within your $10 budget and still be able to enjoy the show.