A Student's Guide to Scranton: Where to Go and What to See

By Maggie Mineo
Staff Writer

Scranton may not be the biggest city with the most happening night-life, but it does possess an undiscovered wit and charm that is ready to be enjoyed by we, the students living here. With a great appreciation for music, art and culture, Scranton offers many intriguing options, (affordable too!) especially for our generation, if we only took time to explore! After all, there is more to college life than just going to classes.

Check out this guide full of fun things to do around the city, and you’ll never say Scranton is boring again:

Enjoy a latte or sandwich at Zummo’s Coffee House, who was recently named Electric City’s “Best Coffee”. It’s located just a few blocks from Marywood’s campus on Marion Street. Here you will enjoy the best cup of coffee with a friendly, warm atmosphere – perfect for studying and fully equipped with free WiFi.

Another great coffee shop, located downtown near Courthouse Square, is Northern Light Espresso Bar. This happening place was named “Best Coffee Shop” by Electric City magazine in 2009 and boasts a great atmosphere. You can choose from an assortment of hot or cold beverages with an array of flavors — all while admiring the artwork of local artists on each wall.

A new addition to the city is The Vintage Theatre, a locally owned, non-profit arts venue located on Penn Ave. near the Steamtown Mall. This cool, unique space is the setting for many local, young bands, movie screenings, clothing drives, and much more.

Enjoy reading in a comfy, secluded place or browsing through old books? Anthology is the spot for you! Sitting high above a quirky jewelry store and art gallery on Center Street, Anthology is where you can buy old or new books, donate your old favorites, sit and knit, attend a Jane Austen book group meeting, and of course, curl up on a couch and read a great book.

The Electric Theatre, located downtown on Spruce Street, is another exciting place where you can see the local talent from the area’s best actors and actresses on stage. Pay only $7 with your student ID to enjoy this hilarious, entertaining show!

Those looking to mingle with the area’s up-and-coming artists in all types of media, while hearing the sounds of local bands, should attend First Friday. This event takes place on the first Friday of each month. Many venues, many within walking distance, around the city showcase local art – paintings, sculpture, photography and more in their spaces for all of us to enjoy. Check out their website for venues ahead of time.

Many of us don’t realize how important Scranton was during the beginning of the 20th century (mining and railroads were our specialty). You can experience the past by going to the Steamtown National Historic Site, located near the mall, and take a train ride, walk through the museum and learn how influential our locomotives were in the past.

The Anthracite Coal Museum is also a fun way to learn about Scranton’s past. You can actually go underground and take the Coal Mine tour to learn what life was like in the mining industry in Northeastern Pennsylvania. All you need is about an hour and a couple of bucks to take the tour.

If you appreciate art, fossils and artifacts from eras past, then you should visit the Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science & Art located at Nay Aug Park. For just $3, go see the museum’s new exhibit “The Art of the Brick”, which showcases sculptures created with over 1 million LEGO© pieces! Trust us, you won’t want to miss this.

Other Events on Your To-Do-List:

Play Bingo at The Bog on the 3rd Thursday of every month. Enjoy wings at Andy Gavin’s on Tuesdays. Volunteer to walk the dogs at the Humane Society of Lackawanna County. Ski & snowboard on Sno Mountain at Montage. Eat at Eden, a vegan Café. Go bowling at South Side Bowl. Buy quirky gifts at Outrageous. Take a tour through the Scranton Cultural Center. See a movie at the Circle Drive-In in Dickson City or the Marquee Cinema right by the Steamtown Mall. Eat half-price sushi on Sundays at Osaka on Adams Ave. Attend a Scranton/WB Penguins hockey game or Scranton/WB Yankees baseball game. Take a road trip to Claws ‘n Paws Wild Animal Park. Paint pottery and ceramics at Just Paint It in Clarks Summit. Volunteer a few hours at the St. Francis Soup Kitchen. Get a pedicure at Lavish on Adams Ave. Take a few yoga classes at Mala Yoga in Greenridge, just a short walk away from campus.

No matter what your tastes, the Electric City is sure to have something for you to do when you find yourself with some extra time.