One of the best parts about college is that you have the freedom and opportunity to do whatever you want. When I met my partner and my current group of friends, days were filled with fun activities. We’d often go out to eat, see movies, do trivia at the Blue Comet, and more. It felt good to be out doing things I enjoyed, but the costs stacked up and I became nervous about all the money I was spending. I vowed to figure out cheap or no-cost things to do without sacrificing my enjoyment. Here are a few activities you can do around the Glenside area for little to no cost.
Located about a 10-minute drive from campus, Briar Bush Nature Center is a beautiful place spanning 12.5 acres and a mile of trails. Benches line the trails so you can sit and enjoy sights and sounds. When I first visited, I was surprised to find a hawk and two small owls in large outdoor pens. They also have a museum and bird observatory. As an animal lover, I was overjoyed to see how much care and dedication they put into the grounds and the animals that live on it.
Cost: Free. Dede Long Nature Museum is pay what you can, but free for members and Abington Township residents.
Location: 1212 Edge Hill Road, Abington, PA 19001
Hours: Trails open daily from dawn to dusk.
Dede Long Nature Museum: Daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Griscom Bird Observatory: Daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
I was crestfallen when I discovered that the price of movie tickets at Regal had gone up to $15, and they’d done away with their student discount program. While searching for alternatives, I found Hiway Theater in Jenkintown, an old-style cinema built in 1913. They show both old and new films, and those under 25 years old only pay $11. If you’re 25 and up, the cost jumps to $13, but regardless, you’re still saving money and supporting a local theater. The deals don’t stop there. Matinee tickets are only $5!
Location: 212 York Rd, Jenkintown, PA 19046
A short drive from campus, Fort Washington State Park is a stunning 493-acre park offering many activities, such as hiking, picnicking, swimming, and more. They even have an observation deck where you can look down at the rest of the park.
Location: 500 South Bethlehem Pike,Fort Washington, PA 19034
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
This place is criminally underrated. Within walking distance of campus, Ludwig’s Antiques sells everything: books, old tools, vintage clothing, postcards and photos, and so much more. Depending on what you get, it’s not that expensive. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s so fun to look around!
Location: 221 W. Glenside Ave, Glenside, PA 19038
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays (this is according to their Facebook page, which may be out of date)
Sure, Dunkin is right by campus, and so is Easton. But if you want a coffee experience, you have to go to Keswick Coffee House. Their prices are comparable to chains such as Starbucks and Dunkin’, but they have amazing breakfast sandwiches and unique drinks. The place is filled with comfy sofas and chairs to hang out in. Whether you want to go there to study or catch up with friends, I’d definitely recommend it.
Location: 250 N. Keswick Ave, Glenside, PA 19038
Hours: Closed Monday. Open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
These are just a few of the nearby things to do that my fellow Arcadians may not have thought of before. Enjoy your fun on a budget!