If you’ve ever tried to plan a date with that cutie you met on campus, you’ve probably realized that Westminster isn’t exactly the most happening place to have a date night. It can be difficult thinking up the perfect romantic outing in such a small city, but with the help of some fellow McDaniel students, I’ve compiled a list of fun ideas. After reading this guide highlighting the quiet charms surrounding campus, you’ll know all the best spots to take your honey!
Get in touch with Nature
Take a walk. It’s simple, but it works. This will give you a chance to get to know each other as you converse along the way. You can gauge how adventurous your potential girl or guy is, too. Does he wait for the crossing sign, or just dart through the street? Does she prefer to take the road less traveled or stick to the main street? It’s amazing how much you can learn by walking.
There are quite a few good places to walk near McDaniel. If you can arrange the transportation, just 10 minutes away from campus is the Hashawha Environmental Center where you can enjoy a nice hike in the woods. Perhaps your hike could be followed by a picnic and star-gazing, which as junior Meena Debnam points out can even be done right on campus at the Harvey Stone Pavilion near the golf-course. Meena has been dating her boyfriend, Chris, for three years, so she definitely knows how important the occasional date night is.
And even though it’s cold out right now, don’t let that keep you from enjoying the fresh air. It just means there’s a lot more potential for cuddling.
Local Places to Try
Some of the best local date spots are right on Main Street, and there are a lot of different options. Birdie’s Café has a great atmosphere, delicious hot drinks and comfy seating that makes this the perfect place to cozy up to your valentine. They even have live music from local musicians, and every third Saturday of the month (that’s THIS Saturday, guys) there is a poetry night. If that doesn’t impress your hipster crush, nothing will.
You can also take your date to a movie or exhibit at the Carroll Arts Center, or take a lesson in arts & crafts at Meltdown, the pottery studio. Rachel Falchik, a McDaniel junior, suggests going on a library date. Each of you could pick out your favorite books and read together or to each other.
Take a Trip Together
Though Westminster does have its perks, sometimes, it’s just nice to get away. And what’s better than a romantic trip with a special someone? You upper-classmen with cars have the advantage on this one, but McDaniel does try to give everyone access to transportation on weekends.
There’s a lot of fun to be had in Washington, D.C., whether you are spending the day exploring museums, visiting the National Zoo, or partying it up at the nightclubs downtown. I personally like to take the Metro to the museums and explore the exhibits, sharing my interests with my guy and showing off my smarts, then getting a bite to eat at one of the many food trucks and people watching at the National Mall.
Only about 45 minutes away, is Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. At the Harbor you could have dinner at one of their many amazing restaurants and catch a concert at Rams Head Live, or enjoy a day at The National Aquarium and view the gorgeous waterfront.
Approximately the same distance away, in the opposite direction, you can plan for an entirely different date night in Gettysburg, PA. In historic Gettysburg, you can grab a burger named after Robert E. Lee and then go on a spooky ghost tour of the town where the turning point of the Civil War was fought (perfect for impressing those American History majors).
Be a Kid Again
Don’t underestimate the appeal of childish fun. College is tough and everyone needs that opportunity to let loose and have fun, so you can bet that your date will appreciate it when you take him out for a night of video games and laser-tag.
There’s a little known place on the other side of Westminster called Larry Sheet’s Players Family Amusement Center (or just Players) that has it all. Sure, it’s a bit immature, but that’s the point! And who cares if you’re the only 20 year olds in the place, because you’ll only be concerned with the fact that they have laser-tag, indoor mini-golf, bumper cars and an arcade.
Don’t forget, if you don’t want to go very far, there’s always the McDaniel Rec Room where you can challenge your girl or guy to video games, ping pong, or pool, if you want to see her or his competitive side.
Have a Snow Da(y)te
For an easy, free and fun date, spend the day building a snowman on campus and making snow angels in the Quad. After all that, you can both snuggle up in a blanket fort and drink hot cocoa while watching Netflix.
Senior Jeff Kane approves of this idea, saying, “It’s personal but also good for a college budget and it gets even more romantic if you watch a Ryan Reynolds movie.”
So this St. Valentine’s Weekend, treat your significant other to one (or two) of these fun romantic activities. Feel free to take the credit for thinking of the idea yourself; I won’t mind.