11 hangouts within an hour of campus

The Inner Harbor is one of several fun destinations near campus. (Amara Foster / McDaniel Free Press).The Inner Harbor is one of several fun destinations near campus. (Amara Foster / McDaniel Free Press).

If you are not from or familiar with this area, you could be confused about what fun can be had off-campus. Break outside of Westminster and explore what the surrounding area has to offer.

There is so much that you can do and so many places that you can explore, whether you make a left or a right at the light exiting campus. Below are 11 different places, all less than an hour away that could become your potential favorites. If you have the opportunity, visit one, two, or all.

1. Towson Town Center, Towson, Md. (38 minutes)

Towson Town Center is a large indoor mall with over 170 stores and restaurants that spread across four floors. All of your favorite retailers can be found in this one space. Towson is a great place to just hang out, window shop, and walk around with friends, especially if you want to do something low-key and simple during the weekends off campus. Towson’s hours are Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

“Towson has a good selection of stores that you wouldn’t see in an average mall in Maryland,” said sophomore Kai Samuels.

2. Mitchell’s Golf Complex, Reisterstown, Md. (19 minutes)

This miniature golf course, located on Rt. 140, consists of three levels: regular, championship, and monster in the pines. To experience this fun is very inexpensive. The regular course is only $5, and the other two courses are both just $7. At Mitchell’s, they also have a driving range and an executive course, if you are interested in the full golfing experience. Mitchell’s is open every day from 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

3. Baltimore Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Md. (44 minutes)

The Inner Harbor is a huge sightseeing and tourist attraction. It is a staple to the Baltimore community. You can visit one of its many features including the National Aquarium, the Maryland Science Center, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Power Plant Live, and a number of different restaurants and retail and souvenir stores. Paddle boats can be rented out as well. It is the perfect place to walk around and enjoy the view for free, especially on a beautiful day.

“My favorite experience at the Inner Harbor is going to see the fireworks during the fourth of July,” said sophomore Tamera Curtis.

4. Soldier’s Delight Natural Environment Area, Owings Mills, Md. (25 minutes)

This is a nature reserve for both Maryland’s wildlife and natural environment. At Soldier’s Delight, you can take advantage of the 7 miles of hiking trails, either walking or running, or just go to enjoy nature. Bikes are not permitted. Soldier’s Delight is also the perfect backdrop for artistic photos. It is open every day from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

5. The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, Baltimore, Md. (43 minutes)

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is home to nearly 200 species, spread across five different attractions. Tickets are $19 per person, and parking is free. Group ticket discounts are available for 15 people or more, $12.25 at the gate and $12.50 in advance. The zoo is open daily from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., March through December, and Friday through Monday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in January and February.

6. Gettysburg Outlets, Gettysburg, Pa. (31 minutes)

These outlets are located in what is known as “the most famous small town in America.” With more than 60 stores, this is the perfect place to do your tax-free shopping, at an outlet price. A couple of the stores offer student discounts, including the movie theatre. The outlets are open Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

7. Owings Mills AMC Movie Theater, Owings Mills, Md. (24 minutes)

This is the closest movie theater to our school, besides the one at the TownMall of Westminster. This theater has just been remolded, so now it includes reclining seats, reserved seating, and IMAX. One thing about this theater is if you become an AMC stubs member, you have the option of $5 Tuesdays. This means that all day on Tuesdays, all movies are just $5. Student pricing is also available every day after 4 p.m. All you have to do is show a valid student ID at the box office, and they will provide the discount.

8. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Md. (45 minutes)

This free art museum is located in Mount Vernon, Baltimore’s cultural and historic district. Their mission is “to bring art and people together for enjoyment, discovery, and learning.” The museum is closed Monday and Tuesday, but open Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Thursdays 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

9. Fell’s Point, Baltimore, Md. (48 minutes)

Fell’s Point is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Baltimore. It is filled with cobblestone streets, waterfront restaurants, shops and boutiques. Fell’s Point hosts different events throughout the year, so stay on the lookout for what they have coming. Fell’s Point is also a great setting for artistic photos in front of the water with your friends, which will make for great memories.

10. Centennial Park, Ellicott City, Md. (40 minutes)

Centennial Park is a public park surrounding Centennial Lake. There is a 2.6-mile paved pathway around the lake, and 7.3 miles of paved pathway linking surrounding neighborhoods. If you want a change of scenery, go walk, run, or ride your bike at this park. You are also able to bring your dog, as long as they are secured by a leash. At this park, there is a whole bunch of things that you can do. There are picnic pavilions, playgrounds, sand volleyball courts, baseball fields, a skate spot, hiking trails, racquetball courts, tennis courts, multipurpose fields, and horseshoe pits. Centennial Park is open every day from 7 a.m.-8:45 p.m.

11. SkyZone Trampoline Park, Timonium, Md. (37 minutes)

This is an indoor trampoline park that features “freestyle bouncing,” dodgeball, and basketball hoops. SkyZone is a great place to spend a Saturday afternoon or night with your friends. They even offer what they call a “Glow Zone,” which is a session full of lasers, music and blacklight. “Glow Zone” is offered on Friday nights from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. and 9 p.m.-11 p.m. and Saturday nights from 9 p.m.-11 p.m. The price for a 2-hour  session is $22 per person. On a regular day and time, SkyZone Timonium is open from 10 a.m.-8 p.m., with each time session costing a different amount.