Top 5 priceless summer dates close to home


Grace Gaydosh

A view of the National Harbor overlooking the ferris wheel.

by Grace Gaydosh, Editor

Warmer temperatures and longer days mean that there are more options for getting outdoors and spending time with that special someone. However, a lot of adventures can be expensive. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a memorable time with your favorite girl or guy. These 5 low-cost summer date ideas are equal parts fun and romance — the perfect combo for a day in the sun or an evening under the stars.

5. Bowling for Two

Bowling is always a great alternative for when it’s blazing hot outside. Bowling is fun, even if you need the bumpers.

Where to go: Mount Airy Bowling Lanes, Mount Airy, MD

What to do: Mount Airy Bowling Lanes offers duckpin bowling 7 days a week for only $10-12 per person for 2 games. Cosmic bowling is offered on Saturday nights from 9 p.m.-11 p.m. It costs $14 per person. Along with bowling, they also have a small arcade and food.

What to eat: Pizza, fries, cheese sticks, nachos

Cost: For two, around $40 including food

Class of 2020 member Madie Beck said “It’s a lot of fun and the food is cheap, but it’s quality food. I would totally go there on a date again.”

4. The Classic Carnival 

Carnivals only happen in the summer, and they’re a perfect first date. It’s laid back, but you can have so much fun! They are full of rides, games, food, live music, and sometimes even fireworks (very romantic!).

Where to go: The Mount Airy Fairgrounds for the Lion’s Club Carnival– June 4th-June 9th, 2018. 

What to do: Rides such as the ferris wheel, swings, the scrambler, Rock ‘N’ Roll, the tornado, supershot, etc. There are many games to win prizes such as goldfish, stuffed animals, or other toys for your date!

What to eat: Carnival food such as burgers, hot dogs, fries, funnel cake, and fried oreos.

Cost: Half price ($15) ticket sales for the carnival end on June 3rd. They can be purchased at Old Line Bank, (Mount Airy location only), George’s Girls Jewelry on Main St., Mt. Airy, and at The Upper Deck Sports Bar. Tickets from The Upper Deck will be available for purchase on May 26th and June 2nd from 1-4 p.m., as well as at the Mount Airy Carnival Grounds June 3rd from 11-5 p.m. The ride all night tickets are usable Mon – Wed of the carnival, and after June 3rd will be sold for $30.

3. National Harbor

Scenic views of the National Harbor.

Where to go: The National Harbor is a great summer date especially in the evening. 

What to doDate night movies are offered on the Potomac River. The next one coming up is Wonder Woman, which is being shown on May 31st from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. You can also enjoy the beautiful views high up on the the Capital Wheel. There are many restaurants around the area as well as shops. Just walking around the harbor is a great time for talking, laughing, and making memories.

What to eat: There are restaurants such as the Redstone American Grill as well as ice cream such as Ben & Jerry’s.

Cost: The movies are free, so your cost will depend on which restaurant you go to and your transportation.

2. Hiking

Views of Cunningham Falls

If you and your date are active and enjoy the outdoors, this is the ideal date.

Where to go: Cunningham Falls State Park (located in the Catoctin Mountains) 

What to doYou can hike along the trails, fish, canoe, or have a picnic. You can take great pictures with your boyfriend or girlfriend.

What to eat: Picnicking is fun and allows you to enjoy the tranquility around you. Easy picnic foods include sandwiches, fruit, and chips. 

Cost: To get in, the cost is $5 per car.

“It’s super fun to go to because you can hike on the falls and spend the day together outside,” said Class of 2020 member Amanda Lindsay.

1. Walking around the downtown area

Where to go: Downtown Frederick is a very popular place for couples to walk around, shop, and eat.

What to do: You can walk around Carroll Creek and take cute photos. There are also many murals to look at such as the “Angels in the Architecture” series, and they make a nice backdrop for a picture. If you enjoy shopping, there are plenty of little shops to explore. 

What to eat: A great way to eat in Downtown Frederick with your girlfriend or boyfriend is by having a picnic at Baker Park. A lot of the restaurants there are expensive, so it’s a good alternative. However, Pizza and Pretzel Creations is fairly reasonable.

“I highly recommend Pizza and Pretzel creations; it’s convenient and the food is delicious,” said Class of 2020 member Juliana Zeller.

Cost: The cost depends on which restaurant you go to and if you buy anything.

Class of 2020 member Alaina Burger said, “You can walk around and do what you want since it’s a big area, but there’s so much to do.”