Cuffing season has finally arrived! The time has come to settle down, find a partner and snuggle up in the cold Binghamton weather. However, for those not so inclined to stay inside all the time, it is critical to have a Rolodex of the best fall and winter date spots in the area.
Wegmans (Johnson City)
Yes, a grocery store is the first entry on the list. However, do not be misled by Wegmans’ label, as the store provides the most variety out of all the date spots listed. First, you can pick up the necessary ingredients to cook your significant other a delicious meal. For those who cannot cook, do not despair, as Wegmans has an excellent food court with pizza, sushi, sandwiches, coffee and more! The best part is that Wegmans is accessible to all, as the Off Campus College Transport (OCCT) Oakdale Mall Shuttle stops at Wegmans and runs hourly on the weekends.
Town Square Mall (Vestal)
Next comes a twist on the classic dinner-plus-a-movie date — dessert plus a movie. Enjoy a movie in the luxurious recliner seats at the AMC Vestal Town Square 9 theater and then sweetFrog frozen yogurt, which features the appropriate fall flavor of pumpkin pie. This spot is especially great this year as there are many exciting movies coming out soon, from “Dune” in October to “Spider-Man: No Way Home” in December. Town Square Mall is also accessible via the OCCT Riviera Ridge and Town Square Mall bus.
Slaughterland Screampark (Binghamton)
Prepare to be scared at Slaughterland Screampark, a haunted house open on select Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for “13 nights of terror” starting Sept. 24. Only the brave may dare to enter, as the park has an abandoned fairground, a spooky forest, evil magic and more. Unfortunately, Slaughterland Screampark costs $35 plus tax per person for a general admission ticket and can only be accessed by a 15-minute car ride.
Apple Hills (Binghamton)
If haunted houses are not your style, then perhaps a more calm and relaxed date at Apple Hills is more appropriate. There is no better way to get to know your significant other than to go apple-picking with them. In addition, the Apple Hills Cafe has a wide menu, from breakfast foods to soups and sandwiches.
University Plaza (Vestal)
The home to some of Binghamton’s University’s off-campus apartments also has another use — the perfect dinner-plus-dessert date. This choose-your-own-adventure date provides a plethora of options that are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. Dinner options include CopperTop Tavern, Chipotle and Five Guys, and there is even an Insomnia Cookies or Cold Stone Creamery for dessert! Best of all, it is incredibly easy to get to University Plaza, either by bus or walking.
On-campus options (Vestal)
On a very cold or snowy day, the best date spot might be the one on campus. In that case, go to a dining hall on campus you do not usually visit. In particular, the newly renovated Hinman Dining Center is known for its delicious food and the Appalachian Dining Hall is famous for its beautiful view. Alternatively, the Nature Preserve also provides a great date spot, with many hiking trails and a few nice spots to stop and have a picnic.
Robot City Games and Arcade (Binghamton)
Luckily for BU students, the largest arcade in New York is located right here in Binghamton, just over 4 miles from campus. Robot City Games and Arcade has over 100 arcade games, with a varied selection that features many fan favorites such as Mario Bros., NBA Jam and Pac-Man.
Ross Park Zoo (Binghamton)
Animal lovers rejoice! Binghamton’s very own Ross Park Zoo is the perfect place to take a date and enjoy the company of various animals. Even if you and your significant other are not super into animals, the Ross Park Zoo has red pandas — an endangered species always worth going to see.
Kopernik Observatory & Science Center (Vestal)
Just a 15-minute drive away from campus, the Kopernik Observatory & Science Center is an excellent place to go on a scientifically inspired date. At the observatory, you can learn about astronomy, earth science, physics and more in their many labs.
Roberson Museum and Science Center (Binghamton)
Last but not least is the Roberson Museum, which makes the perfect winter date with its “Home for the Holidays” attraction from Nov. 18 to Jan. 8. “Home for the Holidays” features many decorated trees among other seasonal decor and allows oneself to become fully immersed in the holiday spirit.