By Jack Laushway

Personally, I don’t like sitting around on my phone much at university. Surrounded by other students, we should be taking advantage of the opportunity to spend our time with others who are in the exact same situation as us. However, like a lot of other students at university, I often find myself with little spending money to use for entertainment and social activities. We live on a beautiful campus in a city that is waiting to be explored. Because of this, there are a surprising number of fun things you can do without hurting your bank account. Here is a list of the Top 5 Things to do in Sudbury for $10 or less.

Board Game Cafes

One thing I love to do when I am with my friends is play board games. Unfortunately, most of us don’t actually have many of our own board games to play with. Fortunately, there are two amazing board game cafes in Sudbury.

game on

The first is Let’s Scrabalatte, a board game cafe located in the heart of downtown Sudbury. Its location on 66 Elm Street makes it a very short 5-minute walk from the transit terminal which makes it very easy to get to. Let’s Scrabalatte offers customers the chance to play board games all night long for only $6. They even offer an incredible selection of more than 350 games. And if you want to make sure they have the game you are looking for, you can search up the game on their list of games featured on their website. In addition to their board games, you can try some of their signature lattes such as the Pikachu Latte (chocolate latte topped off with banana whipped cream). They are open every day from 6 p.m. until midnight.

Café One is another great option at an affordable price! At Café One, you can pay just $5 to play for the entire day. Not only that, they allow you to reserve a table in advance for up to 12 people. Café One also has a large variety of board games, including classics like chess, Cards Against Humanity, Candyland, Sorry!, and Monopoly. In addition to their games, they have a great selection of drinks and food, including their signature Cheesecake Menu. Café One is located at 1258 Lasalle Boulevard and is open every day from 10 a.m. until at least 10 p.m., with certain days staying open for longer.

Big Nickel

I still remember my very first time to Sudbury back in 2016. I was coming up on my March Break to tour Laurentian University. I arrived a bit early and decided to check out some local monuments before the tour started. There is no better spot to check out than Sudbury’s own Big Nickel. The Big Nickel is a massive nine-metre replica of a 1951 Canadian nickel. The Big Nickel is located at the grounds of the Dynamic Earth science centre and it is open for the public at no cost (aside from $5 for parking). The Big Nickel is the largest coin in the world, and it is about 65-million times the size of a real Canadian Nickel. If that isn’t enough reason to check it out, Sudbury’s giant coin is celebrating its 55th anniversary in 2019.

Here I am attempting, and failing, to ‘hold up’ the Big Nickel.

Sudbury's Big Nickel

Hiking Trails

Laurentian has a beautiful campus with unlimited opportunity, but there are also many great hiking trails near the campus. Hiking can be done alone, with friends, or a dog and it is completely free! It is something that many students are unaware of and should be further explored.

Field and flowers

Here are two hiking trails that I would recommend:

Kivi Park is known as Sudbury’s premier destination for sport, nature and adventure. The park comprises of over 450 acres of forest and waterways that overlook Long Lake. Access to the park is absolutely free because it is operated entirely by a passionate group of volunteers who make Kivi Park possible. The park can be used for a variety of activities such as hiking, jogging, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and more all-year round. It is a perfect spot to take a walk and enjoy a scenic forest and waterway. I have hiked there multiple times and it is always memorable! Kivi Park is located on Long Lake Road just six minutes past the South-End Walmart.

Another great hiking trail is the A.Y. Jackson Lookout. The A.Y. Jackson Lookout offers an incredible scenic view of High Falls as it streams into the Sudbury Basin. If you are coming in from campus, it can be a long drive, but will not disappoint those who travel to explore it. The site offers three different beautiful and unique trails. The A.Y. Jackson Lookout even includes a self-guided geological walking tour which is wheelchair accessible. It is a very accommodating trail as it holds its own welcome centre with washroom facilities and picnic areas. Once again, the trail is entirely free and is developed and supported through the efforts of volunteers.

Beaches

Another great affordable option is the sandy beaches we have in Sudbury. The University is lucky to be surrounded by a number of lakes including Ramsey Lake. On a hot summer day, there is nothing better than heading down to one of the beaches and taking a splash in the lake.

Bert and Ernie in a pool

One of the best spots on all of campus is the beach on Lake Nepahwin. Laurentian has its very own beach just a five-minute walk from the Ben Avery Gym. Personally, this is my favourite spot on campus and I always make sure to take full advantage of it when the weather permits. This is the perfect place to throw around a football, play beach volleyball, or jump in the lake. It is so convenient and is the best way to get outside and have some fun with your friends. Every year I look forward to the SGA Beach Day that takes place on our beach, but it can be used for many other sunny days of the year! There is also a great running trail that runs alongside it making it so convenient when you want to jump in after a sweaty run. The only things you’ll need are a swimsuit, towel, and sunscreen.

Bell Park is a very popular location for people of all ages. It has a beautiful walking path that passes the Grace Hartman Amphitheatre and continues alongside Ramsey Lake. However, the best part about this park is the beach. Bell Park Beach is even Blue Flag certified, which is an International Certification Program for beaches and marinas. The Blue Flag signifies that the beach has excellent water quality for swimming as well as safety for all patrons. In the winter, the lake also makes for a great skating path that is groomed to ensure the ice is safe and thick enough. Bell Park is just a five-minute drive from campus making it one of the best locations for any student to explore. Both of these beaches are open to the public and free of charge.

Watch a Movie

Nowadays we watch more movies and TV than ever before due to the convenience of streaming services such as Netflix. However, there is nothing quite like going to the movies when you’re sitting in those comfy seats, grabbing a large popcorn and Coke, and truly indulging a film. Sometimes we seem to forget how enjoyable of an experience going to the movies can be! Luckily, we have many great local cinemas where we can go watch movies and save some coin while we are at it.

Jim Carrey eating movie popcorn

Sudbury Indie Cinema is a brand new theatre that just opened up on February 28th. It was opened by a passionate group of individuals who are trying to bring exemplary films that give voice to lesser-heard perspectives on the big screen. The cinema is located at 162 Mackenzie Street and they provide free parking. If you go see a movie on a Tuesday, you will only spend $5. At the SIC, you can watch popular indie movies such as the Oscar-winning film Free Solo: which captures the story of Alex Honnold, who attempts to become the first person ever to free solo climb El Capitan. Supporting the indie movie genre and watching amazing movies for $5 is too good a deal to pass up.

Lastly, Imagine Cinemas is a great spot to watch new releases at an affordable price. The Cinema is located at the heart of downtown at 40 Elm Street, just a four-minute walk from the transit terminal. If you go on Tuesdays you’ll only be spending $6, if you can fight to urge to buy popcorn! Right now you can watch popular releases such as the latest Academy Award Winner, Green Book, as well as The Beach Bum, and A Dog’s Way Home.

Now that you have all the information you need, go out there and be thrifty! No matter what you think, you can always go outside and find some fun in the least expected places. And if none of these ideas are any fun for you, you can head home and finally do to the assignment you’ve been procrastinating for days now.

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