Fairfield County activities overpriced, DIY activities more suitable for students

Fall activities are widely adored by Westport residents of all ages, but the cost of such activities may impose restrictions in terms of who may participate in such events.

Karina Murray ’22

Fall activities are widely adored by Westport residents of all ages, but the cost of such activities may impose restrictions in terms of who may participate in such events.

As leaves change colors and temperatures plummet, fall enthusiasts begin to fill their calendars with quintessential fall activities. From apple picking and pumpkin carving to getting lost in an all-too confusing corn maze, Westporters’ northeast autumnal experiences are something to look forward to. As enjoyable as these activities are, a barrier exists that separates fall lovers from the activities they look forward to all year long: the cost.

As any student with a minimum wage job might attest to, spending money to pick apples off of a tree is not exactly an ideal expenditure. While an enjoyable experience with loved ones is generally worth spending money on, the amount that we as residents of Fairfield County have to pay in order to yield these experiences, is less than ideal. 

A trip to Silverman’s Farm to go apple picking for my family of six easily added up to over $70, as a result of the $8 cost for each  small bag that each person is required to buy per person, in addition to the $6 entrance fee for the petting zoo and the overpriced cost of a handful of delicious goodies from the market. Admittedly, nobody is forcing us to spend the extra money on the petting zoo or treats; but the add-ons enhance our experience and make our trip worthwhile, though all the more expensive. 

Furthermore, while the Longshore Ice Skating Rink is a fall and winter favorite for many Westport citizens, frequently, it is a once-in-a-season experience due to the cost of it. An hour of skating costs $14, renting the skates costs $5.50 and sharpening (optional) costs $10. If the cost of snacks or meals are thrown into the mix, a one hour trip to the rink could quickly add up to over $30. The rink is wonderful and the experience may seem worthwhile to many; but the price to enjoy a winter day in a more affordable way may be appealing to consumers who don’t necessarily want to overspend for an hour on the ice.

Overpricing in Westport reaches far beyond the realm of seasonal activities, however. Attending the Regent 8 movie theater in Norwalk, nowadays, is significantly more expensive than deciding to watch the latest flick from your couch. A typical adult ticket is priced at $14, a slushie is $7, a large popcorn is $8 and candy is typically $4. Though not all moviegoers will buy any or all of these snacks, a hungry movie fanatic can easily spend over $30 on a single trip to the movies. This dramatic pricing is a primary reason why movie theater attendance has decreased significantly over the past several years, and many people are understandably opting to watch new releases on their streaming services. 

While costs of the preceding activities aren’t necessarily outrageous, the amount of money that residents of Fairfield County must decide whether or not to spend on these activities is higher than preferable. Students may instead choose to carve pumpkins from home, invite a few friends over for a movie night or even set up a day of fall festivities in their backyard. Whether or not you plan to spend money to celebrate fall this year, there are plenty of free ways to enjoy and appreciate autumn’s natural beauty.