Friday, April 12, 2013

Things to Do In Concord for $16 or Less

While at the co-op on a mission from Amber to get Bison meat, I was shocked to find that a pound of it cost $16! That seemed pretty outrageous to me(I do realize that this may reflect a broader issue with US's poorly devised food subsidies erring towards unhealthy food BUT still) and got me thinking about all the things that I could do/eat for $16 or less in Concord.

Run a Race for a Good Cause
NHTI often hosts races that are $15 and go support various charitable organizations. Not only will you be staying fit but you will be doing a good deed. Other races only slightly higher include the new Emerson Trail Race(which I personally am PUMPED about doing) on April 27th and the Rock N Race on May 16th which Amber is personally pumped about doing and trying to beat me:). Amber ran a 17:36 there last year and the only reason that she didn't beat me was because I wasn't there. One supports a local preschool and the other the Payson Cancer Center, both good causes.

Amber winning the Rock N Race
The Pig's Trough:)
Technically called the "Crowd Pleaser" my mom has affectionately and aptly re-named Friendly gargantuan ice cream sundae the Pig's trough. At $12.95(your tip won't be very generous to keep it at $16) you get 12 scoops of any ice cream flavor you want and 6 candy toppings all then smothered with whipped cream. Other towns may have this as well but it really is a Concord thing to do after having a burger at the Barley House on a Saturday night. Sucker three other people into joining you, and you can get one of their great burgers($8-12) and then split the trough for dessert.

This pic is actually from ATL but this would be a typical Danny dinner
Fire Away!
I went to the Belmont Firing Range with my cousin, Joey, on Wednesday and for an hour you can rent a firing lane for $16. However, as I don't own a gun, ammo or any other of the safety equipment, it ran me closer to $50. BUT theoretically you could shoot for an hour for $16.

Lose it Fast or Lose it Slow
After Joey and I finished up shooting at bad guys, we headed down 106 to the Lakes Region Casino. With minimum bets of $2 and smart bets(don't split 4's when the dealer is showing ten), you can play blackjack for several hours for $16. OR you could bet the maximum($4) with two side bets and be done in two hands.

Stretch it out.
Most yoga studios offer a free introductory class to any new students. Barring that, drop-in classes will run you about $15 so you could do a yoga class then rent a movie at Red Box for $16.20. Check out the Concord area yoga studios here.

Climb all Day
At Evolution Rock in Concord, for $16 you can spend the day bouldering, top roping and potentially even lead-climbing. They also have occasional yoga and fitness classes so if you time it right you could also do one of those. Check out their website here.

Danny climbing in Northern Utah

Watch an Oscar
Treat your significant other to a matinee at Red River Theaters where you can see many of the Oscar-nominated movies as well as many cool independent films. Movie for two: $15.

Adventure Day!
Other than Evolution, all of the above activities will burn through your $16 in a few hours. However, you can find a lot of free or inexpensive activities in and around Concord that will keep you busy and having a blast!

   Sample Day:
After breakfast, start your day with your own yoga either at your place or at one of the many parks in town. After getting limber, change into your bicycling gear. With four state parks within 30 miles or less, you have your choice where you want to spend your morning. If you opt for Pawtuckaway, make sure to bring your climbing gear as it has some of the best bouldering in New Hampshire. Bring a change of clothes and cool off in lake before you bike back to town. Bear Brook and Rollins State Parks are both great places to go hiking with Bear Brook being very extensive and Rollins allowing you to summit Mt. Kearsarge. More in the mood to just relax? Then Clough State Park is just a short bike ride(or even shorter drive) away and has picnic areas as well as a fairly good sized swimming area(The YMCA triathlon is held here).
Danny running at Bear Brook
 After spending the morning at one of the State Parks, head back towards Concord where the real fun begins. Drop your bike off, grab a quick lunch and throw on a pair of breathable running shoes and head north to exit 16. Run through the conservation area making your way to the Merrimack River. Now the adventure begins:) Jump in. Swim back down south where you have a couple bail out options along the way. I usually get out at NHTI and then run home from there. Not in the mood for swimming? There are several places on the Merrimack and Contoocook that rent kayak for $5-10 for several hours of enjoyment.
That certainly works up your appetite! Since you wisely ate at home for breakfast and lunch, you now have $16 to spend towards dinner. Or you could go to Dos Amigos and grab a good sized burrito and a beer for $9 and still be able to split the Pig's Trough with a friend or rent a couple movies from Redbox.

That's only one option! There are so many things you could do on the cheap to stay active and have fun. Not in the mood for activity? Well in three weeks you can sit back and watch Amber do all of it at the US 70.3 Championships in St. George, UT. As always you will be able to follow her at

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