Messiah College is in Grantham, a very small town with a population of around 600, not counting Messiah students. There is not much to entertain students in Grantham and absolutely nothing in walking distance from the campus. As a result, those wishing to find off-campus fun need to have a car. Mechanicsburg is about a 5- to 10-minute drive and offers an array of bars, restaurants, and stores, including a Wal-Mart and Capital City Mall. Carlisle is about 10 to 15 minutes away and offers similar bars, restaurants, and shopping centers. Harrisburg, the state capital, offers a wealth of activities and is only 10 to 15 minutes from campus. Students can head to City Island, Harrisburg’s major city park, go mini-golfing, or watch a Senator’s minor league baseball game. Harrisburg also has a plethora of clubs, bars, restaurants, museums, and shopping markets. About 30 minutes from campus is Hershey and the famous Hershey Park. Also in the area is The Outlets at Hershey, Hershey Bears hockey team, and the Hershey Lodge, where Messiah’s annual Christmas Tradition formal is held.
Unfortunately, though, even with all these opportunities for fun close by, freshmen rarely get the chance to take advantage of them because very few are allowed to have cars on campus. However, upperclassmen with cars frequent these locations on weekends and at night when good ol’ Grantham gets just a little too boring.