When deciding to choose Fairfield University as my home for the next four years, one of the bullet points I wrote down in my “pros” section was the beautiful downtown area. In the past two years of attending school, I’ve visited Post Road on numerous occasions and have made it a point to try all of the restaurants lined up (only four more to go!). And while we have the beach, the weekly farmer’s market and a handful of boutiques, it can quickly get old – there are only so many times that the clothing stores alternate their inventory and so many weeks those outdoor events are attendable.
I’ve repeated to my close friends and family members for some time now that I just wish we had more activities to do during the weekend or even on weeknights when we are in need of an academic break or hangout spot. It’s come to the point where I’ve made a list in my notes of business ventures I know would make a killing in a college campus town such as Fairfield.
Mini Golf – A small mini golf course with 18 holes is such a nostalgic and time-consuming date night that would no doubt never get old. I could see the business decorating each part of the course with seasonal attributes (during Halloween making it spooky or laying the Christmas spirit on heavy in December) and it being the go-to spot on late-night adventures. It’s sweet, not too expensive and somewhat of a workout!
Movie Theater – The closest movie theaters we have are 20 minutes away, either in Trumbull or Norwalk. Although I appreciate our Sacred Heart Community Theater, I want the option to watch the latest films and not just classics on repeat. I am partial to a modern AMC where you have all the goodies (buttered popcorn in one hand, a blue raspberry ICEE in the other), and it seems that so are my classmates! The other week when I went to the movies on a Wednesday night at 8 p.m. there were at least 10 other Fairfield students in the same showing. I can’t imagine how many other people make the hike just to watch a new release on the big screen.
Laser Tag – Laser tag is also kind of “childish,” but it doesn’t take away from the adrenaline boost and competitive feel. I could totally picture myself grabbing my roommates to go play on a random Thursday night to get away from long hours of writing or studying. I could see this business idea combined with a mini arcade inside as well. They would be a short, silly and cheap option to do something out of the ordinary.
Arts and Crafts Shop – This one is my absolute favorite idea! I would love to have a shop where each week, the owners host a different creative class where you can expand your interests and delve into new experiences. Some activities I thought of would consist of pottery, wine and paint, making a rug, creating jewelry and upcycling old or thrifted clothing. This way, you have something new to do every week if you have the time or each Sunday you can look at what the shop is offering for the upcoming days and decide if it’s something that you’re interested in or not.
Cooking Class – A cooking class would be another wonderful opportunity if it was located on Post Road. With students beginning to make meals for themselves with their new kitchen and grocery budget, I believe that attending a workshop where you can learn would be so helpful. Some students didn’t have parents to teach them how to make extravagant dinners, so they’re just living on Ramen noodles. A business that offered to teach people a new recipe each week, would make an incredible impact. I think it would also be cute if that store did special holiday dishes during a specific week that relates to the season.
Gym Complex – I know we have our RecPlex on campus and a few other local gyms that are beneficial for lifting weights or indoor cardio, but the complex I am thinking of is much more intensive. I once visited the Chelsea Piers in New York City during a high school field trip and from what I can remember, the location had every single athletic activity you could think of: rock climbing, sport courts for volleyball, basketball, soccer, tennis, pickleball and others, a swimming pool, a skateboard park, etc. Something like this would be a huge hit for young adults and even the kids in town. I also certainly wouldn’t mind a newly built gym as a second option when all of the squat racks are taken on campus.
Don’t get me wrong, I still absolutely love Post Road and I stroll through our beautiful downtown at least twice a week. But as a long-situated resident of Fairfield, I just wish at least one of these activities would make an appearance in our food and clothing heavy hang out spot.