Imani Johnson | Lifestyle Writer | email@example.com
Downtown Athens on the weekends (or weekdays) always seems to be bustling with life. Students are lining up to to get into the bars, popular restaurants like Big Mamma’s and Uptown Grill are filled with customers, and people always seem to be having a good time.
But for underclassmen, accessing the bar scene is limited by one big factor: they’re not 21. Although Athens is known for having a vast bar scene, don’t fear, there are a variety of other fun activities that that don’t require drinking.
One popular event is Ohio University’s “Ohio Late Nights.” This program runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Saturday during the school year. They provide snacks, karaoke, games, activities and more. The event is a great way to have fun and make friends while you’re at it. And the best part? It’s completely free.
Just a ten-minute drive away from campus is the “Athena Grand.” The movie theater shows just about every popular release and comes at the price of a very affordable five dollars. Seeing a movie is always fun, especially for those who might not have a TV and miss the feeling of watching your favorite movies. Now you finally have an excuse to see IT!
While The Ridges are notoriously known for the abandoned mental asylum, the area has much more to offer. The asylum is not open to the public unless a scheduled guided tour is arranged, but students are known for exploring the area around it. There is an art center and hiking trails that are open to the public. Watching the sun set and exploring the views of Southeast Ohio is another perk of taking a trip to the Ridges.
Open until 12 AM (with the exception of holidays) Ping Recreational Center is another great place to spend time as they offer many programs in addition to the equipment. Graduate student Shannon Sundry, studying social work, explains the activities she participated in at Ping Center. “I would go to the gym with friends– especially the group fitness classes.” They offer classes every day of the week for different interests, so there’s a class for everyone. Now you can exercise and have fun!
Junior Katie Murray, majoring in marketing, explains what activities she participated in. “Go to Strouds,” she said. “There’s a lot you can do you can go paddleboard or kayaking, they have a lot of options.” Strouds Run is a state park outside of campus that offers a variety of outdoor activities. They suit a variety of interests such as fishing, hunting, hiking, boating and much more. If the outdoors is for you, look no further.
Don’t feel like going out? Getting some friends together and having a movie night in a dorm is simple and fun at the same time. “When we first moved in, me and some friends on my floor had a movie night and it’s been one of the best nights here so far,” says freshman biology major Molly Armstrong.
While it might seem like a while until underclassmen can enter the glorious gates of bars in Athens, there’s still so much to explore. So get out of your dorm, and realize the potential of the beautiful campus and town that is yOUr home for four years.