C-U bars not only place for fun

Nightlife in Champaign-Urbana has plenty to offer for those who want to head out on the town. But on those nights when partying is not a priority, there is still plenty for students to do.

From a quiet night with friends to a trip to Green Street or even the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC), there is no shortage of fun at night at the University.

Katie Stehlik, junior in business, and her friends enjoy going off-campus when they do not feel like heading to the bars. Some of these trips include canoeing at Sugar Creek in Indiana and playing paintball in Rantoul.

Stehlik and her friends also participated in intramural sports, played dodgeball at the ARC and participated in leadership activities. Not every activity, however, took place away from home.

“Sometimes we just would just stay have a night. One night we had a Friends marathon,” she said.

Jenae Howes, junior in education, also enjoys participating in sports when she does not feel like hitting campus bars.

“You can go to the gym. I usually go play sand volleyball,” Howes said.

Another way to bond with friends and have fun without getting dressed up is by heading to Cocomero, 709 S. Wright St. or Cold Stone Creamery, 505 E. Green St. for a something sweet.

Howes points out that the downside of both of these places is that they close before than campus bars, which close at 2 a.m. “(Those places) close early, so you can only stay until (around) 12 a.m.,” Howes said.

The allure of a night in can sometimes be the lack of activities after a crazy week or day. For some, the appeal of “staying in” is getting a chance to catch up and be with friends.

“Usually, we rent movies or go to eat and (hang out) somewhere,” Howes said.

Students can rent movies from the Undergraduate Library, 1402 W. Gregory, or That’s Rentertainment, 516 E. John St., which are both located on campus.

It is important to have the right movie night snack to go with the perfect movie.

Both EatCU.com and CampusFood.com allow students to find late night meal options. Popular foods are pokey sticks from Gumby’s, 1407 S. Neil St., and cookies and brownies from Insomnia Cookies, 502 E. John St.

Food is a way to bring any group of friends together. Pot-luck dinners in which each person brings a dish is an option for those who enjoy a home-cooked meal. A progressive dinner allows groups to move from one apartment to the next, grabbing something to eat at each stop.

Sarah Brown, senior in LAS, enjoys cooking with friends or even cooking for a large group.

“A lot of my friends like to cook. Sometimes we have dinner where one person does the cooking,” Brown said.

In addition to cooking, Brown enjoys a variety of other activities when she and her friends are not in the mood to hit any of the campus bars.

“There’s always bowling and pool in the Union. Sometimes we stay in and play Apples to Apples, Cranium or Catchphrase,” —linebreak—she said.