Staying in at night: How to save money, still have great time

Although college appears to be all about going out and getting drunk with your friends, that’s not the only way to have fun. Sometimes of the best college memories you’ll make will be on a night you decide not to go to the bars.

If you’re looking for something to do at home on a Friday or Saturday night (or really, any other night of the week), then here are some great suggestions for you:

1. Movies, movies, movies!

You will probably have more movie marathons in college than you ever thought possible.

When you’re living in close quarters with people other than family members, gathering around a television with some DVDs and popcorn is one of the easiest things to do and a great way to avoid homework.

If your film collection is low or you’re running out of movies to watch, there are plenty of other places on campus to borrow or rent some more, including the Undergraduate Library, That’s Rentertainment, 516 E. John St., and various University residence halls.

2. Have a baking night

Whether you’re stuck in the dorms or living in a cramped apartment with several others, there is usually always a kitchen available for you to use somewhere.

This could be the perfect time to test those baking skills, create a fun and easy gift for a friend or satisfy that sweet tooth.

Try simple treats such as brownies or Rice Krispies Treats, or make some decorative red velvet cupcakes to impress your friends and surprise them with your baking abilities.

If you can’t make it to Wal-Mart or Meijer to grab some baking goods, you can also try at Walgreens, 407 E. Green St., or County Market, 331 E. Stoughton St.

3. Gaming tournaments

You can also gather your friends and play some serious Guitar Hero or Mario Kart Wii, if you have them.

If neither you nor your friends have any of the games you want to play, video games are also available for checkout at the Undergraduate Library. Popular games for gatherings include any sports game (think NBA 2K or Madden NFL), Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario Party, and Rock Band, although of course any other game would be fun if you’re relaxing solo for a night.

4. Other forms of gaming

If you live in the residence halls, chances are you can check out board games for the night, or you can easily pick one up at Wal-Mart.

Relive your childhoods with a round of Twister, Monopoly, and The Game of Life.

Got a computer with a microphone and webcam handy?

Try out online games such as the freaky Hotel 626 or Asylum 616 if you haven’t already.

Other options include traditional card games like BS, Speed, and Spoons.

5. Take advantage of your apartment

One fun thing to do on a night in could be building forts in your living room.

Take a bunch of dining chairs, computer chairs, couches, coffee tables, and all the blankets you can find and make a maze or fort, just like when you were younger.

If you have a balcony, feel free to bust out a grill and make some s’mores.