Drinking, legal or not, may seem like one of the only ways to have fun in a small town like Athens. But that’s simply not the case. Athens has many amazing hidden gems that encourage sober fun with friends.
1. Strouds Run State Park: Strouds is located a couple of miles from campus and is loaded with fun activities . There are several trails to hike, a beach to lie out on, and canoes, kayaks and pontoons to take out on the water. The best time to visit is during the fall and spring, and you will be sure to find other students grilling or playing sand volleyball who would be happy if you joined in on the fun.
2. Catch A Movie: While going to see a movie may seem like a cop-out, Athens does movie theaters a little differently. There’s Fun Barn, where you can treat yourself to a $4 movie and popcorn for a dollar. Yes, you read that right. At most theaters, you would pay more than twice that to see the newest Hunger Games installment, but at Fun Barn you can get by with a couple of bucks. The added bonus is the full arcade inside of the theater, where you can hang out before or after the show. Another theater, located right on Court Street, is The Athena Cinema. This theater shows movies old and new, featuring a film festival in the spring and movies to go along with the season. And the Athena Grand on East State Street is a multiplex featuring current movies.
3. Intramural Sports: Ohio University offers students the opportunity to participate in several sports each season, with male, female, and coed teams. Get a group of friends together and sign up for the next session! Spring 1 registration opens on Jan. 12, 2015.
4. Performing Arts and Concert Series: This is an awesome opportunity to see your favorite artist, comedian, or musical at a great price. Ohio University has a scheduled performance almost weekly, and there is something for everyone. The shows are always at the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium, and in 2014 alone there have been visits from country star Scotty McCreery, comedians from the MTV hit show Girl Code, and The Golden Dragons Acrobats performers.
5. Hocking Hills State Park: Okay, this may be a bit of a stretch because you do have to drive a half-hour to get there, but it’s definitely worth it. Hocking Hills is filled with beautiful, undisturbed forests, rugged cliffs and enchanting waterfalls. There are several hiking trails to explore, and activities like zip lining and horseback riding. You can camp out or rent a cabin for a weekend with a few friends, and you will forget that you’re in Ohio.
6. OHIO Sporting Events: Ohio University is a Division 1 school, and the student sections at the games are always exciting to be a part of. The Marching 110 takes over at halftime, and their impressive playing earned them the title of Best College Marching Band in 2014. The best part? The games are free for students when you show your student ID.