Activities to do in Athens other than party at Fests

Weekends in Athens are comparable to other college towns, the students spend most of their free time going to parties. The spring in Athens is full of parties outside houses and are what everyone talks about as the better weather encourages students to party outside instead of in small houses. Are you a student, prospective student or parent and want to know what other than partying you can do at OU? Here is a list of a number of other activities that you can do other than partying and the reasoning why you should do these.

Hiking

The Ash cave at Hocking Hills. (Photo Credit: Always Shooting)

College is about learning to be efficient with your time and combining working out with being outside through hiking is a prime example. Athens is surrounded by parks and hiking trails that offer different experiences. All these parks have great views and are easy to hike around. Hocking Hills is the one most people go to but there are many others that are awesome to go to including Stroud’s Run State Park and Sells Park.

The Ridges

The Ridges (Photo Credit: http://www.forgottenoh.com/Ridges/ridges.html )

The most haunted place on campus is The Ridges where there are many types of activities to partake in. The main building there used to be the mental health hospital Southeastern Ohio and is on a hill just across the Hocking River from the main part of OU. It is usually really busy right around Halloween so the best time to go is in the spring. There is an old cemetery there that is nice to look around and the whole area is a great place to explore. You might find something new every time you go!!!

Kennedy Museum of Art

The inside of the Kennedy Museum of Art (Photo Credit: www.ohio.org)

The Kennedy Museum of Art is part of The Ridges but deserves its own point as it is very different than the rest of the area. From the outside, you would not know that a museum is inside the old hospital as the outside is nondescript. The museum is very modern and houses exhibitions from students in the area that vary depending on the time of the year. Going once to see the exhibits is not enough as they are constantly changing.

Biking

The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway is a great way to explore other areas without needing a car as it is a 21-mile long bike path between Athens and Nelsonville. You can also walk parts of the bike path if you want to. If you begin in Athens and go the full distance you end up in the Historic Square Arts District in Nelsonville that is a great place along with the whole town to check out.

The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway in the spring (Photo Credit: www.getoutzine.com

Organization Events

With so many university organizations there is always an event to go to that have such have such variety in what they are about. That means there is something for everyone to go to and most of these events are on weekends or when students are free as the leaders of the organizations are all students. One of the main events of the year is the International Week, which culminates in the International Street Fair put on by the International Student Union.

 

Shopping

Most students do not have much money to spare while at college but if they are not spending the little money they have on partying they can use it for other activities. That money can be used to go shopping at local clothing stores that have very interesting clothes and not that expensive. These stores are a perfect example of what Athens is and are a great place to meet like-minded people while looking through clothes.

Movies

The Athena Cinema at night. (Photo Credit: Katherine Egli)

There are a few movie theaters in Athens and they are a good place to go in the evenings or if you want to take your mind off whatever for a few hours. The Athena Cinema is the most known as it hosts many events and has movies and documentary shown for a couple of days. Sometimes the filmmaker comes also and has a talk about the movie.

Sports

Most sporting events cost money but being a student you get in for free. Well, you pay for it in your tuition and student fees but you aren’t losing any money out of your pocket when you go to the events. Baseball and softball are the two teams around in the spring that are often playing in Athens on the weekend. Saturdays are usually the days these teams play most of their games so you can be watching sports for most of the day instead of partying. Always good to support teams that bring glory to OU.

Chilling

The activity that costs no money at all is hanging out with friends and just relaxing on weekends. During the week, everyone is very busy with schoolwork so there is very little time to hang out. There are so many possibilities to do when with a group of friends that don’t include going out and partying. Some of those include playing board games and video games along with just sitting around talking to get to know everyone better. There are also activities that you can do by yourself like watching movies and sports on TV.

As you can see there are other activities to do other than partying and you are not the only one that does not party. The town and university are known for their big parties but some of the other activities are more fun and you can learn from them. Go out and explore all that Athens offers you!!!!

 

 

Crazy relaxation at the looney bin.

It may sound a little crazy, but next time you get the chance you should really stop by the Athens Insane Asylum…I mean the Ridges.

The Ridges (formerly the Athens Insane Asylum), was a functioning mental health hospital from 1874 to 1993. Ohio University obtained the property in 1989, the land grab almost doubled the size of the Athens, Ohio main campus.

Despite its marred past of mistreating the mentally ill and partaking in acts of quackery such as lobotomy and shock therapy, along with its believed connection to the supernatural, the Ridges is a perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon.

This piece of 19th century architectural gold sits atop the hill (or the ridge rather) on the south side of the Hocking River directly across from West Green. Take a walk out Richland Ave. past the roundabout. Then you will come to a park. Hang a right and then head up the rugged brick road.

(Photo: Eben George
Large black birds perched atop the historic Ridges complex at Ohio University. (Photo: Eben George)

The sprawling grassy knolls of the Ridges make for a perfect picnic perch, lofted above the Hocking River Valley. Bring a friend or a special companion along with you. Layout on a blanket, soak up some rays and raise your serotonin levels with some good ol’ fashion vitamin D.

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The beautiful green space at the Ridges makes for a perfect place to collect your thoughts, hit the books and hang with friends. (Photo: Eben George)

If being lazy and lethargic isn’t your thing, then get active and in touch with your nature side. Take a hike on one of the Ridges hiking trails. The favorite trail among students is the Ridges Cemetery Nature Walk. The gravel trail winds through the hill littered, dense wooded area surrounding the grounds.

The cemetery is somewhat of an eerie place, old, decrepit grave markers are scattered throughout a clearing on the hill. Many of the markers bear no name, rather just a number to identify the deceased patients. The lack of names is due to the stigma surrounding the mentally ill during the early days neuroscience and mental healthcare.

It doesn’t take long to notice that many of the buildings at the Ridges are in ill-repair. Despite the crumbling facade, the future does look bright for the the Ridges.

In 2015 OU announced that it has developed a tentative plan to make major renovations to the existing buildings. The plan also includes utilizing the land for new structures.

The university has yet to set a timeline and funding plan for the project in stone. However, the 700-acre complex presents the university with its greatest opportunity for physical expansion. This need for expansion becomes more evident as the main campus population inches closers toward 25,000

Ohio University has already renovated serval of the structures at the Ridges. Most notably the asylum’s administration building, now know as Lin Hall. It boast iconic victorian towers and a breathtaking three tiered porch. Inside the beautiful Scofield creation now resides the Kennedy Museum of Art .

Lin Hall's stunning Victorian era towers were designed by the prominent Cleveland architect, Levi Scofield, in 1868. (Photo: Eben George)
Lin Hall’s stunning Victorian era towers were designed by the prominent Cleveland architect, Levi Scofield, in 1868. (Photo: Eben George)

Regardless of your interest, the Ridges is a perfect place to unwind from the tightly wound spool of college life. Go and catch up on your R and R before you wind up being in need of a lobotomy yourself.