Where Should You Go on a Friday Night in Kent?

Hey, everyone! Ever wonder what you should do on a Friday night in Kent, Ohio? Go ahead and follow the quiz to figure it out! All details to complete your date will be at the bottom!
Infographic of what to do on a Friday night in Kent, Ohio

Bowling: As I’ve posted about before, there are plenty of affordable, fun bowling alleys in the Kent area! There is Bill White’s Twin Star Lanes on Rt. 59, Kent Lanes on Water Street and the alley in Eastway for the students who live on campus!

Laziza: Laziza is a beautiful, classy Mediterranean restaurant that resides in Acorn Alley. When dining at Laziza, you could see such live entertainment live, authentic belly dancers!

Comedy Show: The Stone Tavern and Euro Gyro in Downtown Kent offer multiple comedy shows weekly. Most comedy shows are free. There is a great mix of upcoming comedians as well as seasoned professional in the art. It’s always a fun time!

Ice Skating: I’ve also posted before about the Ice Arena on campus, but that is still one of the funnest activities in Kent, especially when you can get your pals together!

157 Lounge: Want to dance the night away to the hottest songs and mixes? Grab your friends, dress up and head down to 157 Lounge.

Zephyr: I swear I live at Zephyr, not because of drinking, but because this is my friends and I’s spot. I head to the three-story bar and I feel like everyone there knows my name. If you and your friends are more laid back, this is the place for you. So sing along loudly to some Weezer and drink some PBRs.

Keeping Active During the Cold Kent, Ohio Winters

Hi, everyone! I am typing this while wearing sweatpants and snuggling under three blankets. We’ve had snow flurries all day and the current temperature is 39 degrees. Usually around this time of year in Kent, Ohio, us Kent State students experience a lack of motivation, the need to eat tons of warm food and we avoid the outdoors at all costs. During this stage, students also begin to think about getting their spring break bods in shape. Today’s post is going to highlight the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, the Kent State University Ice Arena, and all of the fun activities the two offer for individuals and friend groups. I’m also going to showcase my favorite place to stay active during the winter months, Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park.

Student Recreation and Wellness Center at Kent State University

Free for all students during fall and spring semesters (and summer if students are taking more than nine credit hours), the three story gym serves as any type of student athlete, health nut or person who is just bored and wants something fun and active to do. The wellness center is fully equipped with an indoor pool, multiple basketball courts, tennis and racquetball courts, an indoor rock wall,  a studio (for yoga, dancing, pilates and other exercise groupsNOTE: these are extra, but there are special free trial days), an indoor track and exercising equipment for all fitness needs such as weight lifting and running. When the weather gets cold, PARTA buses run by the wellness center and it is also easily accessible through campus. On the wellness center’s Facebook page, you can find out more events that the center puts on, like dive-in movies or Outlast the Outbreak, a spooky zombie themed adventure.

Kent State University Ice Arena

Another fun treat that the Kent State University Recreational Services Department offers is ice skating for students at the Ice Arena. The Ice Arena offers public skate as well as late night student skate sessions, broom ball and skating lessons. To accompany students for late night skate sessions, you must be 18-years-old with a valid I.D. General admission is $6 and $3 with a student I.D. and the cost of admission covers skate rentals. The Ice Arena’s website has a calendar for all skating sessions.

Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park

My favorite way to keep in shape is visiting Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park in Cleveland. As this is a hefty hike away from the Kent State University campus, you will need to drive or find a friend who has a car. Ray’s is a ginormous indoor bike park located in an old factory. As I am unsure of the exact measurements of the building, I can say that there are many rooms and trails devoted to all different skill levels. I usually attend Ray’s for Sunday BMX Night. If you do not have a mountain bike, you can rent one and a helmet when you arrive. If you are under 18-years-old, you will need a parent or guardian to sign your waiver. Rentals start at $14.99 for a bike. Every Wednesday and Saturday from 6-10 p.m. is College I.D. Night, which allows attendees a mountain bike, a helmet and pad rent rentals for just $20, with access to every room in the park. Below is a short video of me riding Ray’s. Although the time lapse is fast, I rode all through just one of many trails.

 

What are your favorite things to do to keep active during the winter months? Let me know in a comment! If you try any of these fun fitness activities, be sure to use #KentsDate on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Top Five Reasons the Tourism Industry Attracts Adventurous College Students

This is a lot different for what I normally post, but I wanted to take some time with my readers this week about why it’s important to travel or at least adventure out locally, My blog post is going to use different demonstrations and case studies to show how you, the target audience of my blog, are influential to the tourism industry and how campaigns attracting young adults ages 18-25 are increasing in popularity.

Kents Date Friends on the Beach1. The General Populous Wants Us to Learn about the World

As mentioned in the mission statement for Under 30 Experiences, “We believe our generation needs to see the world in order to understand it.” Many colleges, including Kent State University, offer study abroad programs as well as other courses to experience the culture of somewhere other than the United States. As said by the late, great Dr. Seuss, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go.”

2. We’re the Future of the Traveling Industry

As millennials, we’re becoming more in tune with the fact that: we are the future (cue Whitney Houston here). Currently we (at least at Kent State University) have Thanksgiving, Winter, Spring and Summer breaks. After graduation, we’re going to be looking at family travels, work travels and other travel plans. In Sept. 2010, Travel Weekly released an article about how 18-25-year-olds are the new target age of tourism and how to reach those demographics. The article is also a good read because it shows the influence social media has on young adult trends like traveling and how PR tourism companies should utilize it.

People rafting3. It’s Fun

Going somewhere new, trying something new, taking a day trip or taking a road trip. It’s all a blast! For some young adults, it may not be, but with a new adventure there is always a thrill aspect. Meet Adventurous Kate: Kate was 26 and working and a marketing job. She decided she wanted an adventure and more fun, so she quit her job and became a full-time travel blogger. Although Kate does not recommend everyone quitting his or her jobs to blog around the world too, she does recommend travel ideas for people who are alone (you can adapt these to groups too) and how to be inexpensive and safe. Throughout the four-year history of her blog, she’s traveled from Argentina to Vietnam and in-between the two.

4. It (Can) be Inexpensive

As Adventurous Kate and Miriam B. Weiner explain, traveling as young adults doesn’t have to be expensive. We have scholarships, student discounts, multiple ways to travel depending upon our party size and hostels (or other free amenities). Compared to traveling when we get older and have families, we can travel a lot now to see things on our own and try experiences that we probably won’t be interested in once we turn 40 (no offense to the 40+ crowd).

Sunset Camel ride in the desert 5. Why Not?!

I’ve supplied you all of these wonderful traveling options. There’s no reason you shouldn’t go somewhere. Whether it’s a new restaurant down the street or a new country you’ve never heard of, you should get out. Broadening your horizons can open so many opportunities for your personal and professional development.

This week, I encourage you to go somewhere new. Comment on or share this post with details of where you’ve went. I’d love to hear about it.

Kent State University’s student accessible museums

How better to explore Kent State University than by visiting the campus’s free museums? This post is going to highlight two key museums on campus: The Kent State University Museum and the May 4 Visitors Center.

Entangled: Fiber to Felt to Fashion promotional photo

Promotional photo for Entangled: Fiber to Felt to Fashion taken from the Kent State University Museum’s homepage.

The Kent State University Museum

Located in Rockwell Hall on front campus, across from Dunkin’ Donuts, (the home of the Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising) is where you can find the museum. The Kent State University Museum, as quoted from the museum’s about page, “provides students with first-hand experience with historic and contemporary fashions, as well as costumes representing many of the world’s cultures.” Inside, guests can explore exhibits about clothing and history with: Fashion Timeline, showcasing different styles from different eras; Entangled: Fiber to Felt to Fashion, enlightening guests to many felt inspired fashions from 15 United States and Canadian designers; and The Great War: Women and Fashion in a World at War, which demonstrates how styles changed when patriotic women went to work during World War I. The museum is also offer two exhibits about art and decorating with Glass: Selections from the Kent State University Museum Collection and American Tapestry Biennial 10. The Kent State University Museum is open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10-4:45 p.m., Thursday from 10-8:45 p.m. and Sunday noon-4:45 p.m. General admission is $5, $4 for senior citizens, $3 for school students and children 7-18 years-old and free for anyone current Kent State University staff or students (with valid KSU flashcard), as well as all Sunday admission.

Taylor Hall, Home of May 4 Visitors CenterMay 4 Visitors Center

Created to raise awareness to the tragic events that happened on campus on May 4, 1970, the May 4 Visitors Center allows students and the public to walk through history and remember those who lost their lives that fateful day. Located in Taylor Hall, near the site of the shooting memorials, guests can take a tour as well as look at historical archives that surround the Kent State shooting and the events that led up and followed the infamous day. Although this is not the best date idea, I know I’ve wanted to learn more about the events that look place, as well as numerous family members of mine. I highly recommend doing this with your family or with your friends to help receive more insight about your alma mater. The May 4 Visitors Center is open Monday-Thursday 10-5 p.m. and Saturday noon-5 p.m. The center is free to the public and you can schedule a group tour at may4@kent.edu or by calling 330.672.4660.

It’s definitely fun to become involved with your university and its history. Whether it’s with friends, family or even by yourself, be sure to check these out before you graduate. Let me know what you think of your experience by leaving a comment below!

Corn Maze Adventure near Kent State

Happy fall, ya’ll! 

I absolutely love fall. There are so many fun activities to do before you hibernate during winter break. My favorite part of the season is when it gets cold and gloomy and the leaves in the air smell like a mixture of fire and cinnamon (plus, that means Annie and I will more than likely snuggle on the couch all day and watch movies). Since fall is surrounded with images of pumpkins, gourds, stalks of corn and spooky monsters, I figured Zach and I would take a trip out to Szalay’s Sweet Corn Farm and Market and Corn Maze in the beautiful village of Peninsula, OH (tucked away in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which is an absolutely gorgeous drive this time of year).

Szalay's Corn Farm and Market

The Corn Maze

Alex and Zach at Szalay's Corn MazeThe opening to the corn maze is adorable with its fake cemetery set up (in the cemetery you can even see The Grateful Dead play! Lolz!). I personally love this corn maze because compared to other ones that I’ve been to, this one is the most Halloween decorated, making me feel like I am doing a true autumn activity. Not the hardest corn maze to navigate, but definitely prepare to get lost! The corn maze, as stated on Szalay’s website, takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour, which I will say is about right. I also recommend wearing boots that will protect your feet! It pathway was very muddy when Zach and I went (I came prepared, but he destroyed his Nikes). Every year, Szalay’s decides to change up the corn maze’s theme; This year’s theme is Vampire Bats, which will remain open daily until Oct. 31, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Admission is $5, but free for children three-years and under (so this doesn’t crush the pockets of college students). Be sure to have cash already handy!

The Farm and Market

Szalay’s farm is mainly spread out throughout the area and according to its website and my personal experience, it looks like it’s not open for the public wandering. However, the market is free game! I definitely recommend visiting the corn maze first, then taking a trip back across the street to the market. At the market, you can sit in one an umbrella glider and sip on some fresh apple cider or eat an ear of delicious roasted corn. Szalay’s market sells enormous pumpkins at prices, which I estimated to be, less than a dollar a pound. Visitors can also find an array of gourds, butters and jams, breads, noodles, produce, baked goods and decorations created by local artists.

Although Szalay’s Sweet Corn Farm and Market is a little bit away from campus with no PARTA access, I recommend convincing a friend or some family members to drive out there one weekend. It’s definitely a fun and cost efficient way to spend a weekend day. The farm and market are located at 4563 Riverview Road Peninsula, OH 44264 (and the corn maze is directly across the street), approximately 30 minutes away from Kent State University’s campus.

If you happen to go and try the corn maze, let me know what you think of it in a comment! I’d also love to hear your favorite fall activity! Be sure to view the slideshow below documenting my and Zach’s “corny” adventure!

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A Night at the Movies

For decades, visiting the movie theater has been a top form of entertainment. When living in Kent, Ohio, students have quite a few options for how they wish to view new movies. In this post, I’m going to highlight the three movie-going experience available around town.

University Plaza Theaters in Kent, OHUniversity Plaza Theater
Located off of Water St. down in University Plaza stands the rustic University Plaza Theater. University Plaza is the most local, standard movie theater, showing new movies with the occasional children’s flashback flick. Although University Plaza is not the size of a Regal Cinemas or an AMC theatre, each room fits about 50-100 occupants, allowing for a more close-up, intimate viewing experience. Tuesday night at University Plaza is Kent State night, where every movie is $5 with a Kent State flashcard. For all movie listings and times, click here.  University Plaza is located at 140 Cherry Street, Kent, OH.

The KIVA at Kent State UniversityThe KIVA
Exclusively for Kent State students, movies are shown before they are sent to video every weekend at the KIVA on campus, next to the Student Center. Real Late Reels at the KIVA are completely free just as long as students bring their Kent State University flashcard. Next weekend’s movie is Transformers: Age of Extinction and it will be shown on Oct. 10-11 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Click here for a full listing of upcoming movies and dates.

Midway Drive-In Theater in Kent, OH

Photo retrieved from Midway Drive-In Theater on Facebook

Midway Drive-In Theater
On Route 59, just past Walmart stands the Midway Drive-In Theater. Open seasonally on weekends, the drive-in is $19 per car, allowing all passengers to view two movies. While Midway only shows four movies at a time, going to a drive-in theater is a fun experience for large groups (I highly recommend loading up a car of good friends and splitting the price). This weekend on Screen 1 is The Boxtrolls and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and on Screen 2, Annabelle and A Walk Among the Tombstones. Definitely check out this theater before it closes for the winter season!

Now, going to the movies is definitely a great source of entertainment. I don’t, however, recommend this for a first date. You obviously can’t get to know anyone when you can’t talk. All of the theaters in Kent are great and easily accessible. If you’re looking for an idea of a good movie to see this weekend, too, I recommend seeing This Is Where I Leave You, starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Jane Fonda, at University Plaza. It’s a comedy about dysfunctional siblings and their journeys through adulthood.

If you have any questions about any of the theaters or recommendations about upcoming movies, please leave a comment! I love receiving feedback from readers.

Thursday night date idea

As college students, we know how rough some weeks can get. There are deadlines, projects, papers, exams. It’s rough. There’s nothing to better tackle frantic weeks than with a quick night out. Grab your friends and get going!

Bill White's Twin Star Lanes

Bill White’s Twin Star Lanes in Kent, OH. on Rt. 59

Just east of campus, towards Ravenna, is Bill White’s Twin Star Lanes. You’re probably asking, “Why this bowling alley?” Good question. Your answer is: $.99 bowling. That’s right! Every Monday through Thursday after 9 p.m. Twin Star Lanes has $.99 bowling per person per game! Not a bad deal. Also, shoe rentals are $1.99. That way, you can take your frustrations out on some pins and not some pens (Bad joke, I know, but I’ve broken many ink pens during midterms).

Kent's Date's Alex bowling at Twin Star Lanes

Me (right) and Zach (left) bowling. (I won!!!)

Be sure to constantly check out the Twin Star Lanes website, because sometimes they do sweet promotions, like free bowling, up to four games! The next time free bowling is set for is Sept. 28, 8 p.m. – midnight. You can find Bill White’s Twin Star Lanes at 2245 St. Rt. 59, Kent, OH (Although Google Maps says it’s permanently closed, it is not. I suggested an edit to fix that for you all).

Looking for a place to eat? Hit up Twisted Meltz in Acorn Alley! You can do this before or after bowling. The highlight of the menu for Twisted Meltz is that it features grilled cheese inspired by past Kent State alumni. The sandwiches aren’t as monstrous as Melt Bar and Grilled, but they’re still plenty hefty.

Grilled Cheese from Twisted Meltz

Dinner from Twisted Meltz

My personal recommendation is the Dolph Ziggler. Named after the current Intercontinental Champion of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) franchise (and once a record setting Kent State wrestler), the Dolph Ziggler is pierogies, bacon, cheese, caramelized onions and sour cream. Twisted Meltz’s menu has more than gourmet grilled cheese, featuring such items like: soups, salads, appetizers and kid’s meals. Twisted Meltz also has vegetarian menu options.

If you have a sweet tooth, you can always visit the adjoining Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream. At Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream, customers can get the same fancy ice cream cones that existed at The Arctic Squirrel (R.I.P.) with delicious flavors! Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream also offers milkshakes, smoothies and some non-frozen desserts. You can find Twisted Meltz and Ashby’s at 164 E. Main Street, Kent, OH. If bowling rolls a little over (Oh, I’m so clever) and you’re hungry afterward, call ahead for pickup at 330.968.4104.

I picked Thursday night for this post because many students’ weekends start this day (at least they’re finished with class). This way, once classes are done for the week, students can get the time to unwind. However, this date night can be done any time during the week (except bowling prices will rise on weekends, and be more expensive Mon.-Thurs. before 9 p.m.). Twizted Meltz  and Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream is open Sun.-Wed. 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Thurs.-Sat. 11 a.m. -10 p.m.