As much as we all love UNH, it is one of the most expensive public college in the country. With $4118 of your hard-earned summer paycheck going to the cheapest meal plan, $6820 to pay for a double room, and $3019 going to “mandatory fees”, you don’t have much left over for spending on the weekends. Thankfully, a good portion of that money comes back to students in the form of campus rec whether we use it or not, so you might as well take advantage of these fun and free opportunities. Keep reading for 10 free things to do around UNH!
1. Go for a bike ride through College Woods.
Clear your head with a walk or bike ride through the great ole outdoors. It’s one of the most relaxing and free things to do around UNH. Or if you are like me, and love to do schoolwork outside but often catch yourself wasting time people-watching, then College Woods is a fantastic distraction-free option. If you have a hammock, bring it! If you have a dog, bring it! Entrances are behind the Field House to the right of the train tracks and a bit farther down Main Street opposite the horse barns. The map should be at kiosks at the entrances, please don’t get lost.
2. Cheer on the Wildcats!
Every sports game is free to UNH students. You would not believe how many students are not aware of this. “Hey John, you going to the hockey game tonight?” “Nah man, I don’t have the money to pay for a ticket.” No metaphorical John! They are completely free and you do not need to be a good sports spectator to have a blast. The CatPack, marching band, mascots, and dedicated alumni do an amazing job of getting the crowd involved.
3. Ice Skating at the Whitt.
Enjoy some authentic New Hampshire recreation! Take a break from the library and head to a free skate session at the Whitt. If you a native New Hampshirite you probably already own a pair of 30-year-old hand-me-down skates, but just in case you need a pair, rentals are $3 (Pro tip: Girls, go down two sizes from your regular shoe size. Guys, go down one size). There are even special Stick & Puck times if you really want to live your fantasy as a Wildcat hockey player. Times vary every week so check the website.
4. Sign up for intramurals!
You don’t have a chance of making a D1 team, don’t have time to devote to a club sport, but still want to play [insert sports name here]? Campus rec coordinates many intramural and tournament leagues sports throughout the year. This fall hosted soccer, flag football, volleyball, and of course, the world-famous broomball. You can’t just go to college in New Hampshire and not take advantage of a free chance to play run around an ice rink with sneakers, hitting a ball with a broom. For even less time commitment (usually a week or less), jump into a tournament league. You’ll have to wait until spring semester to join a league but you’re still in time to register to play in the futsal, ice hockey, basketball, billiards, and ping pong tourneys! Find more details here.
5. MUB theater movies!
Spent all your money on books and have none to spend on your sweetie? Do you celebrate Thirsty Thursday with a large fountain drink? Free movies in the MUB Theaters Thursday through Sunday, with starting times usually varying between 7:30pm and 10:00pm. This semester has hosted Finding Dory, Neighbors 2, Suicide Squad, Sausage Party, and quite a few other 2016 blockbusters. You might still be in time to catch Jason Bourne, Hell or High Water, Star Trek Beyond, and Nerve. The theaters are genuinely gorgeous too, they give Cinemagic a run for their money. The only downside is that movie weekends end a couple weeks early of winter break. Check the UNH Mobile app for movie time details!
6. Join an org!
Beyond being a wonderful way to take a break from academics, meet people with similar interests, and build a grad school resumé, joining a club might mean the ability to do something you love for free! Outside of member dues, student organizations receive some money out of the student activity fee (some clubs are also sponsored by outside sources), meaning that some of your clubs’ campus events, apparel, and even trips could come at no cost to you! From hitting the trails with Horsemen’s Club to dancing the night away with the EDM Club, there is something for everyone.
7. Take advantage of MUB events.
Stay on top of MUB events with the UNH Mobile app! Don’t be like me and hear from your hallmates that you missed meeting Grey’s Anatomy cast members or free airbrushed laundry bags (one of those things is clearly more important than the other but you get the point). This month the MUB will host Relaxation Stations, a Diwali celebration, a contra dance night, stand-up comic Kelly MacFarland and Jay Dukes, and most importantly, bingo night! How can you beat those free things to do around UNH? Be there or be the one hearing how much fun it was from your hallmates.
8. Don’t miss out on dorm socials.
Okay, this one is really subjective, but let’s hope that your RAs and hall directors are as fabulous. The events they put on are some of the best free things to do around UNH. In my dorm, Mondays are looked forward to because that is when you get your “This Week in Peterson” email. This email will reveal the fun events and freebies offered to the residents. In just over two months, you and your hallmates could have made a cake in a mug, carved pumpkins, received flowers for the rooms, attended two B-Dubs parties, and colored so, so, so many pictures for free! So in conclusion, if your dorm hosts these socials, go to them! If they don’t, make sure you request Peterson Hall next year.
9. Make a splash!
The brand new outdoor pool it won’t reopen until mid-June of next year, but until then the indoor Swasey offers plenty of free swim time and aquatic programs to keep you in the water all through winter. There are varying lap swim times every day if you would rather hit the pool than the gym and open swim times on weekends if you wanna just splash around with your friends. One of the true hidden gems of UNH is Wednesday night pool kayaking from 9:00pm to 11:00pm, free to students, no registration needed, just pop in and get paddling. There are even instructors there to help you if you are a beginner! More programs like lifeguard certification and advanced swim training are offered for an extra fee. Check the website for details.
10. Enjoy the ice cream smorgasbord in the dining halls!
Listen to me: Do. Not. Go out for ice cream Saturday through Monday. Not even the Dairy Bar. Save that cash and still collect on the creamy goodness. Hit the ice cream smorgasbord as it travels through the dining halls. Classic chocolate and vanilla plus four new flavors every week, one of which will be a non-dairy option. We’re talking unlimited scoops, unlimited hot fudge, unlimited caramel sauce, unlimited toppings. It’s beautiful and easily the most delicious of free things to do around UNH. If you really want to make an event or a cute little date out of going out for ice cream, eat dinner at one of the other dining halls then take an evening stroll to the dining hall hosting the smorgasbord. Saturdays: Hoco 4:30pm to 9:00pm. Sundays: Philly 4:30pm to 7:30pm. Mondays: Stillings 4:30pm to 8:00pm. Share. Save a life.
So, there you have it! The next time you think there’s nothing to do for free around UNH, check again! Any of these options are sure to become routine during your four years of being a Wildcat.