Five things to do in Kent…

…with a car and a little gas

Are you sitting in your dorm room bored? Are you unfamiliar with the area? Do you wish you had something to do this weekend?

These are all questions first-year students may have. Moving away from home for the first time can be scary, but staying on campus can become dreary and dull.

“When I first moved to Kent, the dorm life was fun, but I wanted to learn more about the area to make Kent feel like home,” said senior marketing major Shelby Wilson.

Here are five things to do that require gas and a car in Northeast Ohio.

Blossom Music Center

In September, students can go to a concert at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls. Blossom has a pavilion and lawn seating.

“Get a group of people that live on your dorm room floor and get tickets for the lawn,” said Marybeth Heller, senior hospitality management major. “Depending on what concert you see, the price will vary, but the average lawn ticket costs $30.”

Upcoming concerts include Steely Dan and Michael McDonald on Sept. 1 and Def Leppard with Journey on Sept. 12.

Stoddard’s Frozen Custard

Instead of going to an all-night concert, try a study break to cool off on a hot late-summer day. There are a few local ice cream stands in the Kent area.

Stoddard’s Frozen Custard is a favorite place of Kent State students. Located on state Route 59 toward Stow, Stoddard’s menu offers cones, hot fudge sundaes, milkshakes and banana splits.

It also has a flavor of the day, varying from Honey Almond to Tutti Frutti.

Indians Game

On a Thursday night when all Seven Ideas and General Psychology homework is finished, students who are tired of the bar scene can take a trip to Cleveland, about 40 minutes from Kent State.

On Thursday, Sept. 14, Jacobs Field hosts “College 360 Student ID Night, College Greek Night.” The Indians play the Minnesota Twins at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are $5, and the seats are located in the upper deck.

“Even though we had to sit in the upper deck, the seating was great to be around other students from different colleges,” Heller said.

Seiberling Nature Realm

For a change of scenery on a weekend, visit a park for a relaxing escape from the rigors of studying.

Seiberling Nature Realm is a great place to relax by taking a hike or visiting the nature display centers. Seiberling is located in the Summit-Akron area 15 miles west of Kent.

According the Seiberling Web site, the park has a Seneca Trail that is a partly unpaved loop footpath. There is an underground display that has numerous types of trees, shrubs and rocks.

Cleveland Zoo

For those wishing to get in touch with their inner child, the Cleveland Zoo offers a perfect getaway.

The zoo is located roughly 50 minutes from campus. Admission is $9, and parking is free.

The Cleveland Zoo has a variety of animals, including elephants, lions and gorillas. According to the Cleveland MetroParks Web site, the zoo has thousands of animals in its 168 rolling, wooded acres.

The zoo offers an indoor rainforest, plus the African Savanna, Northern Trek and an Australian Adventure exhibit.

“When I first came to Kent State from Cincinnati, finding a place to go was hard in the unfamiliar area,” Wilson said. “After spending three years in the area, directions are getting easier.”

…with only your two feet

So you decided on Kent State University. You probably chose Kent State for the academic programs or sports teams, not for shopping malls or clubs.

While Kent is a college town, your options are limited once you get off campus. Add no money to that equation and you have no weekend plans.

So what do you do when you’re bored with little cash and no car? Here are five things to do that don’t cost a lot and are within walking distance.

Ice Skating

The Kent State Ice Arena has two rinks available for public skating, hockey games, broomball and figure skating.

The ice arena accepts Flashcards and using their Flashcard gets students a public skating pass for $3. The arena is open almost every day for public skating, usually between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

If skating isn’t your thing, check out broomball. Broomball is just like hockey but with sneakers instead of skates. The season starts in February so get an intramural team together and start practicing.

Theater Productions

After orientation, you’ll be more familiar with the campus and you’ll have met a lot of new people. Where should you take that special someone when you have no car? Or what about fulfilling you musical needs? Kent State’s School of Theatre and Dance offers a musical, a play and a dance recital every semester.

With your FlashCard, tickets are only $8. In the spring semester, the theater offers free shows during Student Theater Fest and Fringe Fest.

Recreation Center

Some of your tuition goes toward activity fees, which include your membership to the Student Recreation and Wellness Center if you are taking more than five credits, so why not check out the facility?

The rec center offers free weights and cardiovascular equipment, four basketball courts, an indoor climbing wall, four racquetball courts, a running track, a multipurpose gym, two pools and a hot tub.

It also offers free classes at the beginning of the semester to let you see what seems interesting, according to the Web site. Classes range from belly dancing to yoga to tango.

Athletic Events

Kent State’s intercollegiate athletic program offers many sports, including baseball, basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, track, volleyball, football and wrestling — not to mention all of the club sports.

The university competes at the highest National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 level.

Last year, the basketball team went 22-8 in the regular season and 15-3 in Mid-American Conference play. With Coach Jim Christian signed to a seven-year contract, the team has hopes to continue to hold the regular season MAC championship title.

The football team’s first home game is against Minnesota on August 31 at 7:30 p.m.


Chipotle is one of the most popular restaurants in Kent.

Just ask William Gay, sophomore criminal justice major and avid Chipotle consumer.

“What’s there not to like about it? It’s quick, relatively inexpensive and lots of food,” Gay said.

This Mexican restaurant is a short walk away from campus and comes highly recommended.

For about $5, you can get a burrito, fajita burrito, tacos, a burrito bowl or a salad.

Contact general assignment reporter Anna Riggenbach at [email protected]. Contact general assignment reporter Jessica Parmelee at [email protected].