Do you ever find yourself in an entertainment rut of Netflix and Xbox?
Free time can easily turn into a routine of television and video games with little outdoor exposure. Unfortunately, students are unaware of the bustling downtown scene full of places to go and things to do. Why tell your peers that you did nothing over the break when you could honestly tell them that you surfed a crowd during your favorite artistís concert or danced for hours on a weeknight?
Attending a concert is an easy option for someone who wants to get out of the house. The Complex, The Depot and Vivint SmartHome Arena are some of the many music venues available in downtown Salt Lake City. If youíre thinking the cost of shows is too high, you arenít wrong, but you can get into many shows for under $30.
A local favorite SLC venue is The Complex. Not only are most of their tickets affordable, but they offer a concession stand, more than enough restroom stalls and a rewards program which gets you into the venue before the general admission line. How cool is that? The Complex is down the street from the Gateway shopping center and can be accessed by a short walk from TRAX or FrontRunner.
Live music is great if you want to experience your favorite artists in person. Another way to jam is by attending Big Band Tuesday at the Gallivan Center. As part of the non-profit organization Excellence in the Community, Big Band Tuesday features full big bands every Tuesday until Sept. 25. Not only is this weekly event free, but the venue offers dance lessons with Ballroom Utah thirty minutes before the music starts at 7:30 p.m.
You heard that right; no ticket is required for music and dancing. Just show up with your peeps, grab a bite to eat and enjoy a few hours of fun in the heart of downtown SLC.
Laugh Out Loud
If you enjoy laughing at rambunctious jokes, a comedy show might be for you.
“Comedy shows in Salt Lake are really good to go to,” said Utah native Masen White. White recently visited Vivint SmartHome Arena for Kevin Hartís “Irresponsible Tour” on June 30.
“They just remodeled the arena and it’s actually really nice in there,” he said.
If Vivint tickets are above your price range, Wiseguys Comedy Club could be right for you ó for those 21 and older. Most shows are under $20 and provide a rating so you wonít get yourself into anything youíre uncomfortable with. Wiseguys can be found at the Gateway.
On Campus Activities
Red Butte Garden
Fun activities arenít restricted to downtown Salt Lake. In fact, there are plenty of activities to do right here on the University of Utah campus.
Have you ever heard of Red Butte Garden? Itís the largest botanical garden in the Intermountain West with hiking trails and gardens. Moreover, Red Butte presents concerts in their amphitheater regularly throughout the year. Their outdoor concert series is currently running until September featuring Death Cab For Cutie, Indigo Girls and Billy Idol, among others.
Exploring Red Butte Garden is free for U students with a valid student ID or $14 for adults. With 26 acres of gardens and hiking trails combined, youíre sure to keep busy, and have a great time in the process.
Get Artsy in August
If you want to stay closer to the U, there are various events taking place on campus at the start of the fall semester.
On Wednesday, Aug. 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Arts Bash is happening at the Marriott Library. Live performances, interactive art, food and informational booths are featured at the bash. Don’t forget to pick up a passport and collect stamps at booths ó you might receive a free t-shirt! As one of the most extensive art celebrations on campus, Arts Bash aims to educate students about arts opportunities at the U.
Still unsure of what to do with your free time? Try asking those around you. Grab your friends, get out and do something!