Theres nothing to do in Iowa City at night except drink, several students said in a recent student poll conducted by University of Iowa Student Government. Or, some said, if there are other things to do, we dont know about them.
Just from coming to The University of Iowa for orientation or Family Weekend, you might know about some alternatives. But recently, new activities have been started in response to student demand. Heres a listing, probably far from complete, of events and activities available to your student during non-studying hours.
Organized by a student group, Night Games offers late-night entertainment at the UI Field House once a month with facilities and equipment rentals free. Students can play racquetball or badminton, volleyball, and basketball. They can try their luck on the climbing wall, or watch demonstrations by kayaking and scuba clubs, Iowas cheerleaders, and others. A lively dance party continues all night, too.
Other Recreation Activities
In addition, your student can take advantage of many facilities operated by Recreational Services from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day of the year except Christmas Day, with reduced hours on other holidays. Facilities in the Field House include the swimming pool, fitness room, free weight room, mat room, martial arts, table tennis areas, five activity areas, five badminton courts, 10 basketball/volleyball courts, 22 racquetball courts, and four squash courts.
Aerobics and fitness activities are located in the Field House and across the river at Halsey Hall. Other possibilities are cycle spinning, gymnastics, martial arts, swimming, several intramural sports, and 28 sports clubs. The Recreational Services information line is 353-3000.
The nearby Recreation Building offers an indoor running track, eight indoor tennis courts, a complete weight room, and locker facilities. Its open from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on weekends.
Iowas outdoor tennis courts are open day and night. Get involved in mens and womens singles and doubles leagues, or organize a team of at least three men and three women to compete in the University championship leading to the College Team Tennis Championship competition over spring break 2002.
If that werent enough, the Iowa City Recreation Center is only two blocks from campus. It has a barrier-free swimming pool, gymnasium, weight room, and racquetball courts. Hours vary through the week, but in general, facilities are open until 9 p.m. each day.
Up All Night at Iowa
Each residence hall creates late-night alternatives for its residents. Recently they have included dances, pizza sessions, and a midnight class on making holiday gifts. Future activities depend on the creativity of students, who plan the events with their resident advisers. Stepping Up, the Universitys coalition against abusive drinking, provides funding.
Sponsored by Stepping Up and the Office of Student Life, Night Hawks is an Iowa Memorial Union (IMU) event full of games, tournaments, and Hawkeye Hundred, Iowas version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?"
If your student is into euchre, billiards, darts, or computer games, Night Hawks gives a chance to compete against other students and then join them for a buffet breakfast at 12:30 a.m. The event costs $5 or $2.50 if they skip the buffet.
No Shame Theatre
No Shame Theatre began in the back of a pickup truck in a parking lot outside the Theatre Building in 1986. The motto of the group is "Cheap, Raw, and Unpredictable."To participate, an aspiring director, actor, or passerby signs up in Theatre B in the UI Theatre Building, develops a presentation lasting no more than five minutes, and promises not to damage the space or its occupants. The student will be scheduled to present a comic sketch, dramatic monologue, original songs accompanied on guitar or piano, or any other kind of act. No Shame Theatre, in turn, promises no guarantees, no censors, and no discrimination. Presentations are scheduled at 11 p.m. almost every Friday night in the Space/Place Theatre, North Hall. A new schedule will begin in second semester. Theres even a Best of No Shame every year.
This commercial establishment adjacent to Old Capitol Town Center offers discounts for students, who get $12 worth of entertainment for $8.
They can play laser tag, putt-putt golf, use a golf simulator or batting cages, or try either a static climbing wall or a computerized wall that replicates difficult climbs all over the world. Dozens of arcade games and tests of skill line the room, and theres a full-service snack bar. For bigger appetites, many restaurants are located within one block of Planet X. Parking tickets from the ramp next door will be validated. Planet X is open until 1 a.m. on weekends and until 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday. It closes at 9 p.m. on Sundays.
Your student may have been in the audience for one of the midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in late October at the Bijou Theater. This student-run organization exists to show foreign or experimental films that are not available through commercial movie theaters, but occasionally offers sneak previews of a first-run commercial film before its public release. Bijou movies show at various times during the day or evening. Tickets ($5) are available at the IMU Box Office.
Its difficult to remember now that some years ago, Iowa City had no coffeehouses. Now theyre sprinkled around town, and usually theyre packed. If your student isnt into the ìsingle skinny latte with Madagascar cinnamonî scene, they offer plain coffee, teas, and various chocolate and soda drinks, too. Theyre popular for studying as well as hanging out.
The Wheelroom in the IMU offers jazz bands, movies, billiard tournaments, and Hawkeye football games on the big screen, with beverages, snacks, fruit smoothies, a video arcade, pool tables, and board games available. With a wireless networking card in a laptop computer, youll be able to access wireless Internet, too. The Wheelroom is open until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and until 6 p.m. Friday. Its closed Saturday night.
For a late-night snack after studying, the Union Market in the IMU is open until 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The ice arena at Coral Ridge Mall is open for general skating when teams are not using it: 11 a.m.-4:50 p.m. every day except Saturday, which is 12:30-4:50 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Friday 6-8:45 p.m., and Saturday 7-9 p.m., with Rock and Skate from 9 p.m. to midnight.
This brief listing doesnt even include the schedules of Iowas many musical groups, theater presentations, Hancher Auditorium shows, or dance recitals. Its a rare day that doesnt have several going on, often in the evenings. Community theater offerings include Riverside Theatres new Shakespeare in the Park performances in the summer. Iowa Citys 40 parks offer indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, ball fields, trails, picnic shelters, a skate park, and outdoor theater. In nice weather, you can enjoy carnival rides at City Park until 9 p.m. Commercial movies may be seen nearby in Old Capitol Town Center, or hop a bus to the Coral Ridge Mall or Sycamore Mall. Bowling is available in several locations around the Iowa City-Coralville area. Readings are scheduled throughout the year at Prairie Lights Books and other venues. And then there are the free festivals and the home games of Iowas 22 varsity sports teams...
So if your student tells you theres nothing to do in Iowa City at night, youre now armed with suggestions!