Playing on a student budget


Part of the college experience is having fun, but that can be difficult for students on a tight budget. The cost of tuition, books, rent and food can leave students scraping for funds to spend on entertainment. Some students have been creative and explored the options available on BYU campus to have a lot of fun without breaking the bank.

1. International Cinema

The International Cinema shows films from all around the world. Films are played in multiple languages such as Spanish, Japanese and French (with English subtitles). The cinema provides the BYU community with the chance to be exposed to foreign films.

Abby Grout, a film major, said that people should branch out from Hollywood films and explore what international films have to offer.

“(International Cinema) is an easy opportunity and requires very little work to watch foreign films,” Grout said. “They’re very different from Hollywood films and sometimes better. … They pick very good movies.”

Location: Room 250 in the Spencer W. Kimball Tower

Time: See for film schedule and times.

Price: Free

2. Recreational Folk Dance Nights

Over 100 people get together to dance traditional folk dances to lively music. This includes partner, line and circular dances from countries like Ireland, Romania and India.

Tami Larrabee, a former member of the BYU International Folk Dance Ensemble  regularly attended folk dance recreation nights. When she went for her first time, Larrabee was worried she would not be capable of dancing all dance styles with the rest of the group.

“I didn’t know what I was doing,” Larrabee said, “and then people were so nice and helped me get it. … It is so fun.”

Location: Room 270 and 278 in the Richards Building

Time: 7 p.m. on select Wednesday nights

Price: Free

3. Salsa Dance Club, Social Dance Club and Country Dance Club

All three dance clubs provide a social atmosphere where people can learn new dance steps and enjoy open dancing. When Jessa Miles, a medical laboratory science major, attended the Salsa Dance Club for the first time, she was impressed with the social atmosphere of the club.

“I think it’s a great way to meet new people and it’s a fun and free activity you can’t find at another university,” Miles said.

Location: Wilkinson Student Center Garden Court (Salsa), Center Ballroom (Social) and East Ballroom (Country).

Time: All clubs provide a 30 minute lesson at 8:30 p.m., and then begin open dancing at 9 p.m. weekly on Tuesday nights.

Price: Free

4. Mass Club

In Mass Club, student actors and actresses perform short (about 45 minutes) student directed plays. Taylor Peck recently directed one of the Mass Club performances. She said that there there are many genres represented in the Mass Club performances. Each director has a personal take on how the plays should be performed. Even some classical pieces may be presented in a modern way.

“There is a wide variety of things to see and a lot to learn just by watching,” Peck said.

Location: Nelke Theatre located in the basement of the Harris Fine Arts Center (show postings can also be found there).

Time: Thursday at 1, 2 and 4 p.m. (not every Thursday depending on the season)

Price: Free

5. Royden G. Derrick Planetarium

The planetarium show gives a visual and audio presentation of the solar system and different constellations. Preston Wilson, a biology major, recently took a date to the planetarium.

“It was a fun, cheap and relaxing date with opportunities to talk,” Wilson said.

Location: Room C 465 on the fourth floor of the Eyring Science Center

Time: 7-8 p.m. and 8-9 p.m. Friday nights

Price: $2 per person. Pay at the door with cash or check only.

6. Bowling

The campus bowling lanes are part of the BYU Games Center and are a convenient and social location for people to get together and have fun.

Jordan Liau, majoring in public health, went to the bowling alley for the first time for a ward activity.

“It’s super relaxed, very chill and just lots of fun,” Liau said.

Location: Room 1171  in the Wilkinson Student Center.

Time: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday at 10 a.m. to midnight, and Saturday 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Price: The first game of the school year is free for students. Other discounts are available for students, faculty, alumni, date nights and Monday night family home evening.

7. The Wall

Sam Van Slooten (Right), a freshman studying geology, and Anna Arnett (Left), a freshman studying pre-dietetics, play interactive games at The Wall. (Elliott Miller)
Sam Van Slooten (Right), a freshman studying geology, and Anna Arnett (Left), a freshman studying pre-dietetics, play interactive games at The Wall. (Elliott Miller)

The Wall is a restaurant and lounge that serves the BYU community. Visitors can come relax, socialize, eat and enjoy live performances in a fun and modern atmosphere. Ben Wear, a landscape management major, enjoys going to The Wall to socialize and relax.

“I’ve only had positive experiences there,” Wear said. “It’s a great atmosphere and you never feel rushed. … It’s a great place to just meet friends, hang out and chat. Their food is a decent price for good quality food. Their side salad, sodas and hummus are good.”

Location: Room 1151 of the Wilkinson Student Center

Time: Mon.-Thurs. 7:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., Fri. 7:45-12 a.m. and Sat. 7:45 a.m. to 11 p.m

Price: Entrance is free; food price varies upon menu purchases.

8. Museum of Art

The museum is home to several permanent art displays and serves as a space for traveling exhibits. The artwork of artists such as Carl Bloch, James McNeill Whistler and Shin Kiwoun.

Emily Kelley used to work for the museum gift shop and said that going to the museum can be an enriching experience.

“I think it’s a great date activity,” Kelley said. “(The museum) gives a cultural perspective. … It’s good to gain opinions and insight from inspiring art.”

Location: BYU Museum of Art, located in the northeast part of campus.

Time: Monday-Tuesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m

Price: Free

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