Here are several free and paid activities for adventurous BYU students looking for things to do in their downtime.
Explore the outdoors
Provo offers many opportunities for enjoying the outdoors, ranging from nature walks to more demanding hikes. An ever-popular choice for BYU students is hiking the Y, where hikers can look down on Provo and the surrounding valley.
Other popular locations include Rock Canyon and the Utah Lake shoreline trail. Both hikes are moderate in difficulty and can be completed in a few hours. Rock Canyon also features a park perfect for picnics and a variety of sports, including volleyball and horseshoes.
More experienced hikers can also travel north to Mount Timpanogos, Utah’s second-highest peak. It features several different trails and sights, including Emerald Lake and a WWII bomber crash site.
More information on local parks and amenities can be found on the Provo City website.
Visit a museum
Utah Valley is home to many great museums. BYU campus offers a variety of free experiences, including the Museum of Art, where Dana Gluckstein’s “DIGNITY” and an M.C. Escher exhibit are on display.
The Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum features exhibits based on global habitats as well as free live animal shows every night. The Museum of Peoples and Cultures and the Museum of Paleontology also offer unique experiences for budding archaeologists and anthropologists alike.
The Royden G. Derrick Planetarium on BYU campus also offers affordable shows on Mondays and Fridays. Monday night showings begin at 7 p.m. and cost $4 per adult. Friday shows start at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. and only cost $3. Each week features a different show topic, and more information is available on the planetarium’s monthly calendar.
Date night on Center Street
From restaurants to arts and crafts, Center Street in Provo is a great place to spend an afternoon or evening. Joe Vera’s and Brasas serve authentic Mexican food. Station 22 and Bruges Waffles and Frites both offer European-American cuisine. Rockwell Ice Cream and Roll With It Creamery offer both traditional and unique ice cream as well as inviting social spaces.
Center Street is also home to Lulu’s Crafty Corner, a ceramics shop that allows customers to paint their own mugs and vases. Walk-in appointments are welcomed, and customers can book time for a group activity. The Soap Factory also allows customers to make their own soap, lotion or lip balm.
Other popular activities on Center Street include stand-up and improvisational comedy shows at the Dry Bar and Comedy Sportz and browsing antique stores and bookstores.
Take a ghost tour
Provo plays host to two separate ghost tours explaining the city’s history through a lens of folklore, mythology and occult lore, according to the tour’s Facebook page. Tours are great opportunities to learn more about Provo’s history from different points of view. The first tour is led by Danny B. Stewart, a self-professed “anomalist.”
The walking tour lasts two hours, and tour dates are announced in advance and cost $14 for adults and $7 for students.
If walking isn’t your speed, consider Pedal Provo Ghost Tours. This bike tour features two routes: a cemetery-city tour and a river trail tour. Both experiences are tonally similar and offer unique stories.
Tours are offered on Friday and Saturday nights and can be booked on Pedal Provo’s website. Both tours cost $15, and there is a $25 date night special. If you don’t own a bicycle, you can rent one for an additional $10.