Good clean fun
Things to do that don’t involve getting wasted
Although being three sheets to the wind on the weekend is synonymous with university culture, it doesn’t have to be. No, really — you don’t have to be liquored-up every weekend.
There are many things to do that don’t involve drinking. Maybe drinking is not your thing, or maybe you just want to spend some time with your friends who aren’t of legal age. Whatever it is, you don’t need to be hammered to have fun. Trust me.
So what do you do when you’re sober? If you just drew a blank, don’t worry, I have a few suggestions. However, this is not the definitive list. Not by a long shot.
For the artistically inclined (or not), try pottery painting at Color Me Mine. With locations in Aspen Landing, McKenzie Towne and Kensington all open seven days a week, painting ceramics is just a short drive away.
Pick your piece, grab some paint and get creative! All of the paint is food safe, non-toxic and lead-free, so you can use your one-of-a-kind beer stein next weekend.
Do you like shooting things? This writer certainly does. Calgary offers a surprising number of weapon-related activities that don’t involve your mom’s basement, Call of Duty and foul-mouthed 13-year-olds.
Laser Quest: Set your phasers to awesome! Shoot your friends with highly concentrated beams of light and run around in the dark, all while listening to sweet jams.
“It’s fun for anyone. I’m close to 30 and I consider myself a big kid,” said Matt Bigg, a manager at Laser Quest in Calgary. “We have lots of fun. The music we play is awesome and I really enjoy my time here.”
Admission is only $8.75 per person per game and there are group rates available. On Oct. 27, Laser Quest will be having the Halloween overnighter, where you can play from 12 a.m. until 6 a.m. in your sexy bunny costume. Talk about intense.
To take things up a notch, go paintballing. Rampage City is 28,000 square feet of inflatable obstacles and water-soluble paint, located in Calgary’s southeast.
“I love it. It keeps me healthy and keeps me active,” said Justin Schultz, one of the managers at Rampage. “It’s not one of those sit back type of sports. It’s always fun to shoot your friends and shoot your colleagues.”
For 30 bucks, anyone can be outfitted with a complete set of gear and 200 paintballs to shoot at strangers or your friends. If you have never played before, Fridays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and Sundays from 5 to 8 p.m. are your best times to go.
And don’t worry — not everyone is a pro with matching outfits and wheelie-bags, so you can play with people at your same level or team up with the hardcore players, and compare war wounds after each match.
Want to shoot real guns? There isn’t an app for that, but there is The Shooting Edge on Blackfoot Trail. Definitely the most pricey of gun-related activities, but you’re handling real firearms and ammunition.
You also get to keep the green paper man target at the end of the session, which will look great on your bedroom door.
The Shooting Edge provides a wide array of rifles, handguns and shotguns for you to choose from, including six-shooters and a pink shotgun for the ladies. Staff supervises at all times on the range and they know their stuff.
This adventure also has awesome first-date potential, if you have the cash to drop. I speak from personal experience in the first-date department. We shot a lot of guns, a lot of ammunition, and the price tag was around the $300. It was worth it.
For something a little less violent, there is always bowling. The nearest bowling alley to MRU is Mountain View Bowling, just off of 37th Street and Richmond Road SW.
“It’s very popular with the youth,” said Robin Michaud, the weekend manager at Mountain View.
Student nights are Thursdays — only $5 to bowl including shoes! What a deal! Bowl your heart out surrounded by the retro décor of Mountain View Bowling, and get your drink on if you desire, as the lanes are licensed (that kinda defeats the purpose, though).
For those of us with two left feet, the City of Calgary’s recreation department offers dance lessons. Sure you can learn to line dance for next Stampede, but the city also has way more interesting options — like burlesque, hip-hop and salsa lessons.
No partner? No problem! You don’t need to bring a friend for these classes, when you can just step on strangers’ toes. Hit up the City of Calgary website for more details.
If you live on campus, consider catching a Cougar’s game. Sports and alochol don’t need to go together all the time folks. Admission is free with a student card, which rules. There are all sorts of sporting events happening on campus, especially on the weekends. So go cheer on that guy in your english class on the soccer team. Then you will actually have something to talk to him about instead of just gawking from afar.
Before the snow flies (and sticks around) in the city, make sure you get out to one of the many parks in Calgary. With Mount Royal University a short walk from North Glenmore Park and Weaselhead Natural Environment Park, take a break from that research paper and go for a stroll. Your brain will appreciate the break.
If walking through trees and rocks and stuff is not your thing, head downtown. Communities like Mission, Uptown 17 and Kensington are all homes to fantastic coffee shops, delicious restaurants, interesting people to watch and amazing stores to peruse.
There’s always the zoo, too — you have to cough up some cash to get in ($21 for general admission), but there’s way more fuzzy (or scaly) animals than you can find at the park.
Donate your time and make your resume less barren. Look like a well-rounded individual by spending time doing something you like. Sign up to be a Big Brother or Big Sister, spend time with animals, dish out soup for the less fortunate, read to the elderly. Whatever it is that floats your boat, there is likely something in the city that will pique your interests.
Whatever you choose to do with your time in university, make sure it’s not just about grades or getting shitfaced. Enjoy what Calgary has to offer without a beer in your hand. Your liver will thank you.