Seven ways to have a wild weekend without getting wasted

From concerts to painting to relaxing nature, try new things — you only get so many weekends in a semester.

Friday night — the bore and burden of a busy week is weighing down on you, and all you want to do is uncork a bottle and unwind from the stress. Throw in some music and friends and the next thing you know you’re at a party having the time of your life.

It’s not until the merciless rays of Saturday sunshine glide in from the window that you open your eyes and try to sort out the blurry events of the night before. An hour and two aspirins later, you’re facepalming yourself and contemplating the shame of post-drunk embarrassment disorder. You ask yourself: “Why did I drink so much? Why didn’t I just do something else?”

Good question.

There are a ton of fun, crazy things to do around campus without having to suffer from a hangover afterward.

The Blue Note

After five days of droning lectures and slow monotonous video clips, you may need a little something to lift your spirits. Music can change the rhythm of your body and the pace of your mind. One place that offers fresh and diverse music is The Blue Note. Here, you can listen to music ranging from indie pop to rock ‘n’ roll. Upcoming artists fly in from all parts of the country with passion in their eyes and powerful beats in their music.

Stephens Lake Park

If you haven’t already checked out the famous Stephens Lake, then clearly you need to awaken the Robert Frost within you. The placid lake can instill its own tranquility in your mind. It is a great place to meditate and let your thoughts drain into the lake. You can also visit with friends and family and have a picnic or barbecue.

Lazer Lanes

The name of this bowling alley itself is a clear illustration of the fun and frenzy that it offers. Housing the biggest arcade zone in mid-Missouri, Lazer Lanes offers bumper cars, a laser tag arena and its own Lazer Café. Lazer Lanes provides an absolutely enthralling experience. What better way to begin the weekend than by getting a strike?

Downtown delicacies

It’s time to give your taste buds an exotic holiday. Think of downtown Columbia as a never-ending food festival. If you take a walk downtown, you can devour the different food aromas that waft through the pleasant breeze. La Siesta’s enchiladas, biryani at India’s House, Flat Branch’s burgers, pizza at Shakespeare’s, Coffee Zone’s baklava — there is a wide array of cuisines to choose from. For people with a sweet tooth, there is Yogoluv, Harold’s Doughnuts and a cute little shop called The Candy Factory where you can revel in fudges and candies.

The Canvas on Broadway

The Canvas on Broadway is a store with canvas paintings embellishing the walls. Whether you’re a Picasso or a stick figure artist like me, this is the place for you. The Canvas on Broadway also offers painting lessons. Each day, there is one theme painting that the instructor teaches. It is a low-key but satisfying store where you can paint and let the colors blanket your mind.

Mizzou After Dark

Who wouldn’t want free food, games, movies and prizes? If you are craving a social experience, Mizzou After Dark offers just that. Grab a couple of friends to see what’s in store for you on Fridays throughout the school year. You can also interact with other college students and make new friends.

Clubs and more

Did you know there’s an observatory in the Physics building where you can see planets and constellations? (Fun fact: Saturn is prettier than Mars.) Did you know there’s a [board game club at Mizzou?] ( are all great ways to learn how to have fun without feeling the need to drink. At Mizzou, there is a club for everything and everyone.

Having fun doesn’t necessarily imply getting drunk, nor does it mean that you have to go out to have fun. You can have fun sitting on your couch, eating dinner with your roommates and talking about their days. Getting to know other people and other cultures has its own highs. You can have fun even discovering things about yourself. This is the time to explore and not confine yourself to just one lifestyle. Try new things; you only get so many weekends in a semester.

Edited by Katie Rosso |

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