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Cheap and easy ways to kill time on 16th street

IT’SUGAR is a sweet place to spend time on 16th street.
Photo: Ayden Adair · The Sentry

More than just clothes-shopping and movies

Sometimes there’s a lull between classes, or a nearby event that hasn’t started yet, and the problem of how to pass the time becomes apparent. The 16th Street mall is full of things to help resolve this issue.

Scoping out fun stores, like IT’SUGAR, is one surefire way to pass the time. There is a plethora of fun stuffed toys to look at; some small creatures can be found, but the most entertaining stuffed items are giant versions of food: fortune cookies, bags of cheeseballs, cartons of French fries, and much more. IT’SUGAR also has gag gifts, such as little notebooks that call people out for parking poorly and lollipops that look like male anatomy. 

The big, white street directories throughout the mall can also be an entertaining activity. At first glance, they may seem to just give directional information, but they also have a camera. Different backgrounds and filters are available to customize photos in almost any way. Even though the quality isn’t the best, it can be fun to pose and make faces. It’s all completely free, and the photos can be sent to cell phones.

With a rumbling stomach and lots of free time, restaurants are never a bad choice. The 16th Street all offers options ranging  from something light, like Mad Greens, to something heavier, like Otra Vez Cantina. The cantina has well-made Mexican food and even has choices for most diets, including vegetarians and vegans. With a great atmosphere, it’s easy to pass the time while hanging out with friends or even alone. Other restaurants like The Crimson Room and Nocturne often have live music.

A few small museums can be found around the edge of 16th Street, close to Civic Center Park. The Firefighters Museum gives a tour through the technological advancements of firefighting tools and contains badges and clothing, along with radios and an actual fire truck that visitors can enter. The upstairs of the museum has bean bags and children’s books that can be entertaining when a break is needed. Students get in for $8.

One way to enjoy the ambiance and relax on 16th Street Mall is by getting a snack, such as a pretzel from Auntie Anne’s, and finding a good place to sit. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and Rocket Fizz are other places to find good treats. There are a variety of street entertainers such as Robot Mike, who often engages with people and makes an interesting show. Along with that, he acts and sounds like a robot when he isn’t interacting with passersby while making jokes.

Sometimes just listening to live music is a nice way to pass the time. Musicians frequently play pianos, guitars, and even flutes. To top it off, there are free pianos to play and checkerboards along the street.

No matter what the reason is for doing so, there are always fun things to do on 16th Street to kill the time.

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