Notable activities to check off during undergrad
Starting college on any campus comes with many notable firsts for college freshmen, some of which are more campus specific than others. New students may want to have a sense of belonging not only on campus but in the city itself to have a fulfilling college experience. To achieve that, here is a list of things that every CU Denver newcomer should check off their bucket list during their time on the Auraria Campus.
Paint and sip at Masterpieces and Milkshakes
This event presented by CU Denver Live! is a great way to relax with a bit of creativity and hang out with friends after a long day of classes, not to mention the tasty milkshakes that come with it! Much like the paint and sip places around Denver, Masterpieces and Milkshakes lets students paint along while they sip on milkshakes with friends—or make new ones. The event is typically cultural themed with designs and milkshakes to match it. Tickets cost 10 dollars with a CU Denver student ID, and students are welcome to take home their masterpieces after the event.
Score tickets to events around Denver through the school
Student tickets for various events around Denver, like Rockies and Avalanche games or Colorado Symphony performances at the DCPA, are frequently sold from school offices for 10 dollars with a CU Denver student ID. Locations for where the tickets are sold change based on the event, so keep an eye out for posters in the Tivoli or the Division of Student Success emails to get all the details for when these ticket opportunities go on sale; they’re a great way to get familiar with Denver on a college student budget!
Go to an event at the Pepsi Center
The Pepsi Center is just a short jaunt away from the Auraria Campus, making it the perfect place to go catch a Nuggets or Avalanche game to take a break during the semester. For those not interested in sports, the Pepsi Center also hosts concerts, Cirque du Soleil events, and more!
Visit Elitch Gardens
CU Denver also sells discounted tickets (often at the beginning of the Fall semester) to this amusement park that is between the Pepsi Center and Campus Village. To have some fun weekend plans to enjoy the warmer weather at the start of the school year, students can play carnival games and hop on rides that range from the Ferris wheel to the slingshot. The PAL office and Student Life in the Tivoli have also been known to sell discounted tickets to Elitch’s around Halloween, when students are invited to go to Fright Fest with haunted houses and other creepy decorations.
Walk to Larimer Square
As the name would suggest, this quaint street block is located on Larimer Street, allowing students to see it from campus, near the CU Building on 14th. Although there is a Starbucks located in the Tivoli, Larimer Sqaure also has one, along with other food places, giving students the option to take a short walk off campus under the string lights that decorate this area.
Pop into a movie night
On Thursday nights once a month, CU Denver brings the movie theater to the Tivoli. Students are invited to not only watch a film on the big screen but also to indulge in popcorn and other concession stand snacks from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. As long as the weather permits, these movie nights have also been known to be held out on the Tivoli field, where students and their friends can watch a movie under the city lights.
Tour the Emmanuel Gallery
Located across from the Auraria Library near the Health Center in Plaza, the Emmanuel Gallery is a small stone building that houses student and faculty art exhibits throughout the year. Students will often be able to hear music coming from the open door of the museum, welcoming them in to view the latest masterpieces of artists in the CU Denver community.
Support the Music Entertainment Industry Studies (MEIS) best and brightest
Among the other events that CU Denver Live! hosts every school year, one of the coolest is the Battle of the Bands that is held every spring. Students from CU’s music program and beyond submit their groups for a chance to compete head to head with a live audience at a venue downtown. The winner earns the headlining spot for the following year’s block party that’s hosted to celebrate the beginning of every school year. It’s a great way to get introduced to new music and all the awesome student bands CU Denver has to offer.
Check out the CU Denver Block Party
As mentioned above, at the beginning of very Fall semester, CU hosts this event on Lawrence Street between Speer and 14th to kick off the new school year. The stage for the winner of the Battle of the Bands, food trucks, and booths for various campus organizations with fun activities line the block that closes specifically for this party. With this event so early in the year, students can begin to get to know their classmates and others on campus while collecting free swag to show their school pride through the rest of the year. Students may also be lucky enough to snap a photo with Milo!
Dig in at iPie
Perhaps one of the better dining options on the Auraria Campus, iPie is the perfect hotspot to grab a bite to eat and work on homework between classes or hang out with friends after a day of class. Whatever the occasion, iPie has plenty of options for anyone’s appetite, and students living at Campus Village can spend their flex cash at this location.
Walk around Fall Fest and Spring Fling
These events are a can’t miss, literally. Student organizations and businesses from around Denver take up the majority of campus to table to students and celebrate the beginnings of each new semester. These festivities are a great way to find a student organization to join on campus, score some free food, and win CU Denver swag.
Any one of these activities are great things for students to check off the college bucket list while at CU, or perhaps these things will spark inspiration for them to create their own. With incoming freshmen getting involved in activities outside of the classroom that immerse them in campus life and the city, they will surely create fond memories during the any school year, not just their first, that will last beyond their time at CU Denver.