K-State, Manhattan offers many weekend activities for under-21 students

(Photo by Taylor Alderman | Collegian) Alex Pilsl, senior in entrepreneurship, bowling with buddies on Monday evening, which is dollar night, at the K-State Union. Bowling is one of the many activities that students under twenty-one can enjoy.

For more than a century, Aggieville has served as an entertainment and social hub for Manhattan and many K-State students. While the district caters to a mostly 21-and-over crowd, especially on the weekends, Manhattan and K-State offer options for underage students or those looking for fun without alcohol.

UPC events

The Union Program Council plans weekly events for students throughout the school year. They feature a movie each weekend in Forum Hall in the K-State Student Union, often showing movies just out of traditional theaters.

The student organizations also hosts weekend activities on campus as part f the K-State After Hours program, including bowling and ice skating.

UPC plans a wide variety of events in order to be as inclusive as possible to our diverse and ever-growing student body,” John Seitz, music co-chair of UPC and junior in life sciences, said. “In particular, we aim to give students activities to enjoy over weekends to give them an alternative over other weekend festivities.”

UPC events will host a throwback physical education class on Feb. 21, Dancing with the K-State Stars on Feb. 25, and Minute to Win It Super Hero Edition on Feb. 28.

Out and about

Wildcat Park, located three miles west of Manhattan at 2001 W 62nd Avenue, features tables and fire rings for bonfires.

“You can get out of the city and enjoy nature and hang out with your friends,” Caroline Greenlee, sophomore in business administration, said.

The park is maintianed as a wilderness area; motor vehicles aren’t allowed in the park except for handicap access. Nearby parking is available.

Located just outside Manhattan, the Konza Prairie provides hiking trails varying between 2 1/2 to six miles. The trails are open from sunrise to sunset daily. The facility is free, although a free will $2 donation is requested to help with trail maintenance.

“Konza Prairie represents one of the largest tracts of unplowed tall grass prairie in the nation,” Jill Haukos, director of environmental education for Konza Prairie Biological Station, said in an email. “With less than 4 percent of the original tall grass prairie remaining, the fact that we have this jewel in our backyard is amazing.”

The Konza Prairie is a way to “step back in time.”

“We provide a place for visitors and inhabitants of the Flint Hills to experience a tall grass prairie the way it appeared 200 years ago,” Haukos said.

The K-State Challenge Course offers team-building exercises outside on high and low equipment. Activities encourage goal setting, cooperation and communication by pushing groups into trying situations. Appointments can be set up through K-State’s Recreation Services.

Get Fit

The K-State’s Chester E. Peters Recreation Complex offers more than exercise equipment for students and residents.

The rock climbing wall is open daily. Orientation and belay classes are offered Sunday through Friday at 7 p.m. Organized, free classes are available on topics such as “rise and shine yoga” and Zumba.

“There’s something for everyone at the Rec,” Abby Holmes, sophomore in athletic training, said. “Whether you like to work out on your own, do group fitness with your friends or play a pick up game of basketball, there’s always something to do at the Rec.”

K-State’s Natatorium, located next to Ahearn Field House, is available for students and residents. It has an eight-lane lap pool, and a recreational pool. They also offer aqua aerobics classes.

“My friends and I do Insanity in the mornings,” Romy Sagen, junior in kinesiology, said. “It’s a nice way to wake up and get a jump start on your day.”