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Things To Do Around NC State When You’re Broke AF

Things To Do Around NC State When You’re Broke AF

While going to North Carolina State is such a fun experience, there are times we're short on cash. These are some inexpensive things to do around NC State.
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When it comes to enjoying college life and covering expenses, it’s really hard to balance; mainly because the thousands of dollars you’re paying for tuition can really put a burden on some of the fun. However, since NC State is located in the small city Raleigh, NC, there are opportunities to access a lot of cheaper (some are even free) attraction sites and local events. Keep reading to discover 14 things to do around NC State when you’re broke AF. 

1. Watch A Movie Or Two.

The Witherspoon Student Center is the center of student-inspired activities, and it holds movie screenings at its cinema with free admissions and free popcorn!  A little farther from NC State are other cheap movie theater options: Blue Ridge Cinemas, where mainstream movies are showcased for $2 a ticket and cheap popcorn; and the Rialto Theater, one of the oldest theaters in Raleigh; they many indie and foreign movies. Discounted ticket prices are available for students!

 2. Go To Museums.

Also located in the Witherspoon Student Center, there’s an establishment that promotes the awareness and successes of African American students: The African-American Cultural Center. It maintains a Cultural Arts Gallery and an African American Library, a great place to explore even by yourself.

3. Discover at Hunt Library. 

Even if you’re not researching for class, visiting Hunt Library is worth it. Full of extraordinary technology and space, there are an endless amount of activities you can do! The Hunt Library contains a 3-D printing lab (also in D.H. Hill Library), immersion theaters, Game Lab, and multiple reading lounges; there is so much that this library offers!


4. Explore The Talley.

The Talley Student Union has so much to offer, particularly opportunities for joining student-led organizations and programs within its walls. From its Stewart Theatre to its Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, there’s nothing that you would miss.

5. Howl For Some Ice Cream.

NC State provides its own premium and organic ice cream, made right here on campus at the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Science’s Feldmeier Dairy Processing Lab in Schaub Hall. The fresh milk and cream from their farms are sold at the Howling Cow in Talley Student Union. It might be $15, but it’s worth it.

6. “The Beach”

Okay don’t get too excited because this isn’t actually a beach; it’s the name of the big volleyball court between Owen and Tucker halls. Even though it’s mostly reserved for Owen and Tucker “Battle of the Beach”, you can still find time to pull off a little game of volleyball with snacks. 


7. The Phytotron

The Phytotron is NC State’s own greenhouse. Tours to learn about the variety of exotic plants that the Phytotron holds are free, as well as being open to new departments and research!

8. Parks And Recreation (not the show, but I just wanted to name it this because this is a park, lol I’m hilarious).

Right by Central Campus is the adorable Pullen Park. Not only can you plan out a picnic or play a game of frisbee, but even buy tickets to ride on a carousel, a train, and rent some paddle boats. Tickets are only $1 each!

9. Lake Wheeler

NC State’s campus extends to Lake Wheeler Park, where acres of agricultural land for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is located (it’s where the Howling Cow gets its premium milk for its ice cream). At Lake Wheeler, there’s a huge lake where you can go canoeing, kayaking, or even rowing, and their boat rentals are just $2 an hour. There are even volleyball courts!


10. Museums For The Aesthetic.

Right in campus is the Gregg Museum of Art and Design. It’s a brand new museum, opening this summer in the once Historic Chancellor’s Residence; and it will soon hold many forms of art, film screenings, and some lectures – all for free for students. Raleigh holds the NC Museum of Art, where it exhibits modern and historical art in the most classy way possible, and it’s free admission! There is also Artspace, a smaller but cozier art museum in downtown, also free admissions!

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11. Museums For The Intellectual.

There’s the Museum of Natural Sciences, one of the biggest museums in Raleigh. It had a major upgrade a few years ago, so now you can visit state-of-the-art exhibits free of charge! NC State has their own Solar House, part of the NC Clean Technology Center. You can apply for educational tours and hands-on activities if you’re interested.

12. Immerse Yourself In The Chairs Of DH Hill Library.

The eggshell shaped seats are sooo comfortable; I even took a nap in one. Read a book, eat some ice cream from The Creamery, or watch some Netflix all in these futuristic chairs.

13. The Brickyard.

The Brickyard by DH Hill Library is the public plaza at the heart of NC State’s North Campus. It is the university’s most active court and has been the site of numerous special events, from the Habitat for Humanity challenge: Shack-a-thon, to our own Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays.


14. Chill Out With Some Friends.

If all else fails, just hang out with your friends. The best of memories and moments happen then. Whether it’s in your dorms watching movies, or cooking together at a kitchen, or just wandering around, NC State is a Raleigh (really) great place to be in! *har-har a pun for fun*

These a couple fun things to do around NC State, especially when you’re a little short on cash. What’s your favorite thing to do around campus? Share in the comments!
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