Trust me, I know the struggle is real. Finding things to do on campus that cost little to no money can be quite the challenge, but lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place. Keep on reading to see a list of seven of my favorite things to do at the University of Iowa that actually cost $5 or less. Here’s what to do around University of Iowa when you’re broke AF:
1. “Sign up” for anything and everything.
If it’s your first year on campus, you’re going to notice that literally so many local businesses and campus organizations give out coupons to students and oftentimes, they’ll just straight up give you free stuff if you sign up for an email or download their app. So even if you’re 100% uninterested, take that extra minute to talk to that girl on the T-Anne Cleary walkway. Because although you definitely don’t plan on becoming an “On Iowa! Leader”, she’s got free hot chocolate and coffee in the middle of winter ready to give away to anyone willing to listen. Free coffee isn’t always the best coffee, but it’ll definitely get the job done.
2. Tour the Old Capitol.
The Old Capitol in the center of the Pentacrest, the heart of campus, is actually a museum that’s free for anyone to tour. Learn more about your campus’ history! They’re closed on Mondays and national holidays, but remain open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Thursdays from 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM, and Sundays from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM.
3. Know the local businesses’ daily specials and rewards.
If you didn’t already know by now, quite a few local businesses have some pretty great deals for college students (and those who are just generally broke AF.) For example, The Airliner has massive pizza slices for $1 a piece every Sunday night.
Want some more pizza? Head over to Mesa where you can get a FREE slice when you show the cashier that you’ve liked their Facebook page and have “shared” it with all of your friends. Not going to lie, this is actually a pretty easy method to cheat around. Just unlike the page then delete the shared post after you’ve gotten your free food and you’ll be ready to do it again the next time you want one of those unique slices.
4. Never disregard the emails you receive about research studies on campus.
Every now and then you’re going to receive random emails from the university’s research center inviting you to participate in a study. However, most of the time, they’re probably not going to apply to you. “Participants Aged 25-55 Invited for Driving Study” or “Research for dementia caregivers” will commonly be found in the subject bar of those emails.
Don’t completely disregard them, though. At least one of the hundreds of emails you’ll get about studies will likely be applicable to you AND almost all of them provide compensation in the form of cash or gift cards! Some require you to visit the research center, others are surveys you can take on your computer whenever you want. Easy money.
5. Student Discount Days.
If you can get to it, the Marcus Sycamore Theater located a little outside of campus on 1602 Sycamore St. offers a pretty great deal to students on Thursdays. Tickets are $5 for any show AND they provide one small serving of popcorn per-student. Now if this interferes with your Thirsty Thursday activities, I totally understand. That’s why there’s the IMU…
6. CAB Movies at the IMU.
Although it’s a much smaller theater and doesn’t have nearly as many movies to choose from, the IMU’s Iowa and Illinois Theaters consistently play movies every weekend put on by the campus org- CAB. Tickets are just $3 and they have $1 popcorn/snacks/etc. for sale in concessions.
This option’s cheaper and is actually located on campus for a much easier commute if you don’t have a car. Always make sure to keep your eyes out for when a good movie is playing, you don’t want to miss out on this deal!
7. Visit some cute animals.
Again, if you have the ability to get off campus, take a trip to Petland to get some (free) puppy cuddles. Located on 1851 Lower Muscatine Rd, Petland always has puppies, bunnies, birds and other various animals for you to play with for absolutely no cost at all. This truly comes in handy for those of us who miss our pets from home and I guarantee that a trip here will fill that void for at least little while. Who wouldn’t want to spend a weekend afternoon with a face like this?!
Do you have any more ideas for what to do around University of Iowa when you’re broke AF? Comment below ↓ Also, don’t forget to share with friends if you’ve learned something new!
*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
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