Sites to see around AU
Are you wondering what there is to do for fun while at school? AU is located not only in the nation's capital, but very near other fun and exciting places that are easy to get to. You should never want for things to do.
The most popular free activity is seeing the monuments. You may have already seen everything from Lincoln and the reflecting pool to Kennedy's gravesite and the eternal flame; but there is nothing like taking a group of friends or a special someone to the mall at night. Arlington closes after dark, but the monuments on the mall never do, making it ideal for late-night strolls. Some people even take a loaf of bread to feed to the ducks on the reflecting pool.
The Potomac River is also near the monuments. There are some nice grassy spots along the river and you can watch airplanes make their decent toward National Airport.
Some of my most entertaining times have been spent laying on the grass and picking out constellations with friends. There is a great park, just ten minutes walking time from AU, located on Chain Bridge Road off of Nebraska Avenue. It has lovely trees, a trail, and even picnic tables. You can take a picnic dinner, goof around in the park until dark, and then spread out the blanket and stargaze.
There are many other things to do that are absolutely free, like concerts on the Mall, plays, art exhibits and many of the museums (including all Smithsonian museums). But, if you are willing to spend a little money, a whole new world opens up - mainly to food.
Washington, D.C. is a very multicultural city, and the countless international restaurants reflect this. Coffee shops, cafes and full restaurants are very close via Metro, taxi or just by foot. There are pizzerias, Mexican cantinas and fast food places located in Tenleytown (see related story, page 4). You can get there by the AU shuttle and then walk a block or so.
There are movie theaters on Wisconsin Avenue which are only about a fifteen minute walk from AU, or you can take the shuttle and walk there. The one I prefer (on the 4000 block) shows all the latest movies seven days a week at many different times. This is great if you want to see a show during the after noon after a class or if you want to wait until later at night.
You can also go into downtown D.C. to the comedy clubs like The Improv. Clubs like The Improv often have special discounted admissions, and they also have big-name performers. If you like comedy, it's worth it either way.
The Kennedy Center has concerts and other performances. Ford's Theatre has plays as well. It's best to listen for these things on the radio and get your tickets as soon as you can.
If you don't want to go very far to do something, there is plenty going on around campus - local bands, talent shows, hall and floor contests, free movies in the Ward building, stand-up comedy, dance parties and concerts. Nirvana, 10,000 Maniacs, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dennis Miller, Expos? and Salt n Pepa have all performed at AU.
If you are politically minded, you are definitely in the right place. The Kennedy Political Union brings many different speakers to campus. G. Gordon Liddy, Paul Tsongas, Gen. Colin Powell, Andy Rooney, Paul Simon and other noted personalities have spoken at AU to share stories and answer students' questions. All speakers' presentations are free.
The Department of Performing Arts is active throughout the year presenting plays, choral performances, dance productions and musical performances. These are either free or are at a very low cost for students. And it all happens right on campus.
There is so much to do and so much to be entertained by here at AU. This is in no way a dull or boring place to live. Just grab some people and enjoy!