Let’s be honest: creating awesome, fun, engaging, memorable events for the students on your campus isn’t easy.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a student activities board advisor or the president of SAB. Either way, there’s a lot to take into account. You have to factor in your campus activities budget, the calendar of other events that will be happening on campus, and the logistics involved in actually putting together an event of your own.
On top of that, you have to think about balancing the wants, needs, and desires of everyone on the campus activities board with the actual interests of the student body. Just because one person on SAB is really into Star Wars (like, way too into Star Wars) doesn’t mean that every single upcoming event needs to be Star Wars themed. Actually, yeah, on that note -- probably none of them should be Star Wars themed.
Joking aside, there’s a lot of pressure on you to come up with activities that will satisfy as many students as possible, all while staying within budget and creating plenty of diversity from month to month. If you’re a student activities board leader with a full course load and other extracurricular demands, it can be overwhelming. And if you’re employed by the college or university as a staff advisor to SAB, this probably isn’t the only thing on your to-do list.
Long story short: you need campus activities ideas. And you need them fast.
Well, good news! ArtistHub is here to help. We’ve put together this list of 18 awesome campus activities ideas to help you get started with your planning for this semester (or next semester).
To make it easier to sort through, we’ve broken down the list by category. Scattered throughout the list, you’ll find entertainment-related suggestions: things like bands, singer-songwriters, guest speakers, and even comedian. Trying to book entertainment at your college can be a real headache if you go it alone. Fortunately, ArtistHub can help. Click here to learn more about how ArtistHub can help you book entertainment for your next campus event.
Campus Activities Ideas
Relaxation and Stress Relief
- Free massages
- Walk-in painting class
- Coffee hour with therapy animals
- Midnight breakfast
- Coloring books and coffee
- Book an awesome band
- Bring a comedian to campus
Health and Fitness
- Invite a nutrition expert as a guest lecturer
- Get a local chef to come teach a cooking class and share healthy recipes
- Offer free yoga classes
- Host the town’s local farmer’s market on campus
- Alcohol-free happy hour
- Self-care forum
- Hiking, backpacking, and rock climbing
Student Resources and First Year Students
- Open forum for first year students on what major they should choose
- First year student scavenger hunt
- Clothing swap
Relaxation and Stress Relief
Chair massage stations for students
Free massage? Yes please! Organizing free on-campus massages for students might sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Consider working with a local massage school, where massage students often provide chair massages at an incredibly reduced rate. Bring a handful of these massage therapists in training to your local campus, set up the chairs, and boom: you’ve got an amazing on-campus event.
Paint by numbers class for relaxation
Not everyone considers themselves to be an artist. Some people are downright clumsy when it come to drawing or painting. That said, just about anyone can paint by numbers. If you’ve never done it, you’d be amazed at how relaxing it is. This is a great way to get students who are in the midst of finals out of their left-brain study mode and into a right-brain space of relaxation and creativity.
Coffee, dogs, kittens -- what more could you ask for?
All we can say is: OMG. Puppies. Kittens. Adorable dogs. What else is there to add? Why are you even still thinking about this event? Get to planning! If you want students who are in the midst of finals to relax, connect with your local humane society and set up a dog and kitten coffee hour. Bring the animals to the students (or the students to the animals), add coffee, and voila: instant good times.
Late night breakfast hour
As Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson have argued time and again: there is nothing as amazing as breakfast food. Period. It’s comforting, it’s delicious, and it’s what students want to eat when they’re up at 1 AM trying to figure out how they’re going to memorize the periodic table in time for their chemistry exam at 8 AM. Host a late night breakfast hour slash study session around finals time. Students will thank you.
Chill with coloring books
It’s become common knowledge in recent years, but in case you haven’t heard: coloring books equal stress relief. So, if you’re looking to help students on campus decompress around finals time, why not host a coloring hour? It’s cheap, super simple, incredibly easy, and something that students will love. Set up tables with plenty of coloring options -- think geometric designs for maximum relaxation -- and lots of colored pencils.
The band (or singer-songwriter, or solo artist) of the century
If you love music -- and seriously, what college student doesn’t love music? -- there’s nothing better for taking your mind off the stresses of school than a free concert. Booking a solo artist or band and setting up a free show for students on campus is a great way to help them chill out and discover something new. The key, though, is connecting with the right act. ArtistHub makes it easy.
Laugh it up with a college comedian
Laughter is the best medicine. If you want the students at your college to kick back, relax, and live a little between now and their next exam, nothing beats a college comedian. Of course, you’ll want to book someone who’s actually...well, you know...uh...funny. That’s where ArtistHub comes in. Click here to learn more about how we can help you book the best entertainment for your next campus event.
Health and Fitness
Invite a nutrition expert as a guest lecturer on campus
We’ve all heard of the freshman fifteen: the 15 pound weight gain that comes along with your first year at college. Between stress, a hectic schedule, cafeteria food, and late night snacking, it’s easy to fall into an unhealthy eating pattern and watch your overall health and wellbeing start to fall off. Inviting a nutritionist to come and speak to students -- especially freshman -- is a great way to tip students off on how to take better care of themselves in the years to come.
Bring a local chef on campus to share recipes and teach a cooking class
It’s one thing to have a nutrition expert come to campus and talk to students about what they should and shouldn’t be eating. It’s another for students to actually follow this advice. These days, a lot of students live off campus and have to prepare their own meals. On top of this, more and more colleges are offering students on-campus housing options that include the ability to cook -- whether it’s a kitchen that’s shared with the entire floor, or a cooking space that’s common to a handful of student rooms. Hosting a local chef to cook delicious food and share healthy recipe ideas is practically foolproof when it comes to hosting an on-campus event. After all: what college student has ever said no to free food?
Host a free morning (or afternoon, or night) of yoga
Yoga has been trendy for what seems like forever. Actually, if you’re a college student in your late teens, it’s literally been a trend for as long as you can remember -- since at least the early 2000’s. When it comes to student health, one of the best ways to help students simultaneously take care of their bodies and decompress from the stress of classes and exams is pretty simple: an hour going through postures and poses on a yoga mat. Advertise a free yoga class taught by an expert local teacher, and you’ll see the student body turn out in droves.
Bring the local farmer’s market to campus
It’s not always easy to convince students to make healthy food choices. Sure, they know that it’s important to eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits -- but tell that to their budget. Ramen looks a lot more attractive when you’re pinching pennies from week to week. By hosting a farmer’s market on campus, you can make healthy, local food more convenient for students to access. If you have the budget for it, consider offering students a $10 credit for their first visit. This is a great way to create new, healthy habits for students.
Host a happy hour -- without the alcohol
Having a good time doesn’t have to involve alcohol. If your school is looking to cut down on the incidence of underage drinking and/or alcohol use in general, an alcohol-free happy hour is a great way to remind students that fun doesn’t always have to equal alcohol consumption. Offer delicious alcohol-free drinks, games, prizes, and more.
Invite students to a self-care forum
Taking care of yourself is important, and “self-care” has become something of a buzzword over the past few years. Invite a speaker that focuses on personal well-being -- a life coach or some other qualified professional -- to conduct a forum where students can discuss the things that they do to take care of themselves and stay sane amid the stress of exams and papers.
Outdoor activities: hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, kayaking, and more
No matter where your campus happens to be located, there are likely plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities nearby. If you’re in a mountainous area with lots of trails and national parks, those opportunities may literally be within walking distance of your campus. If you’re in a big city, you may have to take a campus bus for an hour to get to the nearest hiking trail. Either way, organizing outdoor and nature-focused activities is a great way to bring students together in a new environment.
Student Resources and First Year Students
Host a “major swap” event
To be clear, we’re not suggesting that you actually encourage students to swap majors. Of course, this could go well, but...the odds are pretty slim. No, what we’re suggesting is that you bring freshmen together with seniors and encourage them to swap their thoughts and experiences when it comes to picking a major. Freshmen often feel overwhelmed by the task of picking a major, and seniors can provide them with a little bit of reassurance and guidance.
Scavenger hunts: the classic solution to team building
Do you think scavenger hunts are cheesy? Of course they are! But are they played out? No way! If you want to build community between new students and ensure that everyone makes lasting memories in the process, scavenger hunts are an awesome way to make that happen.
Clothing swap for freshmen
If you’ve never been to a clothing swap, you’re missing out. Everybody has clothes in their closet that they’re ready to get rid of...but what if 4 years from now you want to wear that shirt? That’s where clothings swaps come in. Take the clothes you don’t wear and exchange them for awesome new stuff that you can’t wait to show off around campus. Plus, you get to meet a bunch of cool new people in the process.
Book the best entertainment for your college
Out of all of these great campus activities ideas, some of the best opportunities for students to make lasting memories involve booking amazing entertainment. Finding quality speakers, musicians, and other entertainers has always been easier said than done -- until now. Ready to bring the best in college entertainment to your campus? Sign up for an ArtistHub account to get started!