Inexpensive Things To Do in Ann Arbor

Fun Activities To Do While on Budget

By Catherine Russell March 7, 2023
Inexpensive Things To Do in Ann Arbor

Some of my fondest memories from my first year at the University of Michigan have been the small moments I have made with my friends that require little to no money spent. From having picnics in the Law Quad when the leaves are just starting to fall to window shopping on State Street during the holiday season to simply taking a run through the Arb, there are so many fun activities to do on your own or with your friends on a budget while living in Ann Arbor.

Having the opportunity to grow up relatively close to Ann Arbor, I have been fortunate enough to experience the city first as a tourist and now as a student. Looking back, one of my favorite memories has been taking walks around Central Campus and exploring buildings I have not been in before or any of the local coffee shops and boutiques. I learned all about the city's history and culture from my dad, a proud U-M alum. Exploring campus while hearing about his college experiences is one of my favorite memories with him. I encourage anyone, from incoming first-years to even second-semester seniors, to take advantage of our beautiful campus, explore it with open eyes, and try to learn something new about our home for these four years.

Additionally, one of the critical aspects of the University of Michigan has always been its athletics. Student rates are available for football, men’s basketball, and men’s hockey ticket packages, but all other sporting events are free for U-M students with a valid Mcard. There is also a need-based program, which offers reduced-priced tickets for students who meet Federal Pell Grant eligibility criteria, and you can also buy individual resale tickets from other students if a ticket package is outside your budget. From Saturday game days in the Big House in the fall to attending basketball and hockey games in the winter, attending sports events with your friends is another great way to have fun. One of my fondest memories of my first year was my first game day at the Big House as a student. Growing up, I attended many football games with my family and siblings in Ann Arbor. Being able to experience them now, however, as a student, really opened my eyes. It is a great way to cheer on our acclaimed football team while making new friends and coming together as a community.

Furthermore, the university does a fantastic job of providing students with unique opportunities to pursue their passions affordably. From watching the dance department's recitals in Hill Auditorium to participating in art shows through the Stamps School of Art and Design to even joining a local book club at Hatcher Library, there are so many organizations anyone can join to strengthen their passions further while supporting their peers. However, joining a club or organization is not the only way to continue doing something one loves on campus. One of my favorite things to do in my spare time is to paint and sketch buildings while sitting outside the Law Quad on a nice day. This activity costs me nothing and is a great way to connect with other people with similar interests while also doing something you love.

There are so many fun activities anyone can do in Ann Arbor that do not involve pouring out your bank account. Speaking for my friends, we all agree that the best memories on campus are those small moments where we have gotten to know each other that do not require a dime spent.

Catherine Russell

Catherine Russell is a first-year student at the University of Michigan, majoring in business through the Ross School of Business and minoring in entrepreneurship. Catherine is from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and is interested in creative writing and marketing. Catherine loves to spend time with friends, explore new places, travel, and find the best coffee shops on campus!