We only have four years at Binghamton give or take, so you need to make the most of it before leaving the Parlor City. The campus, city and local area all have a lot to offer, but many of us get caught up in classes and our daily routines, causing us to miss out on the exciting opportunities at Binghamton University. To make matters worse, most of us missed out on almost two years of college due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Luckily for everyone, there’s still some time before the semester ends and seniors will graduate. While there are hundreds of activities and places to go that can be put on a bucket list, here are some of the most important spots to hit and things to do before tossing that cap in the air.
Attend a First Friday Walk
Downtown Binghamton holds an art walk displaying local artists’ work on the first Friday of every month. People stroll along the designated locations to see different art displays, grab a bite to eat and listen to music. For the seniors who made it through all of college without attending at least one First Friday, they are in luck as May 6 is the next and last one this semester.
Hang out at the “Blake”
Nathaniel Cole Park, nicknamed the “Blake,” is the perfect play for a picnic, barbecue, tanning and yard games. Bring a blanket and some sunscreen to lounge in the sand or join in on a game of beach volleyball with your friends.
Go ice skating and/or roller skating
The frigid winter is behind us, but if you are not graduating yet, make sure to check out the ice rink on campus. It is entirely free and open every day during the cold months. By the end of winter, you can be an ice-skating pro. For the seniors, it’s not too late to show off your skating moves. Head on over to Skate Estate to roller skate on a Wednesday or Thursday for only one dollar admissions.
Bike through campus at night
If you’ve ever walked through campus late at night, you know how peaceful the emptiness and quietness can be. On a warm night, get a free bike through the Binghamton University Bike Share on campus and ride through the Spine and Brain on campus. There’s nothing more carefree and childlike than riding a bike around with your friends, so race down the empty sidewalks before you say goodbye to the campus forever. Just be careful going down the hill to Mountainview College!
Play Quingo or sing karaoke at Garage Taco Bar
My favorite game at Binghamton is Garage Taco Bar’s unique mix of trivia and bingo, which is cleverly called Quingo. The game consists of answering trivia questions to fill in the boxes of your team’s bingo board. The restaurant also hosts a karaoke night every other Friday, so you need to attend at least one of these fun nights at Garage Taco Bar before graduating.
Take a hike through the BU Nature Preserve
There is 182 acres of ponds, trails, trees and plants right on our campus that many students never visit during their time at BU. Not many campuses have such a beautiful hiking trail, so it’s definitely a must-do before graduation. Bring a portable hammock to tie in between trees and rest or strap on your sneakers and take a hike up the hills with a friend.
Bowl in the University Undergrounds
Another hidden gem on campus is the bowling alleys in the University Undergrounds. Students can bowl for free, and it was even recently renovated. Spend a night aiming for a strike and enjoy making another memory on campus before leaving BU. Seniors who live off campus can even take a trip down memory lane and get Late Night at Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center for the first time in years!
Eat ice cream at Sugar Lips Ice Cream Shop
With homemade ice cream, vegan options and a long list of flavors — may I recommend the Banana Cream Pie — Sugar Lips Ice Cream Shop is the best spot in town to get a scoop of ice cream with friends. Not too far from campus and located on Riverside Drive, Sugar Lips Ice Cream Shop is often swarmed with college kids on a warm night. Capture the memory by taking a picture in the giant Adirondack chair with your friends and ice cream.
Kayak at Chenango Valley State Park
Binghamton has breathtaking parks in the area, so jump in a kayak and take in the views of Chenango Valley State Park. Not everyone gets to live by lakes, hills and mountains, but studying at BU gives students the chance to explore this area in New York state and express their adventurous side. Take the opportunity to visit a New York State Park with the extra layer of fun by racing your friends in kayaks.
Collect mugs from Tom & Marty’s Town House
For the 21 and up students, you need to get at least one mug from Tom & Marty’s Town House before leaving Binghamton. The colorful mugs are only sold on Thursdays and drinks are refilled in the mugs for a discount price. That way, you save money and plastic!
Go apple picking
Seniors may have missed out on this one, but if you are around next fall, be sure to visit one of the many apple orchards in the area. Apple Hills Farm and The Cider Mill are popular ones and sell delicious apple cider donuts to eat after a long afternoon picking apples. After graduation, you may not live as close to farms as you do during your time in Binghamton, so make the most of it and get a bushel of apples while you’re here!
Visit Binghamton’s museums
Spend a rainy day indoors wandering the halls of the Bundy Museum of History and Art and see the art galleries, exhibits and beautiful interior of the house. If science and local history are more your speed, check out the Roberson Museum and Science Center, which even has its own planetarium.
Paint at Uncorked Creations
Get creative and paint pottery at Uncorked Creations. You can sign up for classes, attend an event or go to an open studio night. It is located downtown above 205 Dry, so you can hit two birds with one stone and eat at the speakeasy-inspired restaurant after painting your masterpiece.
While this isn’t a Binghamton-centered activity, Ithaca is only around an hour drive or bus ride away. You can visit the farmer’s market on the weekend and buy fresh vegetables, honey or flowers in the morning. Then you can head over to one of the many hiking spots, such as Watkins Glenn State Park or Buttermilk Falls State Park. If you are an adrenaline junkie, check out the gorges in Ithaca where college students flock to on sunny days to cliff dive and swim.
Freshmen, sophomores and juniors, you all have plenty of time left to finish this incomplete list. Seniors, it is almost graduation day, but all that means is you need to cram the last few days left with plenty of fun activities. If you cannot finish this bucket list before graduating and leaving BU behind, there’s always homecoming weekend!