5 Things to Do on the UIUC Campus for Less Than $5

I found five dollars!

Being a college student can be exhausting, between cramming for exams and writing what seems like your 100th term paper, it’s safe to say once in awhile you’ve earned yourself a well deserved break from the stressors of school. It’s no secret that most college students are broke, so we’ve come up with a list of 5 things (besides looking for your perfect UIUC off-campus housing rental, of course) you can do on the UIUC campus that won’t break the bank and will have you feel like you’re ballin’ on a budget!

Hangout at the Illini Union Rec Room

Illini Union Rec Room. Photo Courtesy of the Illini Union

The Rec Room is located on the UIUC campus in the lower level of the Student Union, it is open to anyone, so bring the family or your out of town friends when visiting! Here, you can engage in a lot of fun activities like shooting pool, playing arcade games and video games, or bowling. Each Tuesday, for the low, low rate of $2 you can get a bowling game (per person), shoe rental, half hour of pool, one hour of console games and fountain drink and popcorn combo!

Catch a Movie or Concert on The Quad

Company on the Main Quad

Ahhhh, The Quad…whether you’re laying out in between classes, tossing a football with friends, or kissing the love of your life under the Eternal Flame, it’s a spot all UIUC students know very well. Throughout the spring and summer months enjoy free outdoor movies each Thursday and a number of free concerts. Be sure to check out the calendar for all upcoming events!

Spend an Afternoon at the Krannert Art Museum

University of Illinois - Krannert Art Museum

A nearly 50,000 sq/ft museum, the Krannert Art Museum is located on campus and free for all! Go with friends, take a date, or enjoy an afternoon alone while checking out the many different galleries showcasing over 10,000 different works of art daing all the way back to the fourth millennium BCE to the present day. With a permanent collection and regularly rotating exhibits, you can also see and learn more at Krannert! 

Attend a Sporting Event

Illini Hockey

UIUC is known for having a number of D1 sports with over 15 major facilities used by these impressive athletes. Throw on your best blue and orange Illini gear, gather up your friends and tailgate a game to cheer on your university! Some sporting events are free, while others you must buy tickets for. Looking for a game that’s both cheap and fun? For just $5 grab some tickets for a hockey game on campus at the UC Ice Arena! For some bonus cheap fun, the Ice Arena also holds free skate nights!

Visit the University of Illinois Arboretum


Located on the south side of the UIUC campus, The University of Illinois Arboretum has over 160 acres of gardens that students and the community can enjoy for free all year round. Walk the paths and soak up the serene surrounding of the peaceful ponds, cherry trees, and the Japan House, where (for an additional cost) you can partake in a Urasenke Tea Ceremony. People come from all over the world to visit this beautiful garden so make sure to take advantage of it and visit while attending UIUC.

Chips and salsa aficionado, Ali Bartmer joined the Rent College Pads team in the fall of 2016 as the Operations Assistant and has since become a Content crafter. Cat mom of one, Ali prides herself in being a Bloody Mary connoisseur and with her Masters from Hogwarts there’s nothing Ali can’t do.

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