The beauty of fall on UNC Greensboro’s campus is a benefit of being a part of the Spartan family. Here, we enjoy extended summers in September, and then the weather cools in October when the real magic of nature kicks in. One day, you’ll walk to class and realize that the air and color around you has undergone a total metamorphosis while you were studying for midterms.
No matter what you like to do in your leisure time, try to go outside to do it in the coming weeks and months. Here are a few suggestions for fun ways to spend your weekends and free time ahead:
Find an Outdoor Concert
Greensboro makes getting outside easy on the second weekend in September each year when the city hosts the North Carolina Folk Festival. From Friday through Sunday, downtown Greensboro is transformed with stages, food vendors and artists showcasing their crafts. As a sponsor of Folk Fest, UNCG doesn’t miss an opportunity to celebrate the arts.
Wander from stage to stage and hear diverse styles of music. Check out African drums from the University’s very own Atiba Rorie, bluegrass born of the hills of Appalachia, and music and dancing from beyond our borders with Carribean, Jewish, Latin or Irish roots. It’s a feast for the senses and admission is free.
Beyond Folk Fest weekend and into the heart of fall, students can find live music in Greensboro’s large venues like Greensboro Colliseum or White Oak Ampitheater and small ones like Oden Brewery, all within walking distance of the University on Gate City Boulevard.
One of the Oden shows slated for October 19 is a part of the UNCG Concert and Lecture Series (UCLS). If you’re a jazz fan, don’t miss Julieta Eugenio’s saxophone stylings while sitting on the porch at Oden with your favorite craft brew.
With a spooky Halloween vibe on October 28th, School of Music performers will take over the UNCG Auditorium for Collage. Collage is a favorite event each fall that features our talented music students and incorporates themed lighting. Later, on November 3, UCLS continues with renowned jazz trumpeter Chris Botti at the same venue. Discounted student tickets are only $7, staff and faculty will be $25.
Celebrate Your University
Maybe you’ve heard the catchphrase “Football is Life.” If you hear it at UNCG, you can bet it’s a reference to soccer. Whether you’re a sports fan or casual observer, the atmosphere of a crisp night cheering for the Spartans under the lights of our home stadium is a quintessential fall activity.
Catch the women’s soccer team, who play on Thursdays and Sundays, or our defending SoCon champs on the men’s soccer team. In addition, the women’s volleyball season is already underway, and the men’s and women’s cross country runners are making tracks in the fall as well. Check out their schedules and support your favorite teams.
Aside from sports, autumn is full of campus traditions that call for our special brand of school spirit like “Blue & Gold Fridays,” where students, staff, faculty members and alumni can show their love for UNCG by wearing school colors.
Blue and gold will again be the attire of choice when we welcome our alumni back to campus for Homecoming weekend, October 20-22. On Friday night, the bonfire on Kaplan Commons sets the tone. Events continue Saturday and feature the Block Party at Kaplan Commons in the afternoon. It’s a weekend to connect with alumni, enjoy food and music, and share your Spartan pride.
Take a Hike
Opportunities to get in touch with nature come with big payoffs for those who connect in North Carolina during the months of September, October, or November. Students with an hour or so between classes can pause at a campus bench or table to study or catch up with friends.
Got a little more time? Guilford County has 31 parks. Bur-Mill Park to the north has a par 3 golf course, Hagan-Stone to the south has fishing and campsites, and hiking trails are everywhere. Sometimes a hike through the woods is the perfect antidote for a stressful day.
Piney Lake is another easy escape from campus. Free shuttles whisk students the short eight miles from campus for fun in the sun. Owned by the University, Piney Lake’s 40+ acres include hiking trails, volleyball, disc golf, canoeing, fishing, picnic and grill set ups, and swimming (from April to September). Challenge yourself on land with the ropes course or on water on the Wibit Track. Piney Lake is free for students who pay the activity fee and to all Kaplan Center members, and guests are only permitted with sponsoring members. It’s a little resort just for Spartans!
And speaking of the Kaplan Center, there’s no better resource for excursions that take full advantage of North Carolina’s seasonal beauty. Peruse Kaplan’s list of fall outdoor excursions and you’ll find everything from backpacking, horseback riding and whitewater kayaking to moonlight canoeing, caving and goat yoga. There’s truly something for everyone at Kaplan Center.
With the myriad of activities available to students in this beautiful season, Spartans could easily spend every weekend exploring a new activity. Fall into the G and lose yourself in arts, campus traditions and the natural beauty that surrounds UNCG in autumn.
Story by Becky Deakins, University Communications.
Photography by Sean Norona, University Communications.