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Memorable moments can be made in Waco spots

Nov. 19, 2004

By JUSTIN UPSHAW, contributor

It's Friday night and once again I find myself lounging around with a couple of buddies and one of them poses the question, "What are we going to do tonight?" Another immediately answers, "I don't know, but we need to do something fun."

Having been at Baylor four years now, I have heard this question proposed countless times and fortunately did not end up sitting around the apartment watching reruns of The Jetsons. Sure, Waco offers restaurants and movies, the clichés of entertainment; yet the costless self-innovative evening still seems to go unnoticed and unappreciated.

dam
Robert Shaw | Lariat staff
Albuquerque, N.M., senior Kelly Gregory, Kansas City alumna Natalie Camper and Canyon junior Hannah McWhorter walk along the Lake Waco Dam Thursday afternoon. The Lake Waco Dam is one of several spots where Baylor students can seek inexpensive relaxation in Waco.
Despite popular belief that Waco does not have much to offer, I have been blessed through self-discovery and knowledge from friends to have learned that there are numerous ways to have an almost priceless, safe and entertaining evening in Waco.

Here are a few that would seem to be well adopted by Baylor students.

Campfire

One of the most memorable experiences of my freshman year was retreating to Lake Waco on cold winter nights for a campfire, storytelling and marshmallow roasting.

With a group of friends and a 10-minute drive west on Highway 6, you cannot miss the lake. The supplies are provided, and memorable moments are sure to be made.

Bingo

For interaction with the Waco community, fun can be had by participating in the Classic American game of Bingo. Located at 4306 Franklin Ave., students can test their luck along with having the opportunity to blend in with the older population of Waco.

Movie on suspension bridge

With a small portable TV students are able to enjoy a movie on one of Waco's most well known features -- the suspension bridge. The suspension bridge has electrical outlets that allow you to plug in portable devices. With a blanket, a group of friends (or maybe a significant other), you can enjoy a movie over the murky waters of the meandering Brazos River.

Lake Waco Dam

What I think to be one of the most beautiful places at sunset in Waco seems to be one of the more overlooked places to visit in Waco at night. The Waco Lake Dam serves as a flood control feature and conservation pool for the city of Waco -- yet people seem to look past the beauty of the 24,618-foot-long monstrosity. Rising out of the waters of Lake Waco, the dam has a paved road along the top that is a great place to take a stroll along with friends and is far enough out of the city where you can observe the night sky. A great time to visit the dam is during the different major meteor showers, particularly in late summer during the annual Perseids meteor shower. The reflections of moonlight and artificial light from the serene lake accompanied by the chirps of crickets, croaks of frogs and laughs of friends make for a pleasant evening.

Extreme kite flying

With a cheap kite from Wal-Mart, duct tape, string and glow sticks, the fun of extreme kite flying can be easily accomplished. Go on top of one of Baylor's many parking garages and prepare your kite for launch by tying the string onto the kite; strengthen the string with duct tape so it can sustain the winds. Attach glow sticks on the bordering frame of the kite with tape and carefully launch it into the air. Use as much string as you would like as you watch your kite drift higher into the night sky by observing the illumination of the glow sticks. How far the kite ascends is dependent upon the amount of string used.

Glow-in-the-dark Frisbee

Oshman's and other sporting outlets sell glow in the dark Frisbees that can make for an enjoyable time on one of Baylor's open fields, such as Minglewood Bowl or the intramural fields. Get a group together and play a game of Ultimate Glow-in-the-dark Frisbee.

All college students should be encouraged to venture out and find their own creative and enjoyable activities to experience in Waco. After all, it's the entertaining and original adventures you remember about your college experience, not the Friday night you sat in your apartment or house watching Boy Meets World.