This story was originally published in the Nov. 10 issue of Fourth Estate.
If your Instagram account has lost inspiration, look no further. Here is a list of some awesome and fun places that I wish I knew about before I turned 21, so I wasn’t just sitting in my dorm room. But of course, these places are great for all college students regardless of age.
Flight Trampoline Park: 7200 Fullerton Rd. Springfield, Virginia
What: It is literally a room of trampolines.
Cost: $15 for an hour of jumping normally, however Flight is offering students who come with a Mason ID 50% off of their ticket. The promotion will run from Nov. 10-Dec. 31, effective Monday through Thursday.
Why should I go there? First of all, who does not like jumping on trampolines? That is really reason enough. Flight Trampoline is great just to go with your friends or if you have been trying to convince yourself to work out but never made it to the gym. If you have ever seen students parkouring and want to give it a try you can also take their weekly parkour class. They also have Club Flight every Friday and Saturday night if you want to jump to your favorite music and in laser lighting.
Epicure Café: 11104 Lee Hwy. Fairfax, VA
What: A restaurant and music venue.
Cost: Free (however they do require that you make one food or drink purchase)
Why should I go there? With a roof top deck and music open mic nights Mondays and Thursdays at 8 p.m., Epicure gives students the experience of locals trying out new music at another venue outside of the dorm balconies in the Commons. They also host a variety of other events such as a weekly trivia night, a jazz jam session and comedy and poetry open-mics.
Jammin Java: 227 Maple Ave. E. Vienna, VA 22180
What: Coffee shop by day and concert venue by night (that still sells coffee)
Cost: Tickets tend to run between $10 to $25 (however some tickets are more so pay attention to that!).
Why should I go? Jammin Java is a relaxed setting to see some talented and lesser-known artists. Depending on the performer’s popularity it can get crowded, but everyone is friendly and enjoyable. Buy a cheap ticket for a random day of the week and you might just like what you hear. If you know the artist, there is frequently the chance to meet and talk to them after the show. If you keep an eye on their website, some fairly well known artists have also passed through here—Nick Jonas, Five for Fighting, Paramore, The Lumineers and Bon Iver. For a throwback show, Aaron Carter will be performing tonight (Mon. Nov., 10).
Busboys and Poets: 4251 Campbell Ave. Arlington, VA (Also locations on 14th St. and 5th St. in Washington D.C.)
Why should I go? Instead of simply a restaurant, Busboys describes itself on their website as a “community gathering place.” Regardless of title, their food is fantastic. Much of it comes from sustainable sources, and when possible local farmers. Their menu caters to a wide variety of diets: the carnivore, the vegetarian, the vegan, and those who must keep gluten free. Busboys hosts several events throughout the week, but they are most known for their Open Mic Poetry nights. At the Arlington location, the open mic is on Mondays at 8 p.m. Get there early because it will be busy.
Bowl America: 9699 Fairfax Blvd. Fairfax, VA
What: Bowling alley
Cost: Open bowling costs $5.45 per person/per game throughout the week after 6 p.m. But if you come after 9 p.m. Sun. through Thurs., it only costs $6.99 for as many games as you want until close. Shoes always costs $4.55.
Why should I go? For some reason, people forget about bowling. It is a fun way to get out of the house and if you are feeling crazy there is always cosmic bowling.
Photo credits by Amy Podraza and Katie Warren