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Ultimate guide to Denton: Ages 18 to 20

Ultimate guide to Denton: Ages 18 to 20

Ultimate guide to Denton: Ages 18 to 20
August 08
14:00 2014
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INTRODUCING THE GUIDE:

Denton is known as a college town, and while many of the city’s residents should spend their time with their noses in textbooks, there are more than enough potential distractions. Here is a guide of things to do around Denton for those moments of procrastination or unexpected free time (but really, who has that?). And since the interests of an 18-year-old are quite different from someone in their mid-twenties, the guide is divided into handy age categories. Enjoy, and try not to have too much fun.

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By On The Record Staff

1. Hookah Lounge

College kids seem to have their inaugural hookah lounge visit within the first few weeks of their freshman year, and that in itself is a learning experience. Each of the hookah lounges in Denton (Kush, Jasmine’s, Natalie’s) offers a different atmosphere. You go to Kush to chill out, listen to music and draw on yourself with highlighter, but you go to Natalie’s for authentic Lebanese-style hookah and a bring-your-own-food option. Whether it’s tobacco-free or Skittles flavor, there is a hookah lounge in Denton with something for you.

2. North Lakes Park

With an area of 351 acres, the North Lakes Park in Denton leaves the door wide open if you’ve got a day off or two. Two of the main attractions are the 18-hole disc golf course and obviously the lake, which is really a pond. Despite its small size, the pond is full of catfish and rainbow trout, depending on the time of year, which is stocked by the city of Denton. Want to take a hike or a jog? There’s a .85-mile-long unpaved trail and a 1.3-mile-long paved trail. If you are a sports fanatic, the park offers football fields, soccer fields and softball fields. Between the summer heat and the fall cool-down, there aren’t many places that stay consistent, but North Lakes park will keep you busy all year.

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3. Open Mic Night

Whether you see it as artistic expression or potential embarrassment, it doesn’t matter. While waiting for the drunken karaoke nights of 21 and up, you can hear poetry, listen to singer-songwriters, or get up on stage and tell people your story. Places like Banter on the Square and The Whitehouse on Bryan Street do this kind of thing every week, so get some friends together and get out there. And be brave, not shy.

4. Bowling

What do you mean no bumpers? Despite some players insisting on playing “properly,” not much beats $14 to bowl as much as your heart desires on Friday and Saturday nights at University Lanes. The lights go down and your score will also, but at least the neon is pretty. After a week of class, bowling is the perfect way to let off some steam and eat super greasy food. Really though, the pizza there is pretty terrific.

5. Skate Park

The Denton skate park, located next to the water park, is not only extremely clean and free, but it’s packed with content. From six-foot half pipes to rails and boxes, there is fun to be had for any skateboarder, inline skater or one of the few remaining Razor scooter fanatics out there. Just please wear your helmet because the skate park may be free, but two years of dental work is not.

6. Denton Water Works

Since the drive to Hurricane Harbor is fairly long and the price of entry is borderline insane, the Water Works Park in Denton offers a close-to-home alternative that won’t break the bank, with the price of admission costing $11. With four large slides, a lazy river and a place outside for picnics and parties, you won’t be short of a place to hang out for the day and cool off. The website says that entry into the park also includes access to the natatorium, so don’t forget to swim a few laps while you’re there.

7. “Star Parties”

Every first Saturday of the month, the UNT Astronomy department invites students and Denton residents to the UNT Rafes Urban Astronomy Center to look up in the night sky and see objects they may not have seen previously. For $5, participants can learn about the night sky through guided conversation or see things that are further away up close with the telescope at the observatory. Make it a monthly trip to see what’s out there in the final frontier.

8. Outdoor Movie

Get crafty and set up your own alfresco movie theater complete with snacks and blankets. On the checklist are speakers, your DVD player, a roll of blackout cloth, strings, a projector, and a stable tree branch. Either that, or make it easier on yourself by heading to the Movie Tavern on West University Drive or Cinemark on Wind River Lane. Both offer student discounts.

9. Goatman’s Bridge

Once thought to be the sight of a terrible murder, Old Alton Bridge, known locally as Goatman’s Bridge, has been cloaked in secrecy for years. Stories about the origin of the Goatman range from fantasy creature fiction to hate crimes, but further research shows that towns all around the world have some sort of Goatman’s Bridge nearby. Regardless, the thrill of Goatman’s Bridge is the anticipation of going there for the first time, so whether you believe the stories or not, it’s definitely worth checking out.

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Feature Photo: UNT students Ikhtiar Alam, right, and Mohammed Islam, left, enjoy downtime at Natalie’s Hookah Lounge on Hickory Street. Photo by Caitlyn Jones /Features Editor

Middle Photo: Conner Johnson throws his disc into the basket on the second hole of North Lakes Park’s disc golf course. Photo by Edward Balusek /Visuals Editor

Bottom Photo: Local legend states that if you cross Goatman’s Bridge without light, a demonic satyr will meet you on the other side. Photo by Tim Cato/Design Editor

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