It took a bit of walking, talking, perusing and quite a few interviews to bring you Eastern Michigan University’s best and most loved cold-weather hangout spots. But here you have it, a chance, and hopefully, some encouragement to get to know EMU’s campus and Ypsilanti area at large, in spite of the cold months to come. The list could go on, but here’s a start.
• Big Bob’s Lake House – An undiscovered campus treasure, complete with a cozy fireplace, soft lighting, comfy couches, a big-screen TV and plenty of tables, chairs and lockers.
“It’s a really nice place, my friends come out twice a week,” senior Matt Vogt said. “It’s nice to get away from people, a quiet, good place to study, has wireless and there’s ice skating. Come out any time during the day – it’s pretty great.”
Big Bob’s is open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and stays open until 11 p.m. for free ice-skating when the lake freezes. Skate rental is $1. Come out with your sweetie, play some hockey or book your next event or meeting.
• McKenny Lounge – Always warm, lots of space and windows with beautiful views of the historic side of EMU.
“I like the McKenny Lounge,” freshman Kaitlin Leipold said. “It’s nice to relax, the chairs are comfy, it’s not loud, not as many people, and I like the food. I usually come after sociology for an hour to relax and go on my laptop.”
• Rec IM – Laid-back, fun and sporty, big-screens intact and the only place on campus selling hot-dogs in the lounge.
“The games come at a great value – $1 for the whole time you stay, there’s food, video games, and the gym if you want to work out,” freshman Patrick Wasilewski said. “I come when I have free time between classes and after school.”
The first floor is pretty lively and has great floor-to-ceiling windows with a beautiful view. The second floor mezzanine is more relaxed for studying. Snag a pool table for $1 and remember to check out the fitness classes when you drop by.
• King Hall Multicultural Lounge – One of the most interesting buildings on campus with Avant-garde architecture and the feel of an old-time gentleman’s club inside.
“Overall it’s a fun place, a lot of people to talk to, a piano, definitely a unique atmosphere,” ECA student Matthew Slaven said. “The whole structure is cool. Every floor gives you the visual of a capital ‘i’.”
Dark wood paneling covers the walls, met by old-fashioned checkered floors throughout. Walk up and down the stairs of the former dorm and take a trip back in time. Stop by to say hello to The Eastern Echo, which calls King Hall its home.
• Student Center Sky Lounge and beyond – Known and loved, with so much more to discover. Sky Lounge is also home of Campus Life’s Lyrics Lounge, Storytellers and Indie Lounges. Check out the SC after dark for Snack and Study in the ballroom, movie nights and even dance workshops. Event posters line the entrances, and you can also find coming SC events in your emich announcements. The gaming zone downstairs is a fun arcade hangout with pool tables and the student and faculty art galleries are definitely worth a visit. There’s always something to do, so stick around after lunch next time.
“On a daily basis, the Starbucks is probably the main thing that draws me, people playing the piano, and I like the school support,” freshman Tiffany Vrabel said. “Sky Lounge was an awesome experience, they usually have dances there.”
• Depot Town, Frog Island and Riverside Park – Our home to the dreaded “four-hills” the children of Ypsi have been sledding down ever since our beloved town was founded in 1825. Before your toes have frozen solid in the snow, head to Café Luwak or Café Racer for hot cocoa, or down to Sidetrack, Sticks, or Frenchie’s for something stiffer. If you’ve never been, walk down Cross Street until you find yourself at the Huron River, and don’t dare to say you live in Ypsilanti until you do.
• The Ugly Mug – Practically across the street from campus, down Cross. This place deserves much more credit, which is what makes it great.
“It’s a hip place to hang with friends, great soy chai lattes and loud, non-mainstream music,” junior William Holman said. “I like it.”
• Nichols Arboretum at University of Michigan – Awesome nature year round. Come here to sled, explore, sit by the river, whatever.
“It’s good to go when it’s icy … it’s more fun sledding at night,” junior Carrie Brown said. “It’s just a park with lots of plants and trees.”
But that’s 123 acres of plants and trees, to be exact, in the heart of Ann Arbor.
“It’s all hills, that’s why it’s so good,” said Brown’s friend, junior Ericka Mackley.
• Rendez Vous Café – Also a bit of a hike, located on South University in Ann Arbor, is a café and hookah lounge and a very cool way to get acquainted with our neighbor A2.
“It’s relaxing, warm, filled with young people and college students,” senior Fady Belbeisi said. There’s usually football games or movies on the TVs or music playing. It’s a nice setting because they have couches and food downstairs and smoking upstairs.”