I've noticed UTA has a big crowd of nontraditional and transfer students who commute just like me

I’ve noticed UTA has a big crowd of nontraditional and transfer students who commute just like me. Considering most of us are coming from at least 20 minutes away, I bet not many stick around Arlington over the weekend. Around Dallas, it’s a bit monotonous running into the OSU, SMU, Texas Tech crowds all the time. When you guys do head out on the weekends, where do you hang out besides the usual spots like DT, uptown, Bishop Arts, Henderson/Greenville, and Addison? And if those are your go-to places for socializing, which spots do you prefer?

If going out or drinking isn’t your thing, how do you like to meet people? Anyone into running events like 5ks, 10ks, or half marathons? Any cyclists here? What about favorite parks, lakes, trails, or dog parks for hanging out? And for those into dancing, where do you go besides Red River or Escapade? Any ravers? I know It’ll Do and Stereo Live are popular, but where else?

Just so you know, I’m into all the stuff I’ve mentioned, but I find it hard to make lasting friendships and expand my social circle.

Free Play arcade is absolutely fantastic. I’ve been a fan for ages, and now as a UTA student, I appreciate it even more. I’m not one for drinking, but my friends sure enjoy the selection of beverages. The staff are incredibly welcoming and start to recognize you if you pop in often. They host leagues and events for games like Killer Queen, Street Fighter, and Pinball. My buddies and I dive into the Killer Queen community there, and it’s an awesome way to meet new folks, both young and seasoned.

There are other spots like Cidercade and Black Dog, boasting a larger variety of games. However, their game lineup doesn’t quite hit the mark on quality or fame, and they mostly run on emulators (meaning, they’re not the original machines.) As someone who loves Ms. Pac-Man, the difference in gameplay on Free Play’s authentic cabinet versus Cidercade’s is night and day. Plus, Cidercade is a bit lacking in the drinks department and doesn’t offer any food. Free Play takes the cake for me with its classic machines, choice of games, the option for food and drinks, and that unbeatable vintage ambiance. It’s a spot I’d suggest to anyone, gamer or not. Still, it’s worth visiting Cidercade or Black Dog to see what you think!

Keep an eye on the Downtown Arlington Instagram too. They’ve been really promoting the downtown area lately, like with the Vegas Night last semester or the Winter Movie Series this semester.

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