Have some extra time between classes? Spirit’s here to share six ways to spend your lunch break at UAA.
The hours listed below are current as of publishing. The Wells Fargo Sports Complex is slated for renovations this summer, so cram in some swimming and skating before the semester ends and continue reading to find out all the grand ways to spend a day at UAA.
Splish and splash
Squeeze in a little swimming at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex. The 25-yard by 25 meter campus pool is a great spot for triathalon training or just kicking around with a kickboard. Six lanes of lap swimming are available on weekday mornings (6:30-8:30 a.m.) afternoons (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.) and evenings (5:30-7 p.m.). If you’re into just floating around—or conquering the 10-foot high dive—then check out open swim every weekday from 1-2:30 p.m., with varying hours on weeknights. Full schedule here.
Student lifeguards are always on hand, and there are showers in the locker room next door to wash the chlorine out of your hair before class.
All the university’s athletic facilities—pool, gym, rink, weights—are included with tuition for students taking six or more credits on main campus (translation: you already paid for it!). Anyone else can pick up a semester-long pass (faculty, staff and other students pay $55, alumni and dependents earn discounted passes). Daily rate is $5. Click here for facility rates.
Enjoy the arts
No matter what corner of campus you’re on, you’re within easy walking distance of UAA’s three rotating art galleries.
The Kimura Gallery occupies a sizable space on the second floor of the Fine Arts Building, and hosts shows by professional artists from around the world, as well as a senior exhibition at the end of spring semester. The ARC Gallery—between the Alumni Center and the library circulation desk—also houses professional pieces, but from artists who live and work in Alaska. Grab a mocha at Kaladi’s and see what’s on display. Both galleries are curated by the UAA Art Department.
Then, there’s the Student Union Gallery smack-dab in the middle of everything. The space primarily showcases student work. Bonus: gallery openings are accompanied by receptions, courtesy of Student Life & Leadership. Check out their semester schedule here.
The walls of the Fine Arts Building are also lined with student work. As the semester gets rolling, the projects start rotating faster and faster. The ground floor hallway showcases drawing, water color and painting students. Head up to the third floor to view highlights from digital art and printmaking students.
Lace up the skates
How’s your Salchow? UAA’s indoor rink is open daily with limited hours, but there’s always outdoor skating just off campus.
The Wells Fargo Sports Complex rink offers daily ice time for both hockey and figure skating. There’s early morning open skate on weekdays from 6:30-8 a.m.—hockey gear allowed, but no pucks or sticks. Then from 8-9:45 a.m. you can practice your routines or just get in a few laps during free style. Pick-up ice hockey is scheduled every day at 2 p.m. Full schedule here.
Don’t have any skates? Not to worry. The UAA Gear Room, located next to the Student Union’s information desk, rents skates all year long for just $4 a day.
If outdoor skating is more your speed, UAA is also a super-short hike—and even shorter drive—from Goose Lake. The Municipality of Anchorage hot-mops the pine-fringed lake throughout the winter—it’s an ideal spot for an outdoor afternoon, all within sight of the UAA/APU Consortium Library’s neon green beacon.
Up-to-date ice information for Goose Lake is available on the muni’s website.
Go for a run
With the new Alaska Airlines Center, UAA now has two indoor jogging circuits to complement the endless miles of outdoor trails weaving around our wild campus.
The Wells Fargo Sports Complex features a jogging track around the ice rink, with nine and a half laps to a mile. It opens daily at 6:30 a.m.
Your better bet is the sun-soaked new Raven’s Nest at the Alaska Airlines Center. The two-lane lofted loop circles the arena floor and is open on weekdays from 7-10 a.m., 12-1 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. (so long as major events—like a Brad Paisley concert—don’t interfere with your running plans). The track covers a mile in seven laps, and the surrounding windows are perfectly placed to highlight the snow-capped Chucach Mountains on the edge of Anchorage. Read more here.
Then there’s the great outdoors. University Lake dog park sits next to the student housing area, and APU’s trails are a quick jog uphill from the library. There’s also the spur to Goose Lake from west campus, which links to 120+ miles of paved city trails. With an extreme amount of options underfoot, you could feasibly run an ultramarathon from UAA (depending on how long your lunch break is, of course).
Hit the gym
Surely you’ve seen the lunchtime crowd on the basketball court at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex. You can pick up a basketball at the cage downstairs any weekday from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., or join a game already in progress. Likewise, the Alaska Airlines Center loans basketballs to WOLFcard holders whenever Seawolf teams haven’t reserved the auxiliary gym.
There are also two weight rooms on either end of campus. Get buff like Spirit at the Wells Fargo fitness center, full of weight machines, benches and treadmills. The room is available at nearly all hours on weekdays from 6:30 a.m. straight through to 10 p.m. Click here for the schedule.
The AAC has a smaller weight room, but a sweet wall of windows. The sunny space is primarily stocked with treadmills and ellipticals, plus a few weights and machines. It’s open weekdays from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Read more.
Catch live music
American soul, classical violins and ‘gritty earth gangster folk’ are all on the docket this semester in the Student Union.
For years, Student Activities has hosted a broad spectrum of live music during their Noon Music series. Enjoy a variety of local and touring musicians every Wednesday at 1 p.m. Click here to see the remaining shows this semester.
And Korean barbecue goes great with gritty earth folk! Stick around after Noon Music for the Daily Den—the free breakfast and lunch provided by the Student Union all semester long. This semester’s menu has bulgogi and rice (AKA Korean barbecue) every Wednesday at 2 p.m., right after Noon Music wraps up. Click here for the full breakfast and lunch menu in the Den.
Still unconvinced? Maxed out our six suggestions? There’s always table tennis in the Student Union—just leave your WOLFcard at the info desk and pick up a pair of paddles. Get a reservation at Lucy’s with your friends and let UAA’s culinary students serve up gourmet creations from the test kitchen. Catch a free recital from graduating music students. Or travel deep into the second floor of the library—in the Alaskana Collection, you’ll find an entire shelf of Alaska-filmed or Alaska-set DVDs, from North to Alaska to 30 Days of Night.
There’s always something happening at UAA, so stick around, avoid the headache of moving your car and explore all the corners of campus on your lunch break.
Written by J. Besl, UAA Office of University Advancement