10 Fun Things to Do on Bethel’s Campus

Academics are only part of the Bethel experience. Beyond the classroom, students form deep friendships, explore extracurricular interests, and make lasting memories. Here are 10 ways for students to make the most of their time on campus.

By Katie Johnson '19, content specialist

March 28, 2023 | 9:30 a.m.

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that traditional undergraduate students spend many, many hours on campus. Granted, many of those hours are spent in class, learning from world-class professors alongside fellow classmates. However, many of those hours also fill the time between classes, extend into the evenings, and overflow into weekends. The good news is that there are plenty of fun things to do on Bethel’s campus, and we aren’t just talking about studying, working on group projects, or writing essays. Here are 10 fun, free things students can do on campus—no matter their year, major, or resident status.

1. Disc Golf

Bethel's beautiful 247-acre campus features one of the top disc golf courses in the country. Ranked #3 nationwide by UDisc—the official app of the Professional Disc Golf Association—Bethel's free disc golf course offers 18 holes across campus. Largely on the north side of campus, the course begins near Chalberg Hall and crosses through a wooded area along Lake Valentine. This gives the course a unique layout with a bit of everything: several elevation changes, water hazards, tight wooded lines, park-style golf, and out-of-bounds-lined fairways. Some students even take a disc golf course for academic credit!

2. Rent Board Games from the Library

The Bethel Library has everything from downloadable eBooks to a DVD collection that rivals any remaining Blockbuster. Students can stave off seasonal affective disorder by renting a SAD lamp or checking out the latest young adult fantasy series gripping social media. And, to spice up any residence hall party, roommate movie night, or get-to-know-you club event, students can rent a variety of board games from the Bethel Library. It’s really a win-win-win.

3. Hammock

If one were to visit Bethel on a balmy, sunny day (at least 40 degrees), odds are they’d find students lounging in hammocks. Whether they’re chatting with pals, doing homework, reading for fun, or snoozing—Royals try to chase the warmer weather as much as they can. There are numerous places across Bethel’s 247 acres to hammock—on The Hill, near the dock, on the Russell W. Johnson Nature Trail, Sem Hill, and more! So grab your gear, wear your shades, and get outside.

4. Fire Pits

Like hammocking, the fire pits in Kresge courtyard and the Lake Valentine patio give students another reason to get outside. Unlike hammocking, it’s a different vibe. Students often gather into the evening to form those lifelong friendships through Bible studies, shared stories, and warm drinks from Royal Grounds. Some students whip out the marshmallows for s’mores while others bring their homework and settle in for the night. Fire pits offer a great way to soak up the best of Minnesota all year long.

5. Intramural Sports

Broomball, ever heard of it? Led by students, co-ed intramural sports run throughout the year for those who, perhaps, want a little more fun and a little less competition. Intramural sports occur all year long and can be a great way for students to build connections, stay active, and learn new skills. Bethel offers a variety of sports for students to choose from, including broomball, soccer, basketball, volleyball, and more. Club teams are also an option! From dance to climbing, lacrosse to skiing, there’s something for everyone.

6. Vespers

Every Sunday night, the Bethel community gathers for a student-led Vespers service, which draws thousands of young people from across the Twin Cities. The service is rather stripped down to help audience members focus their attention on the lyrics and their relationship with God. Each night takes on an atmosphere that's unique to the worship team on stage and the worshipers that have gathered, setting the tone for the week ahead.

7. Arcade Games in the Underground

The Underground was renovated spring 2023 to create an inviting space for students to come together and relax. With new arcade games, pool and pingpong tables, and comfy sitting arrangements—students have a place to rest, hang out, and have fun between classes. Bethel Student Government also hosts events in the space, which have included Super Bowl parties, coffee houses, and video game nights.

8. Take a Class at the Wellness Center

Bethel’s Wellness Center (WLC) features a cutting-edge studio space designed to host a variety of fitness classes that offer something for everyone, whether you’re just beginning or looking for advanced workouts. The fitness studio provides many opportunities to participate in classes with professional or student instructors, including yoga, Zumba, Pilates, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and bootcamp. Les Mills virtual classes are also offered, with the instructors projected onto the studio screen.

9. Galleries

The Department of Art and Design cultivates a rich gallery program that brings many professional artists to campus for exhibition and interactive artist talks. That’s right! Students do not need to leave campus to engage with world class art. To make a day of it, dress up, grab a drink from Royal Grounds, and explore the pieces currently on display in Bethel’s two gallery spaces. In-person receptions also accompany most exhibitions, offering students an opportunity to deepen their engagement, appreciation, and understanding of the work.

10. Join a Club

At the start of every academic year, Bethel Student Government hosts an opportunity fair to introduce students to the 45-or-so athletic, academic, and special interests clubs and organizations. Club Sports provide students with opportunities for leadership, involvement, competition, and fitness. Academic clubs are for students who want to network, serve the community, build friendships, and learn about career options. Special interest clubs and organizations provide students a place to express themselves or dialogue about important issues. Students don't need to be affiliated with a particular department, major, or career to join any of these clubs or organizations!

Discover where you belong at Bethel.

At Bethel, we invite you to come as you are and become who you’re called to be. That becoming happens both inside and outside the classroom, as you do things that matter, live out your faith, and build relationships along the way.

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