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5 Things to Enjoy on Campus Before Summer Ends

NC State's belltower with the rising sun

Classes start soon, football season is nearly upon us and most major retailers want us to believe that Halloween — nay, Christmas — is just around the corner. But there are still plenty of ways to enjoy summer on campus before the season officially wraps up.

Take a Stroll in the Garden

The nationally acclaimed JC Raulston Arboretum boasts vibrant gardens, relaxing walking paths and unique installations like the Lath House and Japanese Garden — not to mention all sorts of shady nooks beckoning you to stop and (literally) smell the flowers. Pick up a map at the Bobby G. Wilder Visitor Center to chart your own course, or check out one of the free guided tours offered on Sunday afternoons.

Kayak by Moonlight

Take in a summer sunset — followed by an unencumbered view of the stars — from the middle of Lake Raleigh. The university has partnered with REI to offer one-of-a-kind kayak tours throughout the year, right here on Centennial Campus.

Behold the ‘Sharktopus’

You’ll be safe on land at the Gregg Museum’s latest movie on the lawn, which features a mutant sea creature wreaking havoc and the heroes trying to take it down. Bring lawn chairs, blankets and your sense of humor.

Eat Howling Cow Ice Cream

This one’s a no-brainer. While it’s available year-round at several spots on campus, there’s no better reason to indulge in NC State’s famous ice cream than the scorching summer heat. You can also pick up a pint off campus, at a number of Harris Teeter locations. What are you waiting for?

Check Out Packapalooza

Bring your family to NC State’s annual back-to-school block party on Hillsborough Street, which offers activities and attractions for all ages, including live performances, interactive exhibits, food vendors and even water slides. You can also meet Wolfpack athletes, take a tour of the Belltower and learn to shoot a hockey puck with the Carolina Hurricanes. Packapalooza is a free, public event, but you’ll need to purchase food and drink. Fireworks and a concert by folk-rock band Delta Rae will cap the Aug. 24 celebration.