80 College Event Ideas on Campus (Updated 2021)

college students

If you want to help students with their stress or create a fun weekend activity, what kind of events can you put together that will be the most successful?

What kind of events do college campuses hold that students actually want to go to?

Some events deal with educational information or advice that will help them after college, while others are more relaxed and lighthearted activities for students to do on campus.

Here are 80 ideas for putting together a campus wide event that will be a hit among students.

Health and Fitness

1. Offer Free Yoga Classes

A great way to relieve stress during exam weeks is by holding yoga classes on campus for all students to join. Find a place that is calm without a lot of people, whether inside or outside, and have a professor or a local instructor teach the students some yoga to reduce stress.

2. Have a Fun Run Across Campus

Create a campus-wide event by holding a race, fun-run, or walkathon around school grounds. This is a great activity for mild or warmer fall and spring weather and is a great way to get students to exercise or to introduce new students to the entire campus.

3. Offer Students Campus Bikes and Scooters

Make it easier for students to get across campus, whether your school is large or small, by offering bikes and scooters to students just for school use. This gives them a fun yet convenient way of going from class to class, especially in a short amount of time.

4. Rock Climbing Walls

Rent a large, fake rock-climbing wall to setup outside for students to come by and climb in their spare time. This is a sporty activity that even students who are not traditionally athletic can enjoy. Offer prizes for those who make it to the top or create some rock-climbing competitions.

5. Create a Hiking Group

Offer students a chance to get off campus and see more of nature by holding hiking trips. Create a club of student hikers or make it a weekend activity for them to join by taking a bus to different hiking trails and other outdoor activities like camping or biking.

6. Fitness Classes in the Gym

If your campus has a gym open to the student body, offer fitness classes for students to sign up and take. It can be anything from cross fit, to swimming, to weight lighting. This gives students a chance to be active and healthy without having to work out alone.

7. Sport Competitions

Instead of just hosting the usual college sports team games, you can also hold sports-related competitions on campus for prizes. Have students play basketball, soccer, or even something as simple as Twister. This is a fun option to choose when the weather is warmer or for Greek Week.

Reducing Stress

1. Provide Free Massages

During particularly stressful times on campus, such as before final exams, allow students to sign up for free massages. Hire a few professional masseuses to come to campus and give students quick, but stress reducing massages so that they are relaxed and ready for their tests.

2. Setup Nap Stations

Install some small cots, inflatable mattresses, or hammocks somewhere on campus for students to come and nap between classes or before their final exams. This will also be convenient for students who live off campus so that they can get some quality nap time without leaving schoolgrounds.

3. Pet Therapy

Students with pets are missing them while they are away at school. Let them have some free time with some pets on campus. Have members of the faculty bring their dogs and cats for the college students to pet or find some therapy animals that can come by the school.

4. Free Campus Counselling

Setup sessions of free campus counselling or legal counselling for students to take advantage of. Students will be facing a lot of stress between schoolwork and finding a job for after graduation and having professionals on campus who they can talk to will relieve a lot of anxiety for them.

5. Tea or Coffee Station

Setup tea or coffee stations for students to order special drinks from. This is particularly beneficial if you do not have a coffee house on campus so that students can begin their mornings or start their afternoons with some warm drinks to keep them awake.

6. Mindfulness or Meditation Classes

Another great way to reduce stress on campus, especially around the end of each semester, is to have mindfulness or meditation classes for students to join. Show students how they can relax through some simple meditation either in a whole event or with weekly meetings.

7. TED Talks Speakers

Invite some TED talk speakers to your campus or have students put on their own TED talk events. Get professional speakers or students to give motivational speeches for the attendees to follow in life and when learning. Record these talks and upload them to social media or YouTube.

8. Adult Coloring Books

Coloring books designed for adults are always a go-to gift, so why not give some to your students and setup a coloring station with coloring pencils, crayons, and markers? This will give students a place to socialize while doing a relaxing activity that will keep them busy.

9. Student Packages During Exam Weeks

Exam weeks are certainly stressful and everyone around campus can sense it. Give students some stress-relieving items during exam week by sending out care packages with stress balls, bubble wrap, coloring books, and any other activity that will take their mind off their tests.

Academic Help and Job Preparation

1. Invite Speakers for Certain Majors

Does your school specialize in any majors? If this is the case, students enrolled in that major or those classes will like seeing famous names in that field come to your campus to speak to them about their careers. For instance, if you have a lot of science majors, get lecturers who work in science-related jobs or if your students are writers, get well-known authors to visit the campus.

2. Introduce Students to Alumni

Come up with some alumni related events for students to meet former classes of the campus. Students will want to see what people who graduated in their major are doing now and how they can begin working in their designated industry. Many students get their first jobs by going to these meet-and-greet events.

3. Job Fairs

A lot of students are worried about getting a job after they graduate from college. Show students what options there are in their industry and even have some potential employers interview them without leaving the campus. This will take care of a lot of anxiety the students have about graduating.

4. Networking with Alumni and Employers

Get alumni and local employers to come to the school for networking events where students can meet them and ask them questions. Hold Q&A sessions or on-one-one meetings with them so that students can learn about their job and living options after they leave college.

5. Life After College Classes

Students are stressed about what their life will be like outside of college, and you can help them by holding events and classes about life outside of college. Show students what it will be like searching for jobs, cooking, living with their parents, and other basic life skills they might not have learned yet.

6. Offer Study and Homework Hours

If you have a coffee house on campus, offer study or homework hours where students can get drinks and food at a discount and ask for help from tutors and their professors. This not only will get students out of their rooms when they must study, but it will also decrease stress when they have large workloads.

Group Activities

1. Give Students Cooking Lessons

Many students enjoy making meals for themselves and their friends while others might not be used to cooking and want to learn. Setup a one-time event or weekly cooking classes for students to take. They will like learning to make and eat food other than what they typically get at the dining hall.

2. Paint and Art Classes and Clubs

A quiet activity that many students love is painting and drawing. Create some Bob Ross style classes for students to follow along with an instructor or sketch at their own pace. Art classes are a great way to relieve stress and offer something fun for more introverted students.

3. Create Scavenger Hunts

Create campus-wide scavenger hunts for students or teams to do. Develop a list of items that students need to find and a series of clues if they are hidden. This is a great activity to play in dorms or as a club. It will also give new students a chance to familiarize themselves with the schoolgrounds.

4. Create a Mural or Collage

Let each student contribute something to a mural or collage that will be setup on campus. Have all the students sign their name or add their picture to a large work of art that they will see every day. This activity will also create a strong sense of community.

5. Hold Event to Welcome Exchange Students

If your school has many international students, set up a meet-and-greet for them to introduce themselves to the current student body. This is a great way to teach students about diversity and other countries. Encourage everyone to come and make new friends and learn about different cultures.

6. Class Photos

No, not the classic photo where everyone lines up and smiles for the camera, but something larger and more fun. Have students wear certain colors so that they can join and form a shape or symbol, such as that of your school mascot. This group photo will be great for social media and other promotional materials.

7. Campus Wide Book Club

Start a book club for the entire campus to join. Find the latest, best-selling book or a go-to classic novel for all students to read, get together, and discuss. This will encourage students to read leisurely and will help more introverted students meet new friends.

8. Board Game and Video Game Tournaments

Set up some classic or modern board games and card games for the students to compete against each other for prizes. You can also get competition-based video games, like Super Smash Bros. or Mario Kart, and have them play for prizes against each other.

9. DIY Crafts in Dorms

Set up crafting stations in dorm rooms for students to create their DIY crafts. Have a contest where all the students make the same thing or have each student try something different that they would not normally make. Look on Pinterest for some crafting inspirations.

10. Clothing or Book Swaps

Many students tire of their clothes or books and want to exchange them for new ones. Instead of having them shop for new things, have students across campus or in a dorm hold a swap party where they can exchange clothes, book, and other items with other students.

11. Slam Poetry and Open Mic Nights

If you have a large group of creative writers in your student body, hold events that cater to their interests. Have slam poetry and open mic nights for students to read their recent work to their fellow students. This event is both educational and fun for upcoming writers.

12. Karaoke Nights

Let your students perform their favorite songs in front of their friends by having a karaoke night either on the campus grounds, in your campus coffee shop, or at the dining hall. Offer special drinks and mocktails at a discount and make a whole evening out of it.

13. Weekly Trivia Nights

Host an evening of trivia for students to compete against each other for prizes. Include questions about the school, history, the latest news, pop culture, or whatever topic you want. Have students play in teams or by themselves and make it a weekly or monthly tournament.

14. Bingo with Prizes

While Bingo might seem old-fashioned, you will be surprised how many students are willing to try their luck with the game, especially if school prizes and discount coupons are offered as incentives. You can also find themed Bingo cards instead of the classic game with numbers.

15. Escape Rooms

A new game idea that would be fun for students to try is creating an escape room. Put groups of students in a room together with several clues of how to get out. This is a perfect team building exercise for incoming freshman or at the beginning of a class each semester.

16. Knitting, Crocheting, and Origami Classes

If you have students who are crafty or want to learn how to do such skills as knitting, crocheting, and origami, set up some classes where they are taught some of the basics. This is a good event to have weekly or as a club on campus.

17. Dance Parties and Competitions

Have the classic dance party to some throwback or contemporary hits, but spice things up by making a competition out of it. Have students dance in groups or by themselves and give out prizes in different categories. This is a good event to have during Greek Week.

18. Gingerbread House Contests

A fun Christmas activity is having the students decorate their own gingerbread houses. Get students to compete in groups against each other and see who can build the most elaborate house. Also serve Christmas-themed food and drinks and play Christmas music to boost the students’ holiday spirit.

19. Murder Mystery Nights

Something unique and fun that students will be curious to attend is having a murder mystery night. Create several characters and break students off into groups and figure out which one of the characters is the culprit. There are several games you can buy to set this up.

20. Give Out Valentine’s Day Cards

Pretend that it is grade school again by having students create their own mailboxes to put on their dorm doors and having other students pass around handmade or store-bought Valentine’s Day cards and candy to each other. This way, everyone can participate in Valentine’s Day.

21. White Elephant Gift Parties

Have a different kind of gift giving party around the holidays or just for fun. Get students to buy funny or non-essential items to give to each other randomly and play a game where students choose from the pile of gifts and pass around presents.

Community Events

1. Get Groups to Volunteer in the Town/City

Separate students into different groups and send them off to various destinations around town where they can volunteer, such as at food banks, doing trash pickup, and at senior citizen homes. This is a go-to activity if your school has a charity themed week or month.

2. Food/Toy/Clothing Drives

Another event to hold during charity themed weeks is a drive for such items as toys, food, and clothing. Encourage students to purchase items that can be given away to those in need or to donate some things they do not want or use anymore. Have some incentives for the class or dorm that gives away the most.

3. Provide Bus Trips to Nearby Cities or Parks

If you are close to a city, a famous park, or somewhere else the students can spend a day, offer bus trips to that destination for students to spend some time away from campus. This gives students who do not have cars a chance to go out and do something different.

4. Take Groups to Local or Broadway Plays

If you have a large Theater or English program, there will be students who will jump at the chance to see plays, whether locally produced or on the Broadway stage. The next time a play is near your area, offer bus rides for students to see performances.

5. Day Trips to Theme Parks

For schools that are nearby theme parks or water parks, have a bus take your students to the amusement park for the whole day. Let students buy tickets and enjoy the day away from school and having fun on rides and playing carnival games.

6. Visit Local or Nearby Museums

Are you near some interesting museums? Set up a bus trip to one of the museums, whether small or large. This activity is both educational and gives students a chance to get away from campus. The museum can be an art museum, history museum, science museum, or something a little more unique.

7. Blood Donation Setups

Have students give back to the community by having a blood drive around campus for students to donate blood. Make an entire event out of it so that students are more likely to sign up or volunteer. Give them incentives for donating their blood so that it’s more fun.

8. Bus Trips to Shopping Centers or Laundromats

Have weekly or monthly bus trips that take students to places around town or the city where they can go shopping or do their laundry. This will be beneficial for students who do not have cars or if your campus is several miles away from grocery stores and malls.

9. Bus Trip to Pumpkin Patch or Apple Orchard

When the fall season is approaching, offer students bus trips away from campus to local pumpkin patches or apple orchards. You can also find an orchard that does hayrides, corn mazes, carnival style rides, and other activities associated with fall festivals.

On-Campus Fun

1. Get Farmers Market Vendors

Set up your own food market on campus by having a farmer’s market event where students can show up and shop for locally made food. Get some vendors to install a custom canopy tent for events on a sidewalk or lawn so that students have a large selection to choose from.

2. Garden with Students or Sell Plants

Reserve a spot on the grounds for students to grow their own flowers and plants, or have a vendor come to campus and sell plants for students to place in their dorm rooms, such as desk-sized plants like succulents. Plants are a great way of decorating the dorm rooms and small apartments students live in.

3. Update Social Media to Encourage Hashtags

Whether you are holding a campus wide event or not, encourage students to use school-related hashtags on social media, such as during sport games or when walking to class. You can also setup some live tweeting hashtags for students to include when they are attending activities.

4. Setup Ball Pits

Have the students feel like kids again by setting up ball pits around campus for them to jump and play in. These pits can be setup indoors or outdoors during warmer months. You will be surprised how many students will want to spend some time in the pits.

5. Photo Booths for Social Media

Take some photos of students during a special event so that they can post their pictures on social media. If you are having a sports game, let them take photos with the mascot. If it is around the holidays, have them take pictures with Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.

6. Spirit Week

Increase school spirit on campus by having an entire spirit week. Reserve each day to a different theme, such as wearing a certain color or having a pajama day, so that students can get excited about the upcoming game and show their school pride. This is also a great way of selling merchandise in school stores.

7. Special Food Days in Dining Halls

Is it donut day, taco day, ice cream day, etc.? If so, offer that special food for the students in the dining hall, especially if it is food different from what you usually serve. Students will get excited about this, and it will make great posts and hashtags for your campus’s social media.

8. School Merch Giveaways

Whether you are holding a special event or not, something that all students like is getting free stuff. Offer the first number of students that show up to an event some school merchandise from your campus store, discounts on food or school clothing, and other prizes.

9. Indoor and Outdoor Movies

Let students see the newest releases without having to go to the theater by setting up the latest blockbuster movie on the campus lawn or inside an auditorium. Also offer some theater-themed snacks, such as popcorn and candy, for students to eat while watching the film.

10. Live Concerts

Schedule a concert in an auditorium or outdoors on the lawn with either school bands or a band that is currently touring. This is a great event to hold during spirit weeks or for fundraisers. Sell tickets to students with proceeds going to the school or offer them a free concert.

11. Get Celebrity Speakers and Comedians

Many touring comedians or celebrity speakers make stops at university auditoriums due to the venue’s size and national recognition. Schedule someone famous to come to your school to perform or speak and sell tickets to students either at full prize for fundraising or at a discount.

12. Costume Parties

Come up with a theme or a Halloween party where students can come dressed up to win prizes, listen to music, and have some snacks. Have photo booths for them to take pictures of their costumes so that they can have mementos to post to social media.

13. End of the Year Carnivals

Congratulate your students for getting through the year by having a carnival on campus, complete with games where they can win prizes, a petting zoo, and rides. This option is a perfect day-long event and will be a special reward to students after their hard work.

14. Setup Bouncing Houses Across Campus

Another activity that will remind students of their childhood while staying active is setting up bouncing houses across campus either indoors or outside in warm weather. Many inflatable bouncing houses also have obstacle courses for students to race and do more than just jump.

15. Ice Cream Socials

Who doesn’t like ice cream? Invite students to come create their own ice cream sundaes from a wide selection of flavors and toppings. This is the perfect ice-breaking event at the beginning of the school year for freshmen when students are meeting each other for the first time at orientation, and the weather is warm.

16. Holiday Parties

If it is close to Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or another popular holiday, create a campus-wide party for students to come and celebrate with their friends. Have some seasonal decorations and activities, such as egg painting, trick-or-treating, cooking, and ornament making. Also, setup an area with food often associated with each holiday.

17. Campus Wide Contests for Photography

Do you have a lot of scenic places on your schoolgrounds? Create a campus-wide contest to for students to take photos and upload them to social media. Start a poll for the best photo and have students vote for the winners of several prizes.

18. Food Festivals

Students are probably sick of always having the same thing in the dining hall, so give them something unique to enjoy by setting up food festivals. Come up with a theme and have students and professors submit some dishes for the everyone to taste or buy and make a whole day of it.

19. Campus Wide Comic-Cons

Does your campus have a big comic book culture? Why not have your very own school-wide Comic-Con? Get students to dress up as their favorite comic book or pop culture character and set up different booths with themed snacks and dessert, school merchandise, and local vendors.

20. Brinner at the Dining Hall or at Midnight

Who doesn’t love switching things up and having breakfast for dinner? Have the dining hall serve pancakes, waffles, and eggs for dinner instead of in the morning or have breakfast food for the students at midnight for night owls and all nighters.

21. Campus Wide Picnics or BBQs

Let students have their meals on the campus lawn rather than in the dining hall by setting up picnic tables and cooking BBQ style food on a grill. This event will be ideal for the beginning or end of a school year when the weather is warm.

22. Door Decorating Contests for Dorms

Get students in a dorm to compete against each other for prizes by having them decorate their doors. Have students create some DIY crafts to decorate their door and give them a theme or make it anything goes. This is also a great event to do several times during the year.

23. TikTok Challenges

A great way to boost your school’s presence on social media is to create campus-wide TikTok challenges for students to try. Create a school-wide dance or encourage students to visit an area of campus while recording a video of it and posting it to social media. It doesn’t have to be just TikTok, you can also setup these challenges on Instagram, Twitter, etc.

24. Weekly or Monthly Food Truck Visits

Bring some local food trucks to campus every few weeks or months for students to eat something different from what the dining hall serves. Have varying styles of food, such as BBQ, sandwiches, ice cream, and whatever other food trucks you can find locally.

25. Easter Egg Hunts

When the spring holiday is approaching, setup campus-wide egg hunts and give out prizes to groups that collect the most eggs. Have students search for hidden eggs all around campus or in a certain building. This event is also a great idea to have in each dorm.

26. Campus Wide Polls

Are you looking for a new mascot? Want to figure out what to name a building or hall? Want to serve something special in the dining hall? Conduct a campus-wide poll and have students vote from several choices either online or in-person and hold an event to announce the winners.

27. Birthday Parties in Dorms

Each dorm can do something special every time it is a resident’s birthday. Give them a cupcake or a whole cake, have your own party for the whole dorm to attend, and have the other residents make them cards. It will give students something special to remember on their birthday.

28. Super Bowl Parties

Make the biggest game day of the season into a large viewing party by having a huge TV on the campus lawn or in the dining hall where students can watch the game and cheer for their favorite team. Serve stadium-style snacks, such as nachos and hot dogs.

Wrapping Things Up

These are the event ideas that college students will actually enjoy and want to attend. College campuses do not just have to be about getting students to class and making sure they get their work done, holding events on your campus that students will enjoy or find beneficial will allow them to have the best college experience. Students deserve to have free time dedicated to a class, a group activity, or a stress reducing hobby. Holding these events for students will give your campus a better sense of community inside and outside the schoolgrounds and help students manage their free time. Whether you have a small or large campus, these events will bring your student body closer together.

Are you looking for something to do for your next girls night? Check out our list of girls night ideas.