Dear 100 Hour Board,
What are the most fun things to do in Provo with a group of friends? By yourself?
Sorry I kept your question in the inbox for... holy heck, 700 hours... but there are just SO MANY THINGS to do when you live in Provo, and I wanted to give you a thorough answer. Admittedly, I took the liberty of extending your question to the general Utah County area, so there are a few suggestions that lie beyond Provorem borders. I'm also going to kind of combine your two questions into one question. Because, really, you can do anything on this list either with friends or by yourself. You just have to be a bit more brave to do them by yourself. Here goes:
Vienna's Extensive List of Ways to Make Your Life Fun While You Live in Provo
OH MY are there places to hike in Utah! Here is a fantastic website that lists just about every hike you could possibly want or need in the nearby area. If you have no idea where to start, here is a Deseret News article listing some great options in and around Utah County.
Along the same lines, here is a list of good places to mountain bike in the Utah Valley area.
Yeah, this is a real thing that you can do on the Provo River, and it's awesome! Unfortunately, though, it spans from April to September so you already missed it for this year. Fortunately, you can still go on the Halloween river boat ride or the Christmas river boat ride this year. For more information on all of this, click here.
The same organization that manages the canoeing also has a ropes course you can sign up for. Check it out here.
Going to the Park
If you don't feel like planning anything huge, take a day just to hang out at the park either by yourself or with friends. Here is a complete list of parks in the city of Provo. Bring along a Frisbee and some sodas and what more do you really need?
That's right! You can learn how to scuba right here in Utah County. Here is the website for North American Divers in Orem, Utah.
Deer Creek Reservoir, Vivian Park Pond, the Provo River, and Utah Lake are all great places to fish! Here is a fishing map that will also tell you which kinds of fish you are most likely to catch in a given area.
Here is the page for information on Zip Tours at Sundance Mountain Resort. It looks pretty awesome and I'm definitely adding it to my list of things to do.
Sundance also offers horseback riding through the Boulder Mountain Ranch. Here is their website.
Mona Rope Swings
The Mona Rope Swings are an exception in that, obviously, they are in Mona which is about 40 minutes outside of Provorem. Still, they are pretty dang fun by my estimation so I'm including them anyway. Here is an article that gives some info on the swings and directions for how to get there.
Utah is full of all sorts of running events. For an extensive list of upcoming events, click here. I've done a couple of them, and I want to put in a serious plug for the Dirty Dash. That thing is FUN. And you don't have to be a great runner to do it. You just need to love playing in the mud.
Need I say more? Link.
For skiing close to home, you'll of course head over to Sundance. However, if you really get into it, I would definitely recommend checking out some of the other fantastic ski resorts in Utah.
Check out this guide for snowshoeing tips and great places to snowshoe in Utah. I already know what I'm asking for this Christmas.
Sledding and Iceblocking
You know the drill. Find a hill. Be safe.
You can go to Fat Cats in Provo where the plus is that it's connected to a Costa Vida. Or you can go to Miracle Bowl in Orem where the plus is that it's cheaper, less crowded, owned by a cute old couple, and only slightly more ghetto. Or, perhaps most convenient of all, you can go bowling in the Wilkinson Center on BYU campus. You can also go bowling (as well as do a number of the following activities) at Provo Beach but since there are a kajillion things to do there, I'm going to give it it's own category.
Ice Skating & Broom Ball
Here is the schedule for the Peaks Ice Arena. As you can see, Friday night at 10PM is college night, meaning you can show up to play broom ball with a bunch of friends. Or you can show up by yourself and make some new friends. Life is full of possibilities, guys. Also, broom ball is pretty fun.
Laser Tag, Mini Golf, & Arcade Games
You can go laser tagging at Laser Assault, next to Smith's, or at Nickel City, on State Street. Laser Assault also has glow-in-the-dark mini golf, so that's a plus. But the lasers aren't as precise as the ones at Nickel City and there are no back censors at Laser Assault, which is a little annoying. The other plus of Nickel City is that, obviously, it is predominately an arcade. And don't forget, with the right attitude arcades are still pretty much as cool as they were when you were ten.
Provo Beach Resort
Here is the Provo Beach website, and here is their Facebook. You can do just about anything there. There's an indoor flowrider, laser tag, croquet, an arcade, a carousel, a ropes course, and this weird bike-like thing.
So it turns out there are actually a couple of options for archery in the area. There is an outdoor range up Provo Canyon run by the Timp Archers. There is also an indoor range at Jake's Archery where you can buy equipment and take lessons.
Rent a Tandem Bike
I've never done the whole paintball thing, but I know there are people that love it. I just know from my experience laser-tagging that I would be horrible and probably just get covered in bruises. Anyway, here is a shop in Provo. Also check out their events tab if you're interested.
Provo Shooting Sports Park
This is another one of those that I have never done before. Basically shooting any type of gun terrifies me. But, for all you brave people, this is probably really fun. Check out this website for information.
For some reason the whole extreme trampoline thing seems pretty popular in Provo. Well, I shouldn't say "for some reason," because it is actually dang fun. I'm just bitter because I'm not supposed to do it thanks to my horrible back. But sometimes I do it anyway... #thuglife. Anyway, the two main extreme trampoline places in the area are Lowe's and Hang Time. Go if you haven't already! But also please remember to be safe, because I already know too many people who have been seriously injured at one of these places.
I haven't been able to try this yet, but I've heard really good things about it. According to their website, "Getout Games is a refreshingly new entertainment concept commonly referred to as “live escape rooms” and is the first of its kind in Utah County. These real life adventure games are designed for small groups. Each team is given 60 minutes to work together, solve puzzles, crack codes and get out!"
Heber Valley Railroad
- Country Dancing
In all honesty, I've probably gone country dancing at least 30 times. What can I say? It's fun. You can go to this place on Center Street every Wednesday or Saturday night. Or you can go for free in the Wilkinson Center (in the room next to the Ballroom) at 8:30 every Tuesday night. Don't hurt yourself, cowboys.
- Salsa Dancing
I tried salsa dancing once, too. I was terrible. Anyway, they also have salsa dancing at the Wilkinson on Tuesday nights in the Ballroom. Or you can go to that same place on Center Street where they have country dancing, because on Thursdays it's all about the salsa. Website.
East Bay Golf Course
Golfing is actually more fun than you might think. Also, it's one of the few places where plaid pants are not frowned upon, so it's an all-out win. Website.
Provo Recreation Center
Racquetball, pickleball, tennis, basketball, indoor aquatic center, pool tables, air hockey, table tennis, and an outdoor skate park. Word. Check it out here.
Puppies for Rent
You've probably all heard of this, as it has gotten increasingly popular in the last couple years. And you know why? Because puppies are awesome, that's why. If you're having a boring day, rent a puppy for an hour and it will probably get a lot less boring. That's the Puppies for Rent guarantee. (Or at least, it should be.)
Events at The Riverwoods
The Riverwoods always seems to have random events going on, such as Chalk the Block, happening this last weekend (once again, it took me a while to finish this question). Here is their website.
The Soap Factory
This place is really cool. Basically you get to go in and make your own soaps. It also seems, from their Facebook, that you can make your own chocolate there, too. I am so doing this in the near future. FAQ here.
Creativity Arts Studio
Blickenstaff's Toy Store
I just think this looks like a really cool toy store. Website.
I have to say, there is some pretty good stuff happening at Velour. Even the open mic nights there are totally worth the 2 hours and 3 dollars you spend to go, in my opinion. You can check out their line-ups for the next month at this website.
Rooftop Concert Series
Then, of course, there is always the well-known Rooftop Concert Series in the Summer. Of course it only spans from June to September, so you'll have to wait until next Summer if you already missed all the shows for 2015.
BYU Arts Events
And then you have a plethora of things to go see and hear through BYU itself. I've gone to probably 20 different concerts here at BYU—from student recitals to Synthesis (the jazz band) to the Harp Ensemble—and I have to say there is some really good stuff going on right here on campus. Check out their calendar here.
The Wall Events
Speaking of things happening here on campus, don't forget about everything that goes down at The Wall. They have open mic night every Tuesday, karaoke every Wednesday, and Acoustic Explosion once a month. For the full details visit their website.
- Humor U
Scera Center, Outdoor Theater & Museum
This place is pretty awesome. They have a bunch of cool plays and musicals. (In December they are doing It's a Wonderful Life: The Musical. I'm going.) The have PUPPET SHOWS (and puppetry classes).The have the Orem Heritage Museum. They have free musical firesides. They have dance classes. I'm not going to include links for each of those things, but here is the link for their website so you can explore it for yourself if you so desire.
UCCU Center Events
Sometimes stuff happens there. Idina Menzel will be there in a week so that's pretty cool. (Get it, cooool? LET IT GO! I've been working on this answer for way too long.) Website.
BYU International Cinema
I don't know much about foreign films, but I'm pretty sure they are only for really, really cool people. And you can now be one of those people. Website.
What the random? I'm going.
- Just so you know, the word museum starts to look really weird after a while.
Here is the calendar. Check it out!
A FINAL NOTE:
Finally, I just want to say to keep your eyes open! I'm going to finally submit this answer, but the truth is I keep finding more and more things to do in Utah County that I wish I could put on here.
Don't forget that there are a ton of great festivals in the surrounding area. Art festivals, cultural festivals, holiday festivals, the festival of colors, you name it! I went to the Scottish Festival in Payson last month and it was awesome. Then, of course there are haunted houses and corn mazes come Halloween, and a ton of exciting Christmas events come December.
There are also a whole bunch of farmers' markets that go on. (P.S. The Sundance Harvest Market is happening this Saturday.) And you can't forget about the fact that there are a ton of amazing restaurants in the area. I almost did a whole section on food, actually, but then I decided I have homework and I should probably not fail all of my classes. (Still, I will tell you that my favorite restaurant in Provo is The Black Sheep Cafe. You should all go.)
For reminders about events in the area, you can sign up for these e-mails, which will let you know about things happening in Provo in the coming week.
I guess I just want to end by saying to the BYU community at large that life is short, and your time as a young college student is even shorter. Work hard, yes. But play hard, too. Don't think that just because you live in Provo there isn't anything to do. There is ALWAYS something to do. And life is a lot better when you take advantage of even a few of the millions of opportunities that surround you.