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Top 5 student hot spots: Local business offer variety, discounts for students
Skylar Leatherman
Antelope Staff
Photo by Skylar Leatherman
Downtown Kearney is located primarily on Central Ave., where many different businesses give that downtown historic shopping experience. For more information on the stores, visit

Do you often find yourself telling others that Kearney is boring? Kearney has more to offer college students if you can gather some friends and create new ideas.

For entertainment, there are a wide variety of places to go to. Going to the movies is one of the most popular pastimes of our generation. Both Kearney Cinema 8 and Hilltop 4 at Kearney Hilltop Mall have special discounts for students.

For example, grab some of your best friends and go to Kearney Cinema 8 on Thursday nights and catch that new movie you have wanted to see. Show your student ID and get admission to the movie at $5.75, which includes popcorn and a drink.

If you would rather see something live, there are also concerts and local theatre performances. UNK Theatre has several student performances and volunteers from the local community perform in the Kearney Community Theatre throughout the year.

The Museum of Nebraska Art, located downtown, has current artwork from around the state— an impressive permanent collection. If you enjoy paintings or photography, the museum can keep you entertained for hours.

If you are an active person, check out Big Apple Fun Center. There, you will find many activities to keep yourself active—bowling, miniature golf, go-karts and more. Big Apple Fun Center has special offers that you can find on their website,

Your student ID will get you free admission to UNK sporting events on campus. Support your peers and show your Loper pride.

If you would rather be outside, you can head over to any of the parks in Kearney.

Eric Bergh, senior computer information systems major from Plainview said he likes several parks.

“My favorite place to hang out is Harmon Park, Yanney Park or Cottonmill Park. If someone was new to Kearney and had a bike, I would take them on the bike trails.”

Centennial Park and Cottonmill Park both have disc golf courses, and many of the parks have courts for various sports.

Almost everyone loves to eat, and sometimes you want to get away from the normal rushed atmosphere, or you just want a quiet place to hang out and drink coffee with a friend. Many of the restaurants in Kearney offer special discounts with a student ID. There are a variety of restaurants and coffee shops in Kearney that can help you save money while satisfying your hunger.

Emily Hundt, a sophomore English secondary education major from Hastings said, “My favorite place to hang out in Kearney is probably Barista's just because it has an amazing atmosphere. Baristas is awesome because it has amazing coffee. Well, I don’t drink coffee, but I hear it has amazing coffee. I particularly love the smoothies. It is an awesome place to get away to do homework or read a book—even take someone on a date.”

You might even want some coffee to help you get your homework done during finals week.

Downtown Kearney is a place some students may not usually visit.

“If someone was new to Kearney I would take them downtown because I love the brick streets and they have neat stores like Ten Thousand Villages or Yandas [Music and Pro Audio]. Yandas is my favorite, because I love music and it usually has something for everyone,” Hundt said.

The Hilltop Mall has a wide variety of stores—something for everyone. You can see the list of stores at

Kearney isn’t boring. You just need to get more creative in your ideas. It’s time to get off campus and find something new to do. Take your friends, family and neighbors to go cosmic bowling or go downtown and shop. Do you want to say your college experience was boring, because you couldn’t find anything fun to do?


  • Kearney Cinema 8
  • Big Apple Fun Center
  • Kearney parks
  • Barista's Daily Grind
  • Downtown Kearney shopping

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