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With Thanksgiving coming up tomorrow, many people are thinking of everything that they have to be thankful for. We have a lot to be thankful for in Kent, too.

After living in here for a few years, I’ve realized that it’s a pretty cool place for people my age to live. The atmosphere is beautiful, there’s plenty to do, parks are everywhere. I can’t really complain about what Kent has to offer me.

Below, I have listed different things that I’m thankful for in Kent. What are you thankful for?

Plenty of trees

I’m a country girl and I’ll take natural scenery over concrete any day. I’m thankful for the beautiful trees dispursed all through Kent, Ohio. I love that Kent tries to keep the trees.

Beautiful parks

I’m also thankful for the parks throughout Kent. It’s nice to have a variety of parks so close to home! Whether I want to go work out, go for a picnic or go relax, there’s a park in Kent that has what I’m looking for.

The spacious campus

We’re also lucky that Kent State University campus is right in town. It’s nice to be able to walk downtown from class. Not to mention, our campus is one of the prettiest that I have seen in the area.

Downtown and Acorn Alley

Downtown Kent and Acorn Alley are both places that I am thankful for. Downtown is full of bars to hang out at with your friends and Acorn Alley is full of shops to look around in. It’s the perfect combination of things to do not far from campus.

Quick, yummy food

Kent does not have many sit down restaurants, but it actually works out better this way. College students and professors don’t have much time for a sit down restaurant, so we have quick, but good, options in Kent. Places like Taco TontosFive Guys and Pita Pit offer good food without taking up our time.

Crazy black squirrels

It probably sounds silly, but I think the black squirrels are adorable and add character to Kent. Kent wouldn’t be the same without them!

That’s about everything I’m thankful for in Kent. What are you thankful for?

Sometimes I think I’m more excited for the Holiday season than children are. And, yes, I’m old fashioned and LOVE doing traditional Christmas activities. I know it’s a little early, but I’m ready to start planning.

Finding the perfect tree

There’s nothing better than searching through a tree farm for that perfect Christmas tree, taking it home, decorating it with your nostalgic ornaments and smelling fresh pine in your living room. I know of the perfect place to find you’re perfect tree.

Fakes trees can’t compare to real trees, so make your way out to Flower Family Christmas Trees to find your tree this year. This farm, located in Kent, Ohio, will be open November 25th through December 23rd and will give you the opportunity to select and chop down your tree yourself.

Enjoying the snow

Like I said before, I truly am a child around Christmas, and there’s nothing I love more than playing in the snow. In one of my previous posts, I mentioned some parks in Kent to visit for some fresh air. As winter starts rolling in, you should visit these parks to enjoy the snowflakes. It’s fun to go to the park to build a snowman and see the beautiful icing on all of the trees.

Ice skating is also a must during the Holiday season. Akron, Ohio, which isn’t too far from Kent, has Ohio’s largest seasonal skating rink at Lock3. I suggest that anyone goes here with your loved ones for skating, sledding and light viewing!

Enjoying the traditions

I’m also a sucker for the classic Christmas stories. There are a few performances going on near Kent.

At the Akron Civic Theatre, “The Nutcracker” will be playing for multiple performances throughout November and December. I love going to see this ballet, it reminds me of times my grandparents took me to see it as a child. It makes for great memories with loved ones.

“The Christmas Carol Rag,” a version of the traditional “A Christmas Carol” will be playing near Kent, too. This performance will be held at the Solon Center for the Arts on December 9th. I’ve never seen this version, but I definitely am looking forward to it!

I’m so excited to start these Christmas activities! Until then, do you know of any other fun Holiday events going on in or around Kent?

Date night for Disney's "Lady and the Tramp"As the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, there’s not much to do. This time of year calls for relaxing dates inside where we’re protected from the chilly air.

Whether your going on a quick coffee date with a friend or an evening date your sweetie, I’m going to provide you with some go-to places in Kent, Ohio. It turns out that Kent is actually full of intimate date locations. Generally, it won’t be too expensive either!

Mini dates

It’s always refreshing to go grab coffee with a friend or your boyfriend. The coffee/friend combo always enlightens my day and gives me some motivation to be productive.

We all know what Starbucks’ atmosphere is like, and, yes, there is one in Kent. I love it there, but I prefer the quieter, privately owned coffee shop in the area for my coffee dates. Starbucks always makes me feel like I need to hurry out, and it can be too loud to talk.

My favorite would have to be Scribbles Coffee Co. This little shop is filled with comfortable chairs, close quarters and a fire place. It feels like home, and is the perfect place to strike up a thoughtful conversation! The coffee is always fresh and delicious, too!

Another place I love to go for a mini-date is Heavenly Cupcakes. I mainly only go with my girl friends because of the décor. The bakery reminds me of the tea parties I used to dream of as a girl, filled with baby dolls, antiques and plenty of pink! Oh, did I mention cupcakes are homemade? You have to go here for a date with a friend!

Lunch dates

Kent has tons of places to go for a quick-lunch that are unique and tasty.

If you’re looking for a fresh sandwich, you have to go to Franklin Square Deli. The meat is freshly cut, and I’ve never had something here that I didn’t love (the Reubens are the best)! The workers make your sandwich right in front of you and then there’s a little area to sit and chat while you eat.

Another place that I love going to for lunch dates is Ray’s Place. At night this bar is a busy party spot, but during the day it’s chill. The kitchen serves typical bar food and there’s an awesome draft beer selection here. I love going here for lunch on a Saturday.

Dinner dates

Unfortunately, there aren’t many places in Kent to go for a sit down dinner. Here’s a few places I’ve found that I liked.

Mike’s Place is a quirky restaurant full of crazy, out-of-the-norm decorations. The food is average, but the atmosphere makes up for it. I think it’s a good place for a date with a friend or someone who you just met because of the setting. It’s not a romantic location, but it’s still a sit down restaurant.

Right across the street from Ray’s Place, the bar I mentioned earlier, is The Pufferbelly Ltd. This is a classier restaurant with food that’s pretty good. It’s perfect for a more romantic date!

Then, there’s the Bistro on Main. This fine dining restaurant is located in Stow, Ohio, right outside of Kent. The food is more expensive, but definitely worth it. Different food specials everyday offer a great variety for anyone. Also, Wednesdays are “The Original Cheap Date Nights” where you and your date can choose from six pizzas or 3 pastas, two salads and a pitcher of beer or a bottle of wine for $35. That’s a great deal, considering how delicious this food is.

That pretty much wraps up my date location suggestions! What’s your favorite date location in Kent, Ohio?

Kent’s Halloween celebration is intense. Thousands of fairy-tale characters stumble through the streets, police stand guard with 100 wrist-ties on their belts and the alcohol supply is unlimited.

I’m all about going out and having a good time, but where’s Kent State University’s public relations and communications department? Crime and public drunkenness are greatly increased every Halloween weekend, and I think that Kent State’s PR should be reaching out to students.

What Kent State is doing wrong

When I searched “Kent State University Halloween 2011” on Google, I found ridiculous videos from YouTube and a few stories about this weekend. Students who were involved in the crazy party posted the drunken videos. One story, “KSUPD to Focus on Campus Security for Halloween” discussed campus police and the guest rules in dorms, another story “Celebrate Halloween Kent Style” featured pumpkin carving and the other “Don’t Be A Shitshow This Halloween” discussed smart drinking. Most stories were from Kentwired.com, a student-run campus newspaper.

Why are students the main source for communication about Halloween? Why isn’t Kent State trying to communicate safety with students in preparation for the typically out-of-control weekend? Where is the information about safety and how to handle a dangerous or troublesome situation?

What Kent State should be doing

Although Kent State is taking proper precautions by having extra patrol on campus and monitoring campus guests, I think more student communication should be done. I have three suggestions for Kent State’s communications department.

  1. Create a specific Emergency Hotline for Kent students on Halloween. Instead of the typical 911 call, Kent campus and city police should have a line that students can call specifically on Halloween night if they are in trouble. This number should be put on posters and communicated to students around campus.
  2. Have a seminar with a professional self-defense instructor. Students love going to see the different speakers for free on campus, why not take advantage of this and teach student how to handle a dangerous situation. This would be extremely beneficial to students before a weekend like Halloween.
  3. Send a mass email to all students addressing this weekend. Kent State has to have a plan to help keep students safe. An email explaining Kent State’s precautions and precautions for students should be communicated before the festivities start.

These are only three ways that Kent State could help out students before Halloween weekend. Can you think of others ways that Kent State can help students prepare for the party?

It’s the time of year where everyone is dying for the adrenaline rush from being scared. The Factory of Terror offered me this and then some over the weekend

I had never heard about this haunted house before my friend won tickets to go at a raffle. We decided to go check it out even though it’s kind of far out in Canton, Ohio. I suggest you do too.

Turns out, the Factory of Terror haunted attraction broke the Guinness World Record the past two years for being the world’s largest haunted house. It includes 3,796 feet of paths and mazes that keep you on-edge and grabbing for your friends protection.

The attraction is split into four different houses: the Portal to Insanity, Industrial Nightmare, Massacre on Mahoning and Judgment Day in 3-D.

Portal to Insanity

When my friends and I were entering the first portion of this haunted house, we couldn’t figure out why we given gloves. This part got pretty funny. The gloves were so we didn’t smudge the mirrors. The Portal to Insanity is a big mirror maze that gets quite confusing, and half the time we kept scaring ourselves with our own reflections.

Industrial Nightmare

The interesting part about the Factory of Terror is that the attractions are actually set up in an old factory building. So, this portion of the attraction brought original pieces of the factory to life in a haunting way.

Massacre on Mahoning

Massacre on Mahoning got to us the most. It’s set up like an old mansion filled with insane people. For most of the attraction, I was tackling my friend who was leading the way in search for protection. This was the funniest but scariest of the attractions, in my opinion.  I would go back just for this if I could!

Judgment Day in 3-D

The 3-D paint set apart this last section of the attraction. We were given 3-D glasses before we entered and everything inside came to life. Characters had the paint on their costumes too. It was crazy.

Behind the scenes

Not only did my friends and I get to go to the scariest haunted house I’ve ever been in, but we got a behind the scenes tour too. One of my friends ended up talking with the owner Rich and he took us back where the actors hide. All of the lights in the hidden hallways were red. He said this is because red lights don’t affect your ability to see in the dark like regular lights do. Another interesting fact that Rich told us was he started buying factories to either demo or sell when he first graduated from college. He had to live in one of the factories for four years before he got his feet on the ground with his business. Later he decided to turn one of his factories into the Factory of Terror. Now he has this enormous haunted house along with other projects like an Olympic BMX course.

 

A smorgasbord of events rests in front of Kent State University students, faculty and alumni during this week for Homecoming 2011. I’m excited!

These events are held all over campus and are differentiated by majors, associations, clubs, and whatever else you can think of. This can make Homecoming week a little overwhelming. Don’t allow that to push you away from the fun. I figured for my blog this week I will highlight some of the fun events that I have either gone to in the past or would like to go to this year.

Bounce Madness

This sounds like a ridiculously good time. Tonight in the KSC Ballroom starting at 7 p.m., large, interactive bounce structures will be set up to challenge your athletic ability, Gladiator Jousting will give you an opportunity to challenge your friends and a Titanic slide will make you feel like a kid at a carnival. I think that’s the point. The entire room will be set up for a carnival feel and even include free goodies. Unfortunately, I have to work tonight, so let me know if this is fun!

Jack Hannah’s Exotic Animals

I went to this my freshman year and it was awesome. Although, I may be a little biased, since I’m an animal lover! Hannah brought monkeys, snakes, wild cats and other cool animals the year that I went. It didn’t get boring either, he made it interesting and pretty quick. If this event is held anything like it was a couple of years ago, you should stop out at 5 p.m. tomorrow in the KSC Kiva to see what creatures Hannah brings this time!

“Fall into Fashion” Fashion Show

I’ve always heard wonderful things about our fashion program here at Kent, so this event intrigues me. Tomorrow at 7 p.m. in the KSC Ballroom, this fashion show will feature Halloween costumes, fall clothing and Kent attire made by KSU design students. If you want to attend, you must contact Diamond Towns at 614-584-6734 or dtowns2@kent.edu for tickets.

Bowman Cup 5k Race

I have always wanted to run in a 5k! If you’re into running, today is the last day to sign up. The Bowman cup will start Saturday morning at 8 a.m. It’s 20 dollars to enter. Here’s how you attend!

The main event

My friend and I at a past Homecoming game!

Of course, I’m talking about the game! I just love the atmosphere at the Homecoming football games. Everyone is so excited and ready for our boys pull a “W.” This year the KSU football team plays Miami at 3:30. Be there!

Well, those are all of the events that have caught my eye for the week. If you know of other events going on for Homecoming 2011 at Kent, let us know! Enjoy the week of festivities!

If you live or have lived Kent, Ohio, you know the weather gets chilly quick, so I figured it’s about time to do some fall shopping.

There aren’t many places to find clothes in Kent, but there are plenty of shopping options in the surrounding area (thank goodness). While I love my fresh air, I also find stress relief in a shopping trip. Below you can find a list of some of the closest shopping options.

Figleaf

This little shop is perfect for a quick shopping trip. I say this because Figleaf is the only clothing retail store located in downtown Kent, so it’s the only option we have. Even though its location isn’t desirable, it does have cute clothes to offer to women. It’s not that expensive either, which is good for a college budget! If you’re not in the mood for an all-out shopping trip, Figleaf is perfect.

Chapel Hill Mall

Chapel Hill Mall is located more towards Akron than Kent, but it’s not that far of a drive. I don’t suggest going to this mall. It’s a little dingy and doesn’t have much of a variety. I only go here if I need something basic and don’t have time to drive anywhere else.

Summit Mall

Summit Mall is a much nicer mall than Chapel Hill. It has classier stores and a clean, welcoming atmosphere. I would say it’s your typical mall with your typical stores, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The only downfall for us Kent natives is it’s around 45 minutes away from us, but I think a shopping trip here is worth the drive.

First & Main Hudson

I think this little area is adorable. First & Main Hudson is a shopping and dining area in Hudson, Ohio. There are not many shops here, especially for a younger crowd, and clothing can be pricey. With that said, I do like to go here to look around and find something unique. If you want to do some walking and shopping at privately-owned businesses, this shopping area would be perfect.

Aurora Farms Premium Outlets

This is a place that I suggest you make a trip to, even though it’s 30 plus minutes from Kent. Aurora Farms Premium Outlets has something to offer everyone, including stores like Nike Factory Store, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th and Sunglass Hut. As you can tell, there is quite a variety.

My favorite aspect of the outlets is the fact that you can buy these name brands at a lesser price. There is almost always a sale, whether it’s a sale in a specific store or a sale event that the outlet is hosting. I love it! You can find out about these sales in advance by visiting the website.

That finishes up my list! Do you know of any other shopping areas in the Kent area? What do you think of them?