Cleveland and the surrounding area have many sport-related options in all seasons, including Whirlyball, laser tag, bowling, skating and ice skating. All of these activities are located within a 25-minute drive of campus or 90-minute bus ride and are inexpensive for the always-poor college student.
Whirlyball is a sport combining lacrosse and bumper cars and can only be found in a few cities across the country. Luckily Cleveland, or to be more precise, Bedford Heights, is one of them. The rules are simple: Teams of five players drive specially made bumper cars around while carrying a special scooper and try to throw a wiffleball into a hole on a backboard. I’ve done it before, and it is quite fun to play after you get the hang of it. Unfortunately, the business in Bedford requires a reservation of 8-10 people before playing and the court is a 25-minute drive or 90-minute bus ride away. But, if you can find seven friends, a car and $160, you too can try the unique experience that is Whirlyball. Whirlyball Cleveland also offers laser tag for $6 per person per game and a minimum of 6 people. So, if you can fit five friends in your car, laser tag is for you.
Perhaps traveling is not feasible. The Corner Alley, sandwiched in Case Western Reserve University’s Uptown stretch, would be the perfect place to go. The place has two levels of lanes and easily accommodates groups. The Corner Alley takes reservations, however on weekdays walk-ins generally work. During the week, prices are cheaper than on weekends, however bowling is inexpensive, with one not spending more than $10 for shoes and an hour at the lane. Word of advice: try to not go on Browns’ game days. All the big screens are on the game and the volume plus the crowd noise is much too loud for a conversation.
Maybe you’re more interested in a sport where you move much more than bowling. There are two local skating places, both on ice and on blades. First is Zelma Watson-George Roller Skating Facility, located on MLK Boulevard, only a 15-minute drive or half-hour bus ride from campus. The facility offers skating rentals for $3 on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. They are catered more toward birthday parties than skating for fun. As for ice skating, the Cleveland Heights Community Center, located only 10 minutes away by car and 20 minutes by bus, has an ice rink open to the public. Combined cost of admission and skate rental is only $5 and a schedule of public skating times can be found online.