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16 things to do in Eau Claire over the summer

| Samantha Johnsen

If you get the chance to stay in Eau Claire for summer break, consider yourself lucky! Our city is filled with adventure, beauty and lots of fun — especially during the summer months. Whether you want to explore the outdoors or take in live music, there are endless options. And if you're wondering what you can do solo, we have suggestions for that, too. 

1. Enjoy live music

Grab a blanket and some snacks before heading out for an evening of live music in one of the many parks in and around Eau Claire. Bonus, they are free and all scheduled on different nights of the week. Check out the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series, Tuesday Night Blues, Rock'n on the River, and the Kickin' It Country Summer Series

2. Relax in Phoenix Park 

Phoenix Park is easily accessible from just about anywhere downtown. Pack a bag, go for a walk, pick a spot overlooking the Chippewa River and enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation after a busy spring semester. 

3. Hit the Chippewa River Trail

Grab Rollerblades or hop on your bike and hit the Chippewa River Trail. It will take you through beautiful scenery and over multiple bridges. There's nothing like getting some fresh air and sunshine.

4. Take advantage of the UW-Eau Claire Environmental Adventure Center rental program

The EAC's rental program maintains the largest inventory of outdoor equipment in the Eau Claire area. Rent tents, canoes, paddle boards, kayaks and more!

5. Go floating

One thing that makes UW-Eau Claire unique is that there's a river running through campus. You can easily walk from your residence hall or downtown neighborhood and put your tube in at Phoenix Park. Float to the boat launch near Hobbs Ice Center to get out. Remember to be safe and check the weather before you start your float!

6. Attend Food Truck Friday

Get your grub on at Food Truck Friday in Phoenix Park. Food, snacks and drinks will be available for purchase from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. for lunch and dinner along Riverfront Terrace Drive on the first Friday of each month in the summer.

7. Roam the Farmers Market

Enjoy Saturday mornings at the Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market also located in Phoenix Park. You can purchase coffee, flowers, vegetables and more from local vendors. 

8. Go to an Eau Claire music festival

Check out one of many summer music festivals right here in the Chippewa Valley. Whether you like bluegrass, country, rock or even punk, there's a festival for you. A few of them include Blue Ox Music Festival, Country Fest, Rock Fest, Country Jam USA and Reverb Music Fest.

9. Try ice cream from local shops

Grab a cone from Ramone's or Olson's and go for a leisurely stroll. Make it a point to check out the downtown Eau Claire art installations while you're at it. 

10. Visit the library

If you find yourself bored on a super hot or rainy day, then hit the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library and set up an account. Look through thousands of books and media, then check out a few selections you'd like to take home. You can even check out items like yard games, craft kits and bird-watching supplies from their "Library of Things."

11. Attend a trivia night

There are multiple places in Eau Claire that host trivia nights during the week. Simply search "Eau Claire trivia" on Google and find a time and place that works best for you. Test your knowledge on random subjects with a group of friends or fly solo. Everyone is welcome.

12. Explore local coffee shops

If there's one thing that Eau Claire has, it's coffee! Bring a book or your laptop and try the drinks at Shift Cyclery and Coffee Bar, ECDC, The Goat, Racy D'Lenes, and Acoustic Cafe, all within a couple of miles of campus.

13. Go to the movies

Movies are another great option for super hot or rainy summer days. Hit up Micon Downtown Cinema for your favorite new flicks that are within walking distance of student housing.

14. Hit up Fairfax Pool

Have you ever visited the Fairfax Pool? Pack a towel and some snacks and enjoy a day under the sun. Adult admission is only $5!

15. Go to an Express game

Enjoy a summer evening at an Eau Claire Express baseball game in Carson Park. Games take place throughout the week and there's usually a fun theme or giveaway. If you want the ultimate summer experience, check out the fan deck located in the right field area of the ballpark.

16. Check out campus events

There are various activities happening on campus over the summer. Be sure to check out Summer Cinema and Chalkfest. Both are free and fantastic events for everyone.