Event Ideas

41 Irresistible University Event Ideas

Reading time: 30 min

Are you looking to throw a university event that will be a huge hit on your campus? You've come to the right place! In between attending classes and studying for exams, university students are always looking for new, fun experiences to enjoy with their friends. To help you create your next university event, our experts have put together a list of must-attend events that are sure to be the talk around campus and give students plenty of memories for long after graduation.

Types of university events perfect year-round

1. "Stuff-a-Plush" events

Not only does “Stuff-a-Plush” offer a unique activity for your student body to do with their friends, it also gives them a cute keepsake to bring back to their dorm. At this event, give out unstuffed plushies for students to fill with stuffing and seal up themselves for an added personal touch. Pick a theme, like animals or food, and offer different plushies based around that. You can even encourage them to register ahead of time to guarantee they'll get the plushie they want. Host events like this throughout the year, especially around the holidays, so that students can bring one home as a gift to a family member or loved one!

2. On-campus concerts

Give students the chance to jam out to their favourite bands and artists within walking distance from their dorms! Host a range of performances from local talent to celebrity artists (depending on your budget) as either special one-time events or as part of a semester-long concert series. When students register on your concert's event page, be sure to include a survey to discover who they hope comes to campus next, so you can book performers you know will bring in excited fans!

girl singing with a guy playing acoustic guitar next to her on a stage with two people behind them

3. Film festival

Lights, camera, action! There's nothing like a film festival to bring together students who share a passion for cinema. From documentaries to animations, it's all about celebrating indie films created by your current students, or even by alumni. Premiere these movies in a theatre on campus, like in your student centre, and even have a red carpet into the entrance for students as they arrive. As one of your cultural event ideas to enlighten your student body and nurture further conversations, you could even set up a Q&A panel after the films for people to ask the creators themselves about the stories behind their masterpieces. So why not grab some popcorn and settle in for a night of cinematic adventures with your fellow movie buffs? Who knows, you might even be watching the next big blockbuster before anyone else!

4. Comedy nights

Looking for the perfect university event to break the ice and get your students laughing together? Host a comedy night! It's a great way to lighten the mood and encourage students to come together for some good old belly laughs. From stand-up acts to improv showdowns, there’s no end to the fun. Plus, it’s a brilliant opportunity for budding comedians on campus to strut their stuff. Invite your students to the stage, crack some jokes, and watch as the room fills with laughter – making it a night to remember!

College student on a stage for an open mic comedy night

5. Video game tournaments

Level up your university life with something totally epic: a video game tournament! In the growing world of esports, this is the perfect opportunity to bring together students who love gaming and friendly competition. Set up different consoles or PCs with popular games like Valorant, Overwatch, or Super Smash Bros and let the battles begin! Bring together teams from different student organizations, majors, or even across other universities to compete for various prizes like a brand new gaming console or a cash prize.

6. Silent disco

Imagine this: a dance floor bustling with energy, yet not a single beat heard out loud. Welcome to the world of silent disco! For this super fun event, each guest gets their own set of headphones, tuning into music that's DJ-ed live. Get lost in the music and dance like nobody's watching (because they're all in their own musical world). It's a surefire way to create a buzz on campus, bring people together, and make some noise (quietly, of course).

Group of college students dancing with glowing headphones on and neon lights streaming around them

7. Karaoke night

Who doesn't love singing along to their favourite songs? Putting on a karaoke night is a fan-favourite university event that allows everyone to let loose and have some fun. Simply rent a karaoke machine or even just set up a microphone, speakers, and a screen to play the lyrics on (and maybe even a projector to get more students engaged and singing along). If you want to go a step further, you could throw a friendly competition for the best performance or encourage students to dress up as their favourite artists (Elvis anyone?).

This event is sure to bring out the star in everyone and uncover some hidden talents (or at least, enthusiastic attempts). And be sure to capture the best performances for your university's social media! Whether you're a shower singer or the next big thing, it's all about enriching your university life with event ideas like this to have a blast with friends.

8. Scavenger hunt

Ready for an adventure that'll take your students on a wild ride across campus, uncovering clues and solving puzzles with friends? Put together a scavenger hunt and turn your campus into a treasure map! Not only will it get students active and moving, but scavenger hunts also encourage teamwork and critical thinking skills. Create clues that lead to various locations around campus until the final treasure is found. This is a great idea for building school spirit as students learn more about historic places on your campus they might not have otherwise known about. Add some hidden goodies through your scavenger hunt for an extra incentive and watch as students race to be the first ones to finish!

9. Dorm decor crafts

Craft workshops are a perfect opportunity for new students to make new friends while creating fun decorations for their dorm! Who doesn't want to personalize their room to match their unique personality and aesthetic? For example, they could build their own potted plants or mini terrariums with fake or real plants. They can make string art for their wall with just wooden boards, some nails, a hammer, and coloured string. Or they can let their imaginations run wild as they hand paint wooden pencil holders for their desk, express themselves on a blank canvas, or put together a vision board of their personal goals. The possibilities are endless! 

A college girl creating dorm room decorations with paints and a paintbrush, surrounding by twinkling lights

10. Trivia nights

Ever thought about jazzing up those regular university nights with something super fun? Try hosting a trivia night as one of your university events! At these types of cultural events, test your students' knowledge on anything from popular movies to everything Taylor Swift to the latest in university sports. You could host a monthly trivia night with a different themed topic each time and prizes tied to that theme as well. So, bring your students together, pick a popular theme, and let the trivia battles begin!

11. Open mics

Shine a spotlight on all the raw talent in your student body with an open mic night! It's the perfect platform to invite students to share their talents. To help ensure your open mic runs smoothly, you can have students use your powerful ticketing platform to register beforehand for their desired time slot. Otherwise, they can wait to sign up for their time slot when they get there. Whether it's soulful poetry, side-splitting comedy, or acoustic jams, an open mic night is bound to bring your community together as they perform for their fellow students.

12. Ping-pong ball drop

It's simple: pick the tallest building on your campus and drop buckets of ping pong balls from it. Pretty straightforward, right? But wait, there's more! There are two ways to spice up this game. First, set up a target on the ground close to where you'll be dropping the balls from. Then have students write their names on a select number of ping pong balls for the chance to win cash prizes, gift cards, or other bonuses if they're one of the closest to that target.

As a second idea, put specially marked ping pong balls into the mix beforehand. As you drop all the balls from the building, students can stand under the shower of ping pong balls (with or without an umbrella) and collect the specially marked ones to win a prize! Whether you're on InstagramTikTok, or Facebook, this experience will make for some great content for your school's social media pages too!

A man in a striped shirt holding a ping pong ball and ping pong paddle

13. Sports tournaments

Organising an intramural sports tournament at your school is another great way to engage students and build school spirit! This could be a one-day event or spread out over the course of a week, depending on the number of teams and types of sports involved. You can choose to focus on traditional team sports such as basketball, soccer, or volleyball, or mix it up with some more unique options like ultimate frisbee, cricket, or even an obstacle course race. If you're looking to expand beyond traditional sports, consider hosting a field day or mini Olympics with various activities like tug of war, relay races, and even a water balloon toss.

Using your ticketing platform for people to sign up, students from each campus organisation could register their teams to play against each other. You could have specific tournaments for graduate students or a friendly rivalry between senior students and other classes. To make sure everyone feels included, you can also have different divisions for different skill levels or allow students to sign up individually and form new teams with their peers.

Types of outdoor event ideas for university students

14. Outdoor festivals

Kick off or wrap up the semester with a campus-wide outdoor festival. Get students excited by promoting unique headlining activities, like a bull ride simulator, an inflatable obstacle course, a zipline, or anything else they don't get to experience every day! Plus, if you offer free food and good music, students will find themselves drawn to the festivities and inviting their friends, too. Have students register online beforehand with their student ID and shirt size for a (free) exclusive festival t-shirt to drive even more traffic to your event and give you a better idea of how many students will be attending. With unique activities and free fun galore, your festival is bound to be the buzz around campus! 

a college girl wearing sunglasses and making a peace sign as she jams out at a festival with other college students

15. Outdoor movie nights

Nothing says summer like watching a movie under the stars! Set up a projector and screen in an open area on campus and invite students to bring blankets, pillows, and snacks for a cosy night of entertainment. You can choose popular blockbusters or have themed nights based on student votes. Is there rain in the forecast? Rather than cancelling your event, you could always watch the movie in your student centre. It’s the perfect way to kick back, relax, and enjoy some quality time outside the lecture halls.

A group of college students outside sitting on the ground watching a movie on a big screen, with one guy eating popcorn

16. One-day hiking adventure

Help switch up your university students' same old routine of going to class, studying, and hanging out on campus with one-off hiking adventures! Partner with your university's recreation centre to host organized hikes, mini kayaking trips, rock climbing, and other outdoor activities as a national park, hiking trail, or nature reserve near campus. It's the perfect opportunity for team building, making new friends, and getting to explore areas that students may have never been before – from serene lakes to towering forests.

17. Bonfires

Gather around a crackling fire with some marshmallows, chocolate, and digestive biscuits for one of the best summer social event ideas for university students! Bonfires are the perfect way to bring students together and get to know each other better. You can even add in some extra fun activities like ghost stories or group games to keep the night going. Make sure to check with your university about any fire codes or regulations before planning this event. Verify that your campus allows bonfires and ensure a staff member supervises it constantly. Additionally, it's important to check your state and city's open burn regulations, along with any local laws about it.

Silhouettes of people around a roaring bonfire at nighttime

18. Barn parties

Time to bust out the cowboy hats and overalls! Hosted in an actual barn or transformed space on campus, these parties can include hayrides, live music, and good ol' square dancing. They offer a rustic and laid-back atmosphere for people to socialize (especially new students!) and have barrels of fun. Consider adding some themed decorations and other activities like putting up a mini petting zoo, bobbing for apples, or even renting out a mechanical bull for this rowdy campus event. Don't forget to provide plenty of food and drinks, including some classic farm-inspired dishes like BBQ, corn on the cob, and apple cider.

19. Hot air balloon rides

Up, up, and away! Take in the breathtaking views of your campus and surrounding areas while floating high above the ground in a hot air balloon ride. Whether it's a solo adventure or one with a group of friends, university students will love the chance to make unforgettable memories and check off an item from their bucket list. Plus, it's a unique way to see the campus from a different perspective and appreciate its beauty. As one of the more involved university events, you could get local businesses to sponsor the ride, including letting them set up a tent near where students line up for the balloon ride, giving them ample shoutouts, or include their information in a swag bag for students. You could even turn the event into a full-blown festival with food trucks, inflatables, free t-shirts, and more! This university campus event is sure to be the talk of the semester!

Cluster of hot air balloons rising in the air on an early and foggy morning

Holiday events for university students

20. Autumn festival

Looking for university event ideas to host this autumn? Consider organising an autumn festival for your students! Decorate the campus quad or main gathering area with autumn-themed decorations such as native flowers, eucalyptus leaves, and other seasonal foliage. You could arrange for food stalls and local vendors offering seasonal treats like lamingtons, meat pies, and gourmet sausage sizzles. This is a great way to help get incoming students involved and celebrate the changing seasons!

21. Pumpkin carving

Nothing says Halloween more than some spooky jack o' lanterns! As one of your fun events on campus for Halloween, set up some pumpkins for students to carve or paint to their hearts' content. Not only is it a creative way to get into the Halloween spirit, but it also allows students to express themselves and gives them a chance to get together with friends. You can even make it into a contest and have students vote on their favourite pumpkin for a prize!

A couple of college students carving pumpkins together

22. Murder mystery dinner

Looking for some unique social event ideas to kick off the Halloween season? Try hosting a murder mystery dinner! This fun and interactive event will have students solving a spooky crime while enjoying a delicious (free!) meal together. You can either hire a professional company to run the event or create your own murder mystery storyline with the help of your student body (like university students in your theatre department). You can use your ticketing platform to send an invitation email with all the details, including encouraging attendees to dress up in their best detective or suspect attire for an even more immersive experience.

23. Ice skating

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced skater, hitting the ice rink with friends is always a fun event in the winter! Rent a synthetic ice rink for students to skate in and set it up on a large, flat area of your campus grounds. Then, students could arrive bundled up and ready to skate, either by renting skates from the rink or bringing their own. You can even make it more interesting for your students by hosting themed nights, like "Ugly Sweater Skating" or "Skating in Pyjamas." After that, you can provide a hot cocoa bar and snacks to warm back up!

A couple skating on an ice skating rink downtown with lots of string lights and small flags above them

24. Gingerbread house competition

Want to spice up the festive season with a little competitive spirit? A gingerbread house competition is a perfect excuse for your university students to let their creativity flow as they gear up for the holidays. Picture heaps of icing, mountains of gumdrops, and stacks of gingerbread, all coming together in a cozy, laughter-filled room. You could provide small gingerbread house kits for students, or let them build their own creations from scratch. Once they're done, let people vote for their favourites! It’s a sweet way to de-stress during exam season!

25. Galentines' day

Who says Valentine's Day is only for couples? Celebrate friendship and love by hosting a Galentine's day as one of your Valentine's Day ideas for university students. Have attendees bring their favourite dish to share, whether it's heart-shaped pancakes or heart-shaped fruit skewers. You could set up a chocolate bar too complete with a chocolate fountain to dip strawberries, marshmallows, and other delicious treats into. Play a rom com in the background to snuggle up with some cosy blankets to watch (wearing pyjamas is encouraged!). Make sure to have pink heart decorations and set up some games to add to the fun!

A group of five female college students at a pink photo booth, celebrating Valentine's Day

Mental health events for finals week

26. Donut stress

As a sweet way to curb that nagging test anxiety, put together a “Donut Stress” event with free donuts. Get students excited amidst the stress of exams by also offering additional types of sweet treats, coffee, mini massages, and more. University can be stressful, so why not take a break and pamper yourself? This is definitely among some of the most popular university social events ideas for finals week and beyond.

A stack of glazed donuts covered in sprinkles

27. Mediation workshops

Hosting events throughout exam week to help students refresh and recharge can be the perfect boost they need to finish that paper or ace that test. Give students strategies to better decompress and promote more balance in campus life. You could organize this as an in person event or make it an online session for students to register for. This can be a great way to introduce students to the benefits of self-care and mindfulness, while also providing them with valuable tools for managing stress during finals week.

28. Yoga sessions

Similar to mediation workshops, hosting yoga sessions can also be a super effective way to help students relieve stress and anxiety during finals week. You could partner with a local yoga studio or have a certified instructor lead the session on campus. Invite students to bring their own mats and promote people to attend events like this as an opportunity for them to take a break from studying and focus on their physical and mental well-being.

Three female college students sitting on yoga mats with their legs crossed and eyes closed

29. Late-night breakfast bar

Who doesn't love breakfast food? Organizing a midnight breakfast during finals week is not only a fun social event, but it also provides students with free food and a study break. Set up stations at a late-night breakfast bar with pancakes, coffee, cereal, and more to fuel them up for their next all-nighter. Consider partnering with local restaurants or coffee shops to offer a wider variety of options and support small businesses in the process.

30. Play with puppies

What better way to bring students together than with puppies? Invite some service dogs in training for students to play with and remind them of their furry friends at home. Let your university students take these dogs on a quick walk around campus, play tug o' war with them, or just enjoy petting the various fluffy canines there. They'll appreciate the excuse for a study break! Not only that, but this could be an important opportunity for them to learn about the importance of service animals and how they can support their community by volunteering with local animal organizations.

A group of fluffy little golden retriever puppies running towards the camera

University events to drive community engagement

31. Thrifting event

Host a thrifting event that's all about sustainable fashion and scoring some awesome finds! With help from your local community, fill this thrifting day with racks of unique, gently-used clothing where university students can hunt for their next favourite outfit or that vintage gem they didn't know they needed. It's the perfect way to refresh their wardrobe on a small budget, all while keeping it eco-friendly. Plus, it's a fantastic opportunity to meet fellow fashion-forward students and share style tips.

32. Charity run

Lace up your running shoes for a good cause! Hosting a charity run around your campus is bound to bring people together in a welcoming university town to rally around supporting nonprofits in your community. It’s the perfect way to spread some positivity, encourage a bit of healthy competition, and, most importantly, raise money for a local charity close to everyone’s hearts.

A girl crossing the finish line of a marathon with people clapping on either side of her

33. Blood drive

Give the gift of life by organizing a blood drive on campus! Partner with a local blood bank and spread awareness about the importance of donating blood. Not only will this event bring students together for a good cause, but it could also save lives in the process. For students who are able to donate blood at these charity events, offering a variety of prizes such as gift vouchers, exclusive university merchandise, or even free coffee vouchers can serve as great incentives. It'd be thoughtful to offer some free food for them after they're done donating blood as well.

34. Farmers' market

Let students browse local vendors from the community for fresh fruit and vegetables, bouquets of flowers, and other locally grown items. You'll not only offering a unique shopping opportunity to your university students, but supporting local restaurants and farmers too! Set up a station where students can even arrange their own beautiful flower bouquet! Like a traditional farmers' market, consider including vendors at your campus farmer's market who sell handcrafted jewellry, art, or clothing as well. Pick a scenic, open spot on campus so it's accessible to everyone all the time. This market is one event that students won't want to miss!

A college student buying apples from a vendor at a local farmers market

35. Community service events

Organizing community service events is an awesome way to help your students make a real difference in your local area. Whether it’s a park cleanup, volunteering at a local shelter, or being a local charity auction host, there’s something for everyone. Plus, it’s a fantastic opportunity for students to step out of their comfort zones, meet new friends, and gain valuable experience for their professional goals as well. Whether it's to raise money for a local nonprofit, donate goods to a shelter, or volunteer some time to help those in need, community service provides powerful university event ideas to develop important skills in your students.

Educational university events to invite students to

36. Career fairs

A career fair not only helps your students kickstart their futures but also brings together vibrant minds and industry leaders under one roof! Imagine creating an event where connections are made and dreams are sparked, all while supporting local businesses. Whether it's in a bustling campus hall or a series of online events, a career fair could be the perfect way to give back, share insights, and maybe even discover the next big talent.

A college student in a business suit at a career fair surrounded by other college students

37. Seminars on professional and life skills

In today's competitive job market, employers are looking for well-rounded individuals with strong soft skills as well as technical qualifications. That's why hosting seminars on topics such as time management, communication, leadership, and networking can greatly benefit your students. You could also host workshops to teach students about various practical skills like budgeting, investing, and resume building that'll prepare your students in the long run as well. These events will not only provide valuable knowledge but also help them develop the essential skills needed to succeed in their future careers!

38. Headshot sessions

As students enter the workforce, having a professional headshot can make a big difference in their job search! These types of university events are the perfect way to help prepare your students for the workforce. Offer quick headshot sessions at your university to help them stand out from other candidates. You could partner with local photographers or even have a photography club on campus run these sessions for their peers!

A college student in a business suit getting professional headshots taken with a photographer

39. Guest speakers

Invite guest speakers to share their personal stories, inspirational talks, and worldly advice to students on important topics that are relevant to them today. Promote these campus events as your university's local TED Talk or late night talk show hosted by a notable faculty member. These events can be for specific major departments or for the entire university depending on the community members, speakers, and alumni you draw in. Plus, if you have the budget, consider hosting celebrities or social media influencers, as they're sure to draw in a big crowd. Remember to add a Q&A session at the end so students can engage in discussions with your speakers as well. 

40. Cooking classes

Hosting a cooking class is a great way for young adults to make new friends while developing practical skills they'll carry with them for the rest of their lives. Invite guest instructors from around campus or from the local restaurant community to host a class and share various cooking tips and tricks. These class levels can range from beginner to advanced, and teach students to make a wide variety of dishes throughout the semester. You can even personalize the courses for festive season treats, Christmas cookies, and more around the holidays. Soon, they'll be making delicious food for all their friends and family!

A group of college students in blue aprons taking a cooking class together

41. Coffee connect with alumni

What better way to open doors for your students' careers than by connecting them with former students who graduated with the same major? As one of the especially important event ideas for university graduates, this program would provide students the opportunity to chat with alumni over coffee and gain valuable advice about their future careers. This can be done through small group coffee meetups, one-on-one mentorship sessions, or even turn these into virtual events to meet out-of-state alumni. This would not only let students network and gain valuable insights into the job market, but could also open potential opportunities for internships or jobs after graduation!

Wrapping up

Now, take your favourite university event ideas and run with them! And consider using an intuitive ticketing platform to help you register students and sell out tickets to all your events. With TicketLeap, you'll get free access to all the features you need to keep in touch with students who sign up for your events, manage attendance, and host incredible experiences that will bring your campus to life!

dots 1

Stay Ahead With Our Latest Event Articles Delivered Straight to Your Inbox

Subscribe today to elevate your event planning game!

Receive exclusive insider tips on how to:

  • Plan a successful event
  • Maximize your ticket sales
  • Optimize your marketing campaigns
  • Ensure your event day runs smoothly