Lawrence students Lauren Chamberlain and Pearl Sikora enjoy the hammock life on Main Hall Green in 2020. (Photo by Danny Damiani)

Story by Alex Freeman ’23

Picture the Lawrence campus. Which scenes scream, “Lawrence,” as soon as you see them? Where would tourists go to get a glimpse of what this college is really like? What sites help connect students to their home away from home?

Chances are, Main Hall Green (MHG) was probably one of the first images that popped into your head—and for good reason. Serving as the centerpiece of campus, this stretch of greenery in front of Main Hall provides the perfect location for any number of opportunities to make your life on campus just a little bit better.

Here’s our guide to utilizing all MHG has to offer.

Study session

Need to study? Main Hall Green works for that, as Melanie Shefchik can attest. (Photo by Danny Damiani)

This is quintessential MHG usage: on any given day at Lawrence, you’re likely to spot someone sitting on the Green with a stack of textbooks and some highlighters. A cool breeze and some sunshine is just the right thing to get you into that focused headspace!

What you need:

  • A nice picnic blanket protects you from any invading bugs, protruding rocks, or grass stains on your white shorts.
  • In addition to storing all your schoolwork, your backpack doubles as a pillow for your inevitable mid-afternoon nap.

Frisbee game

Henry Hale finds Frisbee to his liking on Main Hall Green. (Photo by Danny Damiani)

It’s not a college campus without some avid (and a lot of beginner) Frisbee players. Take a break after classes with a quick game of Frisbee!

What you need:

  • A Frisbee (Or two? You never know who might want to join you!)
  • Grab yourself a partner, be it a friend, classmate, or beloved pet.

Recreational sports

Soccer games are a frequent draw to Main Hall Green. (Photo by Danny Damiani)

Even if you don’t consider yourself an athlete, there’s nothing like a friendly game of kickball or soccer to get those endorphins flowing. Set up your own game with friends or join Recess Club’s mailing list and show up at one of their scheduled events.

What you need:

  • A ball and any other supplies you need to set up the field.
  • Of course, a key part of any sport is bonding with your teammates.

Lunch date

We’ve all gotten used to dining alfresco lately. Grab a couple friends to appreciate the outdoors while also appreciating a delicious meal.

What you need:

  • Check your mailbox for a clamshell, a compostable container that allows you to take food to-go from the Commons.
  • Unless you’re eating handhelds, don’t forget to bring utensils!

Stargazing

Clear skies, full charts, can’t lose—is that how the saying goes? Regardless, the night sky above MHG is dotted with constellations and planets, perfect for a night of stargazing.

What you need:

  • Download an app, like Star Walk or SkyView Lite, to compare your vision to astronomical maps of the sky.
  • Binoculars (for the true aficionados)

Photo shoot

Ready for your close-up? The vibrant colors and quaint architecture of MHG make the perfect background for any Instagram post. For more photo ops on the Lawrence campus, check out our Top 10 photo destinations.

What you need:

  • A camera with plenty of storage for all background options.
  • It’s not a photo shoot without a stellar outfit.

Hammocking

Get yourself a hammock: it’s worth it. With various clusters of trees providing shade and branches for your straps, an afternoon on a hammock will take your mind off any stressors in your life.

What you need:

  • A hammock (this one is maybe a bit obvious).
  • It’s not a true hammocking excursion without a good book to read.

Rest and relaxation

One of the best things about Wisconsin weather is that it never gets too hot to lay out in the sun. Just lay down in the grass on a lazy Saturday, feel the breeze, listen to the birds, and take it all in.

What you need:

  • Even if it’s not particularly hot, sunlight can be deceptively damaging: put on sunscreen!
  • A pair of sunglasses will keep the light out of your eyes.

And, of course, you hardly need an excuse to visit MHG—you can just bring yourself! Find a nice spot, sit down, and take a minute to enjoy the sights and sounds of campus.

Alex Freeman ’23 is a student writer in the Office of Communications.