Schenectady, The City That Lights Up the World (and My Life)

Union students outside Proctors Theatre

A group of students poses in front of Proctors Theatre while exploring downtown Schenectady during Union's first-year orientation program.

As she prepared to graduate from Union College, Ariella Honig '17, former tour guide and admissions interviewer, reflected on the activities she would miss most on campus and off. Here she shares a list of her favorite things to do in Schenectady.

Seeing Shows at Proctors Theatre (432 State Street)

Hands down my favorite thing to do in Schenectady is to see shows at Proctors. I love theatre, and having Proctors so close and accessible was one of the best parts of my Union experience. I have seen everything from "Cabaret" to "The Lion King" to "The Book of Mormon."

Playing Thursday Night Trivia at Pinhead Susan’s (38-40 Broadway)

One of my favorite Schenectady finds is Pinhead Susan’s Trivia every Thursday night. Rally up a group of your friends and you’ll have a blast. Enjoy a burger or other entree, and answer some tough questions. It’s definitely the most fun and challenging trivia in the area.

Walking Around The Sunday Greenmarket (Jay Street)

The Greenmarket always made my Sundays the best days. Grab everything from a beautiful head of lettuce from Lovin’ Mama’s Farm to Buddha Pesto (a personal and Union favorite) to delicious cookies from the Electric Cookie Jar. The vendors are all so nice and everything is so tasty!

$5 Movies at Bow Tie (400 State Street)

One of the best parts about being a Union student is getting $5 tickets to Bow Tie Cinemas through the Student Activities office. Grab a friend and enjoy a movie any day or night of the week.

Dollar Bowling on Monday and Thursday Nights at Boulevard Bowl (1315 Erie Boulevard)

I’m honestly not sure it gets much better than this. A dollar for shoes and a dollar per game. Play as many rounds as you want. If you’re hungry, pizza slices are only a dollar, too. Dollar bowling is frequented by many Union students on Monday and Thursday nights at Boulevard Bowl. Believe me, it’s tons of fun!

Improv with Mop & Bucket Company (10 North Jay Street)

Need a good laugh? Then Mopco is the place for you! Whether you’re an improv veteran or just looking for entertainment, be sure to check out their live shows. I’ve always enjoyed a good laugh there.

Walks in the Stockade and Riverside Park

Riverside Park, located in the historic Stockade neighborhood, is my favorite hidden spot in Schenectady. Enjoy a walk or run. It’s also a nice place just to sit and relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery!

Jazz on Jay (Jay Street Arcade)

When I worked on campus over the summer, I learned about Jazz on Jay. This free concert series offers lunchtime shows on Thursday afternoons throughout the summer and features bands from across the region.