50 Things to Do as a Thunderbird in Cedar City

Posted: August 26, 2022 | Author: Kate Lyons | Read Time: 11 minutes

50 Things to do at SUUSouthern Utah University is known for its small class sizes, expert faculty, and putting students first, but it also comes with dozens of unique and surprising adventures for students to participate in when they’re not excelling in academics, competitions, and sports. Whether you would like to join in on all of the SUU traditions or explore the world’s best backyard, you will find something exciting at every turn.

Be a Tradition Keeper

SUU’s Tradition Keeper shares 50 traditions for students to experience. Not only does it provide a great opportunity to get involved on campus, but it’s a fantastic way to participate in the legacy of SUU and previous tradition-keeping students. You can download the SUU app and select the Tradition Keeper icon, or visit the SUU Tradition Keeper website to learn more.

If you’re looking to be a Tradition Keeper, look for the starred tasks below!

50 Things To Do Around SUU

Fall Semester

1. Walk Under the Bell Tower*

During Freshman Orientation, you’ll pass under the Carter Carillon by walking east, symbolizing the beginning of your adventure at SUU. When you attend commencement, you’ll walk west under the Carter Carillon to signify the closing of the chapter in your life at SUU.

2. Attend SUUSA’s Paint the Town Red*

Every fall during the first week of school, Paint the Town Red hosts clubs, vendors, food trucks, bands, and more to welcome back all the Thunderbirds. It’s a must-attend event!

3. Wear Red on Fridays*

Join in on showing school pride by wearing red each Friday. The color is much more than part of the university’s colors – it’s part of what defines us and unites us as we share life-changing experiences at SUU.

4. Join a Club or Organization at SUU

SUU has over 120 clubs for you to join, all of which cover a wide array of interests. If you’re not sure where to start, visit the club website or attend the Meet Your Clubs event.

5. Attend the Iron County Fair

Check out the rodeo, mud bog, demolition derby, carnival, car show, and more at the annual Iron County Fair. It’s a fun and super affordable way to spend some time with friends or family.

6. Attend the Homecoming Parade*

Before going out to the Homecoming Football Tailgate and the Homecoming Football Game, start the day by attending the high-energy Homecoming Parade! You’ll see floats, SUU clubs and organizations, local businesses, and more, all to celebrate campus and its amazing people.

7. Attend Forever Red*

Alumni, students, and the community gather in celebration during Forever Red. The event has live music, food, scholarship drawings, fireworks, and dancing. To make things better, this event is free for anyone who wants to attend.

8. Attend the Homecoming Football Game

Start the festivities by joining the Football Tailgate and then cheer on the Thunderbirds by going to the always-exciting Football Homecoming Game. Nothing evokes school spirit better!

9. Watch for the Ghost of Old Main*

Legend says that the ghost of Victoria Loomis haunts the Old Main building where she is rumored to roam the top floor. Join fellow students who gather at midnight outside the step of Old Main to catch a glimpse of Victoria.

10. Attend the Sheep Parade*

This annual celebration takes place on Main Street in Cedar City and represents the first sheep herded to Cedar Mountain in 1870. This is a fun and unique local tradition in which to join and learn about Cedar City’s history.

11. Attend The Scream*

Join in on this epic night of spooky fun by going to Southern Utah’s largest Halloween event at SUU. The theme changes each year, but there is always a dance, entertainers, a spook alley, and many more festive activities.

12. Attend a Diversity & Inclusion Event*

The Center for Diversity & Inclusion hosts many events celebrating African, African-American, Latinx, Native American, and Pacific Islander heritage, as well as LGBTQIA+ identity. Join the fun and show your support for others!

13. Visit the Harry Potter Room

Enjoy SUU’s room of magic by going to the Great Hall, nicknamed “the Harry Potter Room”, located in the Hunter Alumni Center on upper campus. The room is perfect for studying and a photo opp!

14. Attend a Bread & Soup Nite*

Support the on-campus HOPE Pantry and join the Bread & Soup Nite held each month to help fight hunger in the community. You’ll enjoy all-you-can-eat bread, soup, and dessert. Students, faculty, staff, and community members are welcome and can help fight hunger by donating non-perishable food items as part of their entrance fee.

15. Attend a Pizza & Politics Event*

Get free pizza and discuss politics at the Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service. Each week the Leavitt Center hosts Pizza & Politics to discuss current political topics. The discussions expose students to various issues and encourage political engagement while understanding multiple sides of an issue.

16. Find All of the Statues on Campus*

Find all nineteen statues on campus through the SUU Art & Sculpture Stroll. The tour is self-paced and can take about an hour to complete. It’s perfect for the curious at heart.

17. Attend Iron Mission Days at the Frontier Homestead Museum

Go back in time and learn important skills from the historical pioneers like blacksmithing and weaving. Feel free to join in on the demonstrations on blacksmithing, printing press, and rope making.

18. Visit ‘Christmas Lane’ During the Holidays*

Visit the downtown lights in Cedar City to fill you with some holiday cheer. Remember, it can get chilly and snow in Cedar City, so be sure to dress warmly and bring your favorite hot beverage.

19. Have Year-Round Outdoor Fun at Brian Head

If you’re looking for outdoor fun all year long, look no further! Ski, snowboard, and tube in the winter, or enjoy mountain biking, hiking, archery, and disc golf in the summer.

20. Watch an “Off The Cuff” Improv Show

Located on Main Street in Cedar City, bring some friends along for a night full of laughter. Off The Cuff’s shows are notoriously hilarious and are routinely crowd pleasers.

21. Visit SUMA*

View the extraordinary work of local and national artists at the Southern Utah Museum of Art. You can also attend exhibits, events, and Friday Art walks, all of which are free and open to the public.

Spring Semester

22. Attend SUUSA’s Casino Night*

Want the Vegas experience without the cost? Casino Night allows you to dress up and test your skills at Blackjack, Texas Hold'em, Roulette, and Craps.

23. Sign Up for an Internship

Gain job experience, make connections, build relationships, and get real-world experience related to your degree. Internships look great on a resume and can lead to job placement in addition to guiding you in your career.

24. Jump Off the High Dive

Inside the J.L. Sorenson P.E. Building is the SUU Aquatic Center. Students, faculty, staff, and community members can take advantage of the classes, clubs, and teams that use the Olympic-sized pool. If you’re feeling daring, try jumping from the high dive!

25. Visit Special Collections in the Library

Check out the protected and accessible university records and unique collections at the Barbara A. Matheson Special Collections and University Archives. You may be surprised at what you find!

26. Vote in the SUUSA Elections*

Participate in democracy and vote for students who will go on to represent and advocate for you and your interests at the university and college levels.

27. Watch T-Bird Athletes Compete*

With over a dozen teams for you to cheer for, attending as many games and competitions as you can is a great way to show school spirit and support for your fellow T-Birds. With sports ranging from basketball to soccer, and gymnastics to golf, you’ll be sure to find something to your liking.

28. Attend an A.P.E.X event*

Listen to speakers and presenters from all over the world through the Speaker Series presented by A.P.E.X. Events. Students, faculty, staff, and community members are welcome and encouraged to join this free event!

29. Go for a Climb in the P.E. Building

Take on the year-round climbing experience with SUU’s 35-foot rock climbing wall located in the P.E. Building. The best part about this is that students can access it for free with their student ID card.

30. Participate in Founders Week*

Join others in paying tribute to the visionary and steadfast people who made great sacrifices to establish the University. Founders Week holds many celebrations, all of which hold the same inspiring spirit as the founders.

31. Go on a Free SUU Outdoors Trip*

If you’re into hiking, canyoneering, climbing, rafting, paddle boarding, cross country skiing, or snowshoeing, then check out the trips sponsored by SUU Outdoors. To sign up, head over to the Student Center.

32. Go to an SUU Theatre, Music, Art, or Dance Event*

Watch SUU students in theatre performances, symphony and music performances, and view student art at the art galleries. All of these events are free to SUU students who show their student ID.

33. Go Climbing at the Swett Hills Area

The area offers three locations perfect for climbing beginners. Swett Hills also has moderate hikes and beautiful desert views, all within a 15-minute drive from campus.

34. Rub the Statue of Gerald R. Sherratt*

If you’re looking for some extra luck on your finals, look no further than rubbing the head of Gerald R. Sherratt state in the library. It is said to offer you the wisdom of Gerald Sherratt, a former SUU President.

35. Take Your Dog on a Hike

SUU’s campus is in the ideal location to take your furry friend on a hike at several state and national parks, all within driving distance from campus. From the East Bench Trail located near campus to the beautiful and unique Capital Reef National Park, the surrounding area has room for you and your pet to explore.

36. Hike Thunderbird Gardens*

If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure that offers mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, and hiking, then this is the place for you. While you’re there, check out “Thor’s Hideout” – a sandstone throne for Thor the Thunderbird.

37. Hike the C-Trail or Drive to the ‘C’ on Cedar Mountain*

The trail is known for its wildflowers, switchbacks, and scenery. Feel free to hike or mountain bike on this challenging trail, or take a scenic drive and enjoy the amazing views!

Summer Semester

38. Lounge in the Hammocks in the Student Center Living Room

Looking for a place to hang between classes? Tucked away in the Student Center Living Room are three hammocks ready to provide a great place to lounge, rain or shine.

39. Visit a National Park*

SUU’s location makes it the perfect place to be within a short distance of over 20 national parks, recreation areas, and monuments. It’s easy to see why SUU was named “University of the Parks” and awarded the title of The Most Outdoorsy School in the nation.

40. Grab a Soda at Bulloch Drug’s Soda Fountain

Located in downtown Cedar City, check out the old-fashioned soda fountain that offers a wide variety of treats and drinks like a “Pink Lady” or “Lime Ricky”. If you’re feeling extra thirsty, refills are available at a discounted price.

41. Hike the Bristlecone Pine Trail*

Hike the trail that is lined with Bristlecone Pine trees. The trees are known to continually adjust to changing conditions, which has allowed them to live for thousands of years. The Bristlecone Pine meant so much to previous SUU presidents, that the tree is on the University’s official seal.

42. Take a Selfie with Sharwan Smith in the Student Center*

Representing the enthusiastic spirit of SUU students, the Sharwan Smith statue showcases Smith’s energy and compassion. While you’re taking a selfie, be sure to give the statue a high five!

43. Visit the Lake on the Hill*

Have some outdoor fun by fishing, paddle boarding, and soaking up some sun at this 11-acre lake located behind the Cedar City Aquatic Center. The water is stocked with rainbow and trout in the spring, and the area has amenities to ensure a fun time for all!

44. Eat Like a Thunderbird*

Local restaurants love T-Birds and offer specific dishes to show their school spirit. Join them by grabbing a Thunderbird Bowl at China Kitchen or stopping by Palette Bakery and Ice Cream for a Red Riot.

45. Bowl at the Cedar Bowling Center

If you’re looking for some local fun, then you’ll want to check out this local favorite. With their great food and fun atmosphere, you’ll enjoy a lot more than just bowling minutes away from campus.

46. Support the Utah Summer Games*

The Larry H. Miller Utah Summer Games hosts 10,000 participants in over 50 sports each summer. The Opening Ceremonies start festivities in mid-June with live entertainment, fireworks, and a parade of athletes of all ages and capabilities. This is one Southern Utah event not to miss!

47. Eat a Snowcone*

It can get hot during the summer, so what better way to cool yourself off than by having a snowcone? Grab a few friends and try new flavors as a way to socialize and stay cool.

48. Attend a Shakespeare Greenshow

Enjoy songs, stories, dances, and audience participation at the free outdoor event at the Utah Shakespearean Festival.

49. Visit Three Peaks Oasis

Have a day of adventure in the sun by sliding down a 200 ft water slide, or by checking out their bike jump park, six-mile UTV race trace, zip line, campgrounds, and so much more!

50. Go to the Ashcroft Observatory to Stargaze*

Explore the sky each Monday night at the Ashcroft Observatory. Here, you’ll be able to see and take in the vastness of parts of our galaxy for free.


Whether you’re looking to be a Tradition Keeper or you’re looking for a few simple and fun ways to get involved on campus and in the community, SUU has dozens of adventures for you to experience any time of the year!

Tags: Cedar City Student Blog Campus Resources

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