New Kids On The Block

Welcome to UCI! Your life as an Anteater has begun, and you probably need time to adjust. If you find yourself without anything to do on a Friday or Saturday night or need a break between class and study time, try one of these popular UCI student hangouts.

The Irvine Spectrum is a great place to go with friends. It offers Edwards 21 Megaplex theaters, which show several different movies each day and boasts an IMAX theater.
If you want a little more action, Dave and Buster’s is a great place to have fun. There are plenty of games to keep the competitive spirit alive and well.
‘There are a lot of students who like to come here with their friends and shop, eat, and just hang out. You should see this place on a Friday or Saturday night,’ said Heather, an employee at the Spectrum.
The Spectrum offers more than just movies and games; there are plenty of stores such as Urban Outfitters, Wet Seal and Barnes & Noble Booksellers for those who love to shop. Although there are several clothing and accessory stores, the Spectrum is more of a center for entertainment.
Try one of the many great restaurants that offer delicious dishes from steak, seafood and sushi. P.F. Chang China Bistro is an excellent choice (try the Kung Pao chicken) and the Fox Sports Grill is a popular place during big games on the weekends.
Log onto to find your favorite store. The Spectrum is located just a few miles south of UCI. To get there, take Interstate 405 south and exit Irvine Center Drive to the left.

If your idea of fun includes reliving your childhood or engaging in some physical activity, there are some options very close to campus on Michelson Street. Boomer’s, a miniature amusement park located next to the Parkwest apartments offers everything from arcade games to go-kart racing to laser tag. Irvine Lanes is directly across the street from Boomer’s and is a great place for late-night bowling sessions.

Besides the Spectrum, there are several other shopping centers near Irvine. South Coast Plaza is one of the largest malls in the country, located north of UCI off the Bristol Street exit off on I 405. This mall is a great place to shop because they have many clothing, shoe, home and kitchen stores, as well as many big department stores such as Macy’s, Robinson’s May and Nordstrom. South Coast Plaza offers several great restaurants as well, such as Wolfgang Puck and Planet Hollywood.
The Fashion Island mall is a bit pricier and is located in Newport Beach off of MacArthur Street. It is a great place to walk around and their food court is top of the line. Fashion Island also offers many clothing and department stores, such as the trendy boutique Arden B. and the ever popular Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s stores.

Many students take their studies down to the beach or to a caf