By: Kelsey O’Hara
Spring break is typically associated with sandy beaches, cocktails with tiny umbrellas, clear skies and warm sunshine. Unfortunately, it’s also associated with money.
As broke college students, it’s unlikely that we can all go to Daytona or Key West with our friends, especially with the tuition, rent and credit card bills built up in the mailbox. But that doesn’t mean students can’t have a great ‘staycation’ in Wisconsin and save a few dollars in the process.
There are a few ways to enjoy spring break, right here in Cheesehead territory.
Madison, along with other cities in Wisconsin, offers plenty of opportunities for students and residents to give back to the community and spring break is a great time to volunteer do to the extra amount of free time we have and help the community that we live in 9 months out of the year. In Madison, people can look for volunteer opportunities in theMorgridge Center for Public Service and the WUD Spring Break Alternatives website.
2. Get in touch with nature
We’re blessed with easy access to beautiful natural parks and lakes that surround our campus. Spring break can be a time where students can get back to their natural roots and enjoy relaxing time in nature. It can be as simple as walking to picnic point with some friends or taking a trip to the Arboretum to explore trails and the wildlife preserved in Madison. A popular location that requires a short car ride is Devil’s Lake that offers swimming, wildlife and hiking trails over the bluffs of the lake.
3. Pick up a hobby
The beauty of free time is that we can take time for ourselves and do things that we enjoy. And this free time can be used to try a new activity and develop a new hobby. The Monona Terrace offers afternoon yoga for any level or take swing dancing lessons at Jumptown. Putting yourself out there can help you find new activities or hobbies that we can continue. Or if you try something that you don’t love, at least you experienced something new and possibly met new people from it.
4. Go to a concert
If you saved some money or just love music, it’s easy to take a trip to Milwaukee to see big name artists like Adam Lambert or Mayday Parade. Or if you want to stay local, Breaking Benjamin and Cole Swindell are visiting Madison later this month. If they don’t fit your music taste, check out madison.eventful.com to see more concerts available in Madison or in any Wisconsin area.
5. Road Trip
Even if we can’t travel to Florida or the Bahamas, we don’t have to stop our inner explorer. Chicago is about a three hour drive from Madison, and the perfect place to visit for a day trip. Minneapolis is a four hour drive that is upcoming in terms of restaurants, businesses and nightlife. And the city itself can be relatively cheap if you prefer to stay the night in either of the Twin Cities. Either way, rent a car, find a map and drive somewhere that you want to go. Have a great adventure.
6. Explore Madison
If you can’t leave the city, it can be fun to explore and find hidden gems within Madison. Never actually been inside the Capitol? Take a tour. Want a laugh? Hit the Comedy Club on State street. Find new restaurants that you wanted to try or hit the Lake Mendota for volleyball or just strolling the beach. Try to fulfill one new thing each day of Spring Break, and you’ll have engaging stories to tell your friends when they return to Madison. Plus, you can recommend new places for your friends to try on the weekend.
7. Take a Break
The point of Spring Break is to take a break from school! Make sure to relax and enjoy the time usually dedicated towards work or school to do something you love, whether it’s a road trip, a concert, a hike or sleeping in. Trust me, enjoy it before you come back to the usual midterm stress.