Spring break is right around the corner, and if it snuck up on you, you`re not the only one. Asking around, you’ll find some people are headed somewhere warm, while others may still be looking to spend some time on the slopes. Others may be working over break, and some may have a short trip to Canada mapped out. Flights to popular destinations like Florida are filling up, but getting out of town isn’t the only way to relax and have a bit of fun during your time off. Here are a few ideas for day trips, community work and relaxation during the first full week of March.
- Book a last minute flight
For some, this may be more stressful than anything, but if you have a minute to look through flights like those through Student Travel Agency (STA), you may stumble upon a great deal. From the sunny beaches in Florida to the slopes in Colorado, there are plenty of options in between. Even if you don’t go this year, you can be one step ahead next year.
2. Plan a day trip to the beach
This may sound crazy to people because who wants to go to the beach during the winter? The follow-up question here is, “Have you ever seen a Michigan beach during the winter?” The ice formations and expanse of blue and white are very impressive. Just because you can’t swim, doesn’t mean you can’t explore the town either. All the small shops are full of trinkets and local items that would love some business during these slower months.
3. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
Volunteering is not everyone’s ideal way to spend their free time, but if it is, there are many shelters and soup kitchens that would love to have some help. City Rescue Mission of Lansing is located in downtown Lansing, a great place to get involved with if you are looking to help out the local community. You could even go to Kids’ Food Basket in Grand Rapids if you wanted to explore Michigan and help a community.
4. Help out at the animal shelter
Humane societies and shelters are always looking for volunteers. Getting to pass the time with cats and dogs for a couple of hours sounds like the way to go. For those who are allergic, this may not be the best way to spend a day, but for others who may be missing their pets or just want to spend more time spreading the love, this would be a place to go.
5. Visit a restaurant you’ve been dying to try
Old Town, REO Town, downtown Lansing and even East Lansing have tons of local restaurants with wide varieties of food to choose from. Creole, Soup Spoon Cafe, Good Truckin` Diner and Golden Harvest are all local spots people can’t get enough of. If you have time to visit them all, why not? Let your taste buds in on the fun during the break as well.
6. Shop local
Getting out for the day and visiting all the local shops can give you a better sense as to what is out there in your community. Retail therapy may be just the thing for you. Going to the different areas of your town. If you`’re staying in the Lansing area, October Moon, Mad Eagle or Flat, Black and Circular are great places to go.
7. Go out on the town (or stay in)
Finding time during the week to get together with friends and have a good time may not be easy. Coordinating schedules can feel like pulling teeth. Luckily, March 4-8 this year, classes are canceled and you have a few extra hours to work with. Maybe you want to try a new bar, go out dancing or just have everyone over for a movie night.
8. Read a book
That book sitting on your shelf is calling out to you now that there is time to sit down, relax and read. It may be the final book in a series or maybe you wanted to read your favorite novel for the third time. If you feel like you don’t have a book you’re interested in, there are bookshops such as Curious Bookshop, Barnes & Noble, the library or Schuler Books that will have something for you.
9. Take a cooking class
How often do you have time to make a meal, let alone a gourmet one? This time is perfect to get into a cooking class. If you want to go to Grand Rapids, they have many options in their downtown market for you to test your skills and browse the goodies while you wait. You may even have time to shop for the ingredients to make yourself another great dish once the class is done.
10. Go paint with friends
Quality time with your friends is important. To keep your bond strong, Painting with a Twist in Frandor is a great way to come together and create memories. They have different classes every day and you can choose based on the painting or your availability. They also host parties which are great for large groups.
11. Pamper yourself
This time can also be used strictly for you. Going to get a massage, taking a yoga class, having your hair and nails done or even just taking a bubble bath can be very therapeutic. If you wanted to splurge a little, you could visit LUSH to grab one of their bath bombs, shower scrubs or face masks. It’s okay to take a little more you-time every once in a while.
12. Visit friends/relatives
As life goes on, people move, making spending time together difficult. Planning a time to visit that works for everyone is stressful, so this time off helps manage that. Perhaps you want to go to the Upper Peninsula to visit a friend at Michigan Tech or go a few states away to Virginia. Whether it is an hour trip or day trip, you have time to map it out and spend time with the people you care about.
13. Catch up on sleep
While this is pretty self-explanatory, we all know how stressful life can be. That stress may disrupt sleep patterns and cause people to feel off. This time is great to reset and relax. Not having your alarm go off at six in the morning can make all the difference in the world.
Spring break is meant to give you time to relax and worry a little less about life for a few days. Make sure to use some of the time for you, even if it is only a couple hours here and there. If you have time to check out some of these locations, do it! Learning more about the Lansing area or your own hometown can open your eyes and show you what you may have not noticed before.