Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring Break Survival Guide

Spring is finally here! Granted the weather isn’t as nice as we would all like it to be, BUT it’s finally here and for that we should be thankful! Now is the time when you are so close to spring break that you can barely contain your excitement, right?

Have you really thought about what you are going to do for this break? Oh sure, some will be traveling outside of Washington, maybe even the US. What about the whole lot of Washingtonians that will be stuck here? What will we do in this sometimes crazy, unstable weather? Well, I have some ideas that might help with the undecided and the indecisive.

For those of you who aren’t traveling and don’t want to spend money:

1. Break out the popcorn!
                -This break is an awesome chance to catch up on your favorite TV shows that you might’ve missed because of the super busy student life you have. Now is the chance to just kick back, relax, pig out and chill while watching your favorite characters. If you’re more of a movie person, watch your favorite movies! Or go online and find movies there. Invite some friends and make it a sleepover!

2. Library trip!
                -I know the Library might sound boring but it’s a great resource to find movies, cds, books, etc. The Seattle Public Library downtown is huge and remarkable. Anyone could easily spend all day in it. You could spend some time reminiscing your childhood by reading in the colorful and spacious Children’s section. You can also visit the Red floor whose architecture is oddly reminiscent of Dr. Seuss. If you’re a musician, there’s also a room where you can play and it’s also equipped with a piano. Whatever you do, it’s all free! Just don’t carry any late fees.   

3. Experience Nature!
                -You can either do something small like going to the park or something bigger such as hiking or camping. At the park, you can play on the jungle gym, play sports such as ultimate Frisbee (which you can never go wrong with!), fly a kite, etc. You can plan a hiking trip which is always fun and hey, we are in Washington! What better place to hike? Camping is also always fun and when going with a big group the costs are usually very minimal.

4. Feeling Tidy?
                -With the term “spring” comes the sometimes inevitable “spring cleaning”. By spending just a day on cleaning your room or even tidying up the house, you can feel cleansed and even accomplished. School and work can take away a lot of time to just clean and spring break is perfect to “un-clutter” your closet. You can even donate the clothes you don’t want to places to Goodwill and other places.

5. To all the Gamers out there…
                -get ready to rumble! A video game tournament is a great way to hang out with friends and test your gaming skills. There’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition right? Pick a place and get friends to bring games and controllers. Create a tournament chart and see who gets to the top. Prizes are also nice incentives!

For those of you who are ok with spending money:   

1. Shopping!
                -You don’t have to spend a ton of money when you go to the mall. Window shopping is also really fun. Trying on clothes is a great way to pass the time, just have the constraint to stop from buying them! If you want to buy clothes at a good price, you can go to thrift stores. Shops on the ave in the u-district are pretty decently priced and still fashionable.

2. Movie Matinee anyone?
                -Try getting a group together and go to your local movie theater during its matinee hours. The ticket price is cheap yet you still get to see the new movie everyone is talking about. "Sucker Punch" is an epic film and you can watch it for 7 dollars at the Metro Theater in the u-district.

3. Laser theater?
                -Have you ever been to a laser show? If not, you have to drop whatever you are doing on a Friday or Saturday night and go to one! They’re held at the Laser Dome in the Pacific Science Center from Thursday to Sunday. Different bands are used on different days so try looking on the website to figure out what day you want to go. It’s 8 dollars or less and the show that is getting the most buzz is the Daft Punk show. Don’t forget to bring a pillow!

4. Test those vocals!
                -Karaoke is always embarrassing but it’s always fun to sing your heart out to old tunes from your childhood with friends! Songs from artists such as Britney Spears, N’Sync and the Spice Girls will definitely bring the entertainer out of you. There are many karaoke places in Washington and it’s usually cheap when you plan with a group. 

5. Live music!
                -There are plenty of shows that take place in Washington. Seattle tends to see a lot of bands both local and traveling. If you’re outside of the city, check out the websites for El Corazon, The Showbox (Market and Sodo), Studio 7 , etc and come out to watch a show! Many shows are all ages and local shows are usually 10 bucks and under.

Now if you’re in an area that is super rainy and dreary, here are some things you can do to have fun while keeping dry!
-throw a party for friends
-make it a movie night
-create an exercise regimen
-create a dance routine
-play video games
-read your favorite book or series of books
-update your facebook
-write a story or create a cartoon
-call and talk to friends
-sleep (more since this won’t happen again until summer)

First, for those of you who are going away:
We all know that Spring Break is awesome! It’s our own little taste of summer while giving us a break from school. But let’s not forget that when going away on a trip, we all have to be careful. If you’re going to a different country with your family, stick with them. I know it sucks to be stuck with the “parentals” while being in a foreign country and you just want to explore. However, we all can have fun with our family while also staying safe.

If you are traveling with friends, (I’m going to sound incredibly corny) use the buddy system! Even if that means you need to hold hands, do it! There are plenty of examples that have shown us how badly things can turn when traveling with friends to foreign countries and not paying attention. Remember, you want to have an exciting and memorable trip when you come back, nothing bad. The whole “don’t talk to strangers” and “never take candy from strangers” is pretty valid. So I say follow it just to be safe.

Now that was your guide to having an awesome yet semi-inexpensive Spring Break! Remember to work hard until the break. That way you can feel accomplished and ready to enjoy your much needed break!   

Written by a Teen Link volunteer