10 ways to spend your Spring break (without excessive travel)


Photo: Lucia Thorne

By Maeve Lawler, Kasteel Well Bureau Chief

As Spring Break fast approaches, whether you are returning home, staying on campus, or taking a trip, this week is a time to replenish and have fun. With that being said, here’s a list of 10 ways to enjoy your well-deserved break.

  • Movie marathon

With the Oscars coming up on March 27, Spring break provides the ideal time to watch this year’s nominations. Some of my favorites include “The Power of the Dog,” “Spencer,” and “Summer of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised). 

“The Power of the Dog,” nominated for “Best Picture” and “Best Director,” was released in the U.S. Sept. 2021. It’s classified as a western psychological drama set in 1925 Montana. The film follows the story of two ranch-owning brothers, Phil and George Burbank, with the enticing rural backdrop of Otago, New Zealand, where the film was mostly shot. 

“Spencer” starring Kristen Stewart, who was nominated for “Best Leading Actress,” features the troubling story of the late Princess Diana. This psychological drama features a Christmas at the Queen’s Sandringham’s Estate in Norfolk, where Diana navigates the pressures of royalty while feeling trapped in her marriage with Prince Charles and the “duties” that being a royal entails. 

“Summer of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised),” nominated for “Best Documentary Feature,” is a documentary of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival—a celebration of Black culture, music, and pride, and takes place at Mount Morris Park in Harlem. The film shows restored live footage of the festival, chock-full of memorable melodies, groove, and rhythm that’s seen both on stage and within the crowd. The filmmaker, Hal Tulchin, recorded over 40 hours of footage of the festival. After parts of the footage aired on ABC and CBS News in 1969, the tapes were stored in a basement for 50 years and left unpublished. “Summer of Soul” brings these tapes to life, sharing a widely unpublished, yet pivotal event in Black culture to large audiences. 

  • Catch up on TV shows 

Whether you are returning to a regular binge-worthy re-watch or looking for something new, a TV show may just be the perfect way to unwind. Some of the most trending TV shows now are “Inventing Anna” (Netflix), “Euphoria” (HBO Max), and “Snowfall” (Hulu). 

  • Immerse yourself in a good book 

As a college student, it’s often hard to take the time to read for pleasure. But with a week off, now’s the time to get cozy with some of your favorite reads. My top three recommended books are “Slouching Toward Bethlehem” by Joan Didion, “Blue is the Warmest Color” by Toni Morrison, and “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty. 

  • Go to a concert

During Spring Break, keep an eye out for concerts in your area. If it’s a band you’re familiar with or a new name, concerts are a great way to explore genres of music and gather with friends. Of course, keep in mind the COVID protocols in your area. Be prepared to show your vaccination card and wear a mask. 

  • Explore the outdoors

Check out your local parks, forests, and hiking trails. Outdoor recreation is a great way to exercise, enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds you, and unwind. If you’re staying in the Boston area, some of the best outdoor destinations include the Blue Hills Reservation and the Arnold Arboretum, a short train ride from Boston. The Arnold Arboretum is a free public botanical park located in Jamaica Plain. Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, Mass., is lined with beginner hiking trails that lead to an observatory overlooking the hills below.  

  • Learn to cook a new recipe 

While off-campus and with ample spare time, the opportunity to cook a new dish awaits. I’m always inclined to step out of my “comfort zone” when I return home to my kitchen, cooking everything from homemade tortillas to hand-rolled pasta. Pull out those old cookbooks or do a quick online search to find what delicious meal you’ll make next. 

  • Visit your local museums 

On your time off, take some time to explore the art and natural world that surrounds you. Look for student deals to access discounted tickets, grab a group of friends, and make a day of it. 

  • Visit your favorite local food spots

The early stages of the pandemic proved that local businesses need customer support more to keep their doors open. As many return home for Spring Break, consider visiting restaurants close to you to support local businesses and enjoy all they have to offer. 

  • Plan a visit with an old friend 

While many of our friends from home are dispersed all across the country or world for their post-high school adventures, Spring Break provides an opportunity to catch up with familiar faces. Make time for loved ones and make the most of your free time with them. 

  • Make time to rest, restore, and relax 

While our time off allows for fun and exploration, make an effort to make this break a real one. Carve out time for you. Practice actual self care, return to the hobbies that bring you joy, and surround yourself with what feels right. 

Hopefully, these 10 recommendations leave you feeling inspired to explore, enjoy, and relax during your time off.