No spring break trip? Make the most of Madison

Spring break is typically associated with sandy beaches, clear skies and warm sunshine. Unfortunately, it’s also associated with money. We can’t all go to Daytona or Key West. 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.

  1. Volunteer

Madison, along with other cities in Wisconsin, offers plenty of opportunities for students and residents to give back to the community. 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 nine months out of the year. In Madison, people can look for volunteer opportunities in the Morgridge Center for Public Service and the WUD Spring Break Alternatives website.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 a dance studio. 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.

  1. 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 the Lumineers or Grouplove. Or if you want to stay local, Journey and the Revivalists 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.

  1. 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 and offers lots of restaurants, businesses and nightlife. And its relatively cheap 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.

  1. 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 to try or hit 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.

  1. 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.

— Kelsey O’Hara