Unpack the Facts: Five things to do over Spring Break

Graphic by Amy Lowndes

Spring break is finally upon us, and with a week off comes a week of lounging around and wondering what to do (one can only watch old Saturday Night Live skits in pajamas for so long).

Whether you’re staying in Claremont, going home or heading elsewhere to visit family, here are some ideas to help bust your boredom over break without busting the bank.

1) Tiptoe through the tulips (and other flowers)

March is a great time to see wildflower fields in all their blooming beauty. For those staying in Southern California, check out the Flower Fields in Carlsbad, about 30 miles north of San Diego. With more than 50 acres of buttercups and other specialty flowers — along with special events, like yoga and barre classes in the fields — it’s certainly a treat for the eyes.

Similar flower festivals can be found across the country: Enjoy the sights at Washington, D.C.’s National Cherry Blossom Festival or the World Floral Expo in Dallas. Of course, you don’t need a festival to find flowers. A drive through the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee boasts beautiful violets, avalanche lilies bloom in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington and the Mojave Desert is home to the stunning California poppies. Just don’t forget to bring your camera.

2) Attend a storytelling event

If you’re looking for a show to make you laugh, cry and gasp all in one evening, “The Moth” is calling your name. “The Moth” is a non-profit organization committed to the “art and craft of storytelling.” You might have heard some of their stories on NPR, but they also host live storytelling events regularly nationwide.

In Seattle, I frequently attend their open-mic competitions called StorySLAMS, where people sign up to share a five-minute story on the night’s theme, or just enjoy the show. The stories are all true, so get ready for a night of insight, humor, inspiration and much more. To find a Moth event near you, visit their website, themoth.org.

3) Visit a local farm

Whether you’re looking for cows and pigs, or the less conventional animals (kangaroo farm, anyone?), tours of local farms can be both fun and educational. Here in SoCal, Mr. Joe’s Farm is a nonprofit, family-owned farm in the city of Perris. During the tour, you’ll meet a variety of animals, including goats, llamas, sheep and a camel. If you fall in love with the pigs there, make your way to Norco for the SoCal Mini Pigs farm.

Wanting something less like Old MacDonald? Wherever you’re going, there’s sure to be a unique farm nearby. Delaware is home to the Hopkins Farm Creamery (which, yes, offers amazing ice cream), the No Regrets Farm in Oregon is home to the goat yoga craze and Montana’s Cowboy Cricket Farm can teach you about the agriculture surrounding edible insects.

My personal favorite? Washington’s Outback Kangaroo Farm. If you’re headed to the Evergreen State for the break, stop by to meet lemurs, alpacas, wallabies and of course, plenty of kangaroos.

4) Start snapping at a poetry slam

Poetry slams or open mics can be a great way to embrace your inner artist and hear the different voices in your community. Unsurprisingly, Los Angeles is a hub for poetry events — Da Poetry Lounge in downtown LA hosts the largest weekly open mic in the country.

There are countless other poetry venues in other cities as well: Youth Speaks is a San Francisco-based organization that hosts poetry slams and open mics specifically for youth under 21, and Poetry Slam Inc. is a good resource for finding events near you. Whether you want to brave the stage yourself or just sit back and listen, it’s an experience I highly recommend.

5) Get lost in the forest

There’s no better way to destress from the first half of the semester than by spending some quality time in the great outdoors. In fact, according to a study by Stanford University, walking in nature regularly can significantly help calm anxiety and reduce the risk of depression. Being outdoors has also been proven to lengthen attention spans, improve one’s ability to focus and increase problem-solving skills by up to 50 percent.

Hiking can also be a great social activity — it allows for plenty of quality time to chat, and better yet, it’s free. With more than 52,603 miles worth of hiking trails in the United States’ 8,565 state parks, there should be nothing stopping you from getting out in nature.

Mady Colantes PO ’22 is from Seattle. When not in shock over the lack of rain in Claremont, she enjoys reading and getting too excited over small things.

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