College life in Philly

How to make the most of your Philly ‘staycation’ over Spring Break

Who cares if you can’t afford to go abroad? Maybe just pretend.

spring break
Cat Branchman / Flickr

For a week or so every year, college campuses across Philly empty out while students head home or to warmer climates for a week to celebrate the end of another midterm season. But if you can’t swing plane tickets for Spring Bring or your AirBnb fell through, “staycation” in your own city and enjoy the parts of it you don’t get to see during the test- and homework-filled weeks of the semester.

If you couldn’t afford a trip out of the country…

Pretend you’re jetting off to the Netherlands next week at the Philly Flower Show, if only for one day. This year’s theme is “Holland,” and with the windmills, tulips, fancy cheese and bounty of bikes, you can pretend you’re not in the Convention Center, if only for a day. The show will also some highlight the eco-friendly design and sustainable horticultural methods the country is known for. The show will run March 11-19 and offers a student discount — $20 per day.

East Passyunk Restaurant Week continues until Friday, and you can eat like you’re in another country without taking an actual trip. Different spots are offering $15, $25 and $35 three-course meals. Grab some friends and check out Bing Bing Dim Sum, which will serve up dumplings and other tasty fare, in their usual dim sum (family-style) fashion; or eat fajitas and drink margaritas at Cantina los Caballitos to pretend you’re in Cancun.

If you wanted to go on a mission trip…

Instead, volunteer at home. Philly’s office of Civic Engagement & Volunteer Service offers a matchmaking service for those looking to give their time. The site offers opportunities for one-day projects and longer commitments, as well as directing individual volunteers and those in groups. Opportunities range from helping out in after-school programs, video production assistants for nonprofits and helping to plan events like May’s Walk Against Hate.

If you only have a day, grab some friends or roommates and clean up your block. Trash is a fixture in many university areas, and the city’s CLIP program will rent you supplies to pick up trash, then come pick it up when you’re done. It’s easy to do as an individual or as a group.

If you can’t afford to go see a show or get tickets to a music festival…

Host your own Netflix binge-watching party. A full week without classes means there’s plenty of time to catch up on new releases or rewatch some old favorites. On March 1, Netflix released a slew of new content, including Jurassic Park, Nacho Libre, Chicago and The Craft. If you’re spending the week catching up on some originals or staples like The Office, remember — anything can be turned into a drinking game.

Catch a local show — there are some big names coming to Philly in March. Jeezy, along with Lil Durk and YFN Lucci, will be at the Fillmore Thursday night while Rozes performs in the Foundry section the same night. The Band Perry will be at the TLA on Saturday, and if you’re looking for some classic rock, Sting will perform on Saturday at the Fillmore and Bon Jovi on March 31 at the Wells Fargo Center.

Want some more? Explore other College life in Philly stories.

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