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How to Take a Spring Break “Staycation”

Six ways to relax — and save $ — in Boston next week


Unpack your suitcase and start having fun.

So you didn’t have an extra $1,000 set aside for a week of sun and sand in an exotic location — it’s a recession, after all. Luckily, Boston has plenty of options for food, fun, and games. If you’re sticking close to campus this spring break, here are six ways to get the most out of your “staycation.”

If you wanted to go to Europe:
Check out Boston’s art museums, where you can see both Old Masters and 21st-century icons. Admission to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is only $5 with a Terrier card, and “Mrs. Jack’s” Fenway palazzo showcases works by Michelangelo, Degas, and Manet, to name a few. While you’re in the area, head to the Museum of Fine Arts to see works by Monet, Renoir, and van Gogh. On Friday, March 6, stop by for the monthly mfafirstfriday, live music, food, and drinks in the Koch Gallery from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., open to those over 21. Admission to the museum is free with a Terrier card. The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is free from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays and has an exhibition featuring works by Shepard Fairey, the artist who designed the Obama Hope poster.

For a taste of European-style shopping and cuisine, you can browse in Beacon Hill or try Italian food in the North End. Head to South End Formaggio, located in Boston’s South End, for free cheese, wine, and beer classes this week.

If you wanted to hit the waves:
Take a ride on Boston Harbor Cruises from Long Wharf (near the Aquarium stop on the Blue Line) to the Charlestown Navy Yard. There, you can visit the U.S.S. Constitution, where admission is free with a Terrier card. Longing to feel sand between your toes? The area’s beaches aren’t crowded at this time of year. Take the MBTA commuter rail train to Rockport or Gloucester for a brisk shoreline walk. Click here for train schedules.

If you wanted to volunteer:
Lend a helping hand at the Greater Boston Food Bank, Rosie’s Place, or the St. Francis House.

If you wanted to see what’s new on Broadway:
Go to BosTix for half-price tickets for shows such as Dirty Dancing and Defending the Caveman. Tickets to the Blue Man Group are $30 each for students. Plus, this weekend, NBC’s America’s Got Talent will be hosting auditions for the show at the Boston Convention Center.

If you wanted to go skiing in Vail:
Before the season’s over, hit the slopes at Nashoba Valley or Wachusett Mountain, which is accessible by MBTA commuter rail.

If you wanted to see spring training:
You can still get your sports fix here at BU. Women’s basketball and lacrosse and men’s ice hockey are playing at home this weekend.

Hurting for some cash? FitRec is looking for help in its pro shop during spring break only.

If you know of anything else fun to do in Boston during spring break week, post a comment below.

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.


3 Comments on How to Take a Spring Break “Staycation”

  • Sally on 03.05.2009 at 8:28 am

    Such an appropriate article in times of economic dispair. Come on people, get out there and explore the things that make this area such a great place!!

    Don’t forget to tour Fenway before the crowds of the regular season bear their ugly heads!

  • Anonymous on 03.05.2009 at 11:43 am

    Admission into the ICA is free with a terrier card! It was a nice surprise when I went to see the Fairley Exhibit which is amazing! Highly recomended!

  • Anonymous on 03.08.2009 at 11:17 am

    “Don’t forget to tour Fenway before the crowds of the regular season bear their ugly heads!”

    The above not being advisable for Yankee fans like myself.

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