ENTERTAINMENT: FIVE great ways to stay busy over break

Studio shot of young woman working in office covered with adhesive notes

Winter Break is finally here – a glorious three-week period filled with holiday fun and no academic responsibilities. After your first few days of relaxing, eating and catching up on your sleep, you are bound to get bored. 

Be sure to make the most out of your vacation by adding some of these fun activities to your agenda in between your Netflix binges. 

1. Go Ice Skating: Even if you can’t stay on your feet for more than five minutes on the ice, ice skating is a classic holiday activity that breeds fun memories and festive photo opportunities. From Midland to Manistee to Muskegon there are indoor and outdoor skating rinks to take advantage of. You can make an afternoon or evening of it, complete with hot chocolate after. Grab some friends and head to the nearest outdoor ice-skating rink. For those who live on the west side of the state, be sure to check out Rosa Parks Circle; if you are closer to the east side, look in to Campus Martius.

2. Bake Holiday Treats with Friends or Family: Nothing brings people together quite like food. Whether you are baking for your own family or to give away to others, be sure to spend some time in the kitchen whipping up something delicious (or watching someone else do it) this holiday break. Learn how to make your grandma’s world-famous fudge, or try out a new Pinterest recipe like Gingerbread Bars with cream cheese frosting. Crank up some Christmas tunes and inhale the sweet smell of fresh baked goods while enjoying quality down time with loved ones.

3. Go on an outside adventure: It might be cold, but there is still plenty of fun to be had outside. This winter break take some time to engage in some seasonal outdoor activities. Build a snowman, go sledding or organize a snowball fight. Pretend it’s a snow day and you are eight years old, seizing every opportunity to have fun outside. If there isn’t any snow to be seen, take a winter walk around the city or through the woods (depending on where you live). Take along some friends or a furry companion to get in some light exercise and fresh air.

4. Driving around to look at light displays: Whether you decide to go on an actual tour or just drive around your own neighborhood, be sure to take some time to appreciate all of the beautiful light displays. Pure Michigan has identified some of the most notable light displays in the state on their website, writing “If you need a break from the hectic nature of the holiday season to take in the scenery, be sure to visit one of these eight great Michigan light displays and create a new family tradition!” Their list of displays not to be missed includes the Christmas Lite Show in Grand Rapids and, of course, the Wild Lights display at the Detroit Zoo. Some other sites include Light up the Soo in Sault Sainte Marie and the Christmas at Crossroads Holiday Magic in Flint.

5. Holiday movie marathon: Of course, after a long semester, everyone will be looking forward to some down time to relax and do nothing. Keep yourself occupied and in the holiday spirit by cuddling up on the couch with some friends, family or an animal companion to enjoy classics like Elf and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. If you’re looking for some new Christmas movies to enjoy (and don’t mind Hallmark channel-like story lines) be sure to check out some of the new holidays on Netflix, such as “The Christmas Prince” or “Back to Christmas.”

No matter where you’re from, there are plenty of winter activities you can try over break to keep yourself busy and spend quality times with loved ones.