So you're stuck in Kent for spring break. You're preparing for seven days of sleeping in, surfing Facebook all day and night or perhaps picking up a few extra hours at work. I'm sure this sounds like a relaxing vacation for some, but for those looking for something a little more action-packed, don't fret. Sure, some pals may be drinking and tanning on the beach or exploring an exotic country while you're on your couch watching reruns of “Friends,” but you don't have to spend all week seething with jealousy. Ohio is full of new places to poke around. You don't have to remain confined to your bedroom just because you aren't leaving Kent. Weather permitting, springtime is great for enjoying the lovely midwest scenery around you. (When it isn't under construction, anyway.) Here are a few tips to take advantage of your spring break without spending too much money or leaving the state.
1 Have a picnic: Pack up some sandwiches, fresh fruit, cookies and juice and head to the Cuyahoga River on a warm, clear day. Remember a blanket, and bring a portable radio so you can blast some tunes while you and a few friends enjoy a meal by the water. You can pretend you're on a beach somewhere in Florida or North Carolina, only no one is likely to hit you in the head with a volleyball or steal your tanning spot. When the sun goes down, head back into town and take advantage of those drink specials (or some late-night coffee, if that's more your thing).
2 Tour a vineyard: If you're of age, hitch a ride to Canton's Gervasi Vineyard and embark upon a tour of the winery. Call to reserve a spot, and invite at least four friends along. Be warned – the private tours cost a hefty $85, but this does include a tasting and bottle of wine, as well as a guided tour through the wine-making process. You can invite up to 20 people in your group, so if you're extra popular, you won't have to pay very much individually. Gervasi is a stunning vineyard, and you can pretend you've traveled far away and are enjoying views of California or Maine instead of the Midwest.
3 Have a “spa day”: Check out some local cosmetology schools in the area, and ask students if they need a hair or makeup model. You will receive a free makeover, and you can show off your new look if you go out that evening. If you want to take the “spa” thing all the way, book a massage at the Rec beforehand, and take a relaxing lap in the lazy river. Invite some girl friends over for manicures, or light some candles and enjoy a relaxing bubble bath. Ahhhh...
4 Go camping: Pack up your tent, sleeping bag and marshmallows and set out on a camping adventure at Hidden Valley Camp Ground in nearby Ravenna. Do some hiking, exploring and storytelling by the fire. It might not be as scenic as a resort out West, but at least you're outside enjoying nature instead of staring at the glowing screen of your laptop for hours, right?