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Spring break in South Bend

Michelle Fordice | Tuesday, March 3, 2009

While most of us hope that we’ll see sun, sights, and scenery – or at least the warmth of home – over spring break, there is not always enough luck to go around. I am happy to say that this year I’m headed back to the old homestead, but I’ve spent plenty of breaks stuck on campus. But all is not lost: There are plenty of ways to make a week in the Bend a true vacation. 1. Head to a show. You have options within three ranges of distance. First, you can look to the DPAC. Over spring break the DPAC will have a performance by the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and showings of the films “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Waltz with Bashir.” Moving further away from campus, you can check out South Bend. A good place to start is with South Bend’s art Web site: www.artseverywhere.com. Some of the highlights from the week of spring break include “Cabaret” at the South Bend Civic Theatre, the “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” by the Broadway Theatre League at the Morris Performing Arts Center and the opening of the South Bend Museum of Art’s “Scalability” exhibit. Finally, if you’re willing to really go the distance, jump on the train (definitely the most cost efficient option) and head to Chicago. Some venues, like the Lyric Opera, have student deals and tickets if you are willing to register and be a bit flexible. 2. Become a foodie. Again, there are plenty of options within different ranges. First, try your own hand at whipping up a meal. Use a dorm kitchen or borrow a friend’s apartment and do your best to imitate your favorite chef. When it comes to groceries, Martin’s is a bit of a trek, but within walking distance. For a fun trip in itself, head to the South Bend Farmer’s Market. Second, test out all the little cafés on campus. There are more than you would think and each has its own personality. Make sure their hours don’t change over break. After that, head out into South Bend. Avoid the chains and try some of the local restaurants. If you don’t have a car, a great option within walking distance is Lula’s Café. 3. Check out the Snite Museum. The Snite has an excellent collection, and many students miss out on it. Best yet, it’s free and nearby. 4. Go skating. Take a turn around the Howard Park Ice rink, located near campus. 5. Cheer on the Irish. Hockey, lacrosse and may other teams have games over spring break. Throw on your Notre Dame colors, grab some tickets and support our players. 6. Catch up on your movies and T.V. Before your friends leave for break, ask them if you can peruse their collects and borrow some of the films you’ve missed. If you’re more of a T.V. buff, see what Hulu.com has to offer. It may not be glamorous, but who doesn’t like curling up with the TV and cup of hot chocolate every once in awhile? 7. Head up the Dunes. Most people think of the Dunes in the summer, but the national park offers programs during the colder months as well. Check out the National Park Service Web site for more information.8. Head outside. South Bend’s weather is notoriously bad, but hopefully you’ll get a couple of nice days over spring break. You might have to settle for an activity that keeps you moving, like running or a game with friends, but if the sun is out, take advantage of it. 9. Catch up on your reading. So often we spend the entire semester reading what we’re supposed to. Take a break and read something you want to. Don’t have a book on hand? What else is that library for?