Having fun without having to leave

Melissa Treolo

Spring break sucks when you have nowhere to go.

Or does it? Even without the cash to fly yourself far, far away from school to the sunny beaches of Cancun or Hawaii, one can still have a bit of fun. All it takes is a little imagination and the following list of ideas.

1. Museum, museum, museum.

In Topeka there’s the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site and the Kansas Museum of History. Lawrence has the Spencer Museum of Art. In Kansas City you will find the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the Kansas City Jazz Museum, among others. Bottom line: All of these destinations are within driving distance and, with most of them offering free entrance, will only cost you $30 or less in gas money.

2. “Citizen Kane,” “The Godfather” and “Casablanca.”

I have just listed the top three movies on the American Film Institute’s top 100 movies of all time list. If you’re into movies spring break might be a great time to catch up on all those movies you’ve been neglecting to see. Having seen these three myself, they come highly recommended, and Movie Magic (1835 NW Topeka Blvd.) will have these as well as many others. They have a whole section devoted to AFI’s top 100. Pop some popcorn, order a pizza and invite some friends over and you’ve got the makings for a sweet movie marathon party.

3. “May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.”

If the meaning of this quote is lost on you, you might want to check your calendar. This year spring break will kick off with that most green of all holidays, St. Patrick’s Day. As we are lucky enough to be living in a city that cares enough to celebrate this holiday in the way it should be celebrated, with a parade of bagpipes and lots of drinking madness and mayhem, it will be impossible for you not to find something to do. Almost every bar in Topeka will be offering green beer, Irish car bombs and good times.

If bar hopping isn’t your thing, throw a little soiree at your place. Impress your friends with a dinner party of authentic Irish food like Dublin coddle and poached salmon with Irish butter sauce. Recipes can be found online, and don’t forget an authentic Irish toast or two before taking a sip of your Irish coffee. Here’s one to get you started: “Here’s to me, and here’s to you, and here’s to love and laughter. I’ll be true as long as you, and not one moment after.”

These are just a few ideas, but the ones you might come up with yourself to occupy the week of spring break are endless. The trick is to live in the moment and try to have as much fun as possible. And if you end up sitting on your couch all week feeling sorry for yourself because you’re not getting tanned and wasted on South Padre Island, you are fired.