By Erica Laidler (A&E Editor).
As the cold winter months peel away, unique and enjoyable opportunities present themselves as surefire ways to cure Saturday morning boredom.
Waterplace Walk (Providence, RI)
Pick a spring-like day to float down the Waterplace Walk in Providence, capped off with a stroll through the downtown and an affordable bite to eat at Nice Slice or Apsara Palace (or, if money is a non issue, the Cheesecake Factory). The trip is easy even without a driver’s license, as one-way train tickets are just $4.25 from Sharon.
Max Brenner (Boston, MA)
Though not for your average dieter or anyone on a strict budget, Max Brenner’s is the kind of warm, lavish, ridiculously decadent restaurant all friend groups must visit at least once. It offers omelets and steak, but why opt for normal when a menu boasts chocolate pizza and burgers (a brioche bun with a pure milk chocolate ganache patty and marshmallow and strawberry ‘condiments’)?
Hockomock Area YMCA Classes (Foxborough, MA)
Score the abs you never felt motivated enough to chase through the Y’s aerobic classes (spinning, yoga, kickboxing, or even zumba) with friends. Latch onto a friend with a membership (members can bring guests 6 times a year) or pay a $6 day pass. Leaving feeling intense, refreshed, and inspired.
Maple Sugar Festival (Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary; Sharon, MA)
Next weekend (March 19 and 20), maple syrup lovers can take a trip to paradise at Moose Hill. Visitors experience a leisurely 90-minute guided tour through a wooded trail, past sap buckets and a “sugar shack” that abounds in ambrosial scents and sweet samples, and finally to the Nature Center for maple syrup popcorn and hot pancakes.
($9 per person before the event; $11 on the day of)
IKEA (Stoughton, MA)
For the friend group on a budget that has had their fill of the mall, IKEA provides an unorthodox replacement. Browse through the hundreds of decorative rooms, feast on swedish meatballs and cinnamon buns, play a subtle game of manhunt, splurge on lingonberry jam, and take a nap on one of the innumerable beds throughout the enormous store.
Community service should not be reserved for retirees and juvenile delinquents. Volunteer (or run!) at fun runs to pass out snacks, direct runners, or face-paint young participants. Many events are spirited celebrations and offer food and free t-shirts to their runners and volunteers. Spring events are common and often nearby; for example, sign up for the MS Walk at Oliver Ames on April 2 or the MMFF Run/Walk in Boston on May 1.
Rock Spot Climbing (Boston, MA)
Ever been simultaneously petrified and compelled to journey up the temporary rock walls in town fairs? In exchange for $25 and a 20 minute commute, Rock Spot offers the average thrill seeker or active individual an entire day of unconventional recreation to the beat of energetic music.
For those looking for a little more adventure than that involved in a casual hike, download the Geocache app, pack some rations, and head out into the woods. Users of the app search for the various treasures (hidden by fellow Geocachers) scattered throughout Borderland or other parks in the Sharon area. The Geocache app directs the user towards the treasure, and once it’s discovered the treasure can be swiped and replaced with a friendly note or a small gift of your own.