Relaxing Ways to Spend Free Time in and around PVD

Brown students are extremely busy people; between difficult course loads, diverse extracurriculars, and maintaining a balanced social life, it can be difficult to find time to do things that don’t serve an explicit purpose. That being said, carving out time to spend doing fun and sometimes unconventional activities is one of the best ways to manage stress and prevent the feeling of being weighed down by assignment after assignment. I personally feel like the time I spent at Brown last year lacked these carefree, fun, purposeless outings. As a result, I’ve made an extra effort this year to make time for as much of them as possible, because it’s extremely stress relieving and refreshing. Below are some of my favorite ways to get off campus and decompress. 

Go to the beach

While this option is really only available in September/October and April/May, it’s such a good way to clear your mind spend time with friends in a space that isn’t a dorm room, dining hall, or library. In September, an outing to Narragansett Beach, Newport beach, or even RISD beach can ease one into the school year after summer, and provide a much-needed dose of Vitamin D. In the Spring, it’s so nice to be able to celebrate the warmer weather and color making its way to Rhode Island. Through spending time at the beach, you will feel more in touch with nature and less surrounded by concrete. 

Go to Target or another fun department store

This outing is definitely less conventional, but it can still be a fantastic way to go on a little adventure without going very far. However, speaking from experience, going to Target without a specific list of items can be slightly ~dangerous~, and you can end up with 43 cheap scented candles, a fun adult onesie, and packages upon packages of Pillsbury holiday cookies before you know what you’ve gotten yourself into. Regardless, Target is a great way to blow off steam while also checking off chores/errands!

Take the train to Boston

While Boston may seem very far away without access to a car, it’s really only an hour train ride, and the tickets are only $11.50! Taking the train to Boston for the day––whether it is just to walk around, or to shop, see a sporting event, visit a friend, eat at a new restaurant, or go on a famous DuckBoat tour––is a great option to remove yourself from Providence and take homework off your mind. 

Walk down Wickenden

If you’ve ever spoken to anyone who graduated from Brown more than 20 years ago, you know how much of an asset Wickenden is to Providence. You’ll hear something along the lines of “that new neighborhood right along the river near East Providence is awesome! Such a game changer!” And they’re not wrong! Wickenden’s cute little store fronts, boasting favorites such as Coffee Exchange, The Duck and Bunny, The Shop, and Amy’s, draw in tons of Brown students. It’s the perfect distance away from campus that you can feel relaxed––AKA you can’t see the impending doom that is the SciLi––but it’s close enough so you can enjoy a nice walk. 

Go to the Zoo

This sounds ridiculous, I know. BUT, bear with me; I went to the zoo with my friends last year because they were hosting a food truck event, and I did not regret it. The Roger Williams Park Zoo holds tons of events like this throughout the year and they’re worth going to, if not for the animals, then for the food trucks. The food was awesome, we got to see some adorable animals, and it was only a short drive from campus! 

I hope that after reading this article, you’ll realize that though Providence may not be the biggest city, its location is more advantageous than one might initially think. It’s not every day you find a place that’s a short train ride from Boston, and a quick drive from nature!