Midterms are (mostly) over, and it’s time for a break. Here are twenty ideas to make it epic.
1. Learn Something New – Just For the Fun of It
“Take an hour out of your day,” says Rosemary Davies. “Try something totally NEW! Learn about a synchroton or a poem about ‘a lonely number like root three.’ Maybe find out about J. Alfred Prufrock and the two famous Jorge Borges from South America.” With homework on hiatus, you’ve got time to investigate anything you’d like.
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2. Get Brunch
Seriously, how often do you get a chance to go out mid-morning for a meal with friends? Bonding over breakfast food is always a treat.
Get Started: Try Pamela’s in Squirrel Hill, Shadyside or the Strip District for a delicious stack of pancakes or an indulgent omelette.
Photo by Mara Flanagan
3. Explore Pittsburgh
“If you’re unable to go on a trip, just take a break from studying and work in general and just explore Pittsburgh,” says Stephanie Welling. “You don’t get a lot of chances to do so over the semester so Long Weekend is the perfect chance to do that.”
Get Started: Browse the Visit Pittsburgh website for up-to-date event listings.
4. Have a Picnic in the Park
Recruit some friends for a picnic on the quad. Pack a thermos of hot apple cider and bring some warm blankets to sit under the changing leaves.
Get Started: Browse delicious fall baking ideas on the Cooking Channel website.
5. Decorate for Halloween
If you love Halloween, give your room a makeover! Looking for a quick change? Try purple or orange twinkle lights.
Get Started: Try one of Martha Stewart’s indoor Halloween projects if you’re feeling ambitious.
6. Visit a Pumpkin Patch
Brittany DeMeno suggests taking a trip off-campus to a pumpkin patch! You may need to carpool to get there, but the fall festival vibe is worth the trip.
Get Started: KDKA compiled a list of the best pumpkin patches in the Pittsburgh area.
7. Check Out the Carnegie International
This exhibition is so astounding, it’s the subject of a whole course at Chatham this fall. Hop on the Oakland shuttle and head to the Carnegie Museum of Art for an afternoon of exploration.
Get Started: Visit the Carnegie International website to learn about the artists before you go.
8. Get a Pumpkin Spice Latte
Seasonal coffee drinks are only around for a month or two: if you’re taking time over the weekend to catch up on class work, why not change up your routine with an off-campus excursion? Study in one of the many coffee shops in Shadyside, Squirrel Hill and Oakland (or just settle in for a delightful drink in Cafe Rachel!).
Get Started: Download the Starbucks mobile app so you can start earning rewards – a beautiful thing for a college student.
Photo: Starbucks Facebook page
9. Visit the Giant Rubber Duck
If you haven’t made it Downtown to see Florentijn Hofman’s extraordinary creation, now is the time to go – the duck is floating away October 20!
Get Started: Check out our Campus Celebrity article on the duck for some fun pictures taken by Chatham students!
Photo by Mara Flanagan
10. Make Friends with a Few Dinosaurs
Take a trip to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History to mingle with prehistoric pals.
Get Started: Learn more about the Dinosaurs in Their Time exhibit on the museum’s website.
11. Go to the Waterfront
“Head down to the Waterfront with some friends!” suggests Onastasia Youssef. “It has the best movie theater in the city, as well as some great places to eat and shop.”
Get Started: Check the movie times and order tickets online with Fandango.
Photo: AMC Loews Waterfront
12. Indulge in Pie-A-Palooza
Eat ‘n Park is celebrating Pie-A-Palooza all month long: stop by one of their restaurants for a $1.99 slice of pie in October! Pumpkin Crème is a particularly delicious twist on the classic flavor.
Get Started: Sign up for Smiley’s Email Club to get coupons emailed to you each month.
Photo: Smiley Facebook page
13. Make Your Halloween Costume
At Chatham’s Halloween Dinner, innovative costumes are rewarded. If you tend to go for store-bought garb, switch it up and craft your own!
Get Started: Look back through our Campus Style Blog for photos from past Halloween Dinners (such as the one of Shannon Ward, above).
14. Get Started on a New Language
“Learn languages like Icelandic, Spanish, French, and Portuguese,” suggests Rosemary Davies. “Maybe ‘pirate’ too if you arr ready!”
Get Started: Read our list of online tools that make learning a new language easier here.
15. Go Outside
“Maybe take a break from the computer screen,” says Rosemary Davies. “Take in the sunshine.” With a beautiful campus and plenty of nearby parks, this is an amazing time to go for a hike or a bike ride.
Get Started: Check in with Venture Outdoors for updates on exciting activities going on in the area.
Photo by Mara Flanagan
16. Go Camping
“Long weekend is early enough this year that it will probably be one of the last weeks that it’s still warm enough to take a tent camping trip,” says Gretchen Geibel. “I like to go to Cook’s Forest since there are lots of trails to hike/bike on.”
Get Started: Explore your options with KDKA’s campsite guide.
17. Throw a Slumber Party
Kaitlin Tomko’s suggestion: round up your gal pals at Chatham for a night of fun in the dorms.
Get Started: Plan a middle school throwback night complete with MASH, flashlight tag and stargazing.
18. Explore a Haunted House
Brittany DeMeno thinks a visit to a haunted house is a spooky way to kick off the Halloween season.
Get Started: Learn about all of the spine-tingling options around the city with this article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
19. Visit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
“The animals will be active since it is still warm but getting cold,” says Brittany DeMeno.
Get Started: Visit the Pittsburgh Zoo website for updates on events and educational opportunities.
“Long Weekend is a great opportunity to catch up on sleep,” says Shannon Ward. “Don’t feel like you have to run around and do something crazy or fancy! It’s just as smart and beneficial to take a few days to recharge and maybe get ahead on some school work.”