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Ideas for Staying Busy during JanPlan (with friends!)

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Colby chapter.

I love JanPlan. With only one class and loads of free time, in normal years it’s the perfect time to live it up without the typical heavy burden of school work and other academic related pastimes. Skiing with friends, dinner with friends, weekends with friends, everything with friends. Normally, JanPlan is the best time to relax, ski, and live it up, but if COVID is putting a damper on your traditional activities, there are other ways to have fun and keep the boredom at bay. While wearing a mask and keeping safe, the outdoors seem the best place to connect these days. Here are some ways to keep yourself busy, without spending much money and being able to connect safely with friends.

Hike to a Maine Huts and Trails Hut

The Maine Huts and Trails huts are so much fun. There are adorable cabins and facilities out in the Maine wilderness, with a bunch of different huts and different length trails to access them. Unfortunately, due to Covid you cannot stay overnight at their huts right now, but it’s still a beautiful snowy walk/snowshoe/cross country ski to grab some lunch there and turn around. They are currently open at their Stratton Brook hut for meals, check that out here!

Skiing (Downhill)

This one might seem obvious, as driving up to Sugarloaf on the weekend you’re behind twenty other cars with their parking pass sticker and their Colby sticker/magnet of choice.

There are so many great ski mountains around us, Sugarloaf being our closest mountain at only about an hour and fifteen away. You can check out their website here.  Sugarloaf also offers some amazing cross country skiing trails if you are interested. Their Outdoor Center information can be found here. Then there’s Sunday River at about 1 hour and 50 mins away. You can check out their website on this page. Those are the two best resorts near us, but there is also always Saddleback, Mt. Abram, Shawnee Peak, Lost Valley and some others! And if you are feeling advanced, there are some great mountains around to either skin or bootpack up, and enjoy yourself on the trail less traveled.

Go Sledding

Okay so… I recently learned about the Camden Maine Toboggan Championships and just have to say, let’s all remember about that and go when Covid is over! BUT since that is postponed this year, we can just go sledding instead and pretend to be finalists. A great place to start is the hill behind Dana, and you can use a paper plate if you don’t have a sled (not the safest but take my word for it, it works). Quarry Road is also a super fun idea; i there are some super fun hills to sled down. For more of a drive, Bigrock Ski Mountain has some super fun snow tubing, Hermon mountain, and then Pineland Farms in New Gloucester has some really awesome trails (amazing for cross country skiing as well).

Drive to Portland

If you have a free weekend, or a day without class, a trip to Portland will never disappoint. Grab some brunch, look around downtown at the pretty shops, or just or just go stock up on treats at Trader Joe’s (because when is that not fun? Check out some ideas of what to buy here!) If you are looking to get some energy and a boost to your day, try a spin class at Rêve Cycling Studio or Jibe Cycling studio, check out the fun skating at Thompson’s point, or go for a walk around the East End and enjoy the beautiful view of the ocean.

I love getting outside; the outdoors provide  us with a copious amount of fresh air and endorphins to keep us happy and healthy. Being outside helps me feel strong, and it’s such a great place to connect with your people, especially when Corona makes our opportunities feel limited. Grab your best adventure buddy and try these different activities to keep busy and happy during JanPlan!

Georgia is a current Junior at Colby and is from Maine! She's double majoring in English and Anthropology. You can probably find her in Bixler, by Johnson pond, or doing anything fun outside:)