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

With spring break now past us, we’re just over halfway through the spring semester! Summer is coming soon, but that also means that finals are rapidly approaching. The weeks leading up to finals can be incredibly stressful with balancing your last major assignments for your classes and studying for all of your exams, all while trying not to lose your mind.

It’s important to take some time to do something relaxing amid all the stress and anxiety. Here are five (somewhat inexpensive) activities to do around UCF to help you unwind.

All Fired Up

All Fired Up is a pottery painting studio located about 30 minutes from UCF’s main campus. They have a wide variety of pottery to choose from that’s reasonably priced. The price includes the pottery, paints, paintbrushes and other materials you’ll need, as well as the cost of firing the piece in the kiln. The staff are incredibly friendly and are happy to help you with any questions you may have about the process. You can visit the website for All Fired Up to see some of the pottery they have to offer and how much the pieces cost. Unfortunately, All Fired Up is “currently undergoing studio renovations” until late April, but this was too good a pick to leave off the list. Make sure to check their website for updates on when they reopen, and to snag a 20% off coupon.

Harry P. Leu Gardens

As a plant enthusiast, this is one of my top picks for a relaxing way to spend the afternoon surrounded by nature. The Leu Gardens are located at about a 30 minute drive from UCF. The park is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, and adult admission is only $15 per person. The Leu Gardens are handicap accessible and provide complimentary wheelchairs in the Garden House Welcome Center on a first-come, first-served basis. With over 50 acres of land to explore, you can easily spend several afternoons here enjoying all of the beautiful plants. If you don’t know where to start with your visit, suggested path options for a one-hour or two-hour visit are listed on the Harry P. Leu Gardens website.


Living in Orlando definitely has its perks with having such close access to so many theme parks. However, many of these options aren’t quite budget friendly. Located 35 minutes away from UCF, Aquatica is a great, cheap water park to spend a day at. UCF students can snag $35 tickets from the SGA Ticket Center located on the first floor of the Student Union. You’re allowed to re-enter the park, so you can easily save a few bucks by packing a lunch or bringing a Publix sub in the car instead of paying for overpriced theme park food. With so many slides, a lazy river, adventure rapids, and a wave pool, there’s plenty to do.

Arcade Monsters

If you love the nostalgia of playing arcade games, try a night at Arcade Monsters. The closest Arcade Monsters location is in Oviedo, just 12 minutes from UCF. Admission is $20 per person and allows for unlimited gameplay from 11 am to 2 am daily. Arcade Monsters has a wide variety of games from the classic arcade games you know and love, to rhythm, pinball, driving, shooting, or fighting games. Additionally, Arcade Monsters serves food and has an anime-themed bar in case you get hungry while you’re gaming the night away.

Congo River Golf

If you want a relaxing activity to do with a couple of friends or by yourself, Congo River Golf is another cheap way to spend a couple of hours. With a Congo River Golf location just 10 minutes from UCF and cheap admission, this is a time and budget friendly option. While admission is normally $17 per person, UCF students can snag tickets to Congo River Golf for just $9 from the SGA Ticket Center. The whole location is safari themed and the course has 18 holes to play. Congo River Golf also has live gators to feed, gem mining, and a mini arcade. Congo River Golf is open from 10 am to 10 pm on Sunday through Thursday, and is open from 10 am to 11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. 

With only a few weeks left in the spring semester, make sure that you’re making time for yourself. Rest and relaxation are imperative to your well-being. Work hard and play hard!

Kendall Finley is a senior at the University of Central Florida studying advertising and public relations. Kendall is currently interning at Toho Water Authority on the Communications Team. Kendall was a member of the Marching Knights for the '21 and '22 seasons and has also served on the Campus Activities Board for UCF. In her free time, Kendall is an avid plant mom and enjoys playing games with her friends.