What to do if you’re not going home for fall break

While many Hope College students are getting ready to venture home for the duration of fall break, several of you may be sticking around for the long weekend. Whether it be because home is more than hours away by car, or you simply prefer sticking around campus, you may need some ideas to pass the time in a productive or fun way! First, some fun activities to do around the Holland area may include apple picking at an orchard or finding pumpkins to carve or decorate.

Apples Crane Orchards in Fennville, MI – about 20 minutes away – has a wide variety of apples to pick and bring home for fresh produce or as the perfect ingredient for your best apple pie recipe. The orchard also offers a corn maze to get lost in and explore for a fun fall afternoon. Finally, Crane’s offers hay rides that include a tour of the farm, orchards and woods. Hope student, Avery Lowe (‘19), uses her mom’s recipe and made a delicious apple crisp with the apples she picked this fall. Thanks for the recipe, Avery!

Pumpkins For pumpkin picking, visit Bethke Farms pumpkin patch in Grand Haven, MI. This farm also offers a corn maze and hayrides for another all-in-one fall activities package. Once you have the perfect pumpkin picked out, place them by your front door, inside your dorm room or in the window for a lovely fall decoration. If you want to take it to the next level, here are some ideas for the some stand-out pumpkins: 1. Jack O’Lantern ideas: carve out your favorite football team’s mascot for the perfect Sunday football event decoration, write and carve an inspiring saying or make a stencil of your friend’s face to carve and scare them! 2. Paints and sharpies: if you don’t want to use a sharp knife or tool to decorate your pumpkin, try painting or drawing on it with lots of colors. You can get creative with patterns and designs or even simply draw a face on it instead of carving. 3. Crayon-melting: this is a unique idea to try if you’re looking for something new! Here’s how you do it… First, you’ll need a pumpkin, -try a white one for some extra color pop – crayons, tacky glue and a blow dryer. Then, unwrap your crayons and cut them in half. Next, glue around 16 of the crayons with the tacky glue to the pumpkin. After the glue dries, use the hair dryer to melt the crayons. Each one you create will turn out unique, and you can even try combining this technique with a Jack O’Lantern if you’re feeling extra crafty.

More Fall Decor/Crafts Besides pumpkins, there are more easy fall craft options to help decorate your dorm, apartment or off-campus house. Here are some ideas to name a few… Mason jars are always a good idea when it comes to household decor. Try filling them with candy corn and some orange ribbon tied around the top for a cute fall touch to your living space. Start a fall leaf collection. Whether you string leaves together that you find outside, hang them on your wall or press them into a book – collecting fall leaves is a great activity or craft. Finally, stock up on some fun Halloween decorations to get ready for the holiday.

Coffee Shops and More While most of Hope’s students are traveling home or elsewhere, now is your chance to visit your favorite coffee shop in Holland minus the crowd. It is a great feeling when you are able to get ahead on school work. The best time to do it is while you have extra time and minimal distractions. Whether it be studying for the next exam or putting a dent into your next big essay, getting the hard work in during this long weekend will set you up for some easy going weeks to follow. Enjoy the coffee shop setting and relax, with a pumpkin spice latte while you crunch out your upcoming assignments without the stress of an imminent deadline. Other than coffee shops, Holland’s downtown restaurants and beautiful beaches will also hold less crowds if you’ve been waiting to visit a popular spot. The best time for you to explore could be this long October weekend.

Sleep! Catch up on sleep. I think I can speak for all college students when I say that we don’t sleep enough. While your dorm, apartment or off-campus houseis quiet, take advantage of the time to get some restful nights. Your body will thank you in the weeks to come before we reach Thanksgiving break.

Reading! While the thought of picking up a book that is not for class may be unapealing for some, those who love a good book may have the chance to enjoy a more fun and relaxing read during the break. Bring it to the coffee shop, or sit outside in the beautiful fall weather, and you are bound to have a lovely afternoon.

TV Shows and Movies! And if all else fails, resorting to your favorite TV shows on Netflix or a new movie are not the worst option. Catch up on your favorite series or watch that movie you’ve been dying to see! Now is the chance to cuddle up inside with some hot apple cider and watch something just for fun! If you are adventurous enough, head out to the movie theater. Here are some popular films playing at the moment: 1. “A Simple Favor” featuring Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick (Mystery) 2. “Small Foot” (Animated) 4. “Life Itself” (Drama, Romance) 5. “Mama Mia! Here we go again” (Musical) 6. “Incredibles 2” (Animated) 7. “Christopher Robin” (Action, Adventure) 8. “The Meg” (Action) Enjoy your break at Hope College if you are not able to make it home this weekend. There is plenty to do, and when you’re not doing anything, it is important to appreciate relaxation time. Explore, catch up on work, sleep and try something new! Find people who are also staying on campus, even if they’re not your best friend. The possibilities are endless. And if you are able to make it home, try some of these ideas as well! And more importantly, safe travels. Furthermore, don’t forget to send any questions you would like answered to the anchor (email address below) for some helpful advice! All responses will keep the requests anonymous. Don’t hesitate to ask.

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