Staff picks: Spring break at home

While many friends love to make each other jealous by showing off the trips they’re taking for spring break, The Bark staff knows that the best plans are at home. If you’re spending the break in Knoxville, try some of these ideas to make spring break fun without leaving town.

If I have a lot of extra time on my hands, I like to open the window, put on my favorite music, and rearrange my entire room. Put your bookshelf in rainbow order, arrange your socks from most to least favorite, or even move your furniture into a new pattern. The change of scenery is refreshing, and I always have fun uncovering things in my room that I’d forgotten about years ago. [Allie Gruszkiewicz]

Most of the time during spring break, I am spending time with family, and when my mom gets too annoyed with three other boys, she goes out and does something for herself. So what do I do with my brother and my dad? Well, we watch the greatest thing on television in the spring – March Madness. Whether it is with friends or family, March Madness is one of the best sporting events of the entire year, and it never disappoints. The games, the competition, and the ridiculous strategies you make up to have the “perfect” bracket may be frustrating, but each year me like many others get excited for the same stretch of weeks every single year. [Tyler Hotz]

I hate to pick the same thing as Tyler, but March Madness is clearly the thing to do over spring break. In fact, I would prefer watching the NCAA Tournament at home rather than going on vacation. The first weekend of the tournament, which is March 17-20 this year, is hands down the best weekend of the year in sports. Not having Tennessee in the tournament takes a little away from the excitement, but if you choose to fill out a bracket, you will always have a team to pull for. [Wyeth Wilson]

Spring break usually ends up being the time of year when you are alone here in Knoxville and everyone else is posting about how great the beach is and how they went surfing in the ocean. So, me being someone who loves food, I like to look up new, more exotic salad recipes. If you get creative with cooking and preparing food, it becomes so much more interesting. It also makes me more excited for summer because it reminds me that my mom always has fresh vegetables from her garden in the kitchen. [Kira Suerth]

Over spring break, my family and I usually don’t travel so I have to find something that will keep me busy all day. I love to paint, and because of my busy school life I never have time to paint, so usually over break I start up a new painting. I love waking up, making myself some waffles, and set up my paint and canvas. I’m especially excited for this upcoming Spring Break because I’m starting a new painting series featuring animals and nature. [Madison Tenney]

For my spring break, I am going exploring around Knoxville to find new spots for photo sessions. I have used up all my current spots, so I am looking forward to finding new locations for new sessions. [Cassidy Bailey]

If you’re missing the beach and want a small taste of summer from home, go to Carl Cowan Park and hang out next to the water. There isn’t exactly sand, but the sound of the water is still soothing. My favorite spots to hang out are in the trees in an eno and on the dock feeling the waves rock underneath me. [Katie Matthews]

Although spring break is every high school student’s chance to sleep without interruption for hours or possibly days, at some point, one still has to wake up to eat. My suggestion is taking advantage of the sunny warm weather by grabbing a beach towel and having a picnic at the park or even just in your backyard. My new favorite sandwich is turkey, pesto, salted avocado slices, and provolone on a ciabatta roll, but all of these picnic staples are great picnic options: deviled eggs, chicken salad, lemonade, macaroni salad, grapes, watermelon, and cheese and crackers. Regardless of what’s in the picnic basket, for an enjoyable afternoon with minimal effort, picnics are the way to go. [Madison Chan]

If, for you, spring break means staying at home and battling monumental boredom, a simple and fun task to do is go feed ducks at the Cove. All you need is change for the food dispensers. On top of that, they are incredibly grateful for your contribution, and honestly, what is better than happy ducks on a spring day?  [Maggie Kimber]

I plan on spending a lot of time volunteering at the animal shelter over spring break, but when I am not doing that, I will be in my backyard reading all the books I haven’t had time to read lately. What better way to relax than finding some new favorite books while working on the oh-so-important Chaco tan. [Danielle Fannon]