The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

A spring staycation

Houston’s local activities to explore over the break
Grace Turney
This year, spring break lasts from March 9 to 17. There are plenty of fun ways to spend it in Houston.

Soaking in the sun on Maui.

Navigating New York City’s lively streets.

Wandering through Paris’s magical sights.

The idea of a dream vacation like these lurks beneath the days leading up to spring break. It’s tempting to long for a vibrant, unforgettable experience that such trips will offer. And with good reason, too. With the chaos and stress of school, we need that carefree escape from reality, a time just for us.

Story continues below advertisement

But who says we have to travel to have that?

There’s plenty of experiences to be had and memories to be made right here in Houston and the surrounding area. As a native Houstonian, here are some of my favorite activities for a perfect staycation over the break.

Solve puzzling escape rooms
I went to my first escape room in elementary school and I remember being a bit hesitant at the time about being locked in a room for an hour. But after I experienced the thrill of putting the clues and riddles together before the time ran out, I was hooked. I love mysteries, so being a detective, even if it’s only for a little bit, was so much fun. What makes the mystery even better is the backstory you’re given before the game starts. It, along with the intricate room decorations and elaborate codes, really set the scene for a complex puzzle.

I’ve definitely gotten stumped by these puzzles before, but I think that’s what makes it so engaging. It’s refreshing to challenge myself in ways other than academics and learn new things unrelated to classes.

Since I first got into them, I’ve probably done around a dozen or so. I’ve been to Locktopia, which tends to have easier games better for beginners, and The Escape Game, which has harder ones better for more experienced players. It’s pretty 50/50 when it comes to how many times I’ve escaped. It took a few times to get the hang of it, but it’s so rewarding to hear the satisfying click of the lock once the last clue has been solved.

Be a true Texan at the rodeo
I’ve been going to the rodeo for as long as I can remember, and it’s one of the best parts of living in Texas, honestly. It’s fun leaning into my western, cowboy-hat-wearing side for a day, wandering through the crowds in jeans and boots. I love the carnival especially, from its food like funnel cakes and turkey legs to its rides like Big Wheel and Big Top Swinger. I can’t even complain about the addictive games, no matter how rigged they are.

What’s easily my favorite part, though, is the petting zoo. It’s been my favorite since I was younger, and even now, I could watch the baby goats and pigs for hours and stay perfectly content. If you’re not already convinced, one last incentive to go to the rodeo over the break is that it ends March 17. That’s the day before we come back to school, so it’s the perfect time to go before it ends.

Go thrift shopping
Thrift shopping is so much fun. Whether I go with my friends or family, I always have a good time looking through the different clothes. The best thing about thrifting is that there’s something for everyone. Their collection is full of variety, with a wide range of patterns, designs, colors, and material. Even if I don’t buy anything, it’s enjoyable to try on outfits I typically wouldn’t wear, experimenting with different styles.

I definitely wouldn’t consider myself stylish, but it’s still cool to expand and diversify my wardrobe. I’ve only been interested in thrifting for about a year or two now, but some of my favorites so far are Plato’s Closet, Pavement and Buffalo Exchange.

Have fun at Pleasure Pier
This one does require the hour-long drive to Galveston, but it’s completely worth it. Pleasure Pier is a must for anyone looking for a quick day trip. This oceanside attraction is bursting with classic carnival games and food as well as exhilarating rides, an irresistible combination for anyone – avid amusement park goer or not.

It’s an especially balanced combination when factoring in the spring weather: warm enough to absorb the beachy vibes but not an unbearable, scorching-the-bottom-of-your-feet hot. If you decide to go, I strongly recommend the Iron Shark, a rollercoaster that my friends and I have dubbed the “ten seconds of terror” due to its thrilling speed. Something for less risky thrill-seekers, though, would be the Pirate’s Plunge, a calmer rollercoaster with a refreshing splash of water at the end.

Explore new restaurants
I love food. Specifically, I love trying food that I’ve never had before. Sure, I have my go-to snacks and favorite meals, but there’s something exciting about sampling new flavors. Houston is one of the best cities to experience these new flavors, as it is home to such a diverse array of restaurants, each contributing its own unique dishes.

There are too many restaurants to name here, but a few that I’ve tried and loved are Sweet Paris, Blue Nile, Akiko, and Roostar. If its name didn’t give it away, Sweet Paris is a French crêperie, serving savory or dessert crepes that satisfy whatever you’re craving. Blue Nile is an Ethiopian restaurant, offering regular and vegetarian options, all containing spices like chile peppers, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and coriander, which together make for a delicious blend. Akiko is a Japanese sushi place; they have a huge selection of rolls and I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve ordered. Roostar is Vietnamese, with their main dish being banh mi sandwiches. Their bulgogi fries, though, are definitely a must if you go. All of these opportunities to explore different cuisines allow you to branch out and possibly discover your next go-to restaurant.

These activities don’t even make a dent in Houston’s diverse and unique offerings. So, while there’s nothing wrong with going on extravagant, adventurous vacations, it’s just as fun to spend the break right here at home.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Three Penny Press Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *