Abigail Coale, Reporter

It’s that time of year again: You’ve got a whole week away from school, but your social calendar is still empty. Avoid the crowds and skip the cliché week in Ocean City, and try something different instead! Here’s a list of fun and budget-friendly activities to enhance your time away from textbooks and teachers.

1. Binge-Watch on Netflix.
I know what you’re thinking – “How is this different from any other week?” Now you can watch all thirteen episodes of the new series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt without feeling guilty about staying up until 2AM or procrastinating that English essay.

2. Roadtrip!
$40 for a tank of gas, $10 for a picnic lunch (or a burger on the go!), and good company? Priceless. Drive into Western Maryland to get a glimpse of the mountains, or try Gettysburg or Philadelphia for a history lesson. Most visitor centers have free admission and tours usually cost $10-15. Don’t forget to roll down the windows while 45 degrees feels like summer, and turn up the music!

3. Become a Tourist.
Become a tourist in your own city without sacrificing adventure! The Smithsonian museums – all eleven of them! – have free admission in DC, along with other monuments like the Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, and the National Archives. From the New Carrollton station, you can get to DC and back for about $8. You could also visit Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Admission to the National Aquarium is about $35, and it’s surrounded by lots of shops and restaurants to explore.

4. Spring Break = Spring Cleaning.
Maybe no one wants to spend their break cleaning, but hear me out. Open the windows and air out that winter stench while you throw away the candy wrappers on your nightstand and vacuum the crumbs off your floor. Wash your sheets, organize the pile of crap on your desk, and put away the laundry that’s been clean for two weeks. You’ll sleep better and feel accomplished in a revamped room.

5. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in DC kicks off March 15th at 2PM at the Washington Monument. On March 21st, DC will also hold ShamrockFest at the RFK Stadium Festival Grounds. Over 30 live bands and DJs, party games, and contests make this America’s largest St. Paddy’s Day celebration. Learn more at .

6. Rediscover Your Inner Child.
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore just opened its new penguin exhibit, Penguin Coast, and has free parking! Admission will cost you $18, and other experiences are offered for a few extra bucks, like feeding giraffes, riding a camel, and playing on the carousal. There’s also a free shuttle service to ease your aching feet and get you back to the entrance after you walk through the park. You can bring your own food and drinks into the park, too! Get more information at .

7. Indulge In What You Love.
Passionate about movies? Gardening? Art? Sure, it’s fun to do these things alone, but why not meet people with shared interests? Spend a few minutes doing some research on your hobbies and see what Maryland has to offer. Events this week include DC’s Environmental Film Festival , Maryland’s 2015 Flower Show and Ocean City’s 31st Annual Spring Home Show and Art & Craft Fair. Whatever your interests, there is something out there for you!

8. Eat!
Speaking of indulging… A quick Google search will give you a list of restaurants that offer student discounts – including Buffalo Wild Wings, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and Subway. Visit sites like Groupon and Living Social to score deals at restaurants all over town. If you prefer to stay at home, pull up the recipes you found on Pinterest two months ago and haven’t had time to make. Grilled Mac & Cheese Sandwiches , French Toast Roll Ups , or Nutella cookies Nutella cookies are bound to make any day better.

9. Go Ape.
Navigate through the treetops of Rock Creek Regional Park using zip lines, ladders, and tarzan swings. After the safety briefing, it usually takes about two hours to make your way through the obstacle course at GoApe in Rockville, MD. The season starts this weekend and admission will run you about $60. For more information, go to .

10. See A Show.
Whether it’s on screen or on stage, spend an evening out to appreciate the arts! Movies in theaters this weekend include the new Cinderella, The DUFF, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Focus, and The SpongeBob Movie. Ram’s Head in Annapolis has a different band playing every night next week – doors open at 7PM, and shows start at 8PM.

11. Relax!
Spend some time in the sun, have a movie night, or get a massage. Whatever you do, enjoy your time off! You’ve earned it.