Vassar students are notorious for living inside the “Vassar bubble” and who can blame us? Poughkeepsie winters are cold and cruel and all anyone wants to do is snuggle up in bed with hot chocolate and Netflix. If you’re sick and tired of hanging around at the Retreat with nothing to do it might be a good idea to step out of campus and explore the cool things the Hudson Valley has to offer in the winter.
There’s always the option of catching the train to Grand Central for a night on the town, but the Hudson Valley and Poughkeepsie in particular are not half bad for an affordable yet exciting weekend not too far from campus. For those students who are a little more adventurous and like trying out new and exciting things there are a few indoor Hudson Valley Ventures just waiting to be explored that are fun and still manage to keep away the cold.
For those students who look at the tiny rock-wall above the water fountain at the All Fitness Center, you know who you are, and crave an opportunity to scamper up bigger, better walls, The Inner Wall in New Paltz provides a fantastic outlet.
The Inner Wall offers both traditional indoor rock climbing and bouldering opportunities. With belaying lessons for purchase and an array of complex rock-wall arrangements the novice or expert climber can thrive.
A first time climber, Amanda S. from Sunnyside, N.Y. reported a great experience with her friend on Yelp, saying, “We got a day pass for belaying, rented equipment, and had a belay orientation (lesson) for a (student) price of $32. Our instructor, Jenny, was an excellent teacher – thorough and clear in her explanations, patient, and helpful even after our lesson. When she left us, we were confident in our abilities and had a good time trying things out. We were satisfied with the entire experience!”
With affordable student rates and over 4,000 square feet of climbing space, “The Inner Wall” could be your ticket off campus next weekend. According to an informational video at the gym, “Heroes will rise, and stars will fall.” It’s sure to be a great, challenging time.
Spins Bowls, a closer location, is a bowling arcade located on 47 Taft Avenue, Arlington, not too far away from campus. It provides a host of fun filled activities such as bowling, redemption arcades and laser tag. Wearing bowling shoes is a small price to pay to have a fun day of bowling at Spin Bowls Laser Tag starts in March and is a must go. There’s plenty to eat and drink while you taking a break from all those strikes and/or gutter balls. Spending a Saturday at Spin Bowls is a good way to keep busy, show off that competitive spirit and spend a nice weekend with friends.
Bounce! Trampoline Sports, located on 2 Neptune Road, Poughkeepsie is the place to go if you ever feel like bringing out the inner six-year-old in you. Filled with trampoline courts, dodge ball courts and a slam-dunk basketball court, it’s the perfect place to let loose and bounce out all the stress of life at college. The Friday special “Jump N Glow” is where the whole of Bounce! Trampoline Sports glows in the dark due to lasers and black lighting.
It gives off the nightclub feel that simultaneously caters to the adult as well as the child in you.
Slam Dunk Basketball is another way to have a great time with friends, while feeling eight feet tall and Michael Jordan-like as you slam dunk ball after ball. Bounce! Trampoline Sports also has an array of refreshments, as well as a lounge and arcade that is a guaranteed way to keep yourself amused and well-fed whenever you need a break from all that jumping up and down. The Mid-Hudson Civic Center is a recreational center that provides enjoyment for all Poughkeepsie residents. It is located at 14 Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie. Though it hosts a wide variety of events and performances such as concerts and theatre shows, its main attraction is the Mcann Ice Arena that is open for public skating.
Instead of trying to skate on Sunset Lake or the slippery pathways of campus, skating at the Mid Hudson Civic Center is a great way to get those blades on, do a couple of twirls and react a few scenes from “Ice Princess,” or if you’re an amateur like me, hold on to the railings and try very hard not to fall.
Another popular way to escape the snow and wind chill is to catch the shuttle to Poughkeepsie Galleria where many Vassar students spend their Saturdays doing a little shopping, hanging out at the food court or catching the latest movies to hit the theaters. Transportation is free if you manage to elbow your way onto the shuttle. The mall is a convenient place to stock up on supplies from target, grab that cute sweater from Macy’s and watch “Deadpool” this weekend.
For all of those cultured students who appreciate the true beauty of music and art and would like a change of pace from trampoline courts, bowling alley’s and ice skating rinks, there’s always the Bardavon Opera House at 35 Market Street, Poughkeepsie. With a continuous stream of excellent performances and a wide variety of performers throughout the year, it is also a historical site that dates back to the mid-19th century. It’s old school charm and fresh onslaught of performances just shows that one need not go all the way to New York City to enjoy music and the arts and for the typical ‘dinner and a show.’
Though everyone at Vassar is eagerly awaiting the lovely spring weather and to take a crisp stroll over the Walkway over the Hudson, there are plenty of things to do around Poughkeepsie and the Hudson Valley this winter without the fear of frostbite that’ll keep you excited, entertained and most of all, warm!