Things to do over Spring Break on a college budget

Emily Bloch

That Spring Break trip to Cancun looking a little out of reach? You can still have the ultimate vacation right near campus without throwing out wads of dolla’ dolla’ bills.

Here’s a look at local fairs, concerts, festivals and other activities you can do over spring break, from March 2-10, without burning a hole in your pocket or tapping into emergency savings. And if that’s not enough, there’s also a list of your top five Spring Break worthy beaches to check out.

$ = $0-5
$$ = $6-25
$$$ = $26+

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$ Saturday 3/2 – Sea Turtle Day Festival – Gumbo Limbo Nature Center – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – $5
1801 N. Ocean Boulevard, Boca Raton
Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is offering a day of marine animal presentations, face painting, tank feedings, guided tours, sea turtle rehabilitation, crafts, and food. FAU’s Department of Biological Sciences has a research facility at the center, complete with discussion hours from 1 to 3 p.m.

The theme this year is “Say No to Sky Glow,” to provide awareness about how light pollution is harmful to sea turtles. Palm Beach County already bans lights from facing the beach during sea turtle hatching season (May through October). This is because sea turtle eggs need a quiet, dark setting to fully develop before they hatch. This year’s festival will show you how you can help.

$ Saturday 3/2 through Sunday 3/3 – Lake Worth Annual Juried Arts Festival – 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – free
Cultural Plaza, Lake Avenue and M Street, Lake Worth
Paintings, glass work, and jewelry, oh my! Whether you’re trying to spruce up the dorm room or rock a one of a kind necklace, this art festival gives you the opportunity to see different artists’ booths and maybe even come home with a new treasure since the art is for sale. The Arts Festival features paintings, photography, clay, glass, wood, and other mixed media as well as jewelry, pottery, and more.

$ Monday 3/4 – Food Truck Monday Arts Park – free – 5:30-9p
Young Circle, Hollywood
From gourmet cupcakes to extreme grilled cheeses, bring a date or just bring your own inner foodie. Every Monday from 5:30-9:00 p.m. at Arts Park in Hollywood, guests are invited to bring lawn chairs, picnic blankets, and their appetites to this weekly celebration of food. With 20-25 different Miami food trucks, there’s sure to be something to satisfy every appetite — without worrying about tipping a waiter or gratuity fees.

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$$ Saturday 3/2 – Florida Renaissance Festival – Quiet Waters Park – $20 ticket $1.50 parking – 10a
401 S. Powerline Road, Deerfield Beach
Huzzah! From 10:00 a.m. until sunset, visitors are invited to take a blast into the past at the annual Florida Renaissance Festival. Whether you’re in it for the knights jousting, the handmade crafts, the turkey legs, or babes in corsets, you’re invited to come and be merry — costume optional. Don’t fret if you miss this date though, because you’ll have three more chances March 3, 9, and 10.

$$ Monday 3/4 – Old Flings/Centuries/Awkward Kisser/You’ll Live – The Talent Farm, Pembroke Pines – $10 at the door – doors at 6p 
20911 Johnson Street, Pembroke Pines
Featuring four Florida based bands, Brief Lives and Springtime from Virginia, and Old Flings from North Carolina, this punk rock/post hardcore show is sure to break out your inner riot kid. Besides, how often is it that you get to see seven bands for approximately $1.42 each? And it’s only 12 miles from FAU’s Boca campus.

$$ Wednesday 3/6 – On My Honor album release show – pop punk show – The Talent Farm – $12 – doors at 6p
20911 Johnson Street, Pembroke Pines
Kicking off their national tour, On My Honor, a pop punk band from Knoxville, Tenn. are releasing their new album I Never Deserve The Things I Need with a local show. This show is a steal because even though the entry price is listed at $12, anyone that pre-orders On My Honor’s new album for $5 and brings proof of purchase, gets free entry. For the collectors, the album is also available on colored vinyl or cassette. Named as one of the “100 Bands You Need to Know” by Alternative Press Magazine, take the opportunity to see them before they blow up. You can pre-order On My Honor’s new album here.

$$ Thursday 3/7 – 7th Annual Festival of The Arts Boca – Mizner Park Amphitheatre – tickets starting at $15
590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton
From March 7 to 16, the city of Boca Raton is hosting 10 days of the arts. From music to authors to acrobats, The Festival of the Arts is bringing “10 days of culture, world-class talent, and ‘awe’ to South Florida,” said Charlie Siemon, co-founder of the event. For a complete list of acts click here.

$$ Friday 3/8 – Candy Hearts – The Talent Farm – $12 – doors at 6p
20911 Johnson Street, Pembroke Pines
Last time the female-fronted indie-punk band Candy Hearts were in South Florida, they opened for New Found Glory at the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale. This time, they’re playing at warehouse turned show venue, fifteen minutes away from the Boca campus, The Talent Farm. The New Jersey-based four-piece will play their smile-ensuing songs that make every guy wish their girlfriend played guitar on Friday night.

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$$$ Friday 3/8 – Coheed & Cambria – The Fillmore Miami – $28 – doors at 7p
1700 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach
Relive those moments playing Coheed & Cambria’s “Welcome Home” on Guitar Hero while headbanging in the living room with this show — we know that was you. The four-piece metal band makes their way to Miami for an all ages show. This tour is in honor of their new album, The Afterman: Descension, which was released on Feb. 5. Miami’s Fillmore will be a great place to say you saw Coheed at because it’s small and will most likely sell out. It’s also got a view for all tastes. As a firstcome first serve show, guests can either stand at the pit in front of the stage and combat flying feet, or sit in a comfy seat of choice.

$$$ Saturday 3/9 – Paul Oakenfold at The Gryphon – Fort Lauderdale – $30 – 11p
5711 Seminole Way, Fort Lauderdale
Dance all night to this DJ — hear hits like “Sparkle” (that you only know from that Diet Coke commercial) live as legendary DJ Paul Oakenfold takes the stage at Fort Lauderdale club The Gryphon. Dubbed “the heaviest name in the party industry” by the New York Daily News, The Gryphon brags about their club atmosphere. A 17-mile drive from main campus, The Gryphon, who’s known for their constant feed of techno music, will welcome you with a lighting system created by the same guy who did Lenny Kravitz’s and plush red couches to sit on and enjoy Oakenfold’s soundtrack.

$$$ Sunday 3/10 – An Evening with The Onion – Parker Playhouse – $29.95 – 7:30p
707 N.E. 8th Street, Fort Lauderdale
If you’ve ever been in need of a dose of satire, The Onion, an entertainment newspaper providing satirical articles on everything from news to pop culture, has probably helped you in the past. Now’s your chance to see the faces behind the dark humored magic, right in your own local theater. For the first time in its 25-year history, “America’s Finest News Source,” The Onion, will bring its parody-news broadcasts to South Florida for a live performance. If that’s not enough, this is a Florida exclusive performance.

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5 Beaches to Visit
Whether you’re a beach bum who wants to lounge in the sand, a partier who’s scoping out night clubs, or a certified people-watcher who just wants to take in the scenery, here’s a look at five beaches (in no specific order) surrounding nearby FAU campuses that are worth checking out.

1) South Beach – because you can party constantly
Miami, 50 minutes from Boca campus
The ultimate “anything goes” destination in Florida, South Beach provides nightclubs, bars, and restaurants everywhere you look, and at any hour. Isn’t it nice when your problem isn’t “where do I find a club,” but rather, “how do I choose which club to go to?” Smack dab in the center of Miami Beach’s Art Deco district, visitors can immerse themselves in Miami culture, and always find something going on.This is all nothing, of course, if you don’t listen to Will Smith’s “Miami” on your way there.

2) Fort Lauderdale Beach – because you can party like you’re family
Fort Lauderdale, 35 minutes from Boca campus
If South Beach seems a little too intense for you and your Spring Break group, opting for the PG-13 version is a possibility. Just right for people-watching, shopping, and wholesome dining, the Fort Lauderdale Beach is a great, modest spot where you can still have fun. From shopping on Las Olas Boulevard to taking a quiet gondola ride, there are plenty of clean clubs, house music, and glowstick-free activities to take part in. In fact, it’s so clean, Fort Lauderdale Beach holds a  Blue Wave certificate from the Clean Beaches Council. This trip will be one you don’t even have to lie to your parents about.

3) Haulover Beach – because you can party naked
Miami, 40 minutes from Boca campus
If you’re aiming for that perfectly even tan, Haulover Beach, the only legal nude beach in Florida, is the place for you. Because it’s the only official nude beach in the state, visitors are invited to come feeling safe and not have to worry about persecution. Though only a half mile long, Haulover proudly welcomes all naturists on its sandy white beach regardless of looks, age, or preference. The beach also provides a gay nude section, rents out boats, and has volleyball courts.

4) St. Lucie Inlet State Preserve – because you can not party for a change
Stuart, one hour and 40 minutes from Boca campus
Holding 928 acres of Jupiter Island and a half-mile of coral reef, St. Lucie Inlet is all about being a quiet beach getaway. The Inlet is right next door to the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge, where you can take a boat ride over and visit 43 species of mammals, 30 species of frogs and amphibians, and at least 13 kinds of snakes. This beach is also considered “home sweet home” to some celebrities — Burt Reynolds, Celine Dion, and several professional athletes all have mansions close by. Focusing on privacy, the beach is isolated and quiet, lying south of the boardwalk, encouraging nice long walks on the beach, piña coladas, and getting caught in the rain.

5) Smathers Beach – because you can party until dawn
Key West, four hours from Boca campus
One of the most known sand strips in Key West, Smathers Beach is full of Florida charm — and booze. A short walk away from Duval Street, known for its shops and bars, lies Smathers. This man-made half-mile beach has shallow water that seems to go on forever without a sudden plunge. That said, it’s hard to believe the beach’s highlight would be snorkeling, yet it’s boasted to be the best in the country. Known as the diving capital of the world according to the Florida Keys Tourism Guide the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park offers living reefs and a submersed bronze statue called Christ of the Abyss for visitors to snorkel around. At Smathers Beach, every night is worth celebrating — literally. The Sunset Celebration is a nightly arts festival at Mallory Square Dock full of arts and crafts, street performers, food carts, psychics, and thousands of tourists visiting to watch the sun sink into the Gulf of Mexico.