Amherst Wire

Venture out on Veteran’s Day weekend

Samantha Gillis, Contributor

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With the exception of Thanksgiving break, Veteran’s Day weekend is the last long weekend of the fall semester. And since any traveling during Thanksgiving is more about getting to food and family than anything else, Veteran’s Day weekend is an excellent chance to take advantage of an extra day off to do some exploring.

The Peter Pan buses conveniently pick up right from Haigis Mall and sometimes offer round trip prices that are cheaper than paying for gas. A round trip ticket to New York City is a good deal at $54, or head to Providence, Rhode Island for $72.

Sophomore Julie Steven took Columbus Day weekend to do a Tough Mudder in New Jersey and plans to spend Veteran’s Day weekend in NYC with friends.

“As long as you have something planned and organized, then why not?” says Steven about going away for the long weekend.

To help with those plans, take a look at these two popular Peter Pan-reachable destinations:

Ice Skating in NYC
The long weekend is sitting right smack dab in the middle of autumn. Halloween is over and Thanksgiving has yet to come but something about a chilly day in New York City makes it feel like everyday should be Christmas. Get an early jump on things with some ice-skating at the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park. Skating is free and skate rentals are available for $15. It may not be Rockefeller Center but it’s a nice alternative for this early in the season. There are even lessons available for newbies.

WaterFire in Providence
For those who don’t know, every year the three rivers that run through downtown Providence are lit up by bonfires. Walking alongside the rivers listening to music and checking out street performers and art work is always a nice idea, or grab a warm drink and take a seat at the edge of the walkway and let your feet dangle as the fire tenders come by on boats to stoke the flames. It’s typically a summer event so the last WaterFire of 2013 will be on Saturday, November 9. The event is free and fires are lit at dusk.

Don’t want to stray too far? There are plenty of day trips worth taking around the valley on a cool, fall day.

Enjoy the season and take in what’s left of the foliage around the area. Another option for free fall fun is the Smith College Botanical Garden. Jump on the B43 bus from Haigis Mall and ride out to Smith College and take a leisurely stroll through the campus arboretum. But don’t expect to have the campus all to yourself; Smith doesn’t have Veteran’s Day off.

Junior Lindsay Feitler says she enjoys hanging around campus when most people go home and would rather do things around the area.

“It’s really peaceful and there’s always plenty to do around UMass,” she said.

Feitler suggests checking out seasonal activities like corn mazes or apple picking or supporting a UMass team at a sporting event.

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Venture out on Veteran’s Day weekend