Published: Tue., Sept. 23, 2014; by Jenny Beth Jorgensen
After a busy week, it’s important to recharge and prepare for the week ahead. Luckily, Lincoln is a great city for grad students to take a break and get out! There are a variety of relaxing activities that can be found on campus, off campus, and at home.
On Campus. Both City Campus and East Campus offer a variety of activities. It’s a lot of fun to stroll through the arboretum located on East Campus. Many of the plant species are identified and there’s even a cellphone tour. After a stroll on East Campus, I love to stop by the Dairy Store for some excellent ice cream! Both campuses also have recreation centers, and the new Outdoor Adventures Center is open on City Campus. If you're interested in museums, UNL has the University of Nebraska State Museum (in Morrill Hall on City Campus), the Sheldon Museum of Art (on City Campus), and the International Quilt Study Center and Museum (on East Campus). The University has an amazing collection of art and artifacts, and there’s always something new to discover!
Off Campus. Lincoln boasts many parks throughout the city perfect for taking a stroll, having a picnic, and observing wildlife. Holmes Lake is a great place to take your dog for a walk and Pioneer Park has scenic walking trails, wildlife exhibits, and picnic areas. My dog Teddy and I love to go for walks year around in these two parks. For beautiful scenery in the early fall and late spring, Sunken Gardens is the park to explore. And if you love observing the sky, the Hyde Observatory is a lot of fun. On select nights, experts make their high-tech gear available to observe stars and planets. For the biker, walker, runner, or dog walker, the MoPac Trail is a mostly-paved pathway. It’s a great way to explore and get around Lincoln.
Throughout the year, there are many events in Lincoln. A great website to keep up on local events is the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau. One of my favorite events from last year was taking part in the Big Red Challenge 5K run, a challenging 5K obstacle course. All proceeds from the event went to a great cause!
Lincoln's downtown and Haymarket areas have really evolved in the past couple of years. Take a stroll through downtown and the newly revamped Haymarket and catch live music in one of the venues. It’s also fun to sit in the Railyard and enjoy excellent food during the warmer months, or ice skate in the colder months. For a unique experience, visit the Nebraska State Capitol. Tours are free and also provide a photo opportunity of the entire city of Lincoln.
At home. One of my favorite ways to relax at home is to talk with my husband or give my family a call. Their support and encouragement is important to me and provides perspective, as well as some laughter. Reading a book, either academic-minded or for fun, can also help recharge my batteries. Netflix has exercise programs in yoga and boxing. Similar exercise videos are also available on YouTube. I get my husband involved so that we’re both motivated to workout and I don’t feel so goofy when doing yoga in my living room.
Putting aside time every week to relax is important for maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle. There are many ways to recharge your batteries in the Lincoln community, with many opportunities on campus, off campus, and at home. If you haven’t already, you’ll soon find the ways to enjoy all Lincoln has to offer.