Broke Spring Break

At 25, I’ve had more than a few broke Spring Breaks during the better part of a decade I’ve been in college. So, I’d like to think I know a think or two about bring able to have an enjoyable break while having next to nothing in the bank (Hmm…that should be the title to a pop song:  “Bomb Spring Break with Nothin’ in the Bank!” Ke$ha could do it! Kreyshawn could do a break down! It would be a hit!). The Sacramento area can be cheap,  and here are some ideas to get through it without feeling lame for being broke.

Since you won’t be going far (you’re broke), and gas since gas prices are high and getting higher, you’ll have to stay pretty close to the area. Hopefully the weather will be nice, and you’ll be able to enjoy the parks and the outdoors. The Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area is just a short drive from downtown, and you’ll be able to see hundreds of the migratory birds who flock to the area. The bypass offers visitors an opportunity to experience one of California’s unique wetlands. The Sacramento Zoo and the Folsom Zoo are both cheap, but fun places to visit. The Sacramento Zoo is open from 9 am to 4 pm daily, and general admission is $11.25, and is inside Land Park on West Land Park. The Folsom Zoo is cheaper than the Sacramento Zoo at $5.o0 per person on weekdays and $6.00 on weekends, and is just a short drive up Highway 50. The Folsom Zoo is much smaller, but the size of the zoo allows for quirkier exhibits like the “Domestic Cat” exhibit. The Folsom Zoo is inside Folsom City Park at the corner of Natoma and Stafford Streets.

Several other fun and cheap things are also right up Highway 50, just outside of Folsom. Off of the Hazel Avenue in Rancho Cordova, in the seemingly nondescript center the Spaghetti Factory is in, is Monster Mini Golf.  Indoor miniature golf at its best, you’d better wear a lot of white because most of the lighting is from black-lights! Giant, neon-painted creatures decorate the path, including an orange Loch Ness Monster. Test your golf skills on this crazy course! It’s just $8.00 per person to play, and hours are from 12 pm- 10 pm.

Right across the freeway from Monster Mini Golf is the Sacramento State Aquatic Center at Lake Natoma. The center is not only where Sac State’s row team practices, but is also open to the public and offers classes and rentals for aquatic equipment like kayaks and water bikes. Rentals are discounted for Sac State students- for example, the kayak rental is just $7.00 an hour, and the hydro bike is $10.00.  The aquatic center also offers lessons for windsurfing and sailing, also at discounted student rates. If you’re not feeling up for getting into the water, park at the Park and Ride right next to the aquatic center to avoid paying the user fee to get into the park, and enjoy the 20+ miles of trail that surround Lake Natoma. On any given day, you’ll see lots of wildlife on the trails, like the native golden finch, hawks, grey herons, quails, and rabbits. On a clear day, the peaks of the Sierra Nevada can be seen rising above the foothills from certain spots on the trials.

Though it may be disheartening to hear about your friends exciting spring break plans, don’t let being broke get you down, because you can still have lots of fun without leaving the area.


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