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Don’t look far for entertainment

Focus Editor

Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013

Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 17:08

Four weeks from today brings the beginning of UConn’s annual Spring Break, held this year between March 15 and 24. Unfortunately, unless reservations were made months ago, it’ll be nearly impossible for students to affordably head overseas or down South for a respite from the typical Connecticut winter. Don’t fret, though. For those limited by geography but still desiring to get away from home for a few days, here are some tips for a great local vacation.

While there’s nothing quite like taking in a Broadway show for a Spring Break day trip, tickets can be ridiculously price-gouged. There’s a simple solution in both Times Square and downtown Brooklyn: the TKTS window. Meant to ensure as many shows as possible have large crowds, these windows regularly chop anywhere from 30 to 60 percent from the cost of a ticket. Their selection covers more than a dozen shows nightly and the seats are often fantastic; for instance, on a weekday in January, second-row tickets to the Tony-winning “Peter and the Starcatcher” were $62 each.

There are also plenty of concerts within a few hours of campus during break. P!nk headlines Madison Square Garden on March 22, while the Bowery’s set of NYC venues hosts a variety of acts including the alt-country twang of Drive By Truckers and the Old 97s on March 15-16 and classic rockers George Thorogood and the Destroyers that same weekend. For those stuck in New England, don’t worry. Hartford’s Webster Theater has a ton of metal acts, including The Devil Wears Prada on March 17; Providence’s Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel will host Circa Survive and Minus the Bear on March 15; and Boston’s got the Dropkick Murphys’ three-day tour of TD Garden, Brighton Music Hall and the House of Blues from March 15-17, alt-rockers Jukebox the Ghost at Brighton Music Hall on March 21, and a wide collection of comedians like Demetri Martin, Horatio Sanz and Lewis Black all around the city.

Boston’s also got a very interesting event occurring from March 22-24, the fourth-annual PAX East video game convention at the Hynes Convention Center. At least 70,000 fans of webcomic “Penny Arcade,” games, comics and all other aspects of nerd culture will descend upon the city and hundreds of companies can’t wait to debut their new products, whether they be new technology or new shirt designs. Three-day passes and Saturday tickets are already sold out, but Friday and Sunday passes are available for $30 each on the convention’s website.

Feeling lucky? Take a trip to either of New England’s casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, for some of-age gambling (assuming you’re 21). Counting cards is probably out of the equation, but risking money across the two casinos’ gaming boards is a thrilling and sometimes speedy way to enjoy your hard-earned money. With tons of entertainment and restaurants, either of these will be a unique way to spend break. Plus, both feature concerts nightly, the most notable of which is a two-day stint at Mohegan by country superstar, Kenny Chesney.

Finally, winter sports enthusiasts who want to take one last ride should get themselves to one of New England’s numerous ski/snowboarding mountains. March 15 is considered the beginning of the end at most hills, so prices will be way down from their mid-winter peaks, perfect for nearly broke college kids who need a cheap trip. It’ll be early enough for most mountains to have snow on the ground and late enough that the trails will be nearly empty. Not to mention, early spring and its beautiful weather are the perfect backdrop for enjoying the end of the season.

 

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