- Take a trip to the AFC hot tub
The best thing to do when it's not warm and sunny outside, in my humble opinion, is to take a trip to the AFC hot tub. I promise you — a spacious 16-person hot tub kept around 104 degrees — is much needed. It’s the perfect getaway from the temperamental temperatures Charlottesville has been hosting lately. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like an early summer vacation to me.
2. Have a spring sports watch party
With the upcoming spring season, there are a lot of cool upcoming sports games like lacrosse, baseball and even polo. If it is cold outside, you can gather your friends and have a watch party to support your fellow hoos. The game schedules can be found on the University Athletics site. If it is nice out — like the 80 degree weather we had last week — consider gathering some friends and playing games yourselves on the lawn, such as soccer, frisbee or spikeball!
3. Hot chocolate bar
My favorite thing to do when it’s chilly outside is to curl up in a pile of warm blankets with some hot chocolate. A cool thing my friends and I have done is create a hot chocolate bar. We set up a tray of delicious hot chocolate ingredients and toppings, like fluffy marshmallows, savory candy canes, whipped cream and even red-hot cinnamon sticks. You can also do this with coffee, tea, or whatever you’re feeling depending on the day’s weather.
4. Movie night at the Alamo
I visited the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to watch Avatar 2: The Way of Water, and let me tell you, it was the cinematic experience of a lifetime. Going to the movies is a way to get out of the house and still be doing something fun indoors. At Alamo, once you are seated in the theater for a movie, you can order as much food as you want, which is then delivered during the film. Plus, they have recliner seats. So, if you are looking for an all-inclusive, traditional movie night, grab some friends and have a movie night out.
5. Game night
As a big board game fan, I have to recommend this for a night-in type of vibe. I personally like getting my friends together, ordering some food and playing Charades. If you and your friends decide you want to stay in instead of braving the early spring winds in the never-ending Trinity line, this is a fun indoor option. Whether it is a card game or a game of Mafia, spending time with your friends while staying warm is a win-win situation.
6. Build a capsule spring wardrobe
If you’re like me, your closet is a mix of winter and summer clothes, and sometimes it gets all jumbled up. If you have some free time, you can create a capsule wardrobe in anticipation for spring. You do this by creating a limited collection of set pieces that all go together. You can come up with neutral pieces from your existing wardrobe that mix and match with everything. That way, you do not have to spend 30 minutes picking out an outfit for the day. You can check this out by looking up “capsule spring wardrobe” on Pinterest if you want some inspiration. Having a versatile range of outfits is good to have in your back pocket for when it is sunny one day and cold the next.
7. Trivia night at Boylan
Boylan hosts a fun trivia night almost every Wednesday night, usually starting at 8 p.m. Trivia night usually includes a lot of cheering and booing as well as a lot of team strategizing. My friends and I attended the Harry Potter Trivia night, and Boylan served some warm butterbeer during the game — it was a truly magical experience. So, if you’re looking for something fun to do indoors, this is a great way to gather your friends, eat some wings and test your trivia skills.
8. Solve your way out of an escape room
Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall is a charming collection of more than 120 shops and 30 restaurants along the city’s Main Street. You have probably enjoyed their live bands and outdoor restaurants in warmer weather, but there are also a lot of fun things to do indoors. The Downtown Mall has an escape room, featuring real-life quests of finding clues, solving puzzles and opening locks. My friends and I spent a good hour trying to escape the Mad Scientist’s Laboratory, which was difficult, to say the least. So, if you need an escape from lots of schoolwork, you know where to go.
9. Alumni Hall Bingo Night
Alumni Hall usually hosts many fun events, ranging from coffee tabs to game nights. This past Monday, they hosted their traditional Bingo Night, one of my personal favorites. Bingo night is always entertaining, especially when you and your friends are all competing for the chance to win some great prizes, like a gift card for a restaurant on the Corner. If you couldn’t make this event, check out their site for the other exciting activities they hold for students.
10. Bake some sweet treats
Nothing is better than a home-cooked meal, especially one that is deliciously warm. Looking up tasty recipes is good to do when spending time indoors. You can create a cookbook with some options you would like to try and pick a new one every time it’s a cool and rainy day. I recently read this article of 50 comfort food recipes, including honey cinnamon bars and old-fashioned applesauce, so if you’re looking to warm up, make sure to check it out.