As college students, especially those of us who have yet to turn 21, we find ourselves in that awkward limbo stage between kid and adult, wanting the world to take us seriously as individuals, yet still unwilling to relinquish our youth. We are legal adults, living independently of our families, responsible for determining the courses of our real-world futures. Meanwhile, we do not depend on yearly salaries to sustain ourselves nor do we have mortgages to pay; most of us still mooch off of family cell phone plans and our parents’ grocery bills when we return home for school vacations. We reside in that sweet bubble that is college life—our daily affairs concerning exams, club meetings and pre-games—and we do not always know what to do with ourselves when we step into the outside world. The good news is: we don't have to. Here's a list of adult-appropriate activities that will bring out the inner kid in you.
“Swing Time” at the Lawn on D
The temporary public park space next to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on D Street in South Boston now hosts its first interactive art piece—a set of swings lit by movement-activated LED lights, which change color according to speed. The husband-and-wife architectural design duo responsible for this futuristic swing set aimed to create a piece that would effectively tempt people to use it. Commissioned by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, this public art installation gives you simultaneous opportunities for playtime and cultural bragging rights.
Sacco’s Bowl Haven in Somerville and its candlepin lanes offer a variation of bowling that is classic to the New England region. Parents, toddlers and hipster twenty-somethings alike congregate here to enjoy some low-key bowling, craft beer and mouth-watering Flatbread Company pizzas. So get a group of friends together for an outing that gets better with age—you might have even more fun than you did at your fourth grade birthday party.
The Paint Bar
The Paint Bar, Boston’s buzzed about spot for “art as entertainment,” puts a unique spin on your grade school art class. Equipped with an actual bar, the venue encourages you to enjoy some Pinot Grigio and mingle with your fellow painters as an instructor helps you create a wicked Boston landscape. The Paint Bar owner’s “Paint and Sip” philosophy creates a relaxing social space for you to tap into that inner-artist whom you may have abandoned at the finger-painting stage.
Flour Bakery + Café
Hit up this acclaimed Boston bakery for an upgrade to your favorite brown-bag lunch. Whether you prefer the PB&J or the grilled cheese sandwich, make sure to follow it with a few of Flour’s famous homemade Oreos. Enjoy a lunch date at the café or pack a picnic to take to the New England Aquarium or Franklin Park Zoo, where you’ll find many of the exhibits just as intriguing you as you did back in your field trip days.
With fall rolling around, it is the perfect time to spend a weekend afternoon with friends at an apple orchard. Belkin Family Lookout Farm in Natick, one of the country’s longest-running farms, serves as a prime spot to enjoy all of your seasonal favorites—apple, pumpkin and pear picking; donuts and hot cider; even hay rides.
Before you find yourself in the real world, without enough time in your schedule for fun and games, embrace what remains of the kid in you and head off campus for a couple of these timeless activities.