SPRING BREAK PLANS FALLING THROUGH? THINK STAYCATION INSTEAD
By WVUA 23 Reporter Allison Underwood
Many families and students are canceling their spring break plans at the last minute thanks to the ever-growing coronavirus threat. But there’s still plenty to do in Tuscaloosa, and as long as you’re practicing proper hygiene and avoiding large crowds, your odds of getting sick are low.
It’s never a bad time to visit the Paul W. Bryant Museum, and the week of spring break tends to promise lighter crowds, said Museum Director Ken Gaddy.
“It is a great place to come here locally,” Gaddy said. “If you don’t want to travel you can come right here in town and we will be here for you.”
Other low- or no-cost, family-friendly spots that are usually light on crowds include:
- Moundville Archaeological Park
- University of Alabama Arboretum
- Any of the Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority locales (the outdoor pool complexes are not yet open, but there are several indoor pools if swimming is a priority)
- Tannehill Ironworks State Park
Travel Creates Memory Owner Stephanie Charboneau said if you want a vacation feel without as many illness fears, you can always stay close to home.
“We have Birmingham, but we also have here as well,” Charboneau said. “The Embassy Suites here in Tuscaloosa starts at $150 to $200 a night. I was pricing rooms at Embassy Suites in Birmingham the other day, and they have rooms in the same price range.”
While there are currently no reports of the coronavirus in Alabama, it’s still a good idea to be diligent and wash your hands more often (scrub your hands with soap for at least 30 seconds before rinsing), carry and use antibacterial wipes or hand sanitizer, and avoid touching your face.
If you want to be extra cautious because of a compromised immune system, age or potential health complications, avoid going out in public as much as possible. Work from home if that’s an option, and consider using a grocery delivery service if shopping trips are a necessity.
Bored out of your mind and stuck at home? Here are some ideas:
- Get some exercise in. Visit YouTube or find an app with a workout that suits your skill level and workout desires. Or take a walk around the neighborhood or do some gardening.
- Do some spring cleaning. Pack up all those clothes you don’t wear or those kitchen unitaskers you don’t remember the purpose of. Donate them when you feel comfortable being out and about.
- Cook. Get some meal prepping done. Maybe make some chicken soup, so if you do get sick you’ve got a hearty, healthy and homemade batch of food to keep you going.
- Find a potential new hobby. Have kids? Find something you can do together. Knitting or crochet, embroidery, drawing or painting, journaling, video games, woodworking … the options are endless.
- Read. Doesn’t really matter what. Just read. Could be the latest, greatest thought-provoking novel, pulp fiction, nonfiction, Wikipedia, TV Tropes, news websites, social media sites … they’re all good for helping the time pass.
- TV. There’s probably some series you keep telling yourself you’ll watch but haven’t done it yet. Now’s the time. “Mad Men”? “The Office”? “Breaking Bad”? Between Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus and dozens of other streaming or cable options, there’s bound to be something watchable.
- Taxes. Don’t forget about those.
If you do wind up venturing out, check visittuscaloosa.com for local happenings.