A Student’s Guide to Staying on Campus During Break

by Anna Cayot ’20

Many students find themselves staying on campus during break, perhaps over Thanksgiving or Christmas, and may lament their inability to go home for the holidays. But what a perfect time to try new things! While it’s easy to fall into the lull of the semester, break is a great opportunity for a change.

You may be worried that if you do not leave, you might remain on campus all by yourself. While you absolutely can choose to keep to yourself, there are so many ways to surround yourself with company! If there is a holiday coming up, throw a themed party. Host a friendsgiving, coordinate a Christmas gift exchange, stream the New Year’s ball drop, or just invite some friends over and binge watch every single Harry Potter movie in a row. The possibilities are endless.

Just because you are staying on campus during break doesn’t mean you have to stay on campus for the entire break. Sticking around also provides an amazing opportunity to go out and explore the surrounding areas. At Azusa Pacific University, there are great coffee shops and parks nearby that are even more enjoyable without the imminent threat of school responsibilities. We live in an incredibly diverse area with so many options for activities.

If you’re an APU student in need of some inspiration, consider the following adventures for your break:

Have a Picnic

Go to a big box store, get a couple of giant pies, and have a picnic at one of the overlook points along Glendora Mountain Road. There are many scenic inlets to happen upon and look out over the city. Lay out a blanket and eat to your heart’s content.

Go to the Snow

If the weather permits, go see and play in the snow on Mt. Baldy. The mountain is about a 30-minute drive from campus along Glendora Mountain Road. The snow season is usually open towards the end of December, bringing the opportunity to go skiing or just have a snowball fight with friends in the fresh powder.

Explore Pasadena

Take the Metro Gold Line to Pasadena and explore the city. Metro fare is less than $2 per trip, providing a safe, fast way to get where you are going without needing a car. Once there, Old Pasadena offers a scenic walk of beautiful, classic architecture while housing modern shopping and restaurant options.

Go on a Hike

Head out to the Eaton Canyon Nature Center in Pasadena. This beautiful park maintains fantastic hiking trails and has picturesque scenery, perfect for an amature photoshoot. Trails are open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., but closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Attend the Rose Parade

If you are around on New Year’s Day, go to the Rose Parade. Watch beautiful floats covered in thousands of flowers pass by as bands and dancers lead the way. The parade runs from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Orange Grove Boulevard and Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena. If you stayed up too late the night before, you can skip the parade and wander through the floats when they are parked at Victoria Park.

Go to a Farmers Market

Visit the Claremont Farmers & Artisans Market. This California certified farmers market is located in the Claremont Village and is open on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pick up some organic produce, fresh flowers, or artisanal crafts while you are there.

Visit Riley’s Farm

Take a day trip out to Riley’s Farm in Yucaipa. The farm sits on 760 acres of land, with many of those dedicated to orchards for picking apples, pumpkins, or pears. All U-Pick fruit is priced at $3.50 per pound. While there, be sure to stop off at the mercantile, and bring a little extra money to buy some apple cider. (You will want the apple cider.) There is also a restaurant on site, serving fresh pie and authentic colonial style food. It is a bit of a drive, but if you have the means, it is absolutely worth it.

Watch a Christmas Lights Show

Try the Magic of Lights Festival in Fontana. Located at the Auto Club Speedway, this drive-through light show houses spectacular displays of Christmas lights and animatronics. The entrance fee is $20 per car, but you can put as many people as you want inside of that car. This display typically run from mid-November to early December.

If you are looking for people to travel and explore with, post on your social media, and see if anyone else wants to go on an adventure. You might even make some new friends. However you choose to spend your time while staying on campus during break, stay safe, have fun, and enjoy the peace and quiet before class is back in session!

Anna Cayot ’20 is a senior English major and an editorial intern in the Office of University Relations.