16 Ways to Maximize your Day Off

reflective sunglasses in grass

All year long you’ve been toiling hard to stay on top of everything.  Dates, deadlines, assignments, papers, meetings, classes – Rinse. Wash. Repeat. Then…all of a sudden, you have ‘free time’.  What a concept. But…what do you do with it?  It’s so easy to fall into a ‘work’ cycle that when a free day comes up it can be hard to figure out what to do with yourself.  We’re here to help.

From the BORED team to you, here are 16 easy things you can do to make the most of your day off –


Take a Walk on the Bike Path

sunset over lake champlain with the earth clock in the foreground

Warmer weather means more outdoor time. Head downtown and take a stroll on the fabled bike path.  The southern connector reopened this fall and is a fun stroll to Oakledge Park to check out the Earth Clock and some epic sunsets. For a nearby hike, Rock Point is a great hidden treasure.


Take a Hike

vermont landscape and lake champlain from the top of mt philo

Whether it’s Vermont’ ‘Spring of Deception’ or Mud Season – when the warm weather hits you’ve just gotta get outside. The Outing Club runs trips every week and it never hurts to see if still have spots open on an upcoming trip! If they do – snag it and adventure with your peers.

If not go on a local adventure of your own. Peep this ‘Take a Hike’ blog that UVM’s Outdoor Programs wrote for us and find out how to safely engage with the outdoors; then pop to a local hiking spot and enjoy the fresh air. Some more local spots just outside the city include Red Rocks or Mt. Philo, if you don’t mind a short drive.


Walk the Woods

green forest and a small footpath

Feeling adventurous, but not TOO adventurous? Pop on over to Centennial woods – short, quick walking trails right in UVM’s own backyard.  UVM Outdoor Programs even has a handy-dandy map (pdf) you can use – with markers along the trail to ensure you know where you are!


Wander to Winooski 

the winooski river with some old factories along the edge

For many of us, Winooski seems like a magical place we only hear about in fairy tales. Something about that bridge repels students.  But we’re here to tell you there’s tons to do in the ‘Noosk’ (even without the dome they almost built over the city). Take a stroll over and check out the salmon hole or enjoy the River Walk.  Between nature trails and epic coffee stops/restaurants – the city is a great hidden gem to enjoy a nice sunny day in.


Do a Coffee Crawl

a coffee cup overlooking the city park

Explore some new spots and grab some coffee-to-go. There are tons of great coffee spots in BTV (we have a few suggestions).  Grab a friend or roommate and compare notes about which ones are your fav.  Coffee sipping on the waterfront is a classic UVM pastime. If you don’t like coffee go for hot cocoa or tea – lots of great options there too!


Find / Share a Gem at a Free Little Library

a stack of books in a small cubby

There are tons of ‘Free Little Libraries’ all around the city – including right on Campus in the Brennan’s Book Nook. ‘Check out’ a book you might not have read – or share one you think is super cool with the community. Bonus points for leaving a positive affirmation for someone else to find. If you need help finding one, check out this map.


Organize a Virtual Game Sesh

hands holding a nintendo switch on a bed

Set a time and create an event on UVM BORED to let folks know you’re hosting a virtual game. There are a ton of free online games you can play with folks – Among Us, Scribble.IO, PlayingCards.io, etc. You could even pop in your nintendo friend code and assemble a Mario Kart squad. If you have jackbox, you can even stream it over Microsoft Teams. If you’re not a great organizer – check out our virtual event page and see if something’s happening that you can join!


Study Up

a hammock hanging with lake champlain in the background

Ok…admittedly our least favorite option; but it might be the one that makes your non-vacation day better. It can often feel like we’re running a thousand miles an hour to the finish line with zero chance to ‘catch up’. Well…today’s your catch-up day. Read those chapters you need to read for next class. Start that paper that’s due in a week. Cross off a few of your academic to-do’s.  Day off you might not be so thrilled, but tomorrow’s you will be.

Plus, it doesn’t have to be your whole day – and you can even do it from a sunny picnic blanket or hammock. Win-win.


Introvert like a BOSS

a hand pointing a remote control at a tv that says netflix on it

There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking the day to avoid socializing. Take the day for yourself. Sleep in extra late (or go to bed super early). Read (for fun). Dive deep into some youtube or insta shows (Love is Blind UVM anyone?). Catch up on some streaming shows (we have some suggestions) or splurge and rent a movie (Have you seen Barb and Star Got to Vista Del Mar? OMG…).

Sometimes being unproductive today is how you can be productive tomorrow. Recharge those batteries.   Crack a window open though because that warm breeze will make you feel all kinds of happy things.


Try to Touch your Toes

a cat stretching

So what?! You think you can touch your toes? Go ahead. Try it. Not as easy as you thought, huh? Don’t act like you’re better than me. Limber-ness aside, it’s always a great idea to stretch it out – even if you’re opting for a stay-cation indoors.  Flexing your muscles is a quick and easy way to make your body feel good.


Make your Bed

legs hanging out of a line of driers along a wall

When are you gonna have the time to wash your sheets and make your bed again. During the weekend? No way. Just do it now.  Plus, nothing feels better than getting into a freshly made, awesomely clean bed. So crisp. So adult.


Explore VT

a hand reflected in a review mirror hanging outside a car window

There’s loads to do without leaving the state. Hop in the car and explore a bit (either by yourself or COVID-safely with your own household). Whether you’re enjoying the vistas and mysterious art of Lemon Fair Sculpture Park or snagging yourself the best maple creemee this side of Chittenden county at Palmer Lane in Jericho sometimes it’s great to get outside the UVM bubble and just go exploring.  VTAttractions.org is a good place to explore what’s out there.


Explore BTV

statue of a trumpeter pointing with a mask on

Mosey down Church Street and pop into a shop you’ve never stepped foot in before or enjoy a new snack on an outdoor patio. For every major staple there’s an awesome hidden gem to be found throughout the city.  If you feel like you’ve got the staples down – branch out and explore outside the downtown core. Pine Street is often overlooked but it’s home to BTV’s ‘Art District’ and a great place to wander around and check out open galleries and overlooked gems like ThirtyOdd and Myers Bagels .  Plus it’s just a couple blocks from the vistas of Perkin’s Pier and Oakledge Park.

Need some extra help? LoveBurlington.org is a great destination to find (and support) awesome local businesses – including a central hub for discovering local women and/or BIPOC owned businesses to help you make some socially-conscious purchases.


Keep your Distance

a football resting in grass

Wanting to see your friends, but your schedule doesn’t always align with theirs? Well, now we’ve all got the same day off (work obligations withstanding). Text your friends, set a date/time, and get out and throw a frisbee or football. Fly a kite. Do something that you can do together while 6ft apart. You’ll thank yourself for the fresh air and good company.



a shopping sign that says yes we're open

What is one of the best ways to treat yourself and support our capitalist nation at the same time. Retail Therapy is real, so take a moment and placate your inner shopaholic by getting some purchases in. Want a new pair of shoes? Buy em. Been craving a certain meal that the dining hall just isn’t satisfying? Great, Get it. Fill your cup. Don’t forget to think about where you’re spending that hard earned cash first!


Go on a Creemee Tour

a woman holding ice cream close to the camera

Warmer weather means CREEMEES, and BTV (and its surrounding area) has no shortage of epic creemee stops. Take a walk downtown and enjoy the waterfront with a classic Raspberry Maple Twist from Burlington Bay or hop in the car and swing by Palmer Lane Maple in Jericho for the most delicious maple creemee you’ll ever have.  If you’re feeling REAL adventurous you could drive on down to Waitsfield for a gourmet creemee from the Canteen Creamery.  Perfect for insta and tastebuds alike.

Hopefully this got the brain juices flowing. Let us know in the comments, or send an email to us at [email protected] to let us know if you have ideas to share to make your day off the best it can be.