Tag Archives | activities

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For a college student moving to the big city for a new internship, New York can be a little intimidating. There are so many people rushing around, and the subway system takes a minute to master. First, get the basics down such as how to get to your internship and where the best deli is nearby. Once you’re settled, check out this list of fun (and affordable) things to do:

Get your grub on at Smorgasburg. The largest open-air food market in America, The New York Times calls Smorgasburg “the Woodstock of eating.” The market launched in 2011 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and has since expanded to a weekend event that attracts up to 30,000 people. Try some delicious melted cheese at the Baked Cheese Haus, or churro ice cream sandwiches at Dulcinea Churros. Smorgasburg happens every Saturday in Williamsburg and Sunday in Prospect Park 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Combine art and music at the MoMA PS1 Warm Up concert series. The series is celebrating its 20th season this year, and it features the best live and electronic artists from around the globe. Headliners this year include A$AP Ferg, Jacques Greene and Laurel Halo. The concert series takes place under this year’s outdoor installation by Jenny Sabin, called “Lumen.” The installation features more than 1 million yards of digitally knitted and robotically woven fiber creating a cool canopy during the day and an amazing light show at night. Warm up takes place every weekend through September, and tickets are $18 on the day of the show for students with a valid ID.

Take a break at the New York Botanical Garden. Make sure to plan some time for the visit, as the garden is the largest in any city in the U.S. This summer features sculptures by artist Dale Chihuly. Called “CHIHULY,” the installation is the artist’s first major garden exhibition in 10 years. His work is easy to spot, with vibrant colors and unique shapes. There are also drawings and early works on display so people can see how his creativity evolved. Another must-see exhibit is the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden. With summer as its peak season, there will be more than 650 varieties of roses in bloom.

Pack your beach bag and head to Coney Island.
The theme park at the island dates back to the late 1800s, but the rides have obviously been upgraded since then. Stop by Luna Park and ride the historic Cyclone Roller Coaster or The Mighty Thunderbolt. There are plenty of other activities on Coney Island, including the New York Aquarium and the boardwalk. Try Nathan’s Famous Hotdog, created by the hosts of the annual Hot Dog Eating Contest every Fourth of July. Fun fact: This year’s winners were Joey Chesnut and Miki Sudo. Chesnut broke a Coney Island record, eating a total of 72 hot dogs.

Stop by the High Line Park and gaze at the stars. Every Tuesday, the Amatuer Astonomers Association of New York brings their high-powered telescopes so everyone can get a close look at the night sky. The event is free, and the association invites stargazers to stay afterward for dinner and dessert. Look for far away stars or nearby bright planets such as Venus or Jupiter.

Get some exercise with a nice view of the city at Dumbo Boulders. According to the park, the climbing area is the largest outdoor bouldering facility in North America. Nestled right under the Manhattan Bridge, the bouldering walls are bright blue with 4886 square-feet of climbable surface area. The entire facility can fit about 250 climbers. The climbing area comes with a view of the East River and the Brooklyn Bridge. Be sure to let staff know if you are a first time climber, so they can give a quick orientation. A day pass for the bouldering walls is $9 and includes rental shoes.

Bounce, slide or rope-swing off a boat at Rockaway Water Park. Opening in August 2016, the water park is the first of its kind in the Rockaways. The main attraction is the Tarzan Boat, which is basically a water jungle gym. The boat has trampolines, diving boards and a short slide. The water park also offers jet ski rides and paddle boards. The water park is under the same ownership as the nearby Thai Rock, which serves Thai food and summer cocktails.

The only thing better than a concert is a free concert. Check out one of the Vans House Parties at the iconic footwear warehouse in Brooklyn. The shows are completely free to attend — all you have to do is RSVP. This year’s lineup includes Royal Headache and Descendants. The warehouse also features an immersive art experience by Los Angeles-based Nathan Bell. Using black and white as his medium, Bell’s work embodies the “Off the Wall” attitude behind Vans.

This article was contributed by guest author Jayson Goetz.

Image by The Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command, Flickr

Image by The Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command, Flickr

Teenage years are challenging for adolescents as they navigate the tumultuous waters between childhood and adulthood. For many, self-confidence falters as new and troublesome emotions emerge around never previously considered issues such as body image, fear of failing, and real-life stress about academic and career futures. Teamwork activities can help you succeed by restoring and bolstering confidence, making you a part of something bigger, helping to develop leadership skills, and expanding your social circles. Here are some teamwork ideas to inspire your own success:

Team Sports
Team sports are as varied as your interests, so there is certainly an option for nearly everyone. Playing a team sport is a well-known way to gain confidence, a sense of worth, discipline, healthy relationships, and to help reduce stress. Of course, the physical benefits are great too. Particularly for teen girls, sports can minimize negative body image that far too often develop during this time of life and help you feel happier in a healthy and strong body.

Trivia Teams and Other Non-Sport Competitions
If you’re a less physically inclined teen, there are abundant opportunities for non-sport competitions for almost any interest group. Many teens will find shyness melt away and new social skills develop with competitive teams ranging from spelling to mathematics. Competition of any kind, and particularly academic, is critical in pushing you toward the most you can achieve. It’s also great for helping to develop better cognitive and problem-solving skills. If you’re a more solitary type, solidifying leadership skills like these can be done through courses such as an online organizational development master’s degree, or local community learning events.

Volunteer Groups
Socially aware teens may find depth, discipline, and the value of working with others by tackling a group volunteer project. Many volunteer opportunities carry the benefit of putting teens in touch with important people in their field of interest, or in line for college scholarship opportunities. Volunteering can give you a sense of perspective that will stay with you throughout your life, making you a successful steward of your communities. Look into your local library and other community centers to find a cause you’re interested in.

Performing Arts Groups
Often overlooked when discussing teamwork, performing arts groups including orchestras, choirs, and theater groups require intensive collaboration and foster the social skills necessary for long-term success. Many teens find being on stage a way to become more secure in themselves, discovering a poise and grace that will serve them well in school and in the future.

Learning teamwork skills is an important part of your development and those skills will not only drive success in high school and college, but throughout life. In most modern business models, it is the “good team players” and the “leaders” who are most successful, and in an increasingly small world, most projects will require extensive collaboration. With so many options available, there is certainly a teamwork activity to interest any teen.

This article was contributed by guest author Brooke Chaplan.

Image by stevendepolo, Flickr

Image by stevendepolo, Flickr

Post-secondary education is all about finding and grabbing onto opportunities. Recognizing and taking advantage of opportunities can lead you to where you want to be in a surprisingly short amount of time. Extracurricular activities are full of opportunities that can help you get ahead, and certain clubs and societies you choose to join can have an impact on your professional portfolio even after you leave your post-secondary school. But, is it worth your spare time?

Extracurricular activities are the key to enhancing your university experience. They are the places where students gather to share their interests, and it is where many opportunities and relationships are formed. If you’re a new student, extracurriculars are a great way to get involved with not only those your own age, but students in the upper years. Depending on the type of person you are, this can help you get comfortable and adjust to post-secondary life much easier and faster, and it can very much prepare you for your future.

Though they may seem like ways to have fun and do what you love, extracurricular activities can also be great for networking. That doesn’t mean you need to walk in on your first day and start asking about jobs, but the connections you build and relationships you form could one day lead there. For example, joining the university radio station could introduce you to various contacts in the radio industry, while at the same time, give you experience you can present to potential employers. Participating in a club or a society is the easiest way to create these networking contacts because of the social interaction that comes along with the activity. People within these networking circles are looking for others with potential, and doing your best in such a place can present you with a good employment or educational opportunity that could make your professional career so much better.

Seems great, right? Here’s the “beware” disclaimer: Remember that you have to juggle your lifestyle. Too much focus on extracurriculars may not leave enough time allotted to your schoolwork, part-time job, or other aspects of your life such as family and friends. Don’t overburden yourself by joining too many clubs and societies; it can have a negative impact on your studies. However, this is entirely individual. Some students thrive off joining different societies and it helps them stay motivated to do well in their studies. If you’re already feeling swamped with work and school, and you have club meetings to attend, it may not be worth the sacrifice. Plan carefully and don’t overburden yourself; ultimately your grades will get you your degree, and if you can balance your commitments, extracurriculars could land you your job.