Is the interminable silence in your dorm, the halls and the libraries killing you? Are you begging your friends to drop their textbooks and smell the roses? Take a step back! Life has not stopped outside of UC Berkeley, and dead week is only dead on campus. Here are some activities around the Bay Area that you can check out for breaks from your relentless studying.
Monday: Visit the Oakland Zoo for zoo lights
Nothing welcomes the holidays better than good old zoo lights. With a candy- cane-lane-themed rides area, the Outback Express train ride and the Christmas trees throughout the zoo, you are sure to be thrown back into time, thanks to these beautiful light decorations reminiscent of childhood trips to the zoo. With some hot cocoa in hand and a warm beanie on your head, this is the perfect way to wind down after a long day of half-hearted studying.
Tuesday: Explore “The Language of Cloth” pop-up shop
Being the Berkeley hipsters that we are, stocking up on some textiles is always a good idea. This pop-up shop is located in San Francisco, and it is open only in December. It sells many Southeast Asian goods, such as scarves, wall hangings and ethnic clothing. Take a break from your textbooks and check this place out, because you might find that you like Southeast Asian style — heck, this could pass for international studies.
Wednesday: Walk down the Union Street Holiday Fantasy of Lights
Union Street, a part of San Francisco’s history, turned into a holiday “Fantasy of Lights” starting Saturday. This is now considered a tradition in the Bay Area — all of Union Street lights up with twinkling white lights, dressing up the many shops and houses on the street. Complete with a Santa Claus, ponies made up as reindeers and live entertainment, Union Street will truly bring the Christmas cheer into your life. There is no better prelude to winter break!
Thursday: Watch the “Reality TV Movie”
A comedy satire based on the absurdity of reality TV shows, this film was co-produced by a UC Berkeley alumnus and premiered in Berkeley. Now is your chance to view a special screening of the movie, followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker and production team. With professional ballroom dancers, comedic moments and great cinematography, this movie is the perfect getaway from the reality of your textbooks to spend an hour and a half just laughing.
Friday: Participate in the Amazing San Francisco Scavenger Hunt
If you are more of a night owl and prefer studying when the sun goes down, this is the perfect way to spend your unproductive day. San Francisco turns into a giant game board with this scavenger hunt. As long as you are equipped with a smartphone, you can undertake this three-hour city tour and scavenger hunt, learn about local history, solve clues and find the overlooked gems of the city. If you’re from out of town and have not had the time to explore the beautiful streets of San Francisco, this is your opportunity.
There you have it: an alternative to studying for every single day of dead week. Break free of the hold that Main Stacks has on you and escape the stressful environment of Berkeley. The rest of the Bay Area is excitedly preparing for the holidays, decorating its zoos with lights, buying exclusively available Asian textiles, watching funny films and scavenging for smartphone clues. Get out there and enjoy yourself. After all, life is for living!