What do you do when the lease is up on one apartment, but your new lease does not start until the next day?
Every August 14, thousands of UW students face this dilemma, joining other downtown Madison apartment dwellers in a twenty-four-hour bout of homelessness, rather than choosing to renew their leases and stay put (as many parents no doubt wish they would).
Some handle this juggling act by filling up cars or renting moving trucks, and then settling in with their belongings for the night. Nearby Bethel Lutheran Church offers students free parking and a place to sleep indoors overnight, along with breakfast and access to its air hockey and foosball tables.
Other renters stuck in this limbo leave town altogether, heading to family homes for the night with furniture, clothing, and cooking pots in tow. And some brave souls strike deals with landlords, having their new homes go without much-needed cleaning so they can move in early.
For Steve Veloff ’98, MFA’04, moving day always fell on his birthday, but he says he didn’t mind too much. “We’d rent a U-Haul and fill it up, then park it somewhere safe, and head to the Nitty [Gritty] before visiting several establishments on State Street,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “Though it was tough to move in the next day … it was worth it.”
A lot of possessions don’t make it past the curb when people move out. The avalanche of stuff spills onto sidewalks and out of Dumpsters, prompting a free yard sale for those who refer to the two-day event as “Hippie Christmas.”
In recent years, student groups and local charities have focused on reducing the waste generated by the big move. In 2010, some UW students launched Dumpster Diving Revolution, inspired by “all the good stuff lying about,” from computers to couches. The group sets up collection stations at apartment buildings near campus and roams the area in trucks to gather unwanted clothing and furniture to donate.
Their haul last year? More than five tons.http://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/traditions/moving-day/
6 unusual spring break destination ideas
Face it: Popular vacation destinations like Cancun and Daytona Beach are going to be flooded with rowdy college students and partyers. If you prefer a vacation less traveled by, try one of these spring break alternatives.
View of rocks in the ocean from Second Beach in Olympic Peninsula. (Photo: Getty Images)
Both eerie and beautiful, this beach off the coast of Washington is the perfect place to explore the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and an even better place to film the Twilight franchise reboot. Unlike the beaches of Florida or California, Second Beach is not congested with scantily clad vacationers but filled with wildlife. Due to the weather, it may be a little too cold to venture into the water, but the extraordinary sights are just as rewarding.
What it’ll cost you: If you plan on roughing it with camping gear and sleeping bags, this trip could be cheaper than last month’s rent. But if you plan on staying at a nearby hotel, it’s going to cost you anywhere from $60 to $300, depending on the quality of y0ur choice.
Don’t miss this: Hike north along the beach and you’ll find a natural arch, one of the West Coast’s many gems.
Blackwater Falls State Park. (Photo: Getty Images)
This state park allows its visitors to enjoy the comfort and convenience of modern day amenities amid the backdrop of lush forests, bountiful wildlife and breathtaking waterfalls. A variety of rental cabins and cottages can be reserved and come fully furnished with the typical kitchen and bathroom functionality of a residential home. Most important, there’s WIFI! Outdoor recreational opportunities include biking, hiking, geocaching, fishing and so much more.
What it’ll cost you: Staying in a four-person cabin will cost you $149 per night, which is cheaper than most hotels.
Don’t miss this: The Timberline Riding Stables offer private tours of the landscape on horseback.
(Photo: Getty Images)
This lighthouse is considered the most haunted place in St. Augustine. Visitors are able to go on the Dark of the Moon ghost tour to discover the history behind it all. For those not into scary things, you can also enjoy the sights and sounds of the ocean and the Maritime Museum. If you happen to visit on a full moon, climb to the top of the lighthouse for the Sunset Moonrise tour.
What it’ll cost you: General admission tickets to the lighthouse are under $15, while ghost tour tickets are $25.95. The cost of a hotel in the area generally ranges from $100 to $300.
Don’t miss this: Located in downtown St. Augustine, the Lightner Museum contains magnificent antiques from the 1800s. The museum itself is a gorgeous building formerly known as the Alcazar Hotel.
The National Memorial Arch is a monument dedicated to George Washington and the United States Continental Army. This monument is located at Valley Forge National Historical Park in Pennsylvania. (Photo: Getty Images)
Here you’ll find the history of The American Revolutionary War. Valley Forge was the winter camping site for George Washington and his troops from 1777 to 1778. Today, tourists are able to explore the vast lands and explore the history through informational tours. Less than an hour away is Lancaster, an area heavily populated with Amish culture.
What it’ll cost you: No ticket is required for admission in Valley Forge. Most hotels in the area start at $100 per night.More Spring Break coverage: 6 things you didn’t know about spring break
Don’t miss this: Yoder’s Restaurant and Buffet in New Holland is a great place to stop for an Amish meal.
Scenic views of unusual rock formations and the Catamounts on Pikes Peak Colorado in the summertime. (Photo: Getty Images)
Four-wheel drive and a sense of adventure are an absolute necessity to reach this high-altitude campsite. Nestled on a pine-covered mountain complete with beautiful streams, the Crags offer campsites for campers and tents with public bathrooms sprinkled throughout (but warning: there’s no running water). The centerpiece of the Crags is a trail through the mountain that leads to a breathtaking view from thousands and thousands of feet up. This campsite is perfect for exploring and enjoying the brisk Colorado weather with a good book.
What it’ll cost you: At this type of destination, camping is essential. The only money required for this trip is for gas, food and camping equipment.
Don’t miss this: The Donut Mill in Woodland Park has cinnamon rolls larger than a toddler’s head!
Thunder Hole in Acadia National Park, Maine. (Photo: Getty Images)
The aptly named Thunder Hole — for the way the Atlantic sea crashes and thrashes the rocky shoreline of this Maine town — is a part of the Acadia National Park. It’s an amazing place to visit during the day, but stick around for the sunset, too. Once your eyes and ears can take the roar of Thunder Hole no longer, you can enjoy the other aspects of Acadia National Park, including hiking trails, mountains and lakes.
What it’ll cost you: This is another place you can set up camp for free, but in March sites are limited. You might be better off crashing at a hotel. Rooms in March are cheap — as low as $90 a night.
Don’t miss this: Hike along the Gorge Path. It’s an easy hike with great views.
Cameron McGough is a student at the University of Kansas and a USA TODAY College digital pro
The arrival of autumn brings bright leaves, crisp air and a cornucopia of things to do in Madison, WI! We are fanatic about fall, from Badger footballgames to the harvest at the Dane County Farmers’ Market and leisurelylakeside strolls under a canopy of colorful leaves. Keep reading to learn more about what’s new this season in Greater Madison.
Fresh from the Farm
USA Today just recognized the Dane County Farmers’ Market as one of America’s most historic markets. Indeed, we have earned a reputation over the years for the size of our market, which winds all the way around the Capitol Square—and offers a chance to chat with local farmers. Many chefs shop the market for farm-to-table menu items that change with what’s in season, so there are always new flavors to try.
Madison is ranked America’s #1 Best College Football Town, but there are many other reasons to visit this fall! Unlock all of the colorful adventures and plan your trip today!READ MORE >
Looking for kid-friendly fall fun? Introduce them to farm life at Schuster’s Playtime Farm, where there’s a brand-new themed corn maze each year (hint: elect to come in 2016 and you won’t be disappointed!). Or visit Eplegaarden, featuring “selv plukk” (pick-your-own) orchards and horse-drawn hayrides. Both provide a blend of nature, agriculture and old-fashioned fun!
Spectrum of Sports
Attending a Badger football game is a must when you visit Madison in fall! We are ranked repeatedly as a top college town by media ranging from BBC to USA Today, and offer an array of spectator sports for men’s and women’s teams. Before you go, read our Game Day itinerary which features tips about pre- and post-game activities.
This year, the Madison Capitols start their hockey season in September. This junior hockey league showcases players 20-years-old and younger and is a feeder system for NCAA Division I teams. Sports fans should also check out theMadison Area Sports Commission, which brings many diverse sporting events to the area, including Ironman Wisconsin in September.
Madison is home to a variety of food festivals in the fall, including the Taste of Madison, a celebration of food and live music around the Capitol Square, and Pie Palooza, a savory combination of Wisconsin-grown ingredients and all things pie. Of course, beer festivals abound, including the annual Isthmus OktoBEERfest, featuring more than 40 craft brewers and artisan sausage and cheese makers, and the Thirsty Troll Brew Fest in nearby Mount Horeb.
To learn more about our fall food festivals, search by “food and drink” events in our events calendar or check out the
This is a just a small list of the great many things to do in Madison, WI.
Dane County Farmer's Market
The largest producer-only farmers’ market in the country. Enjoy the produce, baked goods, street music, and people watching.
Memorial Union Terrace
Grab a chair and soak up the sun on the historic Memorial Union Terrace.
Henry Vilas Zoo
The Henry Vilas Zoo is one of only a handful of admission-free, community-supported zoos in the country.
Madison Music Scene
There are endless live music opportunities in the Madison area. Isthmus has the listings.
Wisconsin Veterans Museum
The Wisconsin Veterans Museum is dedicated to the citizen-soldiers of our state.
Visit downtown Madison, Wisconsin, State Street and Capitol Square for shopping, restaurants, bars, galleries, hotels, locally owned businesses, and events.
Information about all public parks and recreational facilities. Here are some hidden gems.
The next time you visit Madison, be sure to find time on the lakes—there are five to explore: Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, Kegonsa and Wingra.
There are a ton of great bike paths around the Madison area.
Camp Randall Stadium
Camp Randall Stadium is an outdoor stadium in Madison, Wisconsin, located on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus. Go Badgers!
The Madison Mallards are a collegiate summer baseball team based in Madison, Wisconsin that plays in the Northwoods League.
Wisconsin State Capitol
The Wisconsin State Capitol, in Madison, Wisconsin, houses both chambers of the Wisconsin legislature along with the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Office of the Governor. The website has photo and virtual tours, but it's best to just wander around the capitol and discover if for yourself.
Wisconsin Historical Museum
Tour the exhibits to learn the stories of native people, settlement days, immigrants' experiences and lively politics of Wisconsin.
Madison Children’s Museum
With one-of-a-kind interactive exhibits, daily activities, and year-round special events, there is always something to do at Madison Children's Museum.
Madison has a long list of great breweries in the area. Eat, drink, and be merry!
Bette Lou Cruise
They offer private group charters and public cruises.