You still have time before the summer break to enjoy spring in Ann Arbor and, with any luck, some nice weather. I recommend five cheap and cheerful must-do activities covering everything from food to floating.
The One With the Zingerman’s Picnic
Want that Zingerman’s bang without the buck? Zingerman’s, founded by U-M alumni, is a treat normally saved for paying parents, not a student’s stipend. A small Reuben costs $15.99 a sandwich, while a large one rings up at $18.99. Here’s how to get seven Zingerman’s Reuben sandwiches for $8.31 each. Make them yourself, pack them in a basket, and head to the Arboretum for a picnic with friends, as I plan to do this weekend.
Purchase at the Zingerman’s Deli a loaf of sliced pumpernickel bread, some pastrami, and a chunk of Swiss Emmental cheese. You now have the ingredients for seven sandwiches. (Russian dressing and sauerkraut are not sold separately at Zingerman’s, so buy them elsewhere.)
Here is what it will cost:
Swiss, half pound (eight to 12 slices): $12
Pastrami, 1.0 pound: $30
Bread 1.5 pounds (14-16 slices): $9.50
Sauerkraut: roughly $3.69 a can
Russian dressing: roughly $3.00 a bottle
Seven servings = $8.31 per sandwich
Find the Fairies
Pretend for a few hours that fairies exist and that they live among us in Ann Arbor. Wander the city in search of these little doors, which have made national news. The Washington Post, the Associated Press, and National Public Radio have all run stories on these pixey portals. Read about the U-M alumnus who founded the fairy doors and try to find the “goblin door,” not shown on this map in the article.
The River Runs Wild
Enjoy the Huron River by kayaking in the Argo Cascades. If it’s hot out, bring an inner tube. If canoeing is more your speed, downstream you will find the Gallup Canoe Livery, which also has paddle and rowing boats. If it’s too cold, Barton Park, along the river, is a place I like to go on walks or for a run. It should be budding with flowers, if there are any left after our voracious Michigan deer nibble away!
To the Market
The Ann Arbor Farmers Market in Kerrytown is open every Saturday (all yearlong), but in the spring it is particularly plentiful with produce. With more than 100 local businesses selling their goods, you can find artisanal yogurt, cheeses, flaky croissants, rhubarb pie, and every type of lettuce imaginable. I, personally, like to sip a slow-roasted coffee and meander the market, where jewelry and crafts are also sold.
Obvious but Glorious
On any given sunny spring day, you will definitely find me napping on the Diag. Invest in a hammock, take a nap, or practice balancing acts on those giant elastic bands slung between trees. Just make sure to get outside and enjoy the weather. Hammocks start as low as $15 on Amazon. The trees you hang them on are free.
Anna Haritos is a junior studying modern Greek, and biopsychology cognition and neuroscience at U-M.