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Spring at the State Botanical Garden in Athens, Georgia on March 23, 2021. As one of Athens’ highly visited attractions, it is a 313-acre preserve with trails and gardens for the public. (Photo/Sophia Haynes, @sophiahaynes.jpg)

Despite the absence of spring break, spring has arrived at the University of Georgia and in Athens.

The spring season began on March 20, and while Athens might be known more for its football-filled autumns, it offers plenty of ways to enjoy the spring.

The Red & Black has compiled a list of activities for UGA students and Athenians to take part in throughout this spring season.

Explore local gardens

Perhaps one of the best ways to celebrate spring in Athens is to explore local gardens and see what’s in bloom.

At the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, many plants like camellias and tulips are coming to life. Other gardens in the area include the Founders Memorial Garden and the Latin American Ethnobotanical Garden on campus, which make good places to take a walk or a study break during the day.

Treat yourself to some cut flowers

If you’re prone to springtime allergies and unable to walk around a garden full of blooms, you can bring a bit of spring inside by picking up some cut flowers at the store.

Daily Groceries Co-op sells flowers from flower farms like 3 Porch Farm and R&R Secret Farm. R&R Secret Farm, a woman-owned and operated flower farm in Athens, also sells its products at the Athens Farmers Market.

Visit the farmers market

On the topic of farmers markets, Athens has several that offer fresh, local produce and artisanal goods. The Athens Farmers Market takes place on Saturdays at 8 a.m. at Bishop Park. The market requires masks and social distancing and prefers non-cash payments, according to its website.

The West Broad Farmers Market is operating online this year, allowing customers to shop on their website and pick up their purchases on Saturdays. If you can’t make it off campus, student organization Farmers Market Friends brings the farmers market to the Zell B. Miller Learning Center lawn on Wednesday afternoons from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Do some spring cleaning

While sometimes a bit tedious, spring cleaning is a good way to shake off the winter blues. Cleaning up your space can also improve your mental health, and even help you sleep better, according to an April 2016 article from Elite Daily. And to take your space to the next level, you can even grab a floral or citrus candle from a local business like Bear Hug Honey Company or Community.

Do some rainy day reading

While spring’s sunny days are welcomed after a long winter, many spring days can be dreary. However, rain, cloudy skies and thunderstorms can make the perfect environment for a cozy day inside. Curling up with a new read from the library or Avid Bookshop, lighting a candle and enjoying a warm drink are a few ways to make the most of rainy days.

Go bird watching

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia is a perfect place to go birding, but you can also bring the birds to you. Picking up a bird feeder at a hardware store or even DIY-ing your own can bring feathered friends to your window and provide some much-needed entertainment during long days of Zoom calls.

Take advantage of outdoor dining

Spring is a great time to dine alfresco in Georgia, before the 80 and 90 degree days of summer start creeping onto the forecast.

Brunch at Heirloom Café or afternoon tea at The Café on Lumpkin are just a couple of outdoor dining options Athens has to offer. If you’re on a budget, you can recreate an outdoor dining experience on your patio or balcony, or you can grab a blanket and head to the park for a picnic.

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