Sophie Henry

Mew Haven Cat Cafe

Human company can be so… demanding. Sometimes, the graceful disdain of a cat can be charming — maybe even refreshing — in comparison.

If you’re looking for a relatively low-cost weekend getaway, the Mew Haven Cat Cafe offers several services: one-hour sessions where visitors can play with the cafe’s cats ($10 an hour for students), three-hour study sessions with cats ($25.52 for a single three-hour session for students), yoga with cats, trivia nights and other events. All the cats are adoptable (and adorable, and lovely and remarkably well-behaved). The cafe also offers some amazing mochas and banana bread. There’s super cute cat-themed merch, too!

It’s a good distance away from the Yale campus itself — don’t try to walk there. By bus, it takes roughly 20 minutes to get to 904 Whalley Ave. from Yale.

Dungeons and Dragons

Be the party.

Playing DnD is like improv combined with gambling. It’s a role-playing game, essentially, which predates text adventures and video games — DnD was first released in 1974. As a player, you craft a character, giving them a backstory and a selection of traits based on the official or house rules. You play the game as if you were the character — much like how you would “play” a video game character (or, if you will, how an actor would play a character). As a Dungeon Master (DM), you design a world for your players to interact with. This can be as simple as telling a player whether or not their character manages to kill a rat or as complicated as drawing up world maps and plotting fantasy international conflicts. If you’re interested in seeing a session in action, Critical Role and The Adventure Zone (DnD web series/podcasts) have episodes up on YouTube.

Generally, a single DnD session can run from two to eight hours, depending on the group. Group sizes can range from three to 10 players.

At least two official clubs on campus run DnD sessions: the Yale Undergraduate Tabletop Association (YUTA) and the Yale Undergraduate Dungeons and Dragons Association (YUDDO). Both offer multiple campaigns that you can choose from, based on your personal preferences (Do you want a fantasy adventure? Science fiction? Something else?). There are also unofficial campaigns on campus (I run one; feel free to email me if you want details).

If you’re looking for a group atmosphere and want to play a game, but you aren’t interested in the number-crunching and dice-rolling that a full-blown session of DnD requires, there are plenty of alternatives. Many colleges have weekly board game nights. There are also clubs for specific board games (Knights of Avalon) on campus, and YUTA holds their own board game nights. You can also put together a group on your own — many residential colleges will let you borrow from their own stock of board games.

Cook with friends

Every residential college has a kitchen you can reserve for comfortable weekend cooking. Just go to your college’s website, search for the kitchen’s page and follow the links to check out a key and sign up for a time.

You aren’t restricted to your own residential college’s kitchen, either. If your preferred college’s kitchen is fully booked for the weekend, there are 13 other kitchens to try.

Do figure out in advance how long it will take you to cook! Clean the pots and pans before you use them (yes, people are expected to clean everything before they leave, but sometimes you’ll pick up a stirring spoon that still has dried dough on it), and clean up afterwards (again, I know). Often, preparing ingredients takes much more time than the actual cooking process itself. And even when your muffins end up salty instead of sweet and you’ve burnt your eggs for the fifth time, it’s a fun evening spent with friends and food, right?

Watch a movie

It’s as easy as it sounds: open Amazon Prime, Hulu, Vudu, Netflix, whatever, and prepare yourself for a nice afternoon or evening of streaming.

Yale provides free access to Hulu and cable television, amongst other benefits. If you want a true cinema experience, Yale students have a 7% discount on weeknights — and can buy half-priced tickets on Tuesdays — at Criterion Cinemas on Temple Street, a 10-minute walk from Old Campus.

Movies don’t have to be a solo experience! Some clubs and classes host movie nights. Also, arrange a private movie-watching session with a friend or two, or more.

And, of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to movies at all. There are plenty of free series and other kinds of shows to enjoy. Starkid musicals are free on YouTube, “Good Omens,” last I checked, is free on Amazon Prime, and “Epithet Erased” is another amazing free animation series accessible on YouTube or on VRV. Don’t forget about the Yale Repertory Theater either!

See the art museums

For those looking to see high culture and art, Yale has two wonderful (free entry!) art museums, the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art. You can even use houston texas e scooter rentals to get there faster.

The Yale Center for British Art (also conveniently near the ice cream shop Milkcraft) is home to paintings, sculptures, drawings, watercolors and more from medieval to modern periods of English history. The museum also houses collections of rare books as well as a reference library. Some students work as tour guides there. 

The Yale University Art Gallery displays pieces from a variety of cultures: Asian, North American, African, Indo-Pacific, etc. It also possesses an impressive numismatics (coins) collection with more than 120,000 of those roundish stores of value.

Clean your room

Honestly, is your room as clean right now as it could be?

(Check: is there clutter on your desk that belongs in the bin? books on the floor or your bed? clothes not in a laundry basket or the wardrobe or on your body?)

If there’s a mess, take some time to make it less.

Talk to your parents

They miss you!


You know what they say… if you love your work, it’ll feel like play.

Following this logic, if you’ve chosen classes you like and enjoy, reading the assigned texts will feel like getting a first-row seat at a Broadway musical.


Getting blackout drunk in real life can lead to vomiting, uncomfortable questions, and, in the worst cases, police intervention.

Now, getting blackout drunk in your dreams…


Claire Fang |