Spark Welcome to Weekends by Sarah Breinig

If SPARK and Welcome to Weekends is helping you have great weekends, share your experience on Facebook @spark897hd3 and Instagram @spark897hd3 and use #sparkweekend to show what you have been doing. I hope you keep having wonderful weekends!

  • Document reopening

As Illinois is finally opening back up from sheltering in place, document your return. When you go outside, take out your phone and video record the world as it is now. Take photos as you eat in a restaurant for the first time post quarantine. Once the world returns to a regular rhythm, edit the photos and videos together and share your journey with others.

  • Eat outside

Since the weather is supposed to be warm and sunny, enjoy a meal outside. Go out to the backyard, have a picnic, or go to a restaurant (most of which will be opening at the end of the month in Illinois) and eat alfresco. Just enjoy some good food and some good weather.

  • Try meditation or mindfulness

Meditating is a great way to take a deep breath and calm down from the stresses of life. Meditation has many benefits to your health including helping with focus, being more alert, and enhancing a sense of self awareness. For meditation instructions, visit https://www.mindful.org/how-to-meditate/. For a list of apps that promote mindfulness, go to https://www.mindful.org/free-mindfulness-apps-worthy-of-your-attention/.

  • Read a book and then watch its movie

So many great movies are based on great books, so why not experience both. This is a fun way to explore a story and dive deeper into it. Some great choices are To Kill a Mockingbird, any Harry Potter book/movie, Lord of the Rings, or To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. For a list of more movie adaptions of books, visit https://www.bookbub.com/blog/best-movies-based-on-books-all-time.

  • Watch Back to the Future Part III

On Monday (June 1st), Back to the Future Part III celebrates its thirty-year anniversary. Relive the time-traveling adventure with Marty McFly and Doc Brown in the wild west. To learn some interesting trivia about the film, go to https://movieweb.com/back-to-the-future-3-movie-facts-trivia/. You can watch the movie on Netflix or rent or buy it on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Prime, YouTube, or Vudu.


Spark Welcome to Weekends by Sarah Breinig

If SPARK and Welcome to Weekends is helping you have great weekends, share your experience on Facebook @spark897hd3 and Instagram @spark897hd3 and use #sparkweekend to show what you have been doing. I hope you keep having wonderful weekends!

  • Have a happy Memorial Day

If you are like me, your state is still sheltering in place, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Memorial Day.  If you have a backyard, you can grill or support a local restaurant and order some food. If you do not have a backyard, no problem. Take a walk through a local park. If you’re looking for something different to do, you can watch the National Memorial Day Concert on PBS at 7 pm CDT on Sunday (May 24) honoring United States Service Men.

  • Eat a hamburger

Enjoy a hamburger this Thursday (May 28) on Hamburger Day. Whether you grill some burgers outside, make them in your kitchen, or order in at a restaurant, celebrate this fun day with a tasty burger.

  • Do a puzzle

Although you probably have done a lot of puzzles during quarantine, you can always try a new puzzle to kill some time. To add a challenge, do a photomosaic or solid color puzzle. For a list of some of the hardest puzzles to complete, visit https://www.rd.com/culture/most-challenging-jigsaw-puzzles/.

  • Watch Braveheart

On Sunday (May 24), Braveheart celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary. Relive the exploits of William Wallace as he fought in the First War of Scottish Independence. To learn more about the film, visit https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112573/trivia. You can watch Braveheart on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Vudu.

  • Ractice-pay ig-pay atin-lay

Quarantine continues to go on in Illinois, so mix it up at home by speaking in Pig Latin.


Spark Welcome to Weekends by Sarah Breinig

If SPARK and Welcome to Weekends is helping you have great weekends, share your experience on Facebook @spark897hd3 and Instagram @spark897hd3 and use #sparkweekend to show what you have been doing. I hope you keep having wonderful weekends!

  • Celebrate Love a Tree Day

Enjoy the outdoors, on Love a Tree Day on Saturday (May 16). Since you are probably like me and have been spending way too much time indoors, use this day as a reminder to get some fresh air. Take a walk and find a tree. Depending on what state you live in you might be able to have a picnic under a tree, have fun climbing it, or sit under it and try sketching the nature you see all around you. Whatever you decide to do, just enjoy some trees on Love a Tree Day.

  • Start crosswords

A great way to kill time a strengthen your mind is with crosswords. My favorite place to get challenging-but-possible-to-solve crosswords is Daily Themed Crosswords. It is a free app available in the App Store and the Google Play Store. If crosswords aren’t your thing try sudoku, which you can find in the App Store, Google Play Store, and the Microsoft Store. Both are great problem-solving time killers that will also keep your mind sharp.

  • Use your non-dominate hand

To mix things up in quarantine, try using your non-dominate hand to do something you normally do. Not only is it a silly way to pass the time, but it is also good for building dexterity and helps strengthen your mind. It can be kind of silly, but it can be fun.

  • Watch The Revenge of the Sith or The Empire Strikes Back

On Tuesday (May 19), The Revenge of the Sith celebrates its fifteenth anniversary, and on Thursday (May 21) The Empire Strikes Back celebrates its fortieth anniversary. Enjoy the final installmentSpark Welcome to Weekends by Sarah Breinig of the prequels and the original trilogy this week on their anniversaries. Both films can be streamed on Disney+ and Hulu and can be rented or bought on YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, and Amazon Prime. May the force be with you!

  • Listen to spark!

As quarantine seems to drag on, some positive messages are always great, so have some fun and listen to spark. You can listen on spark 89.7 HD3 or download the radio FX app and listen there.


Spark Welcome to Weekends by Sarah Breinig

If SPARK and Welcome to Weekends is helping you have great weekends, share your experience on Facebook @spark897hd3 and Instagram @spark897hd3 and use #sparkweekend to show what you have been doing. I hope you keep having wonderful weekends!

  • Call your mom or grandmother

Just because you are in quarantine, doesn’t mean you can’t tell the important women in your life how much they mean to you. Whether the woman in your life is your mother, grandma, sister, aunt, or anyone else, you can wish them a happy Mother’s Day via video chat. If you like baking, drop some cookies or a cake by her door, or try making your mom a hand made card. If you have a hobby, find a way to make this unusual Mother’s Day special this Sunday, For example, I knit my mom a hat. Have a happy Mother’s Day!

  • Solve riddles

As classes are finishing up (or are completely finished), keep your brain in shape with riddles. Do them with your family or get a video chat with friends. For some easier riddles, go to https://parade.com/947956/parade/riddles/, and for some more difficult ones visit https://www.rd.com/funny-stuff/challenging-riddles/. If riddles are not your things but you like word puzzles, try these out- https://www.rd.com/culture/word-puzzles-that-will-leave-you-stumped/.

  • Try origami

Origami, the Chinese art of paper folding, actually originated in Japan. You can try your hand at origami with regular copy paper you probably already have at home, but there is a slightly thinner paper designed solely for paper folding which you can buy on Amazon. Although there are many advanced patterns, there are hundreds of easy beginner projects. One of the easiest patterns is the paper crane (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfnyopxdJXQ). I’m a fan of the T-Rex (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKOVYw9R7oI), but you can also try a slightly more advanced pattern called a flexagon, an infinitely moving structure (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgNXyIezwks). If these patterns are not for you, just search “origami” into your search engine and you can try any pattern you can find. YouTube is a great resource for instruction. If paper folding isn’t your style, you can try kirigami, the art of paper cutting. To get started with kirigami, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6C5AbMSrmPY.

  • Watch your favorite movie series

Are you a Potterhead? Maybe you are more of a Marvel Cinematic Universe fan? You could be a Trekkie or a Star Wars buff. Whatever your favorite movie series is, pick a day and binge as many as possible. Or get some friends together and get a watch party going. Using the Party feature on Netflix, anyone with an account can watch a movie with you, or you can have one person stream whatever they are watching. I’ve done this with my friends on Discord and Zoom. Zoom tends to have a stronger quality stream, but if you have more than two people in a call, the meetings only last for 40 minutes.

  • Write some parodies

If you like music or words, try your hand at writing a parody of your favorite song. For example take the lyrics of “My Sharonda” and turn it into “My Corona.” This is a great way to kill some time and have some laughs. One thing that helps with writing parodies, is counting the syllables of each line of lyrics. Although you can add or remove a syllable here and there, making sure your new lyrics have a similar cadence with help your parody sound more polished. It also helps to rhyme (or near/slant rhyme) with original lyrics at the end of phrases and lines. Go to https://www.rhymezone.com/ for all your rhyming needs. If parody writing isn’t for you but you still enjoy them, try listening to Weird Al Yankovic, the king of parody writing.


Spark Welcome to Weekends by Sarah Breinig

If SPARK and Welcome to Weekends is helping you have great weekends, share your experience on Facebook @spark897hd3 and Instagram @spark897hd3 and use #sparkweekend to show what you have been doing. I hope you keep having wonderful weekends!

  • Watch Gladiator

Ridley Scott’s Gladiator celebrates its twentieth anniversary this Tuesday (May 5th). Follow the tale of Maximus, a Roman general during 180 AD, who falls from power when the emperor is slain. After being sold as a gladiator, Maximus realizes his only way to avenge his losses is by becoming a successful gladiator. Although you may be familiar with this dramatic historical fiction, did you know the movie is based on Daniel P. Mannix’s novel Those About to Die published in 1958? To learn more trivia about Gladiator, visit https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0172495/trivia. You can rent or buy Gladiator on YouTube, Amazon Video, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, and Philo.

  • May the Fourth be with you

Celebrate Star Wars Day on Monday (May 4th). One of the easiest ways to celebrate Star Wars Day is watching the films. If you have too much time on your hands during quarantine or you’re a hardcore fan like me, try watching all nine films (and the two companion films) in the days leading up to May 4th saving Rise of Skywalker for Monday when it is released to Disney+. If this is too ambitious, pick a trilogy or watch The Mandalorian. Episodes I-VIII, Rogue One, and The Mandalorian are currently streaming on Disney+ and Rise of Skywalker will be available on the platform starting on Star Wars Day. All Star Wars films may be rented or purchased on YouTube, Amazon Video, iTunes, Vudu, and Google Play. If you want to take your fandom to a new level, try following these Star Wars Day celebrations at https://www.starwars.com/news/5-ways-to-celebrate-star-wars-day-at-home, which includes making Star Wars themed treats. Remember, May the Fourth be with and watch out for the Revenge of the Fifth!

  • Watch some Marvel movies

If you are like me, you are bummed out that Black Widow had its release date moved back to November 6th instead of this Friday (May 1st) due to the pandemic. Although you can’t watch the newest Marvel release quite yet, you can still celebrate Black Widow by watching Iron Man 2, which celebrates its tenth anniversary on Tuesday (May 5th). Natasha Romanoff (aka the Black Widow) had her first cinematic appearance in Iron Man 2, but it wasn’t her last. The Widow has appeared in The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Thor: Ragnarök (this one is splitting hairs- she appears in archival footage for a few brief seconds onscreen), Avengers: Infinity War, Captain Marvel (in the mid-credit scene), and Avengers: Endgame. All of Black Widow’s appearances can be streamed on Disney+, most of these films can be streamed on Netflix or Hulu, and can be found for rent/purchase on YouTube, Amazon Video, iTunes, Vudu, and Google Play.

  • Try a self-portrait

You’re probably already staring at a mirror wishing you could go get a haircut, so why not spend some time looking at your reflection while getting creative? Get out some pencils, markers, crayons, paint, or whatever art supplies you might have lying around at home and try to do a self-portrait. It may be difficult and look nothing like you, but self-portraits can be a lot of fun. Try making a game of it by setting a timer. Or have friends try it too. Then have everyone send them to you and anonymously share them with everyone. Have your friends guess who each portrait is of. Another way to have fun with portraiture is by taking a picture of yourself and send it to friends to have them draw you.

  • Create a COVID playlist

If you’re anything like me, you have listened to a lot more music during the shelter in place. Create a playlist of the music that is helping you get through the extended hours at home. Or make light of the situation by finding music all about sickness and disease. (Once you start looking, you’ll be surprised what you find). If creating a playlist isn’t your thing, try listening to show tunes. Find a show you have never listened to or listen to different cast productions of your favorite show. Some of my favorite musicals that I recommend Be More Chill, Godspell, In the Heights, Heathers, Mean Girls, The Lightning Thief, Hamilton, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. If you are looking for obscure musicals, visit https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Top-40-Obscure-Musicals-of-All-Time–BWW-Readers-Weigh-In-20151125.