A ZipsGuide to Spring Break

Staying in Akron for Spring Break? 

If you're not heading out to the beach or visiting home, we've got some fun things for you to check out right here in downtown Akron.

By Shannane Lewis and Anthony Nichols

Hello Zips Spring Breakers…

This Spring Break feels like it has been a long time coming. We went dancing, got robbed by some refs, and have been working hard to get through another post-pandemic semester. 

Most of us at ZipsGuide.com aren’t heading somewhere tropical for break, so we thought we would put together a quick guide to the fun things happening in Downtown Akron during this week’s respite from Spring 2024.

Our guide for Spring Break offers something for music lovers, book fanatics and science fans. Spring Break can come and go quickly, so glance over these ideas and make reservations today. 

P.S. we would love to hear about your experiences – tag us on social @zipsguideakron if you head out to any of the events below, or just show us what you are doing for spring break.    

Sunday, March 24:
Red Hot Chilli Pipers

Let’s kick off Spring Break with the Red Hot Chilli Pipers in concert at the Akron Civic Theatre, Sunday, March 24 at 4:00 p.m. Nope, that is not typo. According to their website, www.rhccp.scot, they are the most famous bagpipe band on the planet. 

With more than 200 live shows each year, they incorporate Scottish music and Rock music in their signature style, ‘Bagrock.’  Don’t believe it? Visit YouTube where they have over 2.5 million views for their viral cover of the Avicii track ‘Wake Me Up.’ 

The nine-piece group consists of drummers, pipers, guitarists, and keyboards. All the pipers are at the top level of bagpiping, with four music degrees from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Tickets start at $33.

Fun Fact: If any reader attends this concert Shananne Lewis wants to interview you. Read intern Shananne Lewis’s story which includes the Akron Civic info and more. A ZipsGuide to Shopping Akron - Gift an Experience.

Image of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers courtesy of their media kit at www.rhccp.scot.

Monday, March 25: 
"Under Alien Skies" 

The total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8 is the experience of a lifetime. There won’t be another one in Akron for 99 years. Prepare yourself with firsthand information from author and astronomer Dr. Philip Plait, the internet’s “Bad Astronomer,” who calls out of misinformation on his web series “Crash Course Astronomy.” With over 70 million views, the series appeals to beginners and advanced astronomers alike. 

On Monday, Plait will share everything he knows concerning the eclipse including some solar eclipse misconceptions.

Image of Dr. Philip Plait courtesy of Downtown Akron Partnership's website.

Gear up for the event of a lifetime at Main Library, 60 S. High Street, on Monday March 25 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. No registration required, but seats are first come first served. Don’t be on time, be early and get there for the best seat in the auditorium.

When at the library, check out Plait’s three books: "Bad Astronomy," "Death from the Skies!" and "Under Alien Skies: A Sightseer's Guide to the Universe." Books will be available to purchase, and the “Bad Astronomer” will be signing copies.

Have questions? Visit the event site or reach out to the Culture & AV Division by phone at 330.643.9015 or email at cadiv@akronlibrary.org

Tuesday, March 26:
"Snakes on a Plane" 

Did you love the classic Samuel L. Jackson flick “Snakes on a Plane?” Or, have you never seen it (wait, what)? Maybe you happen to just be a fan of snakes in general. Head over to The Nightlight (30 N. High St.) at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26 to screen the 2006 film that was the subject of at least one million jokes that year (no, really) and combine a hilarious film experience with some genuine science. The Science on Screen ® Lecture series focuses on biomimicry and snakes this time around.

With films selling out left and right, we recommend getting your tickets now.

In the film, FBI agent Neville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) boards a flight from Hawaii to Los Angeles, escorting a witness to trial. 

Graphic created by ZipsGuide.com, images courtesy of Nightlight Cinema and The University of Akron.

An on-board assassin releases a crate of deadly serpents in an attempt to kill the witness. Flynn and a host of frightened passengers and crew must band together to survive the slithery threat.

This epic hero’s tale was nominated for five Fangoria Chainsaw Awards including Most Thrilling Killing Award for “Trouser snake” and Line that Killed Award for “I’ve had it with these mother**ckin’ snakes on this mother**ckin’ plane,” which took the top prize at the Golden Schmoes Awards. It also won a Stinkers Bad Movie Award for worst song performance for the song “Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)” by Cobra Starship, and was nominated for worst movie title, though it lost out (somehow) to “Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.”

Boy, we would have hated to have been on that judging committee. Now, about that science… it features an appearance by University of Akron’s own Dr. Henry Astley, Associate Professor in the Biomimicry Research & Innovation Center.

From TheNightlightCinema.com: “Snakes have a unique talent for getting into tiny spaces and through cluttered environments. Join us for this special Science on Screen® presentation of Snakes on a Plane featuring a post-screening discussion with Dr. Henry Astley, Associate Professor in the Biomimicry Research & Innovation Center at the University of Akron. Learn how snakes perform these amazing feats without feet and how real snakes are helping us learn to make better robotic snakes. Science on Screen is an initiative of the COOLIDGE CORNER THEATRE, with major support from the ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION.”

Again, please send us a selfie – we will absolutely share it.

Wednesday, March 27: Trivia Time

Every Wednesday the local brewery, Akronym Brewery at 58 East Market Street, has FREE trivia, both at 7:00 and 8:00.

Come test your skills while on break and enjoy their award-winning craft beer. What better way to bond with fellow college friends and a good brew? 

Read intern Anthony Nichol’s story at A ZipsGuide to Shopping Akron - Akronym Brewing to learn more about Akronym.

If you haven’t been to Northside Marketplace, let us say this once because it’s going to appear on the list below at least two more times: GO this spring break week. To learn why, check out Mona Abdeldaim’s story at A ZipsGuide to Shopping Akron – Gift Northside Marketplace.

On the last Wednesday each month, Northside Marketplace at 21 Furnace St. also has free trivia by Join Danielle with Femaissance Studios. Trivia takes place in the dining area, directly next to Nomz Kitchen + Bar. Individuals or teams of six or less are welcome and should arrive by 5:45 p.m. to sign up. The winner takes home a $20 Nomz Gift Card.

So, the way we read it, you could play free trivia for at least two hours (maybe three) and win some fun prizes. Sign us up!

Top: Trivia night at Northside Marketplace, photo by Julie Cajigas. Bottom: Trivia Night at Akronym Brewing, photo by Abigail Stopka. 

Thursday, March 28: "Hundreds of Beavers"

Ok, this is a genuinely bizarre one, but we’re here for it. On Tuesday, March 26, check out “Hundreds of Beavers” a silent supernatural winter epic from director Mike Cheslik. In "Hundreds of Beavers," a drunken applejack salesman must go from zero to hero and become North America’s greatest fur trapper - to defeat hundreds of beavers. If you go see this beaver-laden fever dream, please oh please send us your review. Two showtimes are already sold out, so grab your tickets for Thursday’s 8:45 p.m. at The Nightlight (30 N. High St.). 

WE WANT YOUR REVIEW: send to zipsguideakron@gmail.com.

Screenshot from the "Hundreds of Beavers" film website.

Thursday - Saturday, March 28 - 30: the Plannerz Place Eatery Grand Opening

It is always special to be a part of something at the beginning of it. Join The Plannerz Place Eatery (www.theplannerzplace.com) for their GRAND OPENING inside Northside Marketplace located, at 21 Furnace St in downtown Akron. 

The Plannerz LLC started in 2019, before the pandemic, and was able to survive the harsh conditions as a new business and thrive. 

In early 2023 the business wanted to make its move out of owner Tonya Essick’s home kitchen and establish itself with a physical location. 

The Plannerz Place Eatery in Northside Marketplace, featuring southern-style soul food seasoned with a lotta love and Mama T’s seasoning and spices is set to celebrate its grand opening from Thursday, March 28 to Saturday, March 30 during Northside Marketplace’s open hours. 

During the grand opening celebration, a limited menu will feature various food items in addition to the $12 chicken wing snack pack. Guests will enjoy complimentary samples of some of Mama T's favorite items.

The restaurant's regular menu rotates every five weeks so there's always something exciting to sample. 

Be a part of Akron's history and celebrate as Downtown Akron and Northside Marketplace provide another opportunity for a local business to open and thrive. 

For more information on the grand opening event and future offerings from The Plannerz Place Eatery visit their Facebook page.

Graphic created from photos on the Plannerz Place Eatery Facebook page.

Friday, March 29: Up 'Til 4

Have you enjoyed live bands at Jilly’s Music Room (111 N. Main St.)? If not, get ye there this Friday, March 28 for local band Up ‘Til 4. In the beautiful Northside District in Downtown Akron, Jilly’s Music Room offers a fantastic venue for live music with a cabaret-style feel, a dance floor and a gluten free menu. 

Up ‘Til 4 has a unique vocal mix that can be compared to bands like the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac. Their style is dedicated to acoustic / rock music from the singer-songwriter era of the 60s and 70s through the modern indie-folk music of today. They will perform Buffalo Springfield, Byrds, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Jackson Browne, Eagles, James Taylor, Sheryl Crowe, Jonie Mitchell, Gillian Welch, Grateful Dead and Traveling Wilbury’s covers as well as original music. 

Despite the band's name, the concert begins at 7 p.m. and offers a great night of acoustic / rock music for some spring break fun. Entry is $5 at the door and non-reserved seats are first come first serve. Visit fanimal.com to purchase tickets or reserve designated seating. 

Photo courtesy of Up 'Til 4's website. 

Saturday, March 30: Adult Easter Egg Hunt

And we find ourselves back at 21 Furnace St.’s Northside Marketplace for our final Spring Break event. We figure that you’ll want to catch up with your online classes on Sunday, so this can be your final hurrah.

Do you feel nostalgia for your childhood easter egg hunts? Do you remember running through the dewy grass on easter morning to find little plastic containers of joy?

Join Northside Marketplace for an Adults Easter Egg Hunt event in collaboration with Lepley & Co. and NOMZ on Saturday, March 30, from 6 to 7 p.m.

The event ticket ($20) includes one drink ticket to Nomz Bar for alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks and other indoor activities like photos with the Easter bunny, board games, and an on-site jukebox.

And of course, the eggs. The hidden eggs will include various prizes, such as Nomz drink tickets, candy and more. Additional Food and drinks are available for purchase from NOMZ and the Shops till 9:00 p.m.

Ok, here’s the disclaimer for the event from Northside’s website that actually makes it sound way cooler: “***Due to the adult nature of the egg hunt prizes, you must be 21+ to participate. Please be prepared to show ID at the time of event check-in AND when ordering from the Bar. Tickets will not be refunded for underage attendees or those not able to show valid ID.”

Avoid disappointment and future regret by purchasing your tickets now.

Photo courtesy of Up 'Til 4's website. 

Ok Zips, those are our picks for an eclectic Spring Break week in downtown Akron. We’re going to ask one more time in case you missed it: please, please send us your photos, reviews, observations at zipsguideakron@gmail.com.

Stay safe and have fun!

Have fun spring breakers!

Downtown Akron has so much to do. Take the time out from classes to have some fun, spend some time for yourself and to spend time with friends.

-Shananne Lewis & Anthony Nichols

Shananne Lewis is one of the OG ZipsGuide writers and is working on the guide as part of an independent study.

Anthony Nichols is an Akron Community Internship Program (ACIP) intern with Downtown Akron Partnership, funded by The University of Akron EX[L] Center for Community Engaged Learning.

To reach content author Anthony Nichols, email him here and to reach author Shananne Lewis, email her here. Or, you can reach all of the guide staff by emailing zipsguideakron@gmail.com