Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 22, 2024

Leisure

Leisure is the section where we highlight the intriguing, exciting and all-around fun events and activities happening in Baltimore over the weekend.



COURTESY OF ZACHARY BAHAR
Your 21st should be a special one — just make sure you prepare enough food for everyone!

On throwing yourself the perfect 21st birthday party

For my 21st birthday, I knew I needed to go all out. While turning 21 is arbitrary, it is the rite of passage that fully marks you as an adult in American society: capable of voting, getting drafted into the military, and most importantly, legally getting drunk. This is not a responsibility to take lightly and requires proper preparations to do right. Here are my recommendations to craft your perfect experience.


COURTESY OF VERONICA SCHMIDT 
Make sure that you provide plenty of drinks and refreshments for your party!

How to throw a Galentine's party

Celebrations of love should be about more than just your significant other; you should also celebrate your friends. Enter Galentine’s Day. A portmanteau of “gal” and “Valentine’s Day,” this holiday takes the focus away from romance for 24 hours and is meant to honor the platonic relationships in your life. If you didn’t go all out for the day this year, no worries! This guide can help you start brainstorming early, so you can make the most of it next year.


ARUSA MALIK / DESIGN AND LAYOUT EDITOR
Wind down from midterm exams and papers with some fun events this weekend!

Events this weekend (Feb. 16–18)

The Super Bowl, Lunar New Year and Valentine's Day are behind us, but the festivities don’t have to stop! Check out what you can do this weekend away from Homewood Campus! 


IMAGE COURTESY OF MINGYUAN SONG
There are many great date spots around Baltimore. You just have to know where to look!

Where to find the best Valentine’s Day date spots

With Valentine’s Day in the spotlight, date spots are in demand more than ever. As the semester shifts into full gear, however, it’s too easy to become fully immersed in the depths of the Homewood campus. If you’re looking for some cute date spots to take your significant other or friend, here are some of Baltimore’s hidden gems.


ARUSA MALIK / DESIGN AND LAYOUT EDITOR
Baltimore is extra lively this weekend with the combination of Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day and the Super Bowl!

Events this weekend (Feb. 9–11)

The city doesn’t get more exciting than this weekend! It kicks off with Lunar New Year on Saturday, the Super Bowl on Sunday and Valentine’s Day just around the corner. 


COURTESY OF MINGYUAN SONG
I love going back to The Bun Shop for its unique environment and late hours. 

CharMar’s newest Bun Shop experience doesn’t disappoint!

Through the years, CharMar has gone through multiple evolutions of vendors. When I came in as a freshman in 2021, it was the fan-favorite Crepe Studio. A year later, a sandwich station moved in. Now that I am no longer on a meal plan, I haven’t gone back to CharMar, and I didn’t catch news of The Bun Shop addition until I saw a friend with their classic “Granny Turnover” on campus. Of course, I had to review it, but first, I needed to return to their original spot.


COURTESY OF YUYU HUANG
Baltimore offers many romantic restaurants for a perfect night out with your partner!

Where to find the perfect date night dinner in Baltimore

When I imagine the ideal date night dinner setting, three words come to mind: surprise, serenity and style. I've scoured Baltimore to find places that tick all these boxes. The restaurants I've picked out are perfect for a night out with your partner, where you can enjoy unexpected culinary delights and a relaxed vibe for deeper conversations. Each venue presents a fusion of global flavors, crafted with the chefs' unique artistry and set in distinctively stylish environments.



COURTESY OF MINGYUAN SONG 
Kyoto Matcha is great at adding matcha to any dessert you can think of, including cheesecake!

Matcha, matcha and more matcha

Matcha has evidently become one of the delicacies of coffee shops and stores in the past decade, with it regularly appearing on most menus. Its savory and earthy taste attracts people, and its popularity seems to keep growing. Now imagine your favorite treats — ice creams, cakes, cheesecakes and more — but all in the flavor of matcha. 


COURTESY OF YUYU HUANG
The Yin Yang pot at Hot Pot Hero in Ellicott City is a great place to start your excursions! 

5 Asian restaurants for memorable get-togethers

When planning a group celebration — be it a birthday party or a post-exam unwind — one key task is to find a venue that checks all the boxes: a variety of flavors, reasonable costs, generous dish portions and, most importantly, the right atmosphere. Given their emphasis on harmony and family, East Asian cuisines often make great choices for social events. In this article, I've curated a list of five restaurants within a 40-minute drive from Homewood, perfect for those heartwarming moments with friends.


COURTESY OF YUYU HUANG
The U.K. isn’t known for its food, but I had a pleasant surprise during my trip there! 

London’s food is bloody good

From schoolwork to COVID-19 and miles of ocean, I’ve faced quite a few barriers in visiting my cousin in London — I even missed her wedding! But, I finally got the chance to fly across the Atlantic and had an unforgettable week there. She and her husband took me on a tour of the city’s must-visit spots. What left an indelible memory was not the old-world architecture and stylish storefronts, but the thrill of unraveling its food scene with my picky taste buds.


ARUSA MALIK / DESIGN AND LAYOUT EDITOR
Celebrate the beginning of the spring semester with comedy shows, craft expos and football!

Events this weekend (Jan. 26–28)

Welcome back to school! The first weekend of the spring semester is bustling with fun things to do around the city, headlined, of course, by the AFC Championship game that is bringing the Kansas City Chiefs and Taylor Swift to town! 


ARANTZA GARCIA / DESIGN AND LAYOUT EDITOR
As we wind down the semester for finals and break, here are a few events to destress and get into the holiday spirit.

Events this winter

This last events article of the semester is a special one! We will look ahead to all the fun winter festivities and see the many ways to celebrate the holiday season in Baltimore. It’s a great way to relieve stress during finals week or to celebrate the end of the semester. Happy holidays — Events This Weekend will be back next year! 


COURTESY OF SYDNEY LANGER
Common Ground Cafe Cooperative offers an impressive collection of pastries to choose from. 

Freshly baked pastries and coffee: Common Ground Cafe Cooperative

Despite my friends' and my fondness of the cafes here on campus, the prospect of exploring a local coffee shop in Hampden, namely Common Ground Cafe Cooperative, was an exciting breakfast mini-outing. As we entered the cafe, their collection of garnished muffins and croissants — prepared daily and assembled against a clear window — instantly caught our attention.


COURTESY OF VERONICA SCHMIDT
Going to the movies is best complemented by a meal at your seat!

Enjoy a movie at the Warehouse Cinemas Rotunda

Warehouse Cinemas Rotunda, a classy, elevated Maryland-based movie theater, opened a third location earlier this year at the Rotunda. Per their website, they believe the movies should feel “special” and "like you’re at home.” I’d never been there before, so I knew it was time to check it out and see if it lived up to the hype.




COURTESY OF SYDNEY LANGER
You can at least expect a filling portion at Toki Underground. 

Exploring the new ramen place at Toki Underground

After hearing whispers and murmurs of a niche, award-winning ramen place nearby (no, not Kajikan), my friends and I made our way to Toki Underground to investigate the rumors. Upon our arrival, we were greeted with friendly smiles, along with an artsy and modern atmosphere: a ceiling covered with broken skateboard pieces, a glass shelf encompassing model cars, a wall enriched with seemingly random photos, low-hanging lights streaming across the polished wooden surface bar and baby Yoda figurines (bonus points!) nestled between cabinets.


COURTESY OF ELTON WANG
Check out the cozy reading nook that look over the gorgeous fall colors. 

A new favorite coffeehouse at Red Emma's

This weekend, I visited Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse to expand my coffee tastes. It is located near the intersection of East 32nd Street and Greenmount Avenue. After a quick trip to Waverly Farmers Market to pick up some fresh grapes, my friends and I made a very convenient, minute-long trip to the side entrance of Red Emma’s.