Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 28, 2024


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

Maras offers a survey of the nearest bookstores to the Homewood Campus, including the wonderfully eccentric Normal's Books & Records.

Find your perfect Baltimore bookstore

I know it can be tough to find time to read for pleasure during our busy semesters, but sometimes even just browsing a quality bookstore can be an immensely calming activity. Here’s a rundown of some of the great independent bookstores surrounding campus, each with its own unique assets—I even snuck in some book recommendations if you need somewhere to start. 

B.Willow provides a diverse array of plants to help you spruce up your dorm room.

Become a plant person at B.Willow

Amid the stressful midterm season, we found ourselves in need of a stress-relieving hobby. Grace’s residential advisor mentioned that raising plants helped improve her mood and recommended that she look into raising plants of my own. As per her suggestion, we went to B.Willow to check out their selection of plants and was astounded to see the aesthetics and calming nature of the store.  

Take a brief trip north to check out the Evergreen Museum, a historical time capsule from old Baltimore.

Escape to the Evergreen Museum

Though pictures of the Evergreen Museum make it seem like a reclusive, hard-to-find area of lush greenery in the middle of a bustling Baltimore, it is actually quite easy to access. 

Shtarkman emphasizes that you've never had fries like these before. The Local Fry offers flavor combinations that will knock you out of this world.

Get your fusion fix at The Local Fry

We’ve all been there: scrolling through “food near me” on Google, unable to pick a place to eat. Am I in the mood for Asian? Maybe I should have some Spanish? Or should I go with American? Well, imagine a place that has all these cuisines. Now bring that imagination to reality and head over to The Local Fry, which is conveniently nestled in the Rotunda in Hampden. 

From jazz to flea markets to movie screenings, there's no shortage of fun events to seek out this weekend in Baltimore.

Events this weekend (Feb. 18 — Feb. 20)

Happy weekend, Blue Jays! After an unfortunate cold spell this week, enjoy some time around the city as the weather warms back up. There are plenty of opportunities to try some new foods, shop from local business owners and learn more about the city itself, so don’t be shy!

Maras reviews the cuisine of Cosima, a local option for fine dining near the Homewood campus.

Valentine's Day three ways: Remington

While Hopkins students know and love the Remington eateries that are most proximate to us, like R. House and Papermoon Diner, I want to introduce you to a lesser known but equally wonderful spot that might serve you well this Valentine’s Day weekend. 

Dion Hinchcliffe/CC BY-SA 2.0
Diksha Iyer reviews her journey to The Helmand restaurant with her friends, where she enjoyed a variety of Afghan dishes. 

Valentine's Day three ways: Mount Vernon

Walking into The Helmand is an experience in and of itself: The restaurant is dimly lit, and a cozy aura immediately wraps itself around you and your companions. This year, the restaurant is celebrating a wonderful 33 years of premier Afghan cuisine in Baltimore. The restaurant was named after the auspicious Helmand River, which delivers nourishment to the dry terrain of Afghanistan. 

Park marvels at the steak from The Prime Rib, Baltimore's resident classic steakhouse.

Valentine's Day three ways: Midtown

No meal — including the other recommendations in the three-part Valentine’s Day series in The News-Letter — can hold a candle to the United States Department of Agriculture Prime cuts of beef from The Prime Rib. This is one serious meal. Live music? Check. Tuxedo-donned waiters with cheeky steak jokes? Of course. 

Maras wants you to check out the great shows and Valentine's Day pop-ups happening around the city this week. 

Events this weekend (Feb. 11 — Feb. 13)

Happy Valentine’s weekend! Whether you’ve got a date or plan to spend it with your pals, there are still plenty of great shopping spots and intriguing performances in Baltimore this weekend to keep you entertained.

Still searching for a Valentine’s Day gift? Maras has you covered. 

Events this weekend (Feb. 4 — Feb. 6)

The weather unfortunately hasn’t let up on us yet, but don’t let the cold stop you from having some fun this weekend! Check out these events to see what’s happening in art, food and festivities this weekend in Baltimore. 

Allora’s Restaurant Week deal offers a three-course meal for $20. 

Allora! Make a visit to Baltimore’s new Roman bistro

Tucked away among the row of restaurants in Mount Vernon, Allora is a relatively new bistro which opened in September 2021 that exudes the perfect balance of exquisite Roman charm and comfort. In Italian, “Allora” acts as a filler word, similar to the “likes” and “ums” of English, but it can also be used to draw attention to a particular thing such as a new restaurant. 

According to Maras, the wings at Jazz+Soju are not to be missed. 

Must-try restaurants this month!

Have you gotten a chance to try some new food since returning to campus for the semester? If you were looking for a telltale sign to venture off campus or order some delicious new food for delivery, the events happening in Baltimore this week should have no trouble convincing you to do so! 

Mattoon recommends different cookies recipes to get students through finals period. 

What Christmas cookie to bake based on your major

If I had it my way, the Christmas season would never overlap with final exams, but there is one advantage to having the busiest time of the year with the most wonderful time of the year: stress-baking. Whether as a study break or a post-exam celebration, the sound of my hand mixer beating butter into creamy peaks is always a cathartic experience. 


Alma Cocina Latina is a unique restaurant worth trying

It sounds cliche, but walking into Alma Cocina Latina is like taking a breath of fresh air. The restaurant is in the center of Station North and very easy to get to — within Blue Jay Shuttle distance and next to the Charles St. and North Ave. JHMI stop. 

A TikTok-inspired presentation night proved to be a funny memory on a night-in that had Park reeling with laughter and a good time. 

A presentation night is the most fun activity to do on a night in

As I get older, I find myself searching for more productive and wholesome yet educational activities to do with friends to pass the time. While going off campus and visiting new sites is also a fun and new experience, it can really eat up a lot of time and money that many college students can’t afford to sacrifice. So, what’s there to do on a Friday night that’s economical, fun, low effort and easily accessible for everybody?

Spend one more weekend enjoying Baltimore with friends before people head out for Thanksgiving!

Events this weekend (Nov. 12 — Nov. 14)

We’ve made it to the final stretch before break! While next week might be spent in Brody getting ahead on assignments before Thanksgiving, take some time this weekend to explore Baltimore and enjoy the beautiful fall weather with friends. 

Pumpkin ale, cute fall photoshoots and a good time — that's a solid weekend plan. 

Events this weekend (Nov. 5— Nov. 6)

The weather is getting colder, and the semester is getting harder. It’s time to take care of your mental health and step out of the Hopkins bubble this weekend, even if just briefly. Take advantage of this weekend’s events before it gets too cold outside!