Retro Telstar 2nd Edition: Bored in Brevard No More

Fun (not to mention cheap) activities in good ol’ Brevard County that cost less than $10. (Pub. Mar. 26, 2004)

Alex Contress and Elizabeth Simmons

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“Retro Telstar” is a series that sifts through piles of archived articles from previous issues of the Telstar newspaper and unveils the most witty, the most archaic, and the most relevant. The series features weekly installments in its quest to connect current students with the Scorpions of the past.


Welcome to the neighboring beach of Mel-boring. Land of the tourist, home of the geriatric. Thirteen years after this article was penned, students continue to lament about the lack of entertainment found in our humble county. Alex Contress attempts to lessen some of the pain associated with growing up at least an hour away from the nearest major city through humor, advice, and a glimpse into a world where customized jeans were all the rage. Revel in the glory of the activities that 2004 Brevard has to offer.


It’s Saturday night, and like many people in high school, you’re driving around aimlessly with little more than $10 in your pocket. Considering you probably don’t want to shell out all ten on half a tank of gas and Coke Slurpees for your carload of friends, I investigated how far one Hamilton can take you in Melbourne.

An obvious option is bowling, everyone’s retro favorite. Not only are there two alleys to choose from in our area (one for beachside and one for the mainland kids), but for around $7 you can play a game, rent shoes, and still have enough left over for one of those (in)famous mystery meat hot dogs. TIP: Keep the bumpers up to avoid any negative scores.

Fishing, one of the few activities that makes you truly glad to live in Florida. Live bait shrimp will cost anywhere from $1-2 per dozen, and if puncturing them in the head with a hook makes your stomach turn, you can always take them home as low-maintenance pets. Bait should be one of your only expenses here, unless you need extra bobbers or weights, which are usually under $1 per pack. Almost every Florida resident has a dusty pole sitting somewhere in the far reaches of their garage. Even if you don’t catch anything, (and you probably won’t), few things can counter the simple pleasure of swinging your legs off the side of a rickety dock while getting a nice even tan. Stay in the river, however, as a beginner; saltwater fishing requires a license in Florida, and that can run you around $16 annually. TIP: Make friends with the bums that sleep on the pier and they might show you a thing or two about the fine art of angling.

Swaps are one activity that is traditionally performed by females, but the more fashion-conscious guys can join in too. Gather your most well-dressed friends together, as well as the t-shirts and flare jeans you haven’t worn since junior high. Trade the clothes you find most appealing, alter them with scissors, lace, paint, or anything else you find laying around, and voila! A brand new-old wardrobe, completely customized. DIY couture may be so 2002, but not wearing a mass-produced “broken-in” t-shirt from your favorite mall stop never goes out of style. TIP: Vary the traditional clothing swap by trading CD’s, roomwares, unopened (or opened, depending on how much you trust your friends) makeup, and whatever else you have no use for anymore. The possibilities are endless.

Home entertainment. Going out can be overrated. Oftentimes teenagers find themselves driving around at night just for the sake of being out of the house. But dealing with late night drunk drivers, and negotiating your curfew are both annoying and time-consuming, not to mention dangerous. A quick trip to Publix before the sun goes down can supply you with everything you need for an eventful night of corny jokes and food. For less than $10, you can buy 2 boxes of pasta, a jar of sauce, bread, and bagged salad. Go the extra mile and pick up a 2-liter of Publix soda for the couch change price of .60. TIP: Sparkling grape juice is both parent-friendly and delicious, if you’re willing to be a high roller and pay the extra $2.

Tiki, windmills, astro turf. Great sights to see on vacation? No. These are all common props used in America’s real favorite pastime, miniature golfing. Besides being super cheap, clutching that little club and aiming between the blades of the windmill improves hand-eye coordination, balance, and patience. Gloating over a one under par is always free, and if you go to the right miniature golf place, you’ll still have cash left over for arcade games to rekindle the flame of childhood. TIP: Wrap up the night with some late-night loitering at Ron Jon’s to make fun of tourists, and you have a night made in paradise.