Bored over break?


Chicago’s Millennium Park offers a unique destination for students this spring (Huffman/LION).

Mckinley Huffman, Reporter

For most students, spring break is the only thing getting them through the past few weeks of homework, tests, and stress–the coveted days off before the rush of the end of the year. But once school gets out and the initial relief fades, those who aren’t going out of town on a tropical vacation may find themselves at a loss for how to spend their time. 

But not to worry–even in the cold and dismal Chicago area, there are plenty of exciting and unique things to do over break. 

One of the many things that make living in this area special is the access to the city of Chicago, only a short train or car ride away. With this city comes many great activities that will prove to be memorable and fun to do alone or with friends. Heading downtown to explore, even with no destination, is always fun. Shopping at stores that we don’t have locally can be a great way to spend pocket money and a walk on the lakefront is a refreshing option for a warmer day. 

Chicago also has many unique museums, perfect for exploring in colder weather. The Art Institute of Chicago is my personal favorite–it takes hours to look at everything there, but it’s worth the time. From centuries-old pottery to modern sculptures and paintings through the ages, it’s a great place to check out for everyone, regardless of pre-existing interest in art. The museum has unique exhibits that change periodically, some of which come at an additional cost.

Other great museums include the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Adler Planetarium. Each of these destinations comes with unique opportunities to learn more about things that interest you. For a more affordable day trip, information on free days for each of these museums is available online on their respective websites.

Another great way to spend your time over spring break is to check out a concert or show. Seeing live music is stereotypically expensive and while going to see a popular band or artist at a huge venue can be pricey, smaller venues and shows are very affordable and offer a unique, intimate, and exciting experience. More well-known venues such as the Metro, Lincoln Hall, and Subterranean have many smaller shows at a cheaper price, and even smaller venues such as Bookclub and Albion House Gallery offer a variety of little-known bands and artists. You might be the first to hear the next big thing. Shows at these venues are usually all ages or 17/18+. 

With more free time over break, it’s also a great chance to pick up a book or watch a new show that you’ve been meaning to get to. Goodreads is a good app to find book recommendations, and a variety of streaming services offer customized recommendations based on your recent viewings. 

Getting outside and getting active is another great way to spend your time–going for a walk around the neighborhood or in one of the many local forest preserves can improve your mental health and be a fun way to get outside and experience the fresh spring air. 

For a relaxing at-home activity to do by yourself or with friends, have an at-home spa day. Try a face mask, paint your nails, or take a hot shower. 

This is a perfect time to check out some new music or listen to your favorites. Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist is an easy way to find some great (and not-so-great) music you’ve never heard before, based on your previous listening habits. 

Overall, spring break is a time to relax–even if that means doing nothing at all. It’s your time to recharge and reset for the rest of the school year, whatever that looks like for you. Enjoy your week off LT, you’ve earned it!