For the lucky ones, the mention of summer brings upon daydreams of the upcoming days of doing nothing but lying on a beach in Florida or backpacking around Europe. Unfortunately, for the rest of us, there are the long, drawn-out afternoons of internships, summer classes and, sometimes, just plain nothing. While some of our readers remain cooped up in their houses and apartments this summer, Her Campus Illinois would like to remind those young collegiettes that there is more to vacations than distant, expensive resorts and foreign locations. Here are some ideas for taking a day for you and your friends!
Spend a day at the local lake: Lakes and ponds, especially for those readers lucky enough to live near Chicago, surround a good number of towns. They offer various activities such as fishing, swimming, tubing and sunbathing. Even if you do not own a boat or Jet Ski, the possibilities are limitless and you are sure to have fun in the sun.
Plan a trip to a nearby theme park or water park: Although the entrance fee can be a tad pricy, the fun is worth the price of admission. Gathering up a carload of friends and heading to the nearest water or theme park, like Six Flags, ensures an entire day of thrills and memories. Plus, there is never just one thing to do at a theme park.
Rediscover the St. Louis City Museum or Zoo: While some may scoff at the child-like attractions present at these locations, finding one’s inner-child is an adventure in its own. Climbing around the outside of the museum or seeing penguins at the zoo reminds us of a simpler time, and downtown St. Louis offers a variety of places to eat and window shop.
Have a park day with a picnic included: Nothing beats a laidback day at the park. Besides the food you bring along, the entire trip is practically free. Be it a date or a day for friends, a picnic is the perfect way to end a stressful week.
Head into the city for a shopping day and sightseeing: No one can argue that Chicago is definitely one of Illinois’ finer and bigger attractions. The “Windy City” offers a multitude of museums and interesting locations, such as the Shedd Aquarium and shopping on Michigan Avenue. For the simple cost of a car or train ride, you can be guaranteed to be entertained all day exploring.
Go camping: Despite being one of the more pricy options, camping can last for a weekend to several days. Illinois has an abundance of campgrounds offering activities from kayaking, climbing and much more.
Take in a show at your local community theatre: Summer is primetime for new shows in local theaters, be it musicals or traditional plays. Admission is usually fairly cheap, and a nice dinner to precede the show is always fairly relaxing.
Got the gas money? Spend a day driving around with friends: A nice road trip can be way more interesting than the average reader would think. Instead of driving aimlessly around town, why not discover smaller surrounding towns? The number of places to go is endless.
Bike to the neighboring town and see what you can find: Bike riding is not only good for exercise. Traveling on bike can lead you to places you never thought you would go by car. Just make sure not to stay out too late after dark.
When in doubt, take a walk around town and see what it has to offer: At times, the most exciting things can happen right outside your door. Since you have been at college all year, the time is right to figure out what you have been missing while you were away. Eat at a new restaurant that just opened, go to the library or even go roller-skating.