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5 Ways to Enjoy Spring Break in the Chicago Suburbs

While it can be worthwhile to spend spring break somewhere warm or exotic, it can be just as worthwhile to spend it at home, wherever home may be.  For me, home is the suburbs of Chicago.  I personally love being able to spend a week in the suburbs with my family.  Sometimes we take day trips, sometimes we just chill and enjoy each other’s company.  I also really cherish the opportunities for peaceful solitude when I’m at home; they are moments that are often hard to come by during the craziness of the semester.  Whether you’re looking for some family time, friend time or me time, the Chicago suburbs (and of course the city itself) are full of fun things to do while you’re home for that one precious week.  Continue reading for my top 5 suggestions!


1. Get outside

Spring break in Chicago is infamous for being cold and rainy, but there are definitely patches of sun and warmer weather.  When those days come along, take advantage of them!  Check out the hiking/biking/running trails in your area, or simply take a walk around your own neighborhood.  It’s nice to appreciate the scenery of your hometown, because who knows–this summer you might be out of state for an internship, or after graduation you might be out of state for work!  Get outside and take in those hometown views while you can.

2. Lounge around

For the days when the weather might not be the greatest, give yourself permission to be a couch potato and watch those movies or shows that have been sitting untouched on your Netflix list for months.  Forget about homework and exams and do something mindless.  Your body and your brain will thank you.  ​

3. Hit up a local bar

KAM’s and Bro’s will be here when you get back.  Find some friends who are also home for break and hit up a local bar for a change of pace.  You can catch up and let loose without having to think about class the next day.  Dare I say you could even ask your parents to go with you; in high school it might have felt “uncool” to hang with Mom and Dad, but they are honestly some of the coolest people you will ever know and quality time with them is time well spent.  

Speaking of parents…

4. Sit down and have dinner with your family Sharing a meal with loved ones is something we often take for granted, especially when we are away at school.  To be sure, not everyone’s family is going to be in the same place at the same time during spring break, and if you have siblings in college, their breaks might not line up with yours.  But if you have the chance to eat as an entire family, take it.  Offer to help prepare the meal or suggest your favorite restaurant and make it a night out. 

5. Take a day trip to the city

From food to museums to theater to shopping to sightseeing, you will never be bored in the city.  Have you wanted to go to the Art Institute ever since your 5th grade class took a field trip there?  Now’s your chance!  Ever wonder why everyone raves about Wicker Park and its hipster culture?  Go find out!  Pick a time, pick a place and hop on the train–that’s all there is to it. 

After reading about these ideas, I’m sure you’ve already started to envision which ones you might like to try or have come up with your own!  Don’t hesitate to make those ideas happen; spring break is a week just for YOU.  Best wishes for safe travels and fun times!

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Elli Wills

Illinois '18

Elli has written for the U of I at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) chapter of Her Campus, the UIUC literary arts journal, Montage, and the nonprofit online magazine Culturally Modified. During her time as an intern at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, she also had the distinct pleasure of interviewing a fellow intern for the museum blog -- an experience that only confirmed her love for learning about others and sharing their unique stories. When she's not jotting down ideas for her next article, you can often find her binge-watching anime, practicing yoga, or spending time outdoors.
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