10 Ways to Avoid Boredom Over Break

By Ivana Kosir

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Winter break is on everybody’s radar this year (T-3 days left). With the holidays being early during break, there is a lot of down-time in the New Year to do activities that we usually don’t have time to do. I’ve assembled a list of places to go and things to do (or not to do) during Winter break during those boorish days so we can all capitialize this well-deserved break.

1. On a dull day, head to the local grocery store and buy gingerbread crackers, icing, and tons of gumdrops to create the dream gingerbread home. Materials are inexpensive, it’s a great time-killer, and it produces an exceptional delicacy. Take a picture and send it to the NWN ([email protected]) to showcase your work of art.

2. Take the “Polar Express” (aka the Metra) and head to Millenium Park for ice skating. While downtown, walk to the Magnificent Mile. There you can window shop, experience Chicago and all it’s holiday festivities, and enjoy some great hot chocolate at Ghirardelli’s.

3. Have a Christmas movie marathon. Watch movies like Frosty the Snowman, Deck the Halls, Miracle on 34th Street, and, of course, Elf. It’s a good way to create memories all while watching the best of the holiday movies. Throw in some popcorn and you’re in for a fantastic night.

4. Start developing your spring wardrobe and jump in a car and go to either Aurora, IL or Kenosha, WI for outlet shopping. Both malls contain stores that vend brand-name clothes for lower prices.

5. If you aren’t going out of town, take a trip down memory lane. Dig up some old photographs of the fam and watch home videos. You’d be surprised to see how annoying you actually were.

6. Volunteer at a food pantry. The winter is the hardest time for families in need, so while we spend our entire break having fun, donating just a few hours to serve the needy wouldn’t hurt any of us.

7. Weather permitting, build a snowman! Go to the local park with some friends and bring coal, carrots, a scarf, and a hat. This is a perfect opportunity for creativity to flourish. Click here for some inspiration. And while you’re there, you might as well have a snowball fight.

8. Just because grammar school children take field trips to Chicago’s museums doesn’t mean you can’t. The museums have started to appeal to older kids as well. The Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum are of walking distance from each other, and they offer some new exhibits like “A Holiday Fantasea” and “Chocolate: Around the World”. My favorite museum is the Museum of Science in Industry. There you can experience not only crazy hands-on exhibits like a green home and Christmas Around the World, but also walk through a temporary Dr. Seuss exhibit to get a taste of Dr. Seuss’ creativeness.

9. Grab some of your friends and make sure you hit up Whirly Ball. Located right off the Fullerton exit on I-94, Whirly Ball is a combination of lacrosse, basketball, and bumper cars. It’s affordable, close by, and loads of fun. No sanity required.

10. No matter what you do, don’t study for finals unless you absolutely have to. It’s called Winter BREAK for a reason. Relax, spend some time with family and friends, and come back to school on January 9 refreshed and ready to sweep the rest of the semester.