Staying home over spring break? We’ve got ideas


The Art Institute can inspire your imagination. (Photo courtesy of Lonely Planet)

Nathan Danz, Staff writer

This year is going to be the first official spring break where social distancing isn’t necessary. Yet, for many, there won’t be a chance to travel to another country, state, or even district. If this is you, here is a list of things that can make your break a worthwhile experience.

Places to go in the suburbs:

For the majority of students who go to New Trier, much entertainment can be found just a train ride, bus ride, drive, bike, or even walk away. So, what better to start with than what you can do in the suburbs. 


  1. You can start off by heading to Locked Chicago – Escape Room Games, in Evanston. This is an interactive venue where you have to solve a series of puzzles to finish a game. This can be a great activity to do with friends, as it is an interactive experience. According to the website, each experience takes 1-2 hours, and each room costs $35 dollars to book; more info in the link. Locked Chicago

2. Go to the TeaRex Bubble Tea Cafe in Skokie. It is a colorful Taiwanese-style sit in/takeout shop, selling tapioca drinks, milk tea, smoothies and waffles. It is a very relaxing place, with sweet treats to delight your taste buds. It is open from Noon-9:00 pm everyday. Click on the link to learn about the prices and more info.TeaRex Bubble Tea Cafe

3. A fun place to go with friends could be the Winnetka Ice Arena, in Winnetka, or Centennial Ice Rink in Wilmette. This is a good way to enjoy getting exercise. Check public skating times and more info on locations and skate rentals on the links. Winnetka Ice Arena, Centennial Ice Rink

4. If you enjoy the woods, nature walking, or just a general place to take a breath, go to Crow Island Woods in Winnetka. If you want to stay active, this is the place to go.It’s open from 6AM-10PM, free of charge, more info on the website. Crow Island Woods

5. Medieval Times is an entertainment franchise based on, well, medieval times. They replicate the scenery and vibe of the Middle Ages into a play-acting event, along with period-accurate food, making it a unique experience. This is a great way to spend bonding time with your family and friends. Plus, it’s open throughout most of spring break, so there are many chances to visit. Medieval Times is in Schaumburg, Illinois. It costs $65.95 for adults, and $38.95 for minors. There is more information in the link. Medieval Times

Places to go in Chicago:

  1. The Art Institute in downtown Chicago is considered one of the best on the globe, to learn about art and culture, as well as the history of art, spanning throughout multiple decades. You can view sculptures, paintings, as well as so many other artifacts all in one place. For students who are Illinois residents, admission costs $16. Click on the link for hours and more info. The Art institute of Chicago
  2. The Shedd Aquarium is an indoor public aquarium in Chicago. If you’re a fan of sea creatures or the ocean, this would be the best place to go. You can watch exotic fish in the Caribbean Reef; you can watch dolphin and sea-otter shows in the Abbott Oceanarium, or you can see penguins waddle in the polar play zone. It is open from 9 AM to 6 PM every day, and costs $19.95 each for an adult ticket. More info about pricing in the link.Shedd Aquarium

TV shows to watch: (Before someone spoils them!)

  1. The Last of Us is an action-adventure TV show, set in a post-apocalyptic world after a fungus-zombie-like outbreak in the United States. The TV show is also an adaptation of the video game of the same name. This is because of the massive praise it received for the storytelling in the video game; thus it got a film adaptation. This is a great show to watch because of its clear storytelling, interesting characters, moral dilemmas, and the complexities of human nature vs nurture.
  2. Outer Banks is a teen drama thriller set in present-day North Carolina. It is about a group of teens who find treasure, but it’s linked to a problem. The problem is that every person is trying to kill one another to keep the treasure. It is a must-watch for any person interested in mysteries and drama.

Books to read:

  1. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, is a YA ghost story about a teenage boy named William Holloman (or, just Will), who lost his brother, Shawn, in a gun incident. Will, now obviously depressed and vengeful, takes a gun, and plans to shoot the person who he thinks (has to be) the one who killed Shawn. Most of the book is just an internal monologue, taking place inside an elevator down Will’s apartment building.  Throughout the book, Will’s dead friends and relatives start coming into the elevator one by one, most of their deaths revolving around a gun. These encounters ultimately lead to Will’s choice to either get revenge, or forge a new path for himself. If you’re not a very avid reader, this would be recommendable for you.
  2. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, is an autobiography of the author’s life, spanning from ages 3 through 16. It is set from 1931-1944 in Stamps, Arkansas. It describes both the beautiful, tragic, and downright horrific experiences in Angelou’s life. This includes a graphic description of sexual assault and racism against African Americans. The best part about this book is how it expertly writes a clear narrative of growth as a person, brutal honesty of human nature, and overcoming life’s obstacles.

3. Night of the Mannequins, by Stephen Graham Jones, is a horror-fiction novella, centered around a prank gone wrong. The main character, Sawyer, with his friends, performs a prank on their other friend. Unfortunately the prank goes horribly wrong, and Sawyer decides the best course of action is to become the monster he created. The best part about this book is it’s both humorous and disturbing, and the mysterious nature about who or what is the killer will keep you in suspense as the story unfolds into shocking twists and turns.