This winter break, many suspended their travels and don’t know how to spend their break. Here are some ideas to be occupied and not so lonely this break.
Regardless of the holiday you might celebrate, there’s no-one I know who doesn’t like looking at holiday lights. With Covid, whether you stay in your car or walk, there are plenty of light shows to endeavour with your friends and family this December. First there is Northbrook Court’s Let It Shine event. For $30, priced per car (weekdays) and $40 (weekends) you can drive through this beautiful covid safe light event. If you don’t want to wait in line, optional fast passes ($15) are available. You can enjoy this from November 15th 2020 to January 9th 2021! Another alternative to a drive through light show is a spectacular city night light. At the Merchandise Mart in the city of Chicago, you can watch countless projected art videos and performances, called ArtOnTheMart. Nightly, from 7-7:30, or 7:30-8, you can watch 2.5 acres of pure brick get lit up for the holiday season. Tickets are not required, but visitors must be wearing face masks at all times. You can view the show from the Riverwalk Jetty or Wacker Dr. between Wells and Lake St. You can also see a glimpse of Lincoln Park Zoo’ s Zoo Lights, by driving on Lake Shore Drive, where you can see the Zoo Lights on your way to ArtOnTheMart. This is a great opportunity to see two for one.
Some love to cook, some love to bake, and some like to eat. Some like to do all three. Winter break is a great time to perfect those French macarons that keep failing even though you follow the recipe. With a lot of time on our hands, taking up a new recipe is a great way to spend the day. They can be catered towards your liking, or anything you want. The world is your oyster, but here are a couple recipes to get you going. Amazing chocolate chip cookies, or those hard to make macarons. Don’t want to leave the comfort of your own home, or don’t want to buy new ingredients? Use the app Supercook, to find recipes curated to what you have in your kitchen, For example, if you wanted to make brownies but didn’t have eggs or flour, you would put in what you do have. Ex. Sugar, Butter, Milk, etc. It will then pull up a list of recipes that have everything you have too. Super easy, boom. This is a great idea to use up some of that food your mom bought when she thought there was going to be an apocalypse. (There still could be one though, so don’t think she’s crazy.)
Yes, Chicago weather is very unpredictable. And are high schoolers particularly interested in going sledding at 16? Maybe, I don’t know you. But if you’re part of the population that answered yes, try going sledding or ice skating at a local rink, or even going to the city. Local rinks and hills might be closed or very hard to go, so options in the city like the Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park are good. You can make reservations to skate in one of the prettiest ice skating spots in the city.
If it’s too cold to go outside, which could also just be a day you want to take things slow- a good option to do is a project. Whether it’s cooking like I mentioned before, or finally using that model car project your dad got you, that is sitting in a box, go for it. Having projects can make you focus on something besides the terrible coronavirus or how we only get two weeks off for break. Some ideas of some projects or fun things to do could be to make an igloo you have always wanted to do, or maybe those hot cocoa bombs you see on Tik Tok. Here’s a recipe.
If you have lived more than 800 years then this one isn’t for you, But if you’re like me and haven’t, there is a ‘Christmas Star’ coming to skies near you. When the planets align together, there is a special star that forms. Scientists say this hasn’t been seen for 800 years, so this is something fun to look out for. Starting on December 21st 2020, you can see this star at night time. A scientist described, “These two planets have never been this close in the sky for 400 years so no one really knows what it’s going to look like because it hasn’t happened since 1623, in Galileo’s time. That kind of gives you a sense of the rarity of the event. This is not just a once-in-a-lifetime event, this is a once-in-our-history since-we-built-the-telescope event.” This is sure to be something to watch out for. It will go on, at around 4:23 pm that day and is a very rare event. It will only be visible one hour after sunset so it’s cool to see a science-history-making star.
Another fun and chill activity is just watching movies and drinking hot cocoa. It’s simple and sweet and also relaxing. Here’s a good hot cocoa recipe if you want to make it. You can watch holiday movies like, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Elf, or even the Grinch. If you don’t want to watch a holiday movie, there are plenty of good movies out there too.
If you are more active, you could also try a hiking trail nearby. There are plenty of days on winter break that are a little nicer and better for outside activity. You can take advantage of them. You can also take your pet (a real one, or a family member) to the park closest to you. It’s not hiking but it’s good to get out.
Home Edit your life!!! A great thing to do before the new year is to organize your stuff. There is a Netflix series called The Home Edit that is so good, very recommended. The creators go to celebs’ homes and organize their pantries and other spaces. It’s amazing and mesmerizing. Go through your school stuff, go through your closet, or even the sports bin in your garage. It’s a great way to spend the day, especially if you put on Justin Beiber’s Christmas album.