What to do and Where to go for Spring Break


Melissa Orozco

Chicago is the source of many attractions, but there are other places to visit in our area and beyond that as well.

Jack Torrance of The Shining, by Stephen King, almost killed his family as a result of being trapped in a building for an entire winter. While this may be a bit extreme, this heavy Chicago winter has undoubtedly put a majority of students in a paralyzing trance that does not stop from waking up, going to school, going home, and going to sleep; only to repeat the cycle again. After weeks of counting down the days however, spring break has finally come along to save sleep schedules and take everyone out of that tiring consistency of student life.

Spending spring break stuck at home is the last place I would want to be. As a senior however, I can drive, I have my own money, and I am allowed to go anywhere on my own. For those who aren’t allowed to do all of that yet, I have compiled a convenient list of all the places and all the things one can do over the break. Included are areas that range from Round Lake and Libertyville all the way to Chicago and beyond, mostly low priced, both family friendly and fitting just for a group of friends. From gardens and lakes to shopping centers and museums, go out for spring break and enjoy the season with family and friends.

For the cabin fevered spring breakers:

In the true spirit of spring, visiting a garden would be the perfect opportunity to climb out of that depressing winter mood that students have been trudging through for months now. Smelling the roses, feeling the crisp lake air and seeing a rainbow bushel of flowers is enough to brighten the lousiest of moods and make one forget about being stuck at home or school for hours upon hours on a daily basis.

The Chicago Flower and Garden Show will be at Navy Pier from March 18 through March 26. There will only be four days of spring break available to catch the show but weekday tickets are priced at $14 while weekend tickets are $17. This may be a bit pricey for a garden but there is a special “Spring Fling” event that takes place right at the beginning of break that costs $10 to attend. The “Spring Fling” is after 5 p.m. from March 23 to March 25. In addition to the show, Navy Pier has many other things to offer from the rich Chicago culture to the view of the city and the lake.

As a change of scenery, take a trip to one of the beautiful state parks in the northern Illinois and Wisconsin area which are just waiting to be explored.

The Devil’s Lake State Park in Baraboo, Wisconsin offers multiple attractions that coincide with the dark, dense, and magical wildlife. Camping sites are available in addition to scenic drives which can be breathtaking throughout any season. A popular road in the area include the Baraboo Bluff Drive, perfect for taking Instagram worthy pictures; especially at dusk when the sunset mixes pinks, blues, and oranges together in a dimming sky. And there’s no doubting that one can find a quality scenic drive along the way as the area is drowning in wildlife.

In Illinois there is an abundance of parks perfect for picnics, walking, and just enjoying the spring before we are stuffed in a building for the remaining two months of the school year.

Wildlife Prairie Park in Peoria Illinois has an admission price of $8 for people who are 13 years old and up until March 25, After that the price raises to $9. This park offers animal trails where visitors can see many of the animals that are native to this area. And there are also trails available for biking and hiking the day away.

Lastly, a small town just 20 minutes away is a quick way to get out of that indoor winter funk. Downtown Libertyville, Illinois makes a great walk for those who enjoy the hustle of the city and the calm of the suburbs. One can choose to browse the small shops that give the town a homey feel or one can hang out in the parks with a friend and just take in the spring weather, only if the earth decides to give the area a break from this weather that is.

For the spring breaker who can’t deal with the weather:

Many plans tend to rely on the weather, and Chicago weather can be very unpredictable. So for those who would prefer to stay indoors, but would still like to leave their homes for a bit, can find solace in the various museums, stores, and events that are taking place in the area.

The Museum of Science and Industry offers its general museum entry tickets online for $16. This would include access to the museum’s’ permanent exhibits, Science Storms, Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze, and Where the Wild Things Are: The Works of Maurice Sendak.

The Field Museum offers a student discount which will turn out to be $19 for their basic admission. Here visitors can explore Ancient Egypt, and witness dinosaurs, the lives of ancient Native Americans, and the earth’s vibrant gemstones.

The Adler Planetarium also has a student discount that would make their general admission tickets priced at $19. The newest exhibit, opening on March 25., features the phenomenon of solar eclipses and puts one in that very moment, simulated for science and entertainment.

Moreover, the Magnificent Mile in Chicago provides a multitude of stores that beckon one to try on the pretty urban clothing and leave with heaps of bags, ready to be opened in hopes of getting that perfect summer wardrobe.

Likewise, Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, a 46 minute drive, does the same but in an enclosed space with too many stores and an endless arrangement of styles. The best place to do some prom dress shopping in my opinion.

If traveling by train would be ideal, ticket prices vary from place to place, but students are always given discounts when they show their student ID’s as they are purchasing the tickets.

That being said, spring break should be a time of rest as well as a time of enjoyment and adventure, so take advantage of all that Illinois has to offer. Then come back sane and refreshed ready to tackle the rest of the school year, nail finals, and end the year with a bang.