With temperatures dropping and the sun setting before we get out of class, Winter Quarter can be 50 shades of depressing, dull and dark. Combat the gloom and soak up some cherished vitamin D with these sunny spots.
With only a few services a week and limited winter hours at the visitor center, the Bahá’í Temple is still one of the most peaceful places within walking distance of campus. Gardens radiate from the temple’s nine sides, and each offers sunshine during different parts of the day. For early morning sunbathing, head to the east-facing gardens, and for some midafternoon rays, hang out in the west-facing areas. Better yet, pack a picnic and enjoy it on the steps of the temple.
If you’re willing to Eskimo it up, another place to get early morning sun is South Beach, just across the road from 1835 Hinman. There’s no charge for entry in the winter. With mounds of ice built up on the water, this is the perfect place to perch, get direct sun and check out the Chicago skyline. Be sure to wear snow boots, though; nothing can ruin a trip to the beach like frostbite or frozen sand in your shoes.
The Windows by Norbucks
Get more than just a venti white chocolate mocha with whip. If you arrive early enough in the morning, settle into a cozy pod chair—before it gets snatched up later in the day—and bask in the sun as it rises over Lake Michigan through Norris Center’s floor-to-ceiling windows. This is a great spot to catch some rays without going outside.
Garden by Crowe
Snuggled between the two Fairchildren dorms, CRC and ISRC, this spot is perfect for catching some midday sun between classes. Annoying pests occupy the garden during the warmer months, but it’s peaceful during Winter Quarter. Bring last-minute homework assignments you forgot to do last night and camp out on one of the many (often vacant) benches.
If you can find it, the roof of Tech is well worth the effort of weaving your way to one of the school’s most intimidating buildings. Give yourself plenty of time to get there, keeping your eyes peeled for anything labeled as the fifth floor. Even if you only catch a few minutes of precious light before sunset, the views of Evanston and Wilmette are incentive enough.