From the comfort of campus
Binge-watch a new show
Watch that Netflix show you haven’t had time for. You know you want to, and now you won’t feel guilty. If you don’t have Netflix, ask a friend. Hopefully he or she will be in the giving mood this holiday season.
Take a lights tour
Take a trip around Evanston and Wilmette and see some holiday lights. Try walking down Orrington Avenue or up north by the Bahá’í House of Worship. Pack some snacks, grab hot chocolate and embrace the holiday spirit.
Hit up Norris
Rent a cross-country ski package for two, for four to seven days. It includes skis, boots and poles. Ice skate rental is $3. You can also take your gear to the various parks around the Chicago area. Just be sure to request items five days prior to date of pickup.
Try a new recipe
Winter break is the perfect time to try those recipes you just never can find time to make. Gingerbread cheesecake bites are a perfect option. With only four ingredients (powdered sugar, gingerbread cookie mix, cream cheese and vanilla) and five minutes of prep time, it’s a great way to get into the cooking game once and for all.
Every Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner features the same old bowl of stuffing. Spice things up and make a statement about your new kitchen dominance with this recipe for a sweet potato casserole with pecan topping.
Swiss Miss is for the weak. While a packet of hot chocolate may lead to instant gratification, it just isn’t the same as creating a work of art, like this unique recipe for some delicious Mexican hot chocolate.
Grab some friends and travel to a new city (all prices round trip by Greyhound and additional costs).
Visit the Huron-Clinton Metroparks on Maltby Lake, that includes 24,000 acres of parkland and a $13 cross-country ski rental package.
See the frosted Gateway Arch and buy a ticket to ride to the top for $10.
Visit Havenwoods State Forest. You can bring along some snowshoes and have an outdoor adventure.
Use your free time as an opportunity to enjoy everything Chicago has to offer (prices include El fare and additional costs).
Ice skating at Millennium Park
The park is open every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Take the Red Line down to the Chicago stop. The park and ice skating are free, and you can grab hot chocolate for just $2.
ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo
This attraction is open most weekends from late November to early January, 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The zoo is a 15 minute walk east of the Fullerton El stop. You can see light shows, 3-D displays and live ice carving.