There’s nothing worse than waking up excited to spend the day with friends… only to realize snow is coming down sideways and any outdoor activity would be utterly miserable.

Not to fear! While you might not be able to stick to your Plan A, there are many things you and your friends can do that won’t require you to step foot in the snow. You can watch it fall magically out the window while still enjoying a good (and much warmer) time indoors.

Craft GIF by Fleecefun

Make some easy (& useful!) crafts.

A quick Google search for “easy and useful crafts” turns up literally millions of results for DIY projects that are simple, inexpensive and that won’t just sit and take up valuable space. Spruce up your dorm room with coffee filter string lights or colorful wall hangings, become more sustainable by making a reusable coffee cup sleeve or live out your plant parent dreams with this awesome book planter. The options are truly endless, so let your creative juices flow!

I Think So Season 2 GIF by Friends

Throw it back to middle school with some friendship bracelet-making.

All you need is some string and a few strips of tape! Tutorials for any pattern you can dream of can be found online, and once you get the hang of a new design, you can lose yourself in the soothing repetition until your bracelet is complete. Or leave it incomplete if you’re feeling ready to move on: the great thing about this activity is you can do it for as much or as little time as you want to.

Kelsey Grammer Chess GIF by CBS All Access

Throw a board game or card party!

This is a simple but infinitely entertaining activity if you need to stay indoors. Whether it’s just you and one friend or a bigger group, cards are a perfect solution if you and your friends are looking for some competitive release. Classic board games like Clue, Sorry or Monopoly are alternate options if you’re feeling tired of cards. You can also spice things up with slightly lesser-known and more strategy-based games like Bananagrams or Catan.

Other gaming options

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to leave your dorm building, Norris has a game room on the bottom floor open to students where you can play air hockey or Mario Kart (among other things!). There are also gaming consoles scattered around campus (like in CRC or Chapin) that you can use if video games are more your style.

Great British Baking Show GIF by PBS


The ultimate bonding activity, especially if you fail. There are plenty of kitchens around campus (like Shepard and Allison) that will have at least some of the equipment you need; if there’s something you’re missing, there’s almost always a way to improvise and make it work. The best part about this activity is, obviously, that you also end up with delicious treats at the end of it.

While you may be counting down the days until winter is over, we are in Chicago, so in all likelihood, snow days will continue making appearances until school lets out for summer. Hopefully, though, these suggestions will give you an idea of how you can spend those days if you need a few hours off of studying and doing homework.

Article Thumbnail: Aaron Burden / CC BY-SA