Spring Break Destination: Chicago

Students spending spring break in Chicago have a great opportunity to explore the city we live in (but are always too busy for). Here are a few things to check out around town:

Hit up Hyde Park

Most people come and go from the Museum of Science and Industry without ever exploring the neighborhood around it. Over spring break, the Hyde Park Art Center will have exhibitions of work by Jessie Mott, Rhonda Wheatley, and collaborative work on the theme of public education. The Renaissance Society has a Robert Grosvenor exhibition, and Court Theatre will give the Chicago debut of Tom Stoppard’s The Hard Problem. Afterward, grab a snack or a cocktail at Promontory, and check the listings for the shows upstairs.


Keep in the loop

The Museum of Contemporary Art will offer three performances of Tesseract, a work by choreographers Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener and video artist Charles Atlas. Just down Michigan Avenue, the Chicago Cultural Center has free exhibitions of work by Aram Ham Sifuentes, Eugene Eda, Nicole Marroquin, and Andres L. Hernandez, and the Art Institute is showing work by Hélio Oiticica.

Lincoln Park laughs in flowers

Further north of the MCA lies Lincoln Park, where you can easily spend a day wondering around. Show up early for morning bird walks at the Notebaert Nature Museum, and hang around for the Lincoln Park Conservatory Spring Flower Show. The Lincoln Park Zoo is always free, and while you’re in the area, you can see the Vivian Maier exhibit at the Chicago History Museum.

Take a train out of town

The Metra train can take you to a number of beautiful nature preserves: the expansive Palos Preserves (Willow Springs Metra stop), Yates Flatwoods (Edgebrook Metra stop), St. Mihiel Woods and Midlothian Meadows (Oak Forest Metra stop), and the Indiana Dunes (Dune Park stop on the NCTID train). One of the most popular pastoral escapes is the Chicago Botanic Garden, a one-mile walk along the North Branch Trail from the Braeside Metra stop. With a weekend pass, you can hop off and on the train in Glencoe, one stop south, to check out Writers Theatre, recently redesigned by Studio Gang architects.

Whatever you do with your Spring Break, I hope you feel recharged and ready to get back to business on the 27th!