A College Kid’s Guide to a Spring Break Reset in Chicago

Spring Break is that magical time of year when college students can finally escape the monotony of lectures and textbooks and indulge in some much-needed relaxation. While the typical image of Spring Break may involve sun-soaked beaches and wild parties, not everyone is drawn to that scene. If you’re looking for a different kind of Spring Break experience, why not consider a little exploration week in our beautiful city of Chicago?

Exploring the City

Chicago offers a plethora of activities to suit every taste. Start your day with a leisurely stroll along the Lakefront Trail, taking in breathtaking views of Lake Michigan against the city skyline. If you’re feeling adventurous, rent a bike and pedal your way through this scenic route. I also recommend immersing yourself in the city’s rich cultural scene by visiting world-class museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago or the Museum of Contemporary Art. DePaul has an art museum as well – it’s right next to the Fullerton Station! Look online for museum free days – lots of museums have free admission days each month and you just have to show your DePaul ID to prove you’re a Chicago resident (but make sure to get your tickets online)!

Art Institute Exterior   Field Museum Main Area

Gastronomic Delights

Chicago is a foodie’s paradise, boasting a diverse culinary landscape. Indulge in deep-dish pizza at iconic pizzerias like Lou Malnati’s or Giordano’s, or savor authentic Chicago-style hot dogs at Portillo’s. For those craving something more upscale, explore the city’s trendy restaurants and experience a fusion of flavors from around the world, many of which can be found through a simple Google or TikTok search. Some yummy new food spots I’ve tried include Carnivale, Sapori Trattoria, and Sila’s Mediterranean.

Sapori Trattoria   Carnivale Interior

Relaxation and Rejuvenation

After a day of exploration, treat yourself to some well-deserved relaxation. Unwind with a scenic river cruise along the Chicago River, or pamper yourself with a spa day at home. Face masks, a hot bath, and a movie marathon while munching on warm brownies is my ideal way to unwind.

Chicago River


As the sun sets, Chicago comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. Catch a live music performance at iconic venues like the Kingston Mines (right by our Lincoln Park campus), enjoy some dessert at Ghirardelli, or enjoy craft cocktails at trendy rooftop bars overlooking the cityscape (if you’re of age of course). Make sure to stay safe and be aware of your surroundings, no matter where you are or who you’re with!

Ghirardelli dessert

Spring break doesn’t have to be all about sun & sand. I know you’ve probably been stuck in your room or the library studying for finals, so for a refreshing change of pace, consider spending your break in our dynamic city of Chicago. With its mix of cultural attractions, culinary delights, and vibrant nightlife, it’s the perfect destination for a Spring Break reset. So grab your friends and get ready for an unforgettable Spring Break adventure in the Windy City.

– Saira

Visit DePaul on Your Spring Break!