It’s almost that time of year again. The time when your liberal arts college in Chicago invites you to take a break from your pursuit of a liberal arts bachelor degree for a week. Spring break starts this coming Monday, March 16th and runs until the 20th, plus there’s a weekend on either side, so that’s nine days to do with as you please.
If you’re planning on staying right here in Chicago, we have some suggestions for you:
Luck of the Irish
Why not kick off your spring break from liberal arts university in Chicago early and take in some of the city’s rich Irish heritage at the same time? You’ll have three chances to do so with three different St. Patrick’s Day parades.
On Saturday, March 14th, at noon, the 60th annual Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade (now known to some as the downtown parade) starts at Balbo and Columbus and heads along Columbus Drive. The viewing stand is at Buckingham Fountain. If you want to also see the dyeing of the Chicago River, a St. Patty’s tradition, the four recommended spots are the east side of the Michigan Avenue bridge, the West side of the Columbus Drive bridge or Wacker Drive between Michigan and Columbus.
The next day, though, there will be two other competing parades, both beginning at noon on opposite sides of town. The South Side Irish Parade runs along Western Avenue from 103rd to 115th. It was created in 1979 as a way to bring back the parade which had moved downtown in 1960. Twelve years ago, the Northwest Irish Parade began as “a celebration of faith, family, and heritage on the Northwest side of Chicago.” This year, it starts in front of William J. Onahan School on Raven Street near the corner of Normandy.
Another Trip to the Museum
If you’ve already checked out some of the excellent Chicago science museums, why not check out some of the arts offered in town this spring break? The Chicago Art Institute has several exhibits running, including:
- Shatter Rupture Break: Modern art and shifting themes in modernity
- Heaven and Earth: Over 60 Byzantine works of art from Greek Collections
- Decidedly Surreal: Bindings by Mary Louise Reynolds, only runs until March 23rd
- A Voyage to South America: Paintings and drawings from viceregal South America
The Art Institute of Chicago is at 111 South Michigan Avenue.
A Trip to the Theater
If you’d like to spend some of your time off immersed in the classics and the soon-to-be classics or just enjoy the world of the theatre, Chicago has many options for you this spring break. Here are a few of the more interesting plays running:
- The Good Book: The world premiere of Lisa Peterson and Denis O'Hare's look at doubt and the creation of the Bible. Starts March 19th at the Court Theatre, 5535 South Ellis Ave
- Balm in Gilead: Lanford Wilson's 1964 play about hustlers, junkies and prostitutes in a 24 hour diner on New York's Upper West Side. Playing at the Den Theatre, 1329–1333 North Milwaukee Ave
- Two Trains Running: Part of August Wilson’s Century Cycle about people at a run-down Pittsburgh diner during the Civil Rights Era. Playing at the Goodman Theatre, 170 North Dearborn St.
How will you be spending your spring break this year?