Distract yourself from finals with holiday activities


Kenyon Edmond

Students ice skate at the University Ice Arena on Saturday.

By Natalie Stanowski, Staff Writer

Make some homemade hot chocolate

With winter kicking into high gear, what better way to warm up than with a cup of hot chocolate? Whether you use cocoa powder or get fancy with a crockpot and melted chocolate, there is no drink more in-tune with the holiday spirit than some hot chocolate.

Decorate your dorm

Before the time to study for finals is officially underway, take some time this weekend to put up decorations. If you forgot to bring some from home over break, Walgreens is selling various decorations for cheap. If you really want to save some cash but still want to get festive, check out our budget dorm decorating column.

Listen to your favorite holiday tunes

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Whether it be Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” or the classic “Dreidel”, throw on some of your favorite holiday classics to play in the background as you prepare for those pesky finals.

Go ice skating

It’s easy to forget to get enough exercise now that winter is settling in. While it’s fun to nurse a cup of hot chocolate in a blanket all weekend, consider heading to the ice arena on campus for some winter-themed fun. Ice skating is free for University students with an i-card. Skate rental is $2. 

See “The Nutcracker”

If ice skating isn’t your thing, you may want to consider spending a relaxing night at the Krannert Center. While there are numerous other bands and plays to choose from, “The Nutcracker” is a fantastic pick if you want something holiday-themed.

Go sledding

If you think corn fields are too flat to go sledding this holiday season, think again. Champaign-Urbana has plenty of parks perfect for sledding. Places such as Orchard Downs, Crystal Lake Park and Centennial Park are all great options to go if you can find (or put together) a sled.

Pet some reindeer

Just 25 minutes north of C-U by car is Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch. You can sign up to pet and feed the reindeer or take a walk through the lines of Christmas trees for sale. Petting zoos may seem exclusive to kids, but this location is popular among students on campus.

See a Christmas parade

Want to see a Christmas parade with friends, but you’ll be home over break? No worries, there are numerous parades planned in the area, starting from the last week of November. So, if you want to see some Christmas-themed floats or fancy cars on the road, do some research on nearby parades, and you may find one that fits your busy schedule.

Go stargazing indoors or outdoors

The air in winter is actually the ideal time to go see stars. Is camping out in the cold not your thing? Visit the Staerkel Planetarium in Champaign and see a show for $4 with the student discount. You’ll get to see stars without the cold. It’s literally out of this world.

Host a party

No need to wait for winter break to roll around to break out your ugly holiday sweaters; Invite your friends over and show them off. Just throw on some holiday classics, warm up some hot cocoa and you’re set to enjoy some holiday fun before finals snow on our parade.

Natalie is a sophomore in LAS.

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