Here’s a fun fact: Wednesday the 30th is set to be the second coldest day in Chicago’s recorded history! And while a -50° wind chill might not sound like the catalyst for a good time, the frigid temperatures and arctic winds provide us with the perfect excuse to check out some of Chicago’s closer-to-home offerings, as well as Columbia’s on-campus events. After all, just because there’s a storm brewing doesn’t mean you have to be stuck in your dorm mindlessly watching them same Friends rerun for the umpteenth time. So get ready to stave off that cabin fever with one of these awesome opportunities!
For some mental stimulation that won’t require you to travel farther than your classes, we’d recommend checking out PRAXIS: A Sketchbook Show. Opening on the 29th in the C33 Gallery, PRAXIS presents the sketchbook work of 23 different artists. Often messy, chaotic, unfinished, and secret, sketchbooks offer insight into the artist’s process that no other medium can. This collection of sketchbooks will be on display until February 13th, which makes it the perfect show to check out in order to escape the bitter cold. Find out more about PRAXIS here.
In the mood for an activity that will really warm you up? Head on over to the Fitness Center at Plymouth Court for one of their many blood-pumping fitness classes! The Fitness Center has classes on everything from yoga to self-defense, so there’s sure to be something for everyone. Looking for something calm to contrast the gale outside? Join the Vinyasa Yoga class lead by Samantha. No prior fitness or yoga experience is required, so this peace and balance focused class is the perfect escape for everyone.
But if you’re looking for something that will really make you sweat the cabin fever away, we recommend checking out Abs and Buns lead by Megz on Monday the 4th. This weekly class will get your blood pumping as you develop your core and forget about the frozen wasteland outside. To learn more about the many classes offered at the Fitness Center, check out their schedule here.
Other great on-campus options include Cult Cinema Club and Library Zine Night. The Cult Cinema Club hosts weekly meetings at 1104 S Wabash to screen cult favorites and discuss their many fascinating aspects, so it’s the perfect opportunity to hide away from the cold and meet up with some fellow cinephiles. But if you’re in more of a hands-on mood, head down to the library on Monday the 4th to take part in the monthly Zine Night! If you bring your ingenuity, creativity, and inspiration, they’ll provide you with drawing supplies, paper, scissors, and whatever else you need to show off your zine-making skills.
If you want to venture off campus, we’d recommend checking out all that the Art Institute of Chicago has to offer. Current exhibitions include the first solo exhibition of Tomma Abts‘ work in the United States in 10 years, showing off the artist’s fascinating and colorful contemporary paintings, and the beautifully haunting photography of MacArthur genius grant recipient Dawoud Bey. Both exhibitions are available to view for a short time, and combined with amazing permanent installations like the pop art collection and the museum’s absolute essentials, they make for an absolutely unforgettable trip. Better yet, Columbia students get in FREE at AIC, so you have even more reason to escape the cabin fever of your dorm room. For more info about AIC and hours, click here.
Now that you’ve been made aware of some of the amazing indoor activities that Columbia and the rest of Chicago have to offer, what are you waiting for? Don’t spend the semester sitting in your dorm waiting for the storm to pass, get yourself to one of these awesome opportunities and make the most of your time here!