The Midwest Dilemma: What the Heck is There to Do Around Here?

A list of local finds to help dissipate the dreaded “What do you wanna do?”

Jenna McKee, Staff Writer

As spring break slowly approaches and your friends are leaving for Florida, the idea of going to Woodfield Mall for the thousandth time is getting old and Chicago can be a bit far and expensive. 

To prevent the cycle of spring break boredom and redundancy, consider this list of things to do around the area that aren’t just the typical ‘get food’ hang out. 

Urban Air Adventure Park

Only 20 minutes away from ECC in Saint Charles, Urban Air features multiple trampoline parks including dodgeball and basketball courts, go-karts, ropes and adventure courses, climbing walls, and a cafe. The pricing bases itself on the attractions, giving multiple options for all day activities; $38.49 for “soar all day,” $28.99 for “fly all day” and $22.99 for “roar all day.” Grippy socks are also required for $3.49. 

Bullseye Axe Lounge 

The axe throwing lounge is 30 minutes away, right by Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg. The pricing increases by the amount of time spent, with $29.95 for 60 minutes, $39.95 for 90 minutes and $49.95 for 120 minutes per person. Every group gets to play their own music, and gets a personal coach to walk them through the axe throwing process. A personal photoshoot is included as well.

Underground Retrocade 

The Underground Retrocade hosts an array of vintage style pinball machines, gaming consoles and arcade games paired with authentic-feeling 80’s decor. Less than 20 minutes away from ECC in West Dundee, $20 grants access to unlimited free play for everything in the facility. No food is allowed or served, but there is a jukebox with classic 70’s and 80’s tunes. 

Goat Yoga Chicago 

This is the closest experience to ECC, only being 12 minutes away in Elgin. For $39 per person, Goat Yoga Chicago dedicates 30 minutes to a guided yoga class with an instructor and free roaming goats. Another 30 minutes is allotted to openly play with the goats for a total one hour long experience. 


Puttshack is located in the Oakbrook Center mall at 43 minutes away from ECC and features a modern take on mini-golf geared towards adults. The price is $14 for ages 13-21, and after 8 p.m it closes exclusively to 21 and over. According to their website, there are nine holes which usually last 30-45 minutes depending on size of group and crowdedness. 

Color Me Mine

If creative endeavors and artistic outings are more your style, Color Me Mine offers paint-your-own pottery and multiple special events to go along with it if interested. The shop is 20 Minutes away from ECC in the Geneva Commons, and events range from painting with a sloth to pajama night. Regular paint time is $10 not including the pottery piece you choose, and events can range from $10-$55 (not including party packages). 

Panic Escape Room 

Locations include South Elgin, Addison and Hoffman Estates with their distances from ECC being nine, 34 and 25 minutes respectively. This escape room has multiple choices for the genre of escape room, from night at the museum to the purge. Although the general price is $30 per person, the website boasts price matches with any competitors’ prices or coupons. 

K1 Speed

K1 Speed is a go-kart racing facility  in Addison, a little under 35 minutes away from ECC. It’s $27.95 for one race, $49.95 for two and $64.95  for three, per person. There are two different tracks as well as a food lounge and a combination of lacrosse, basketball and hockey called ‘cybersport.’ 

Axe Zone Rage Room 

If you really need to destress after midterms, this might be the outing for you. The most expensive and the farthest away from ECC on this list, Axe Zone is in Naperville around 45 minutes away from ECC. Not only does it provide axe throwing but also a rage room. The minimum people needed for booking a room is two, and there is a choice of either ‘rookie mode’ with less items to wreck for $70 per person or ‘warrior mode’ with more items to wreck for $90 per person. Just like Bullseye Axe Lounge, you get to choose your own playlist for destruction.