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New twist on 'Stuck in Hinsdale' for spring break


Last updated 3/25/2020 at 4:34pm | View PDF

Maybe you were planning to spend spring break soaking in the rays on a Florida beach, touring the historical sites of a favorite European city or relaxing in a remote mountain cabin.

Instead, you’re here, stuck in Hinsdale.

For years, we’ve run an annual feature headlined “Stuck in Hinsdale for spring break,” in which we talk to those unfortunate souls who aren’t traveling somewhere exotic. This year, that’s all of us.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy spring break. You just have to be a little more creative.

Here are our top five suggestions for anyone who is stuck in Hinsdale for spring break (e.g. you).

1. Order out!

We said it last week and we’ll say it again. One of the ways you can help support the restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries in town is to order carryout or delivery. Many have made special accommodations to limit interaction and some are offering special menus and deals. A temporary change in the liquor ordinance allows them to sell bottles of wine and beer, too (see Page 5 for details).

We’ve added a new category to our Pulse “Out and about” calendar listings called “Dining local” with the address, hours, phone number and website of all the independently owned restaurants in town and a brief hint at what they offer. (See Page 24.)

If each of the roughly 6,000 households in Hinsdale ordered one breakfast, one lunch and one dinner each week, that would be 18,000 meals a week split among the 14 independently owned eateries currently operating in town. (Think how many meals you’d be eating out if you were on vacation!)

That comes out to 1,285 meals per establishment. If the average bill was $50, each eatery would bring in $64,285 a week.

2. Pick up some souvenirs

Maybe you’d come back from your trip with a fabulous new outfit or pair of shoes. Maybe you would have spent a day at the spa. The kids might have wanted to pick out a few things to remember their trip.

Why not take the money you would have spent and use it to purchase gift cards from retail stores here in town?

The purchase will help the stores by providing some much-needed cash now and will give you a shopping trip to look forward to when things get back to normal.

This also could be the perfect time to purchase gifts — in the form of gift cards — for everyone on your holiday gift list. Think of what a relief it will be in December with all that Christmas shopping done!

3. Give blood

OK, this probably isn’t something you normally do on spring break. But almost 2,700 Red Cross blood drives had been canceled due to coronavirus concerns as of last week, resulting in some 86,000 fewer blood donations. And the Red Cross relies on blood drives for more than 80 percent of its donations.

The Red Cross has implemented new measures to ensure donation centers are even safer for donors and staff, and there is no data or evidence that the coronavirus can be transmitted by blood transfusion.

Individuals can schedule an appointment to give blood by visiting, using the Red Cross Blood Donor app, calling (800) RED-CROSS or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

4. Offer to (or call for) help

The Community House in Hinsdale is willing to connect those who need help with those who are able to provide it.

We’ve been impressed by so many of the offers of help on Facebook and NextDoor. But as a member of our Reader Advisory Board noted, the seniors who need help might not be on social media — or online at all.

So they — or anyone — call The Community House at (630) 323-7500, Ext. 0, and leave a message, indicating what kind of assistance they need. Or send an email to [email protected]

Staff there will do their best to connect helpers with those who need help.

5. Stay connected

Use Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts or whichever technology you prefer to keep in touch with friends through virtual book club meetings, cocktail parties or DIY therapy sessions.


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