Northern Illinois University Off-Campus Housing Guide When to search
If you’re a student attending Northern Illinois University looking for off-campus housing in Dekalb, you’ll want to start your search for your new place sooner, rather than later. As soon as the fall semester begins at NIU so does the house hunting. Searches for off-campus housing in Dekalb begins to peak in the months of September, October, and November. Don’t sleep on looking for a place because, you know, “If you snooze, you lose!”
Rent In Dekalb, IL
Rent prices in Dekalb are very reasonably priced, especially if you can find a roommate or two to split a place with. Like most cases, the more people you have, the cheaper it’s going to be for you; which means more money in your pocket that you can blow on all the bars and restaurants around town. Around Dekalb, there are various living options. There is a good mixture of houses and apartments of all sizes offering many different amenities. Spend some time looking into all of your options!
Here’s a breakdown of Dekalb apartments and houses average rents per person, per bedroom:
Life in Dekalb, IL Where to Have Fun
Although Dekalb isn’t a large city, there are plenty of activities for students to get into both on and off-campus. Whether it be in one of the hundreds of on-campus clubs, or joining a frat or sorority, students at NIU get involved. Like many college campuses, sports are huge at NIU. Huskie pride is evident all around Dekalb so grab your red and black gear and head to a game to support your school! Students can also hang out at the Huskie Den where you can catch movies, shoot some pool, or go bowling. The Campus Activity Program provides students will dances and other social events throughout the year. Another program, called Expressions, is a great way to showcase (or watch performances) your singing, rap, poetry, or dance talents. Students can also catch concerts at the Convocation Center throughout the year.
Head off campus, and check out the town! The Whiskey Acres Distilling Co makes their own whiskey and you can take tours and sample their products and grab drinks before, during, and after the tour. Visit one of the city’s museums like the NIU Art Museum of the historic Ellwood House Museum, home to Isaac Ellwood, the inventor of barb wire. Catch a movie at the Carmike Market Square 10 Cinema or get some friends together for a night of fun at Star Worlds Arcade. Throughout the year you can also see films, concerts, catch live performances and reading at the Egyptian Theatre, which also holds an annual haunted house!
- Attending a Huskie sports event
- Sampling the whiskey at Whiskey Acres Distilling Co
- Touring the Ellwood House Museum
- Going to the Egyptian Theatre haunted house
Meeting up with friends for a quick study break or some weekend fun at the bars and restaurants around town is popular amongst NIU students. Many of the favored spots are right around campus on the Lincoln Highway or just minutes away from the university in Downtown Dekalb. Here are a few places you’ll want to check out in Dekalb.
- Fatty’s Pub and Grill
- Egg Haven Pancakes and Cafe
- Tapa La Luna
- Thai Pavilion
- Mediterraneo Grill
- Lord Stanley’s
- O’Leary’s Ale House
- Hometown Sport’s Bar & Grill
- KJ’s Bar & Grill
- Sullivan’s Tavern
The Northern Illinois University Campus Recreation program is a great tool for students who want to be engaged in campus recreational and outdoor activities. Students can participate in group fitness, intramural sports, and Outdoor Adventures. Outdoor Adventures is a group that creates events like the Boundary Waters Canoe Trip. Dekalb has many parks throughout city that offer a wide range of recreational activities like golf courses, soccer fields, basketball courts, sports complexes, and flower gardens to stroll through. The Shabbona Lake State Park is a great spot for weekend camping and fishing trips.