How did The Break get started?

The Break was established in 2013 by a group of sophomores from Crystal Lake South High School. The teens wanted a fun, stimulating, and safe environment to meet with friends, do their homework, and express their artistic abilities through art and music. Since then, The Break has become an outlet for all McHenry County teens to connect with their peers, be creative with art and music, play video games, and stay engaged with the community.

How does membership work at The Break?

When you arrive for the first time, you will get a tour of our establishment. We can send you home with a drop-in form, or you can choose to stay and experience the atmosphere of the center while you fill out the form. Either way, you will get seven days to spend with us! We ask that all drop-ins fill out a form for our records and agree to our very simple rules.

1.) Check in when you arrive
2.) Use appropriate language
3.) Clean up after yourselves
4.) Sign out equipment and return to proper location
5.) Respect other people's belongings
6.) Bullying and intimidating will not be tolerated
7.) Roughhousing and fighting are not allowed
8.) Respect all volunteers and staff

At the next visit, we ask that the registration form and waiver is signed by a legal guardian. After 7 days, membership is $8/mo, $20/3 months, or $65/yr.

If your family cannot afford a membership, is your child excluded from the center?

No. Simply contact a manager at We will discuss a reduction or waiver in fees.

Do the events at the Break cost money?

Most do not! Pricing for an event will be listed on the advertisement if there is a fee.
For example, our all-night Lock-Ins cost around $10 plus money for food.

How do I find out about volunteering at The Break?

Please fill out our volunteer application and background check form if you are interested in volunteering with us. Email brenda@clbreak to set up your volunteer interview and bring your $30 background check fee on your interview day. Please bring a copy of your completed volunteer application and background check form to your interview. We thank you in advance for your interest in our organization!

My son/daughter has autism/behavioral issues. Would they fit in at The Break?

Anyone is welcome to The Break. However, we are not professionals when dealing with behavioral issues or someone diagnosed with a mental disability. We ask that you please inform us before bringing in your teen. If we feel the behaviors are out of our ability to provide a mentally and physically safe environment, we will ask you to pick them up. Please use your best judgement.


Is my teen allowed to come and go as they please?


There is a check-in process:

Middle schoolers: Parents must let us know if they would like their teen to have that freedom. Typically we will send a volunteer with them if you grant them that privilege. If they do not have parents’ permission they will need to stay at The Break until they are picked up by a parent or guardian.

High schoolers: We do not monitor the coming-and-going of high schoolers. Once they check in, they are free to leave the premises.

Do you accept other types of donations?

In-kind donations are greatly appreciated, however with our limited space, we ask that you contact management ahead of time to let us know what you have.

Are you a faith-based organization?

No. We accept everyone! We only ask that you respect others’ beliefs.

Are you a counseling center?

We have various resources and can direct families towards them.
Here are a few-

Is The Break about substance abuse or treatment?

No. While we strive to provide a positive environment for our teens, our focus is not on substance abuse prevention or treatment. We are not counselors, but we do have a list of resources available and always refer as we see fit.

Do you allow smoking/vaping in or around the premises?


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Physical address: 

6292 Northwest Highway 

Crystal Lake, IL 60014

Mailing address:

PO Box 192

Crystal Lake, IL  60039-0192


Staff members are in the office and available most weeknights and Saturday.


Subscribe for Updates! We will only use your email to send upcoming events every few weeks.

Monday:               4:00 - 8:00
Wednesday:         4:00 - 8:00
Thursday:            4:00 - 7:00
Friday:                6:00 - 10:30
Saturday:           8:00 - 11:30

The BREAK is a 501 C 3 non-profit organization.
© 2018 by The Break.
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