Let this Chicagoan reveal to you the people’s favorites!
It’s almost that time of the year again!
Gif via giphy.
The time to celebrate long-anticipated special events like Christmas and New Year.
The time when Chicago is wrapped in a white blanket of … (3 letters, rhymes with ‘mice’).
The time when remaining indoors makes a lot of sense, yet going outdoors becomes an unmissable experience.
It’s winter in Chicago.
And like I said, you’re really missing out, if you don’t try out the absolutely awesome outdoor activities Chicago has to offer!
Here’s a list, for you to choose from.
Snowballs, snowmen, snow angels - the basics
Image by Shelley Pauls on Unsplash.
I know this is something you know already, but as a proud Chicago local, who’s spent many a happy winter in Chicago, I feel it my duty to spell it out for you.
Chicago has a lot of open space where you can find a decent bit of snow. And it’s there that you can…
Have a snowball fight.
Compete against each other for who can build the best snowman.
Make snow angels in the…snow.
All should make splendid content for your social media, and are suitable for almost any age.
Visit a snow-clad Bean
Visiting the Chicago Bean specifically in winter. Hmmm…
It might seem to be nothing, but…TRUST ME. It’s a glorious sight in the snow.
A great addition to your social media feed, so remember to take lots of snaps!
Go ice skating at McCormick Tribune Ice Rink
Image by Matthew Fournier on Unsplash.
What’s winter and snow without a bit of skating? And the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park is one of the best places to go skate in Chicago.
Especially for beginners, as you can sign up for skating classes by our Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).
If you’re looking to move to Canada…or if you like ice hockey for some other reason, you can sign up for their ice hockey classes as well!
All this is planned to continue till March 6th, 2022.
The lessons are free, but the signing up bit is mandatory.
As we've noted elsewhere, this is a great Chicago Christmas activity.
Pro tip: If you have some basic skating skills, this is a great place for a date, as you can wow your date with your skills, and enjoy a coffee together at Momentum Coffee next door.
For more information, you can consult the City’s website.
Skate all along our ‘Skating Ribbon’
Longer than your usual skating rink lap, Chicago’s ‘Skating Ribbon’ winds its way through Maggie Daley Park, offering spectacular views of the park and the city.
Doing the entire length can be quite a feat if you’re not used to skating!
It’s open for skating till March 13th, 2022.
You can visit their website for more information.
Visit Soldier’s Field for a bout of…
How does the song go, again?
Dashing through the snow
In a one-horse open sleigh,
And it’s that very same sleighing, a.k.a. sledding that you can do, to your heart’s content, at Soldier’s Field.
The view of Lake Michigan as you sled down the hill should make for an excellent Instagram Reel.
This winter they also have a few special events planned there.
Fun Fact: Fake snow is pumped out on the hill if the real stuff thins out, so your sledding plans are quite independent of weather conditions.
Consult their website for further information.
Ride a zipline, and go boating…
Image by mariimaccarii from Pixabay.
…at Lemont Quarry Adventure Park. This one is in a suburb, a little outside of the main city, but it’s got a range of activities so good that it needs to be included in this list.
Boating (swimming isn’t allowed in the quarry), ziplining, outdoors laser tag, rock climbing, there’s a variety of activities for you to choose from.
For details, you can visit their website.
Visit Lincoln Park Zoo
Image by Matthew Mazzei on Unsplash.
The best part of the Zoo is that it’s open all year round, and that entry is free.
A winter visit would enable you to catch amazing views of cold-weather residents (as in animals) at the zoo, like polar bears, Japanese macaques, penguins, and snow monkeys.
For more information, you can look through their website.
Go curling on hotel rooftops
Sips on refreshing cocktails, interspersed with bouts of curling at a open roof curling rink.
How does that sound?
Especially if you have heaters readily available, to warm up if it gets too cold…and then look through select menus for items to order on your winter dinner.
Visit a winter wonderland
Winterland at Gallagher Way is a real winter wonderland.
With Christkindlmarket, Santa’s Workshop, a special Hanukkah celebration, bumper cars in an ice rink…and a whole lot more!
A proper Gallagher Way Winterland experience might take up an entire day!
To know more about it, visit their website.
Go for a trek
Image by James Craig on Unsplash.
A trek is an awesome way to catch great views, experience the outdoors, and get some exercise.
If you want to warm up through a winter trek, Chicago has two trails you might want to try out.
One of course is our famous Lakefront Trail.
The other is the Northern Branch Trail, stretching from Gromper’s Park all the way to Skokie Lagoons.
Pro tip: If you do visit the Lakefront Trail, remember to cover your ears as the wind tends to get quite strong and nippy.
An indoor activity (in case you get tired of outdoors stuff)
Nope, you don’t have to go outdoors to have a thrilling experience.
How does masterminding a heist sound? Or escaping a serial killer’s lair?
Banner image by Joshua Woroniecki on Unsplash.