Chicago is my heart and soul. I sleep, eat, breathe Chicago. We all know winters here can be brutal. From the sub-zero temperatures to the five feet of snow. Winter can be MISERABLE. However, there’s so much to do during this time of year, that our tourism doesn’t slow down too much. Flights and hotels are cheap from November to March. If you’re in the city this time of year, check out my list of things you can do during this frigid season.
Ice Skating at Millennium Park/ Maggie Daley Park
One of my favorite things to do in Chicago, we now have two rinks: Maggie Daley and Millennium Park. Maggie Daley opened in 2015 and is dedicated to the Former Richard M. Daley’s Wife who passed away from breast cancer. The ice rink is shaped as a ribbon, so you don’t have to skate in stupid circles. It’s so much fun and great for the kiddies. Millennium Park is free to the public at Millennium Park, skate rentals are $12. Skating at MDP is also free to the public with $12 skate rentals.
The German themed Christmas town is in the center of Daley Plaza. Filled with nutcracker booths and mulled wine. I love eating the potato pancakes, roasted nuts, and Bavarian pretzels. Admission is free and is open to all ages. The set up is small and condensed, so to avoid the crowds, try going on a week day or when they are about to close.
This is by far one of the coolest things Chicago offers during winter. Lincoln Park Zoo is iconic, and they go above and beyond to out-do other parks. Every winter, ComEd sponsors the ZooLights, where they light up the entire park with Christmas lights. I mean every single tree, the carousel, and the concession stands. They even have synchronized dancing lights and music all throughout the park! While some of the animals are not outside, due to the low temps, you can still see the seals and polar bears! It really makes you feel like a kid again. Lincoln Park Zoo is free to the public.
Coined as American’s Sweetest race, this particular race seems like one of the coolest. I hate running outdoors, so I can’t say that I’ve ever participated in this and know much about it. But my friends to do it all the time and they love it! I mean who doesn’t love getting a mug of hot cocoa after running in cold weather. It’s one of the fastest growing races in the nation. Sign up for 2016!
Christmas Tree Lighting at Millennium Park
The Tree lighting extravaganza used to be held at Daley Plaza, and has been moved to Millennium Park to accommodate more people. Unfortunately, this past year the tree was vandalized due to protests. So we’ll see if they change the location again.
Feel like taking a nice cold dip in Lake Michigan? Neither do I. But plenty of people do! Celebrities from Jimmy Fallon to Vince Vaughn & Lady Gaga joined the fun to help support the Special Olympics.
Each year, hundreds of people strip down to their naked skin and run into the water. Seriously! This is a real thing. Water temps run around 20 degrees. Take the plunge and support a good cause!
Magnificent Mile is one of the best places to go shopping. During winter, they light up the mile long street with beautiful lighting that is so amazing, you just have to stop and stare.
Watch the Bulls/Blackhawks Play at the United Center
Two of Chicago’s best teams are in full action at the United Center. Watch Derrick Rose and Patrick Kane light up the arena. Chicago fans are die hard fans. We ride and die for our teams, win or lose. You may not be from Chicago, but it’s hard not to be a Hawks fan. As you can see the picture below is dated. There should be an extra banner at the far right (2015) 🙂