Quite frankly, whiling away the cold-season days in your room by the crackling fire, wearing pajamas and holding your smartphone while a steaming cup of tea rests on a coaster – seems like a tempting plan for the Winter holidays, but you don’t want to be missing all the winter fun that Chicago has to offer, whether you’re a Chicagoan or a tourist. There are tons of things you can do in Chicago during the cold season – from strolling along the snow-blanketed streets of Michigan Avenue to ice skating outdoors and dining in some of the most welcoming places in the world. Our list of top five things to do in Chicago in Winter is but a small portion of the many things that you could do.
Have you ever ice-skated before? If you haven’t before, you’re missing out on a lot of fun. The outdoor ice-skating rinks in Chicago are open for everyone, including beginners, and are free. You’d only need to pay if you want to rent ice-skates, which range from $13 to $15. However, if you have your own pair of skates (old or new), then you can go ice-skating whenever you want and for as long as you want, there are no hidden costs. Just put your skates on, step on the ice, and start skating while enjoying the winsome skyline views and listening to some relaxing holiday music.It is more than likely that in almost every popular area of Chicago, you’d find an ice-skating rink, but if you want to go to the most renowned ones, visit Millennium Park (The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink) and Maggie Daley Park (Skating Ribbon).
Lincoln Park Zoo is a year-round attraction where you’d find the entrance completely free. Thirty-five acres of wonderfully-used land and 1,100 animals from more than 200 species will enhance your rapture, not least if you visit this place in winter-time. Why? It has a festive winter tradition, which, believe us when we say, you don’t want to miss.
During this tradition, the surroundings of the zoo are decorated with many varieties of multicolored lights which can reach into the millions. With all the light shows and the displays of hand-crafted ice carvings, the view is more than just magnificent. Moreover, there is nothing better than a hot-chocolate stroll with your partner or family, enjoying a light show.
Nevertheless, this dazzling and colorful light-attraction starts on the twenty-fourth of November and ends on the seventh of January, so make sure you put this on your places-to-visit for the Winter holidays.
If you want to make a child happy during the cold season, buy them a sled. Children love sledding, especially when their parents take part in the activity as well. Nothing would make a child happier than having a sled-race with their father down a snowy slope.
There are a lot of sledding hills in Chicago. If you’re a family person, looking for safe sledding slopes for your children, go to the sledding hill at Caldwell Woods. If you want, you can even go here during the evening as it is always lit. You shouldn’t worry about you or your children getting hungry, either. Nearby is the location of Superdawg, which is a very famous drive-in stand where you can order and eat the best and most delicious Chicago hot dogs - made the traditional way, of course.
Still, if you’re looking for a high-adrenaline sledding hill, go to the lakefront of Lake Michigan and head over towards the Soldier Field. This sledding hill has a vertical drop of thirty-three feet. Even when it is not snowing, and the weather is warmer, there is no lack of snow here, for the lack of real snow is always supplemented with artificial snow.
Even though there are plenty of outdoor activities to do in Chicago in winter, there are also many indoor activities as well. Let’s say that you’ve been alfresco long enough to feel cold, but still don’t want to go back to your apartment because it’s too early for nightfall, you can always consider going to a conservatory or a winter garden – where you’ll get both warmed up and fascinated at no charge at all.
The botanical journey in Chicago’s winter gardens will have you spellbound for sure. The most important thing is that places like Lincoln Park Conservatory, throughout the whole cold season, are turned into a winter paradise. There are twinkling things everywhere, and the faux frosted sprinkled over some of the flowers and plants seem surreal. Decorated Christmas trees, flowers, and shining stars are also there to sparkle our festive season.
At any rate, Lincoln Park Conservatory isn’t the only indoor winter garden that you can visit. There are many more, including the Garfield Park Conservatory, the Harold Washington Library Garden, and the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier.
Don’t let the snow and the chilly weather stop you from going outside. A good cup of hot chocolate would always warm you up no matter where you are and which part of the city you’re exploring. Aside from warming you up, the hot chocolate is also a great energy booster. It contains sugar, calcium, cobalamin, sodium, vitamin A, and vitamin D. If the doctor has forbidden you to drink too much coffee, this is a safe alternative drink for you. In 100 grams of hot chocolate, there is only 2 mg of caffeine, while in 100 grams of coffee, there is 40 mg of caffeine, and that is a huge difference.
There are many places in Chicago from where you can buy a flavorful hot chocolate drink, but no one can make a hot chocolate drink like the experts from the Bucktown Neighborhood can.
We hope that our list of five things to do in Chicago in winter has been helpful to you, and if you choose to travel to Chicago in Winter, please remember that our city, no matter where you come from, always has its gates open for you.
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