Winter is without doubt one of the most magical instances of the 12 months in Chicago, when snow provides town an added sparkle. Embrace the season and set off on a wintry journey, from ice skating within the shadow of Cloud Gate (aka “The Bean”) to sledding and snowshoeing inside view of the snowy lakefront. You’ll discover plenty of causes to like winter in Chicago.
Go ice skating at a novel rink
On the lookout for the last word winter expertise in Chicago? The long-lasting ice rink in Millennium Park is a bucket-list spot to take a spin in your skates. You’ll be surrounded by breathtaking winter views of Chicago, together with bustling Michigan Avenue, the downtown skyline, and The Bean dusted in snow.
Close by, strap on a pair of skates and glide via a winter wonderland alongside the curvy Skating Ribbon that meanders via scenic Maggie Daley Park. The winding path, which is twice the size of a lap round a standard skating rink, passes by pine timber and a mountain climbing wall. Skates can be found for rental. These rinks are open from November via early March, climate allowing.
In Hyde Park, head to the Halfway Plaisance Ice Rink on the College of Chicago campus. Enjoyable truth: The rink stands on the precise spot the place the first-ever Ferris wheel was erected for the 1893 World’s Honest. A bonus is the warming middle, the place you’ll be able to duck in and shake off winter’s chill earlier than heading again out to the rink for extra skating. And don’t miss the Sky Rinkat the Peninsula Chicago, the one resort ice skating rink within the metropolis, perched excessive above the hustle and bustle of Michigan Avenue.
Get pleasure from cocktails and curling
Head upstairs to the charming curling rink on the rooftop of The Gwen. The fifth-floor resort rooftop options an iceless curling rink, the place visitors can play this basic winter sport whereas having fun with a signature curling cocktail. The rooftop terrace can also be decked out with hearth pits, the place diners can cozy up and benefit from the full food and drinks menu.
Kaiser Tiger is thought for its bustling beer backyard with bocce courts in the summertime, which transforms into outside curling rinks within the winter. The cold-weather beer backyard options infrared heaters to maintain you cozy between rounds, plus boozy scorching goodies and heat cocktails.
And don’t miss a model new curling expertise within the West Loop. Stone’s Throw at The Emily Lodge contains 4 Olympic-size courts, scorching cocktails, heated yurts, and extra.
Go sledding and snowshoeing
Situated on parkland surrounding historic Soldier Discipline (dwelling of Chicago Bears soccer), the Soldier Discipline sledding hill incorporates a slope spanning greater than 200 ft on a towering hill that makes it a should for thrill-seeking sledders. And the panoramic view of Lake Michigan from the highest can’t be beat.
Go snowshoeing on Northerly Island, a human-made peninsula situated simply east of Soldier Discipline that juts out into the waters of Lake Michigan. Whoosh alongside winding nature trails, the place you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of winter birds and views of the gorgeous Chicago skyline. Don’t miss the free Polar Journey Days, when guests could make nature-inspired winter crafts and encounter Siberian huskies, wolves, and birds of prey.
Meet the cold-weather zoo animals
Chicago’s free Lincoln Park Zoo is open three hundred and sixty five days a 12 months. Within the colder months, admire majestic polar bears, penguins, and snow monkeys as they play exterior. Most of the animals transfer indoors throughout the winter, so heat up contained in the animal homes, the place you’ll be able to watch penguins, gorillas, and extra.
Sip cocktails on a winter rooftop
Keep heat whereas having fun with Chicago’s acclaimed bar and restaurant scene with cozy hearth pits, private greenhouses, and heated outside eating choices this winter. A number of the most unforgettable experiences embody a rooftop ice skating rink, a winter wonderland-themed pop-up, and private igloos that make you are feeling such as you’re in an enchanted snow globe. Seize a reservation at these all-seasons rooftops.
Go to a shocking indoor backyard
Get inside and heat up at one in all Chicago’s free indoor botanic gardens and conservatories. The Lincoln Park Conservatory is a free expertise in historic Lincoln Park, with a number of rooms devoted to unique flora and flowers. And the Garfield Park Conservatory is without doubt one of the largest conservatories within the nation, occupying two acres of lush greenhouse house. Discover extra indoor gardensto discover in and round Chicago.
Heat up with scorching cocoa
Chicago has loads of spots to take pleasure in a cup of cocoa. Head to Katherine Anne Confections to attempt its decadent consuming chocolate, or attempt a mug of Mexican scorching chocolate from Kristoffer’s Café & Bakery in Pilsen or XOCO in River North. And don’t miss the over-the-top, Instagram-worthy cups at BomboBar, a preferred walk-up window within the West Loop.
Discover extra: Try extra of the highest spots for decent chocolate in Chicago.
Admire the frozen lake
Probably the greatest issues concerning the chilly climate? When Lake Michigan freezes over and makes for some epic views. Head to the Lakefront Path for an up-close look and a picture-perfect angle of the skyline. Plus, you’ll be able to simply expertise among the metropolis’s finest buying locations (like The Magnificent Mile) and funky museums (just like the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Adler Planetarium, or the Museum of Science and Business) to heat up earlier than you proceed your winter exploration.
Free issues to do in Chicago in winter
Outside issues to do in Chicago in winter
Indoor issues to do in Chicago in winter