WHAT TO DO IN CHICAGO IN THE WINTER? HAVE FUN!

What to do in Chicago in the winter? Discover the best plans.

If you are thinking of making a getaway to a winter wonderland, you will find it in the Windy City. Chicago in winter is just that. From December to the end of March there is a drastic drop in temperatures, which remains between -6 and 7 degrees, and the probability of snowfall is high. But Chicago is prepared to entertain you even under these conditions!

There are plenty of indoor attractions and outdoor activities, so don’t let a little snow scare you. In today’s article, we want to talk about the best plans in Chicago in the winter!

What To Do In Chicago In The Winter?

Go ice skating outside

If you fancy spending the day practicing your skating tricks, why not do it on an outdoor ice rink? The atmosphere is festive and the setting magical. It has the famous McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park, where not only is admission free but so are skating lessons on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays!

Or the Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon, a scenic quarter-mile loop with the city’s skyline as a backdrop. And the Brookfield Zoo track is great for little ones because they can spend the morning visiting orangutans, monkeys, gorillas, and gibbons, and then spend the afternoon making figures on the ice. 

Wherever you decide to skate this winter in Chicago, be sure to visit one of the nearby cafes afterward to warm up to a hot chocolate!

Get in the German holiday spirit

The Christkindlmarket brings a bit of European charm to Chicago in winter. The city’s largest open-air Christmas festival is inspired by the 16th-century German markets, the first of its kind. 

It’s a Christmas village in the heart of downtown Chicago, perfect for families to soak up the holiday spirit. Skip the Magnificent Mile and head to the Christkindlmarket for your Christmas shopping! You will find hand-blown glass ornaments, classic German products, toys for all ages, and woodwork among many other things. 

If you are lucky, you will be able to see the artisans doing their work and then purchasing their pieces on the spot. And you can’t leave without trying the assortment of sweet and savory snacks on offer during your rounds. There are sausages, potato pancakes, and strudels, all washed down with the traditional hot spiced wine or German beer!

Take a hike on the Lakefront Trail

Located along the shore of Lake Michigan, this trail is always heavily overcrowded in winter. Keep in mind that there is always more wind next to the lake, bundle up well and walk next to it, you won’t be able to forget the views!

Light up the night

One of Chicago’s winter highlights is ZooLights, the free admission festival of lights held each year at Lincoln Park Zoo for 35 nights between late November and early January. 

Lincoln Park Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland with more than 2.5 million lights and hundreds of light fixtures. But that is not all, there are also visits from Santa Claus, ice sculptors, carol singers, and festive activities to participate in!

And, for just a few days of the festival, ZooLights Family Nights offer a special extra. Rides like the Endangered Species Carousel and the Lionel Train Adventure are free to ride, and kids eat free at the Park Place Café, too. Something great to do in Chicago in winter with the whole family, doesn’t it? 

Indoor attractions

The Windy City is full of tourist attractions that will undoubtedly be on your list of things to see and do once in a lifetime. And in Chicago, winter is the best time to enjoy those indoors. 

There is Skydeck Chicago, an observatory located more than 400 meters high in the iconic Willis Tower that offers a bird’s eye view of the city without competition. 

360 Chicago, combining breathtaking views with sky-high adrenaline at its exclusive TILT attraction, a 30-degree leaning gazebo over the Magnificent Mile that will make you feel like you’re floating over Chicago. 

And the Chicago Architecture Center, which guards the history of the city’s architectural wonders. You’ll learn about Chicago’s towering skyscrapers, historic homes, glamorous hotels, and spectacular churches. It includes an intricate model of the city in miniature and famous buildings in Chicago and around the world to the scale of a human being. 

Explore the Chicago Botanical Garden

During the winter, you won’t find flowers, but it’s still amazing! Enjoy the extensive meadow and the garden, don’t forget the Japanese garden!

From November 13 to January, there is the Lightscape event. It’s about an evening event about illuminated exhibits!

What are you going to do first? In Chicago there are no things to get bored of in winter, right?

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