How To Enjoy Chicago Without Risking Frostbite

After a long summer, the cold weather the city is known for is here. But that doesn’t mean you should enjoy your time any less!


Many of us didn’t see this coming. After all, it was a warmer than usual fall. Then, snow. A lot of it. Not to mention the below freezing temperatures you can anticipate for weeks to come.

Even those who have lived here for quite some time weren’t prepared to hibernate quite yet. This week, we’re seeing temperatures in the teens and a “feels like: in the single digits. Go for a stroll outside? No thank you.

With guests still checking in and out this winter season, I always feel obliged to let them know about the weather. For some, it’s not a big deal (or so they think.) Others, don’t take the news quite as well. Of course, I understand! Chicago is a big city with much to explore. While I don’t advocate our guests doing anything dangerous, I have a few tips to help them enjoy the city in these chilly temps.

Let’s not take this the wrong way however. I love a chilly Chicago winter as much as a fun Chicago summer. It’s all about finding the right things to do while the brutal cold passes, because sometimes its just TOO cold. Put on your winter hats and gloves, here’s five ways to enjoy Chicago without risking frostbite.

  1. The Art Institute Of Chicago

    The Art Institute took some time to grow on me, but now it’s my favorite Chicago spot to visit in the winter. You can easily spend hours here looking at works you may not be able to see elsewhere. Check out what exhibitions are happening during your visit, there is always something new.

  2. Garfield Park Conservatory

    I have written about this before and I will say it again, the Garfield Park Conservatory is a Chicagoans sanctuary from the bitter cold. You might even forget the freezing temperatures outside! Best of all, it’s free. To see why I love it, read this.

  3. Chicago History Museum

    If you’re visiting Chicago this winter, the Chicago History Museum is the perfect place to warm up and learn all about the rich history we have here. Try to jump on a guided tour vs. the audio tour. I’ve done both and the guided tour has much more information than even the museum displays.

    Pro Tip: You can often find a Groupon deal for this museum!

  4. Get Sporty

    As an art school graduate, sports arent really my thing. However, marrying someone who enjoys baseball and living in a city that has almost every sports team imaginable, eventually I got on board. If you’re a fan that’s not super dedicated to any team (like me) why not check a few out? Winter is the perfect time to see the Blackhawks play, but if those tickets are too expensive, the Wolves are a great choice as well. The Bulls also play various dates throughout the winter.

  5. Eat Your Feelings

    When all else fails. EAT. I can give you a long, long list of places to go eat, and I will soon, I promise! But for now, I’m going to direct you to my latest favorite, Revival Food Hall. If you only have a few days in our chilly city, this will give you a taste of our great local options without having to visit them all in the cold. Antique Taco and The Fat Shallot are my favorites, but I’d suggest trying them all! Watch out for their hours though. They have advertised Saturday brunch, their main opening ours are Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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