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Winter Fun in Chicago

Although I was born and raised in the Midwest, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve never been a fan of the cold; never one to venture outdoors if the forecasted temperature was below 20 degrees, wind-chill included.  People have often asked me why I chose to stay in the Midwest, specifically Chicago, as an adult.  The reason is, this city is absolutely amazing no matter what time of year.  I’d like to share with you some of my favorite things to do in Chicago, specifically those which I find to be extra special during the winter season.

The first is ice skating.  I can tell from personal experience, not much tops ice skating outdoors in the city of Chicago.  Several Chicago parks offer times for outdoor skating, but two of my favorite locations are the ice skating rinks at the Lincoln Park Zoo or at Millennium Park.  Take in the views of the city as you twirl around the ice, then warm up with a cup of hot chocolate.  If you’re at the rink at the zoo, warm up inside the animal exhibits or farmhouse.  If you’re skating at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park, be sure to take in the icy city reflections as seen through the Cloud Gate, or “Bean.”

For more outdoor fun, head to Chicago’s Northerly Island to take part in Polar Adventure Days on January 25th and February 22nd from noon til 4:00pm.  This FREE event allows families to visit birds of prey and coyotes, take part in arts and crafts, witness dog sledding demonstrations, and strap on snow shoes to explore the island.  Warm up with FREE hot chocolate as you take in the beauty of snow-covered Chicago.

What’s more amazing than the natural snow covered landscape of the city?  Breathtaking ice sculptures with the city of Chicago as their background.  Join the fun at Snow Days Chicago 2014 on February 8th and 9th at Navy Pier to enjoy live entertainment, snow sculpting competitions featuring 15 teams from around the world as well as Chicago high school teams, snow painting, and much more!

Outdoor activities not for you?  Can’t say I blame you!  There is plenty to explore indoors.  The Museum of Science and Industry offers FREE days to Illinois residents every weekday in January, and each Tuesday in February.  Commemorate the 80th anniversary of the museum with their 80 at 80 exhibit which displays artifacts from the museum's archives.  Experience another blast from the past as you explore the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit where Disney costumes, drawings, and historical items from the past nine decades bring back cherished childhood memories. 

The Chicago Cultural Center also offers many FREE options to explore the Windy City while keeping warm.  Enter Chicago’s Pedway, the underground walkway linked to public transportation, shopping, and the Block 37 Mall, from the Center elevators to explore a side of Chicago you may not yet have seen.  Also, take advantage of one of the Cultural Center’s many music, theatre, and dance events, or just explore this historic building and its unique architecture and art exhibits.

Looking for more winter fun ideas?  Like Days Inn Chicago on Facebook to stay up to date with Chi-Town happenings.



About your blogger:  Rachael is the Marketing and Social Media Coordinator at the Days Inn Chicago.  She moved to Chicago in January of 2013 after falling in love with the city on her eighth grade field trip in the spring of 2004.  Her favorite site in the city (so far) is the Lakefront trail, and her favorite Chicago activity is attending events at Millennium Park.

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