Chicago’s Top Winter Experiences

Chicago Winter downtown - Michigan Avenue

Chicago is well-known for a few unrelated things – sports teams, pizza and wind. The wind off Lake Michigan can definitely deliver a chill in the winter months, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do in Chicago as the weather cools down and winter arrives in full force.

Journey just a bit outside of the city to enjoy a day in the snow with cross country skiing. While Chicago may not be in mountain country, there are hills around the city. Take a day to ski across the plains outside of the city or challenge yourself on the hillier trails. Either way, you’ll be breathing fresh air, getting some exercises and enjoying yourself.

Or if you’d rather, stay in the heart of the city and enjoy the ice at Warren Park. With music provided over the speakers and plenty of pine trees around the ice, the ice rink has a decidedly old world feel. Bundle up and take a turn around the ice or simply settle back with your favorite coffee or tea and watch the skaters enjoy the bite of winter and freedom of the ice.

Winter with Marilyn - Chicago

If you’re one for adventure, you can’t go wrong with the luge. Two former Olympic lugers created their own luge track just outside of Chicago in North Muskegon. Arrange a day of lessons on the luge and then hurtle down the 850-foot track multiple times before your lesson and your nerves run out. The track instructors highly recommend elbow pads for this particular adventure.

If you prefer a slower moving game on the ice, why not enjoy some time at the Chicago Curling Club? What looks leisurely is more complicated and thought provoking than you might imagine. Take a lesson and then challenge your partner to a friendly match to see just who has learned the most.

If exercise in the snow and cold air is what you’re after, the Chicago Park Service maintains trails and areas of Northerly Island for snowshoeing in the winter months. Use the park’s available snow shoes or bring your own to check out views of the city that are simply breathtaking.

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