Winter is the time to enjoy a weekend with activities for all ages. There are plenty of places to go that can help you beat winter's stuffiness and howling winds. This list includes outdoor activities and indoor venues where you can take some time off from your busy day.
Where To Go In Chicago In The Winter
1. Art Galleries in Chicago
It's always a smart idea to spend some time in a local art gallery, especially during winter. There are plenty of art galleries in Chicago that hold public exhibitions. If you're interested in visiting a gallery holding an event, check out their website to see if they have any scheduled activities you can attend. Some galleries even have ongoing exhibits, so check them out at least once during the winter.
2. The Millennium Park
Millennium Park is a space that hosts concerts, theater performances, family events, and more. It is located on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago and features thousands of winter-friendly trees that decorate its walkways and grounds. There are even ice rink rinks along the beautiful park's streets. Millennium Park is located at Monroe and Randolph Streets, one of the most popular locations in Chicago to take ice skating. This is a great place to take kids and young adults, but ensure you bring a camera because it's also fantastic for taking pictures. The park was designed to host the Summer Olympics in 2004 but has since been repurposed for several other events.
3. Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park has a lot of things to offer people. Its beautiful buildings, cypress trees, and ponds make it the perfect spot for meeting up with friends during the winter months. It is located near Jackson Park on South Douglass Avenue and has free Wi-Fi. Lincoln Park hosts various events throughout the year, including live music festivals and the Chicago Marathon.
4. Check Out the Chicago Light Shows
The light shows are a unique place on the pier where different elements of art are showcased through a mix of projected images, lighting effects, and music. The light shows are behind the Chicago Water Shed and will take approximately 20 minutes to walk through. They can also be seen from the end of East Columbus Drive, Northerly Island, or East Monroe Street Bridge at Michigan Avenue.
5. Enjoy Dinner and a Show at The Second City Theater
The Second City theater is the perfect mixture of a dinner theater and a comedy club. It is located on the stage and behind the scenes at the heart of Chicago's theater district. The show features a cast of some of the city's best improvisers and most hilarious comedians who will keep you laughing from beginning to end. They also have different shows throughout the week. This can be an excellent choice for families who want to escape the cold but still enjoy a place with a fun ambiance.
6. Chicago Symphony Orchestra
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is the world's oldest and most respected orchestra. It was founded in 1890 by Theodore Thomas, a violin master at New York's famed Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra. In 1891, Thomas moved to Chicago, where he established this orchestra 1891. It was initially located at Orchestra Hall, and after four years, it moved to its new concert hall. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is one of the world's greatest orchestras. It has 100 players who are also well-known international composers. It has two concerts annually: one in August to celebrate its anniversary and another in January.
7. Enjoy Art at the Chicago Cultural Center
The Chicago Cultural Center is a great place to view art while enjoying delicious food and drink. It is a cultural center that features multiple art exhibitions each year. It is located at the intersection of Washington and Dearborn Streets and is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. A trip to this great venue will be enjoyable and certainly memorable. The combined museums in the Chicago Cultural Center offer something for everyone and allow visitors to learn about different cultures worldwide. Several different types of art are featured here, including paintings, photography, sculpture, prints, and contemporary installations that complement each other beautifully.
8. The Art Institute
The art institute is a great place to visit if you are looking for an exciting way to spend a day. This museum is one of the most popular places for students to stay in Chicago. It is located at 435 S. Michigan Avenue. It features some of the finest collections of art from around the world and throughout history, including works from famous artists such as Picasso, Monet, Rodin, and Van Gogh. It also has several galleries that feature sculptures, Asian art, and other types of art.
9. The Field Museum
The field museum is said to be one of the finest natural history museums in the world. It is a great place to visit if you want a unique trip and want to enjoy some family time. The field museum was founded in 1893 by Marshall Field. It is located at 1400 South Lake Shore Drive and has been visited by more than 160 million people throughout its existence. The field museum features a wide range of animals and various exhibits.
10. The North Park Village Nature Center
North Park Village Nature Center is co-owned by the Chicago Park District and led by the Friends of Nature. The North Park Village Nature Center is a great place to visit during the spring, summer, and fall because they have a lot of fun activities, including bird watching, family programs, camps in the summer and fall, walking tours, and more. The nature center attempts to spread knowledge about how people can help protect their earth while they still enjoy it. There are times during the year when you can see seals, plenty of birds, and unique insects that you may not be able to see in any other part of the world.
11. Film Locations
Take a trip down movie memory lane and see some places where your favorite films were filmed. These film locations include The Blues Brothers, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and the Breakfast Club. These places will allow you to relive some of your favorite childhood memories. Seeing some of the incredible movie locations in Chicago can be a fun way to spend the day with your friends and family.
12. Visit Axehead Lake Chicago
Axehead Lake is a recreation lake in Chicago that the United States Army Corps of Engineers constructed. This lake is located in the northwest part of Chicago and is only a few miles away from the city. The lake is home to several fish species, including largemouth bass, walleye, carp, and panfish. Over 60 types of birds reside around Axehead Lake Chicago, such as ducks, geese, swans, and egrets.
13. Wolf Lake Chicago
Wolf Lake is a lake located in the northeast part of Elk Grove Village, a suburb of Chicago. The lake was built in 1964 on land previously owned by the Joliet Iron and Steel Company. There are numerous different beaches at Wolf Lake Chicago. These beaches have a beach houses with picnic tables and public restrooms.
14. Get on the Water
Since its inception, Chicago has been known as a river town and is surrounded by water. There are several types of water-based activities that you can enjoy in the city, including kayaking, canoeing, boat tours, and fishing. The Chicago River has a lot of exciting places for visitors to see, including architecture and bridges built hundreds of years ago. The Chicago Riverwalk is a great place to spend an afternoon or evening, and travelers can find some unique shops there.
15. Experience the Best Shopping Spots in Chicago
Chicago has great shopping spots and a wide range of stores that feature anything from fine jewelry and T-shirts to baseball memorabilia. The Magnificent Mile is one of the most popular spots for shoppers and is located on North Michigan Avenue. Several other great spots to visit in Chicago include State Street, Merchandise Mart, and the Old Town Shopping area.
16. The Wrigley Building
The Wrigley Building is a great place to visit because it is one of the city's most famous historical landmarks. It was originally built in the early 1900s and featured in many movies, including the Batman series. This building has been featured in "The Untouchables" and used to portray some of Chicago's famous buildings.
17. Visit the Local Farmers Market
Chicago is known for being one of the best places to shop in the United States, but some great farmers' markets also feature a wide range of food and products you can purchase. Several open-air farmers markets are available, including the North Branch Market and Gashouse District Market.
18. Museum of Broadcast Communication
The Museum of Broadcast Communication is a great place to visit because it features exhibits that showcase the history of how technology and radio have changed over the years. One of the most popular exhibits features an exhibit based on a story where people can take a trip back in time as they are transported through radio waves and see what was happening at certain points in history.
19. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is in Riverfront Park and features wildlife and wildlife education. It is a great place to visit during the spring, summer, and fall because it has different animals that can be seen there, such as rabbits, turtles, snakes, and birds. The museum also has several programs designed for kids and families to enjoy.
20. Glessner House Museum
This architectural museum showcases the home George Washington Maher built and is one of the oldest examples of Chicago's Louis Sullivan architecture. This home was built between 1885 and 1887 and was originally located on Chicago's South Side. This is a unique experience because it has been left untouched, including the original furniture, so seeing what life was like back then is possible when you visit this museum.
21. Pritzker Military Museum & Library
Pritzker Military Museum and Library is a museum that features the history of Chicago's military from the 19th century to the present. The museum also has a library that is open to the public, so you can enjoy some quiet time to read or relax. There are many exhibits in this museum, and you can also tour the campus if you are interested in seeing how this military base was built.
22. Oriental Institute Museum
Located in Albany Park, the Oriental Institute Museum is a great place to visit for history buffs. This museum features artifacts from ancient civilizations found in the Middle East and Asia. One of the most popular exhibits features ancient Sumerian cuneiform clay tablets, commonly referred to as the "Chicago Sampler." These tablets were discovered when workers dug a trench in Chicago and have been displayed at this museum since 1948.
23. Chicago's Famous Food Truck Festival
Chicago is one of the best cities in the country to visit because of its food scene and the number of great restaurants that line the streets there. There are also a lot of great food trucks that line Chicago's downtown area and are a popular attraction for tourists. The Chicago Food Truck Festival at Lincoln Park features some of the best food trucks in the city, along with live music and more.
24. Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple
Unity Temple was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and is located in Oak Park. This temple was one of the first buildings designed by Wright and is recognized as one of the most important works he created. The Unity Temple features a lot of terra-cotta detail, similar to the work he did on Fallingwater. The Unity Temple also has stained-glass windows only four inches wide, reflecting some of Chicago's famous architecture and city streets.
25. Grant Park
Grant Park is located in the city's center and is the second-largest park in Chicago. It features several beautiful sculptures, such as the great lawn, Buckingham Fountain and Lurie Garden. The Grant Park Music Festival takes place here throughout the summer and offers free concerts to visitors.
26. The Chicago Botanic Garden
The Chicago Botanic Garden is a great place to visit because it has something for the whole family. This botanical garden is the largest public garden in the state and features various plants, flowers, and parks around the property. During spring, summer, and fall, you can enjoy many activities at this venue, including concerts and events for kids.
There are a number of great things to do in Chicago, including visiting some of the city's top attractions. The city has been featured in many movies and television shows, but it is more popular as a travel destination. Chicago offers a lot of great food and shopping, along with a wide variety of attractions that will keep you busy throughout your trip.