Things to Do in Chicago in Winter

Things to Do in Chicago in Winter
Chicago is famous for its cold winters, yet this is no reason not to visit one of the most beautiful cities in the United States. You just need to consider the cold the same way Chicagoans do--it makes them tougher. Whether indoors or outside, finding entertaining things to do in the winter is easy. So brave the cold in the City of Big Shoulders, and then return to visit in the summer for more things to do.

Millennium Park Ice Skating

Every winter at Millennium Park's McCormick Tribune Plaza, a full-sized ice-skating rink is constructed just off of Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago. You can rent skates, or bring your own and skate for as long as you wish for free. Throughout December, you skate to holiday music. Warm drinks and other beverages can be purchased at the onsite cafe.

Millennium Park
Michigan Avenue
Between Washington and Madison Street
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 744-6050

Garfield Park Conservatory

The Garfield Park Conservatory offers visitors a warm refuge from Chicago's winter weather. Covering over four acres, the Conservatory consists of eight plant-filled greenhouses, each representing a different climate such as the tropics and the desert. The children's garden offers educational activities for kids of all ages. The Conservatory can be reached easily from downtown by public transportation (green line, Conservatory-Central Park Drive Station). Admission to the Conservatory is always free.

Garfield Park Conservatory
300 N. Central Park Ave.
Chicago, IL 60624
(312) 746-5195

Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute houses over 300,000 works of art from Ancient Egypt to the present day. Many of the world's greatest masters are represented including Van Gogh, Renoir, Warhol, Hopper and Monet. In May of 2009, the Modern Wing officially opened just to display the museum's expansive 20th-century European art collection. The Art Institute hosts special exhibits throughout the year. On Thursday nights, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., admission to the museum's permanent collection is free.

Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 443-3600

Article Written By Patrick M. Lind

Patrick M. Lind has been freelance writing since 2007 and has worked as an editor and journalist for He received a Master of Arts in history from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Middle East.

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