author: Kaycie Kotas


5 Outdoor Chicago Activities for an Exciting Winter

5 Outdoor Chicago Activities That Will Add Excitement to Your Winter
The doldrums of winter sometimes in the Chicago area can be hard to deal with. It’s freezing, windy, cold, and an utter mess outside most of the time. If you can add a little fun to your wintertime blues, then it might be worth exploring a few activities that can add some excitement. The outdoors don’t have to be drudgery. Here are five outdoor activities that will make your winter much better, while waiting until summer comes again.
Ice Skating
One of the most popular outdoor activities in the area, there are quite a few outdoor ice skating rinks. Millennium Park has the McCormick Tribune Ice Skating Rink that is open to the public from mid-November to mid-March. Admission is free, but make sure you bring your own skates. They also offer free skating lesson Friday through Sunday, one hour before the rink opens. Channel your inner Nancy Kerrigan (remember her?) by learning all the techniques of proper skating.
Cross Country Skiing
They call it “Snow Trekking” at Northerly Island, but this activity is great for a fitness buff. You’ll get your heart and blood pumping as you trek through this wilderness area located at 1521 S. Linn White Drive. It’s only $5 to check out equipment for a two hour time span. You’ll be exhausted long before the two hours is up! Yet, it’s a fun way to spend a little time in the snow.
Sledding and Tubing
If you are a bit of a daredevil at heart, then you’ll enjoy sledding or tubing on some of the larger hills in the area. One of the best ones to try is Crickett Hill on 601 W. Montrose Drive. As a fairly steep hill that is surrounded by level soccer fields, you’ll have a blast going down the various runs of this mini mountain.
Lincoln Park Zoo
Many people don’t know this, but the Lincoln Park Zoo is open during the winter. It’s open every day of the year, plus it’s free. The hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. That’s a terrific activity for a large family. During the winter, there is also an ice skating rink open on property for patrons to enjoy. It’s only $5, plus $5 skate rental. Or you can bring your own skates, it’s up to you. They even have a couple of weekend dates during the winter (February and March) where you can spend the night with your child, ages 5-12.
Hot Chocolate Trip
It’s imperative that you enjoy some high quality hot chocolate this winter. You can get it “to-go” at Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop. The Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate comes highly recommended. Then take your steaming cup of chocolatey goodness and window shop at all the high-end retail establishments along Michigan Avenue. You’ll almost forget how cold it is sipping all that warm goodness.