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5 WINTER BLASTS

DISCOVER THE BEST SPOTS FOR OUTDOOR WINTER FUN IN CHICAGO.

 

Winter is one of the most magical times of the year in Chicago, when snow gives the city an added touch of sparkle. Embrace the flakes and chilly temps and set off on an outdoor adventure, right in the heart of the city. From ice skating to sledding and showshoeing, you’ll find there are lots of ways to love winter in Chicago.

1. MAGGIE DALEY PARK SKATING RIBBON

Maggie Daley Park

Strap on a pair of skates and glide through a winter wonderland along the curvy Skating Ribbon that wends through scenic downtown Maggie Daley Park. The winding path, which is twice the length of a lap around a traditional skating rink, passes by pine trees and rock-climbing walls (open during warm weather). Skates are available for rental.

2. McCORMICK TRIBUNE ICE RINK

Millennium Park Ice Skating

You’ll feel like you’re skating in the middle of a wintry Chicago postcard, with the shimmering cityscape and reflective Bean sculpture creating the perfect frosty backdrop to the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park. Admission is free, and skates are available to rent so you can practice making perfect figure eights to your heart’s content (or take an ice skating lesson on select mornings). When you’re ready to refuel, hot chocolate and snacks are available at the Park Grill Café.

3. NORTHERLY ISLAND

Northerly Island Chicago

Catch a glimpse of winter birds and views of the stunning Chicago skyline at this nature oasis. This 91-acre manmade peninsula, located just east of Soldier Field, juts out into the azure waters of Lake Michigan. Go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on the winding trails, then warm up inside the fieldhouse. Snowshoe equipment can be rented for two hours on select days, and there must be at least three inches of snow on the ground for proper snow trekking.

4. SOLDIER FIELD SLEDDING HILL

Located on parkland surrounding historic Soldier Field (home of Chicago Bears football), this sledding hill features a 33-foot vertical drop that makes it a must for thrill-seeking sledders. The Chicago Park District pumps out faux snow when there isn’t enough of the real stuff, ensuring that the sledding hill is always white and fluffy. And the panoramic view of Lake Michigan from the top of the peak can’t be beat.

5. CHICAGO LAKEFRONT TRAIL

Bundle up and take a brisk winter walk along the Chicago Lakefront Trail, which spans 18 miles from the south to the north ends of the city. Aim your camera at the glittering winter scenes unfolding in the beautiful parks along the way (including Jackson Park and Lincoln Park) or catch the crashing waves of Lake Michigan from the vantage point of a rocky overlook. 

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