Friends, we are happy to report that there ARE things to do during Chicago winter! As photographers and residents of Chicago, we know our city inside and out. So, our team compiled a list of fabulous suggestions that will liven up your scenery – even during the gross months like February and March.
(By the way, does anyone else think of a mint-flavored Chex Mix when the weather forecast is “a wintery mix”?! We digress.)
Without further ado, here are our top-rated suggestions!
Maggie Daley Park Ice Skating Ribbon is one of the most classic things to do during Chicago winter!
This is one of the most popular things to do during Chicago winter – and for good reason! This unique skating ribbon is located in one of Chicago’s beautiful Maggie Daley Park, and is a place where ice skaters at any skill level can come out to relax, skate, and take in the Chicago skyline. Maggie Daley Park describes it as a “multi-sensory experience” where you can take in the rolling landscape, and then break to sip on a cup of hot chocolate!
Garfield Park Conservatory is a wonderful way to find 75 degree weather all year round.
If you are craving greenery and humidity while in Chicago, the Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the best things to experience during Chicago winter. Over 100 years old, this “landscape art under glass” location is one of the largest conservatories in the country.
Also, it happens to be one of our favorite places to photograph people! Our sister brand, Rebecca Marie Photography, specializes in weddings and engagements. Rebecca and our team members adore the lush walkways, cactus room, and constant 75 degree climate! (If you’d like to see more of our work, check out our @teamrebeccamarie Instagram!)
The Chicago Riverwalk during Chicago winter is absolutely breathtaking.
Truth be told, you might need to walk outside to take in the full length of Chicago’s newly expanded Riverwalk. One of our favorite spots along the Chicago Riverwalk is River Roast, a rustic-meets-modern restaurant with warming comfort foods and a perfect view of the new Riverwalk expansion.
There are so many places to stop, duck inside, and enjoy a beautiful view of the river. If if suits your fancy, you can grab a warming cocktail or glass of wine.
Speaking of warming cocktails and wine… you should see the outside of:
Bridgeport Art Center where you can escape the cold inside of a cozy globe!
During colder months, this destination will actually construct outdoor warming globes you can sit inside of while enjoying your old fashioned. Truly, the definition of cozy!
And, on the 3rd Friday of the month, Bridgeport Art Center hosts open studios, where you can walk through artists’ studios who have residence in their space.
Chicago Architectural Boat Tour is one of the top-rated things to do during Chicago winter!
On these year-round tours, a knowledgeable guide will describe the history of various buildings in Chicago as you pass them on a double-decker river boat. Don’t worry – you don’t have to sit on the chilly top deck! The lower level interior has cushy seats where you can still see out the window and listen to your guide while sipping a hot drink from the bar.
We hope you check out The White Dress Society full gallery to see even more from their retreat in Chicago!
The Chicago Music Scene will lift your spirits!
One of our favorite classic Chicago venues is House of Blues! This incredible space hosts numerous musicians each week, and has tiers of seating areas where you can pitch up to see the performance. We photographed the Jordan Kahn Orchestra launch party at House of Blues, and they rocked the house.
Be sure to check out this Fortune article, featuring Jordan Kahn AND our photography from the House of Blues!
If you want to learn more about Jordan Kahn, here’s his rockstar website!
And last, but definitely not least,
Chicago Museums are a great way to experience art and culture in Chicago.
There are so many options here depending on what fascinates your intellect. Everything from The Field Museum (check out Fifth Third’s event among Maximo’s skeleton!], The Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Science and Industry, The Adler Planetarium… each of these institutions contains an archive to satisfy your curiosity.
To wrap up…
Chicago in the winter might not sound ideal, but there are definitely ways to keep your conference attendees and yourself engaged AND warm! We love the new ideas we see amazing planners come up with. Send us an email! We’d be happy to connect you with our favorite DMC and planning teams here to make sure your next event is amazing no matter the weather!
In the meantime, we might just be at London House (you should see our Case Study from The Knot Workshop!) sipping a warming winter cocktail ourselves… Cheers!