5 Ways to Explore Chicago While Staying Warm

Chicago has a lot to offer locals and tourists alike during the winter season. Some people take advantage of outdoor activities like ice skating and sledding, while others prefer staying indoors and escaping the chilly temps at all costs. No matter the weather, you’ll find there are lots of ways to enjoy Chicago!

Below we have some fun ways for you to keep warm with friends and family during the biting Chicago winter:

1) 875 North Michigan Avenue

Address: 875 North Michigan Avenue

Formerly known as the John Hancock Center, this 100-story skyscraper is located in the Magnificent Mile district, right next to Lake Michigan. Take the elevator up to the 360 Chicago Observation Deck for a spectacular view of the city, or better yet, make lunch reservations at the Signature Room for an unforgettable experience. If you want to see Chicago at night, the Signature Lounge is the perfect place for a sunset view, some signature cocktails, and small bites.

2) Chicago Athletic Association Hotel

Address: 12 South Michigan Ave

Across from Millennium Park is the Chicago Athletic Association. This gorgeous 1893 building is so much more than a Hotel. Take the elevator up to the 13th floor and visit Cindy’s, voted one of the best rooftop bars in Chicago by Conde Nast in 2017. Although the rooftop isn’t open in the winter, the open concept and large windows still provide a beautiful view of Millennium Park. Comfort food, an awesome wine list, and creative libations are all features of Cindy’s. Inside the building, you’ll also find a game room, coffee shop, and the Milk Room. Once a speakeasy used by members during Prohibition, Milk Room’s hidden eight-seat microbar perfects a spirit-forward cocktail menu crafted from only the rarest vintage spirits and elixirs—including a vast selection of well-curated whiskeys. A rare treat!

3) AIRE Ancient Baths

Address: 800 West Superior St.

As soon as you walk through the doors of AIRE, you’ll feel like you’re entering a secret oasis tucked away in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Chicago. Inspired by the tradition of baths from ancient Roman, Greek and Ottoman civilizations, the AIRE Experience is dedicated to the relaxation of the body and mind by taking water as the main element and creating an atmosphere of pure magic and sophistication around it. This unique spa experience is complemented by stunning indoor pools of various sizes, temperatures, and minerals, a careful selection of massages, and exclusive rituals. It is the perfect respite from Chicago’s harsh winters.

4)Shedd Aquarium

Address: 1601 North Clark Street

The Shedd Aquarium is home to more than 32,500 creatures from aquatic habitats around the world and offers a full day of indoor fun for you and your family! Whether it’s the fresh, cool Great Lakes or warm waves of the Caribbean, Shedd’s many exhibits reveal the secrets of our planet’s waters. While you’re here, you can expect to come eye-to-eye with bluegills and belugas, stingrays and sturgeons, sea stars and sea otters, and so many more animals. Beyond connecting you with the living world, Shedd is also deeply committed to animal conservation, education, research, and care.

5) Pinstripes

Address: 435 East Illinois Street

Located on the Chicago River in the historic River East Arts Center, Pinstripes offers a modern take on rustic dining and upscale bowling with some of the best views in the city. Stay warm with family and friends by playing a round of bocce, enjoying a glass of wine, or indulge in one of their signature plates of pasta. We recommend making reservations since it can get busy after work hours on weekdays and on weekends.

Have you tried any of these activities or have any additional recommendations on how to explore Chicago while staying warm? Let us know in the comments below!

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Shedd Aquarium Skyline View