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News / City Life

10 things to do in (or out of) the snow this weekend in Chicago

Region 4_Caldwell Woods_Snow
Photograph: Courtesy of the Forest Preserves of Cook County Families try out the sledding hill at Caldwell Woods in the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

If the Right Honourable Tom Skilling and company can be trusted, Chicago can expect its first snow of the season to start accumulating this evening. It's not even Thanksgiving yet! But if we must break out our winter boots this early, let's try to make the best of it. Or you can do your best to stay out of it entirely.

How to embrace the snow

Visit Christkindlmarket: The quaint annual market in Daley Plaza opened today. The city's official Christmas tree may have moved east to Millennium Park, but that just means more room for ornament shopping and drinking glühwein out of the newly-returned boot.

Go ice skating at Parson's: Glide through Logan Square as Parson's Chicken & Fish turns its patio into a skating rink for the second consecutive year, starting Saturday.

Take in the Mag Mile Lights Festival: See Michigan Avenue get lit up by twinkling bulbs and fireworks alike, made all the more magical by Saturday's gently falling (in our imagination, at least) snowflakes.

See the trees blanketed in white and light: The Morton Arboretum turns on its own lights fest, Illumination, this weekend.

Indulge in quiet, wintry contemplation: Walk along Promontory Point or another similarly advantageous viewing area, staring at the city skyline while drinking coffee or cider and reflecting on your life.

How to avoid the snow

Kickstart your holiday shopping inside: Call up an Uber to Architectural Artifacts to browse one of the season's earliest indoor holiday markets, Show of Hands Chicago, or shop unique pieces made by students at the School of the Art Institute at the SAIC Holiday Art Sale.

Get lost in a cocktail or two (or 100): There's no better response to this kind of early inclement weather than liquor. Maybe now's your time to sample a dozen or so drinks off Lost Lake's whisper menu? Or watch the snow fall from a cozy bar with big windows, like Scofflaw, Johnny's Grill or Fountainhead.

Warm up with some ramen: Slurp up some noodles and broth at one of the city's best restaurants for ramen.

Curl up with a good book: Find a new literary favorite at Saturday's Chicago Book Expo or browse through one of Chicago's best independent bookstores

Bake to your heart's content: What better time to indulge in making pecan pie from scratch than when the weather outside is frightful?