Brrrrrrrr. It happens every year. The weather takes a turn and we feel—cough, cough—awful. But there’s no reason to stay cooped up in misery, hiding away from the world all winter. You can find fun things to do even on the bitterest afternoons. Here are a few of our favorite places to go and things to do to pass the time when it’s freezing and snowing in Chicago.
The Luftwerk exhibit at Garfield Park Conservatory. Forget about the cold and surround yourself with color and warmth at the conservatory.
Board game bars. Everybody wins when you're playing Scrabble at your favorite bar.
Chicago’s best spas. Head to River North and take advantage of the monthly free Wednesday lunchtime meditation at Allyu, or check availability at one of the city's other best spas for a therapeutic massage.
Bars with Wi-Fi. Bring your own snacks and hang out at Beermiscuous on a chilly day. A few tasters, flights or full pours of beers will make you feel all warm and fuzzy, and you'll still have access to Wi-Fi if you just have to get work (or Facebook browsing) done.
Places with plenty of opportunity to people-watch. Tons of spots in neighborhoods across the city, like Links Taproom in Wicker Park or Beatrix in River North, are prime people-watching locations. Better yet, you can't go wrong whiling away the hours at Soho House, or really anywhere in the West Loop.
Chicago’s best movie theaters. There's no better escape from the cold than surround-sound and popcorn.
Bars with fireplaces. You'll actually be glad it's snowing when you're relaxing on a cozy couch in The Drawing Room. If that's not enough, bars all over Chicago are making some pretty serious hot toddies and other great hot cocktails these days.
The Harold Washington Library. Forget about the weather and browse nine floors of books in the Loop. The new Chinatown Library is another great getaway (it even offers tai chi classes if you're feeling ambitious).
Chicago's best coffee shops. Curl up in a corner with a good book and wrap your hands around a hot cup of Joe.
Chicago Cultural Center. Take in the beauty of the cultural center or check out some free music or countless other events. The great thing? You can get in from the cold and reach this landmark building using the Pedway.
The Stony Island Arts Bank. Spend a little time checking out the South Side's new venue for contemporary art and special events.