5 Tips for Enjoying Chicago as a Winter Wonderland

By January 27, 2016Outreach and Events

It’s officially winter in Chicago, people, and we all know what that means – snow, slush, slain (snow/ rain), clouds, and the occasional bit of sunshine. It can be difficult to roust oneself out of bed during this never-ending tunnel of excruciating wind and early twilights. Unfortunately, life does not idle until springtime, so we all must find a way to make it to our classes and Writing Center appointments. The following tips could be considered a Tutor’s Guide to Surviving Winter Hibernation. Whether you’re glued to your TV for a Netflix marathon or procrastinating on a  reading response, these tips will help you explore the frozen Chicago tundra or just give you a reason to leave the house .

  1. Hot chocolate tastes better in the winter.


Image courtesy of Google images

This is a proven, scientific fact. Even the dwindling 50 degree weather of the fall does not readjust the magic molecular structure of hot chocolate in quite the same way that a blustery January evening does. Take a friend or lover out for some hot chocolate and enjoy the consequential hand warming effect of the creamy goodness.

2. The Art Institute is free for DePaul students.

If you happen to live on the North Side within walking distance of the Red Line, or close to any number of train lines that run through the loop, a trip to the Art Institute is quick (i.e. you won’t have to trek through the winter terrain for too long). And now, a trip to the Art Institute is also free for DePaul students. Art museums happen to be sone of my favorite places because they are chock full of thoughtful silence. Not to mention, the Art Institute houses some renown works from Picasso and other post-modernists, as well as galleries of the classics. A little bit for every taste!

3. The Alder Planetarium is free to Illinois residents during January.

In the same vein as tip number two, the Planetarium is free for Illinois natives during January! Hurry on over to watch some ethereal star goodness in the beautiful dome theater that happens to be one of the main attractions. Plus, with the extra dough you save on your free admission, you can use tip number one to bring some hot chocolate with you on the way to the transcendent dome. They also host a variety of events, like Yoga under the Stars (!!), but those do require some monetary contributions.

4. Snowball fights in the quad.

snowball 2

Image courtesy of this lovely blog post

There are very few times in the years of budding adulthood when one gets to return to the unabashed bliss of youthful joy. My freshman year was a winter season full of single digit temperatures and powdery white dandruff from the sky. One of my favorite memories of that winter (apart from the extensive amount of money I spent on Grubhub with my roommate to acquire food far superior to that of Sizzle or Melt) was a happenstance snowball fight and snowman building competition. The physical nature of the activity allowed us all to release the tension and stress of winter quarter in a whimsical and unexpected way. Starting up a snowball fight with your friends, wherever you are, can be a fun and impromptu way to beat the winter blahs.

5. Ridin’ solo to the cinema.

One of my screenwriting professors freshman year gave us a weekly assignment to “take yourself on a date.” He suggested a movie date with the good ole me, myself, and I, or going to see a theater performance/ concert. After braving the movie theater by myself for the first time that quarter, it is now one of my favorite “me” pastimes. You don’t have to worry about pity looks because the movie-going experience takes place in  the dark and discourages audible conversation. AND YOU GET TO EAT ALL THE POPCORN. I mean, that’s the dream right? If you happen to be interested in checking out some indie film bliss, I would personally suggest the Landmark Century Cinema off the Halsted/Diversey/ Clark intersection. The Music Box Theater also plays some gems that are not widely released. Finally, for those DePaul students hanging out in Logan Square, The Logan Theatre has a Late Night at the Logan events where they screen old films for a discounted price! And there’s a bar with a great selection of beers on tap, if you’re so inclined.

Now that you’ve got these tips in mind, how do you plan to pass the winter? Less time inside glued to Netflix and more time enjoying the winter offerings Chicago has on hand, I hope. What tips would you add to this list? How do you keep yourself motivated and active during the dreary winter months? Tell us in the comments below!

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Karina S. says:

    !!! Didn’t know about the Adler Planetarium being free in Jan – I also had no idea the Art Institute was free for DePaul students. Legitimately probably going tomorrow. Thank you!