Chicago Attractions in the Winter
In early 2018, Chicago was ranked the best city in the world for having fun and enjoying life by the 2018 Time Out City Life Index. It is one of the best cities in the Unites States of America for tourists, especially for those who are on a budget. However, flights to and from Chicago are most expensive during their summer season, so if you are trying to be frugal, seeing the city in the winter is the way to go. Even though the temperature rarely warms up past -1 degrees Celsius. Chicago has plenty of incredible tourist attractions to offer in order to escape the cold.
The Chicago City Pass allows the holder premium access to some of Chicago’s best attractions. Priced at $108 USD the pass cuts the cost of admission by half and gives the holder 9 days to use their tickets. I would highly recommend purchasing the City Pass.
Getting around a new city on a budget can be a challenge. Luckily, Chicago boasts plenty of public transport which is able to take you just about anywhere within the city. The L is a network of trains and serves as Chicago’s main form of public transport. You can access the network by buying a ‘Ventra’ card at one of the stations and you reload this card as you go. The card is also used for Chicago’s bus network too. If you type your destination into Google maps, it will tell you the exact bus and/or train to take!
The Adler Planetarium
The Adler Planetarium is one of the most interactive planetariums in the world. Their interactive exhibits are fun and engaging whilst still educating their visitors. Explore deep space, star constellations and the race to get man to the moon at one of the most beautiful locations in Chicago. Their new theatre boasts the largest screen in Chicago and showcases the universe in 180-degree surround sound. This attraction is also a choice with the City pass.
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There is no beating the aerial view of Chicago from the Sky Deck of the Willis Tower. Fear mixed with excitement is the rush of emotion that comes from stepping out onto the glass that holds you from falling 103 stories below to the busy streets of the city. Capturing the moment, you stepped out over city of Chicago is a picture opportunity not to be missed. There are fun facts about the city scattered around the inside of the building, which eases the wait time. However, if you go in the morning in winter, the wait time is less than 15 mins and if you choose a clear and sunny day so you can four states from the top.
The Shedd Aquarium
The Shedd Aquarium is rated among the best aquariums in the world. With thousands of tanks filled with every colour, shape and sized marine life imaginable, it is easy to get lost in there. The aquarium spans over four floors and admission even includes free entry to the live dolphin show. Seeing these mammals flip and glide through the water is breathtaking and alone the show is definitely worth the visit. Make sure to bring your walking shoes, because you’re guaranteed to be here for hours. Entry is covered under the City Pass.
Home to the most complete prehistoric fossil, ‘Sue’, the Chicago Field Museum is a must see. The museum has something for every taste, including a complete walk through of the history of man and beast, several ancient Egyptian Mummies and an entire floor dedicated to bugs. Majority of the museum is interactive, meaning you won’t be stuck looking and not touching the entire time. The museum cost of covered if you use the City Pass and the Pass automatically adds on some pricy experiences for free!
Ice skating in Millennium park
Ice skating at the McCormick Tribune Rink at Millennium Park is a truly magical experience. Being able to glide along the ice on a chilly winter day, whilst taking in some of the most beautiful architecture the city has to offer is an experience not easily forgotten. Taking to the ice won’t cost you an arm or a leg weather. The only cost is hiring the skates themselves (between 15-20 USD) but skating on the rink itself its free.
Don’t discount going to Chicago in the winter as it is one of the most beautiful (and cheapest) times to see the city! Make sure you utilise the resources available to you and have a great trip!