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Though many people are skeptical about traveling to Chicago in winter, we assure you that it’s the most magical time to be there. The city is all lit up because of the festive season, and there is a beautiful white dreamy coat of snow, adding a unique charm to the city that you wouldn’t be able to experience if you visit during another time.From the best attractions to the most interesting things to do, Chicago offers it all and the winter season adds magic to the charm of the city. So put all your inhibitions aside, there’s no better place to be at than Chicago in winter, and with our detailed guide to Chicago city, you’ll have all the information you need before you embark on your journey!

Weather In Chicago In Winter

winter temperature in Chicago

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If you’re wondering about the Chicago winter temperature, yes it will be cold. The Chicago weather in winter gets pretty cold, and may sometimes even go into the minus degree, so be prepared for it, and there are very few chances of a winter storm in Chicago. All in all, it’s the perfect weather for some warm beverages, cuddling up with your loved one, and exploring right from the churches to the amazing casinos in Chicago that happens to be the most beautiful city in the USA.

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Why Should You Visit Chicago In The Winter?

Fogg in the air

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A few people may be wondering what’s so special about travelling to Chicago in winter and why you should pick this season to visit, over any other time of the year. We have some of the top reasons why Chicago should you be your next winter vacation destination:

  • It is less crowded in the winters
  • The festive Christmas spirit is surely a sight to see
  • The city is all lit up during December
  • The hotels and airfares are much cheaper during this time since it’s not peak season
  • The beautiful snow-capped city skylines makes for a breathtaking view during Chicago winter travel

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Best Places To Visit In Chicago In Winter

We have gathered a list of all the top places you need to visit in and around Chicago city during your winter vacation:

1. The Art Institute

Art Institute in Chicago

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Not many people might know this, but Chicago is known for its museums and art galleries, and The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the most famous museums in the whole country. If you’re visiting Chicago in winter especially, it’s even better to visit this museum because there will be lesser crowds and you can explore the museum in all its glory.

Location: 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603, USA

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2. Lincoln Park Zoo

lake view

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If you’re traveling with children and are confused about the places to visit in Chicago in winter with kids, then taking them to the zoo is always a good idea. If you find yourself in Chicago during the winter season, you cannot miss out on visiting this zoo as they have their annual light festival, and have light show performances scheduled regularly! This surely is one of the best sights to see on your vacation during winter in Chicago.

Location: 2001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614, USA

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3. Willis Tower

Large Towers

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During the winter season, it’s always nice to find indoor spaces to go to escape the winter breeze, and what better place to visit than the most famous (and tallest) building in Chicago, the Willis Tower that happens to be one of the best places to see in Chicago in winter. You can take a lift to the top floor and have a spectacular view of those beautiful city skylines we mentioned earlier!

Location: 233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606, USA

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4. Garfield Park Conservatory

Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago

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Opened in 1908, the Garfield Park Conservatory is described as the ‘landscape art under glass’. It is not just one of the largest in the world but also flaunts a unique structure. The haystack structure and intricate stonework on the walls make this building unique and interesting. Spread over 1.6 acres of space, the conservatory has about 120,000 plants of 600 different species. The place has various zones displaying vivid categories of plants including the Desert House, the Fern Room, and the Aroid House. Garfield Park Conservatory is open 365 days a year and the entry is free.

Location: 300 N Central Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60624, USA

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5. Maggie Daley Park

Maggie Daley Park in Chicago

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Maggie Daley Park is one of the newest additions to the Chicago Park District. The Park has been built pay tribute to the late first lady of the city. Spread over 20 acres of recreational area, the place includes a 40-foot climbing bridge, a ribbon-shaped skating platform and a very interesting playground. Though the Chicago winter weather may seem a little restrictive for an outdoor sport like skating, this place has already become popular among visitors. This is one of those places in Chicago where you can spend some fun time with your entire family. The entire playground is diveded into different themed zones including Slide Crater, Enchanted Forest and Watering Hole.

Location: 337 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601, USA

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Top Things To Do In Chicago In Winter

We have a list of the three best things for tourists to do in Chicago in winter that deserve a place on your USA itinerary during your visit:

1. The Chicago Winterfest

Christmas tree

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One of the most exciting and fun things to do in Chicago in winter, for both tourists and locals, is attending the annual Winterfest in Chicago. A completely entertaining indoor festival that promises some exciting fun activities for the entire family, like shows, arcade games, and an indoor ice skating rink. There are also many food stalls where you can relish some delicious Chicago food. So do not miss this one of the most amazing winter festivals in Chicago.

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2. Chicago Bulls Game


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The Chicago winter travel guide is incomplete without this one on the list. Want to get a real taste of Chicago? Then you must absolutely make sure you attend one of their baseball games as it is one of the best indoor winter activities in Chicago for your vacation. It’s amazing to see the locals gather to cheer their favorite teams, not minding the cold climate. Make sure to get the signature Chicago Bulls winter jacket to show your support for the team, and cheer on with the rest of the fans at the bleachers! Even if you are not a fan of baseball, just the excitement and energy of the game are guaranteed to make you have a great time.

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3. Film Locations


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Are you filmy at heart? This one of the most unique things to do in Chicago in Winter. Some of your favorite films have been shot here, and one of the best Chicago winter activities is to visit places where the famous stars once stood and filmed. Some of the most iconic shooting locations in Chicago are:

  • Chicago Union Station – My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Untouchables
  • Jeweler’s Building – Transformers
  • Old Chicago Main Post Office – The Dark Knight

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What To Pack For Chicago In The Winter?


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  • Essential Chicago winter clothes – sweaters, winter coat, some thermal wear, plenty of gloves and scarves, and even a winter cap.
  • Footwear – warm winter boots
  • Carry all your IDs with you at all times
  • Always make sure to have cash on you wherever you go and not rely on credit and debit cards.

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Winter is surely an exciting time, and now that you’re aware of how much fun visiting Chicago in winter will be, there’s no other place to plan your great winter vacation! Let us help you plan the most perfect winter vacation in the US!

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Please Note: Any information published by TravelTriangle in any form of content is not intended to be a substitute for any kind of medical advice, and one must not take any action before consulting a professional medical expert of their own choice.

Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Chicago In Winter

What is the best time to visit Chicago?

The best time to visit Chicago is either during the summer or winter months

Which are the most celebrated festivals in Chicago during the winter season?

The main festivals that are celebrated in Chicago during the winter season are Christman, New Year, Thanksgiving, and Hanukkah.

What should you wear in Chicago in the winter?

You should wear warm clothes in Chicago in the winter.

Which is the best place to visit in Chicago during winters?

When it comes to the best place to visit in Chicago, it has got to be the Millennium Park during the winter. Get to enjoy ice skating at the McCormick Tribune Rink that happens to be the special attraction of the season.

What is the one experience that one should not miss when in Chicago?

Witnessing the extraordinary game of Chicago Bulls is the one experience that one should not miss when in Chicago.

Which is the coldest month in Chicago?

January happens to be the coldest month in Chicago.

Is Chicago colder than Boston?

While it is true that Chicago is way colder than the winters in Boston, the latter too is pretty famous for its snowstorms.

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Category: USA, Winter Travel

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