Make the most out of your time in Chicago!

Winter in Chicago can be brutal, but the city is still a fun and vibrant place, even when the weather turns cold and snowy. With so much to do, there is no reason to stay cooped up inside, suffering from cabin fever. Bundle up and head to these Chicago destinations where you can stay warm, have fun, and enjoy the best the city has to offer.

1. The Art Institute of Chicago

If you work downtown, you have probably passed by the Art Institute of Chicago more times than you can count, but when is the last time you actually stopped to check out the permanent exhibits or bought tickets for a special collection? The museum is located just south of Millennium Park and offers a beautiful and warm setting to take in some of the world’s most famous pieces of art.

If you don’t have time to visit during the week, the Institute offers extended hours Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday with a closing time of 8 p.m. You can swing by after work and take in the “Andy Warhol – From A to B and Back Again” or “The Impressionist Pastel” exhibits. There are many other special exhibits that are closing over the next couple months, so be sure to check the schedule and don’t miss any opportunities.

2. The Magic Parlour and Palmer House Hilton

The Magic Parlour is a funny, entertaining, and interactive magic show performed by Dennis Watkins at the Palmer House Hotel. The beautiful backdrop for your evening is a historic and iconic hotel that was built in 1871. It provides the perfect setting for an elegant evening of magic and entertainment that will have you laughing and completely baffled.

Magician Dennis Watkins has been honing his show for over 15 years, and it has enjoyed a successful run in Chicago. The intimate setting is limited to a maximum of 50 guests, which allows Watkins to interact with the audience. Shows are on Friday and Saturday nights and tickets sell out fast, so be sure to book in advance. Also, cocktail attire is encouraged, so leave your blue jeans at home and get dressed up for a fun night on the town.

After the show, spend some time exploring the lobby of the Palmer House Hotel. This grand and impressive space is a destination in its own right. From gold-leafed ceilings and chandeliers to ornate elevator doors that feature peacock sculptures and elaborate clocks and candelabras, there are plenty of details to take in and admire.

3. Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Center

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra hosts a wide variety of musical events that attracts audiences of all ages and musical tastes. You can catch renditions of the classics or grab tickets to see Warner Bros. Presents Bugs Bunny at the Symphony. The winter schedule truly does feature something for everyone, and you will enjoy an entertaining evening in the elegant Symphony Center located right in the heart of the city’s most iconic arts and cultural gems. Make a full night of it by making reservations at the Opus Restaurant and Cafe and experience dinner and a show all in one convenient location.

4. The Drunk Shakespeare Society

For most of us, reading Shakespeare is hard enough. Now try to imagine performing a Shakespearean role after downing five shots of alcohol. That is the premise for this funny and entertaining show that is performed in a hidden speakeasy that is home to over 15,000 books. You can sip your own craft cocktails as you watch a 90-minute show that requires four sober supporting actors to try and keep their tipsy colleague on track. The team of professional actors are sure to put on a good show that will be full of humor and probably a little improvisation. This won’t be your average night at the theater.

5. McCormick Tribune Rink at Millennium Park

Okay, so ice-skating outdoors downtown during winter in Chicago might not be the best way to keep warm, but this is one time it might be worth braving the cold or at least heading out when there is a break in the weather. The rink is free to the public, and you only have to pay for the skate rental if you don’t have your own pair. You can skate while listening to holiday music and taking in the historic architecture along the famed Michigan Avenue.

If skating in circles doesn’t sound all that enjoyable, take a short walk over to the Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon. This winding path takes skaters around a ribbon of ice, past snow-covered pines and some of Millennium Park’s most famous outdoor art installations. When you do start getting a little cold, take a moment to warm up with a hot chocolate or warm apple cider while enjoying this winter in Chicago.

While you are having fun and staying warm this winter, don’t forget to cross some of your regular medical checkups off your to-do list. A visit to the dentist this winter in Chicago can mean more time enjoying the warm weather once spring comes. If you work downtown, search for “a dentist near me” and discover that Barr & Diachenko is a highly rated practice located right in downtown Chicago. We offer maximum convenience and state-of-the-art treatments that have helped make us the premier dentist downtown. You can enjoy all the best Chicago has to offer this winter when it comes to both entertainment and dental services without having to travel far.