The short days and cold weather of winter can easily force us to stay inside all the time. While it can be tempting to just curl up on the couch under a nice warm blanket for the entirety of winter, it is important to get out every now and then. There are many activities to choose from in the Chicagoland area, so pick one of these (or find your own!) and leave the house for a few hours this weekend.
1. Plainfield Restaurant Week
As it says on their website, “Foodies Rejoice!” For one week in January locals and visitors alike get a chance to either try a new restaurant in Plainfield or get a great deal at your favorite local spot. Check out their website for more details and for a list of participating restaurants. Give your stove and your wallet a break, or use this as an opportunity for a nice date night with your sweetheart.
2. Naperville Christkindlmarket
What started as a German tradition is now a Chicagoland holiday institution. Now with multiple locations, one just down the road in Naperville!, the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas can be filled with delicious German food and drink, diverse holiday entertainment, and unique shopping opportunities. There are never entrance fees at any Christkindlmarket location, so bundle up and stop by!
3. Forest Preserve District
A forest preserve may not be your first idea when thinking about places to go this winter, but the Forest Preserve District of Will County has tons of events to enjoy nature year round. A full calendar of events can be found on their website, from stories in the snow to volunteer work days and eagle watches, there’s fun for the whole family. Don’t wait until spring to enjoy the beautiful Illinois wildlife! Bundle up and head over to Forest Preserve District today.
4. Brookfield Zoo
Did you know the Brookfield Zoo is one of the largest zoos per square mile in the country? That alone convince you to bundle up and take the short drive to Brookfield, the added activities this time of year offer even more reason to make a day or evening of it. Through the end of December, Brookfield Zoo lights up in a spectacular display of Holiday Magic with over one million LED lights to walk through and admire. You can also try your hand at skating on the Chicago Wolves Skating Rink that uses a synthetic plastic rather than ice, so no water or electricity is required for operation.
5. Aurora Festival of Lights
If walking tours aren’t for you, or if you don’t want to drive to Brookfield, head down the road to Aurora and their annual Festival of Lights. Billed as one of the largest drive-through holiday light displays in Northern Illinois, you can enjoy over a mile of winding winter wonder – all from the comfort of your warm vehicle! The festival is free, but they do accept donations to benefit local charities.