Winter is one of the most beautiful times of the year in Chicago. The “Windy City” embraces the season by offering a plethora of activities to enjoy.
Chicago’s neighborhoods are known for its fascinating architecture, entertainment, endless staple food options, and much, much more. While this post will only scratch the surface of fun things to do in the city, we want to provide a starting point for some fun winter activities in Chicago.
Now, the risk of accidents increases substantially during the cold season. Roads, sidewalks, and public areas are slick and areas tend to be more crowded. It’s important to understand there are laws in place to protect you if an injury happens during a fun outing – and you shouldn’t have to feel worried when you explore America’s 3rd largest city.
Here are some of our favorite Chicago winter activities.
Ice skating is arguably the most iconic of the winter activities in Chicago. Gliding around under the bright holiday lights and the skyscrapers is a must for every Chicagoan and tourist in the area – even if you’ve never ice skated before.
Now, there are plenty of Chicago ice skating rinks to check out around the city. Some of the main ones include:
Millennium Park is one of the most famous spots in the city. The McCormick Tribute Ice Rink is nestled under the famous skyline and provides a fantastic view of Michigan Avenue – and of course, The Bean. The rink is open from November to March and there is no admission fee. However, you’ll need to rent skates if you don’t have your own.
Keep in mind, ice skating in Millennium Park is one of the most popular winter activities in Chicago – meaning you’ll need to prepare for long lines. But it’s worth the wait!
Grant Park is not your typical ice skating rink experience – it’s not a rink at all. Ice skating in Grant Park is done through a path of snow-covered pine trees, lights, and winter landscape. If you’re up for a challenge, definitely check out the Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon.
Hyde Park was the location of the 1893 World’s Fair. Today, the park is home to the Midway Plaisance Ice Skating Rink. In addition to open skating, you might be able to catch a pickup hockey game.
The Sky Rink
The Sky Rink at the Peninsula Chicago is located on top of a hotel overlooking Michigan Avenue. This is one of the best places to admire the city away from all the hustle and bustle. This is one of the few rinks that is not free. Adults are $20 and kids are $10. The fees include ice skates – and the proceeds go to several children’s charities.
During the wintertime, Wrigley Square is transformed into Winterland at Gallagher Way. This park is home to some of the best Christmas events in the City – namely the famous Christkindlmarket.
Visit a Legitimate Christmas Market
Visiting a European-inspired Christkindlemarket is one of the best winter activities in Chicago around the holidays. The market features a myriad of vendors where you can buy gifts, food, hot drinks, and more with the city’s skyscrapers as the backdrop.
There are two Christkindlmarkets in Chicago: Daley Square (closes on Christmas Eve) and Wrigleyville (closes on New Year’s Eve). If you’ve never been to a Christkindlmarket, it’s one of the best places to visit in Chicago in winter.
Check Out a Famous Indoor Garden
The Lincoln Park Conservatory is a free indoor botanic garden with several rooms dedicated to exotic plants. It is one of the oldest public gardens in the city – originally planted in the 1890s. The conservatory is always green and lush, making it one of the best Chicago winter activities to avoid the cold.
Sledding and/or Snowshoeing
Although the Midwest doesn’t have much in the way of ski slopes or mountains, there are plenty of winter activities in Chicago to enjoy the outdoors. The park surrounding Soldier Field (home of the Chicago Bears) has a sledding hill that spans over 200 feet with panoramic views of the city.
For snowshoeing, you can visit Northerly Island – which is a man-made peninsula located east of Soldier Field on Lake Michigan. There are a plethora of winding trails with views of Chicago’s skyline to enjoy.
Admire the City from 1,300 Feet
The Willis Tower – formerly known as the Sears Tower – was once the tallest building in the world (until 1998). The building stands 110 stories tall and features a Skydeck that provides views of Chicago and Lake Michigan. If heights don’t bother you, there is a section with a glass floor where you can look down 1,300 feet.
Of all the indoor winter activities in Chicago, this is arguably the best one.
What Happens if You Get Injured in Chicago?
Chicago winters bring an added risk of injuries – whether you’re a driver or a pedestrian. Illinois ranks as the 19th most dangerous state to drive during winter. Virtually every surface in the city is icy or slick after a snowstorm.
If you are visiting the densely populated city for some Chicago winter activities, it’s important to understand the heightened risks of:
- Pedestrian accidents
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
Whether you are enjoying one of the many indoor or outdoor winter activities in Chicago, the city or establishment is obligated to keep people safe. If an accident causes an injury during a fun outing, you may be eligible to recover financial compensation with the help of a Chicago injury lawyer.
What Winter Storm Accidents Warrant a Personal Injury Claim Under Chicago Accident Law?
There are many, many types of winter storm accidents that can lead to a personal injury claim.
For one, slip and fall accidents in winter are extremely common in Chicago. Let’s say you are visiting a museum or public establishment. The owner is obligated to provide reasonable care and safety to patrons.
In the Chicago winter, there will likely be snow and water tracked in high-traffic areas and on stairs after a storm. This duty of care would be to ensure surfaces do not pose a hazard. If you were to slip and fall in an area that was not properly cleared of snow and water – or did not have a sign indicating a hazard –you may be able to file a claim with a personal injury law firm in Chicago.
You would need to prove:
- The property owner had a duty of care.
- They breached that duty of care
- This breach of care was the cause of the injury
- There were legitimate damages suffered from the injury (medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.)
To provide another example, say you slid on an icy road and got into a car accident. Cities are required to clear snow and fix road hazards to prevent accidents. If this duty was not adequately provided, the city may be held liable for any injuries or property damages suffered.
Winter activities in Chicago pose plenty of risks – but it’s important to realize there are laws in place to protect you if you get injured.
The risk of injuries shouldn’t deter you from partaking in winter activities in Chicago.
Whether you’re holiday shopping, checking out some of the city’s attractions, or simply going about your day, you have rights if you suffer an injury due to another party’s negligence.
Midwest Injury Lawyers – one of the premier injury law firms in Chicago – is located in the heart of the city. If you’ve suffered an injury – or are worried about a potential accident – our local attorneys are here to answer any questions or concerns you might have about personal injury law in Illinois. Give us a call at 312-786-5881, send an email to email@example.com, or fill out an online form.