Winter in the Midwest is one of the most magical times of year. Enjoying the quintessential winter weather with grandchildren and other loved ones can mark many memories. Whether you’re making the most of those bluebird days outdoors or cozying up inside with a warm mug of hot cocoa, there is plenty to explore in and around the Chicago area.
Outdoor Winter Activities Near Chicago
Beyond building snowmen, making snow angels and engaging in a snowball fight, there are many outdoor activities that are perfect to enjoy with grandchildren in the Chicago area.
Downers Grove Park District Winter Recreation
The Downers Grove Park District offers a bevy of winter activities to enjoy. From the best sledding hills to ice skating, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, here you can explore all that Illinois’ nature has to offer with your loved ones.
Lincoln Park Zoo
Chicago’s free zoo is a treat to visit year-round, but during the winter months you can catch cold-weather animals making the most of their favorite climate. You and your grandchildren will love seeing the polar bears, penguins and snow monkeys frolic. When your noses start to get a little too chilly, you can head inside the animal houses to see year-round zoo favorites like gorillas.
There are an abundant number of sledding hills in and around the city that are perfect for enjoying when the snow is fluffy and deep. Try the hills at Old School Preserve, the Dan Ryan Woods or Villa Oliva. All you need is a couple of good inner tubes and a sense of adventure!
Indoor Winter Activities Near Chicago
Chicago Children’s Museum
The Chicago Children’s Museum is a city treasure that families here have enjoyed since 1982. Situated near Navy Pier, the museum is designed to foster experimentation, imagination and creativity. The dinosaur displays are always a hit, but there’s plenty to climb, crawl, slide and jump around in, too. The interactive Cloud Buster features 37 climbable feet of structural steel, wire, rope, fiberglass and artificial turf that visitors can explore.
Garfield Park Conservatory
When the lack of greenery gets to be a little too much, head to one of the largest conservatories in the nation in nearby Chicago. The Garfield Park Conservatory features over 12 acres of lush indoor and outdoor gardens, making it the 3rd largest garden under glass in the world. Enjoy walking through over 2 acres of greenhouse space and get your fill of spring and summer even in the depths of winter.
Find the Best Hot Chocolate
There’s much more to this classic winter drink than pouring a packet of powder into a mug. Nowadays you can find extravagant versions and unique flavor twists on hot chocolate in just about any combination you can dream up. Make a day of checking off the best hot chocolate spots in Chicago to find your favorite this winter.
More to Explore This Winter at Oak Trace
Regardless of your winter plans, there is plenty to explore at Oak Trace. Our residents enjoy the freedom of independent living with all the ease and convenience of our exceptional amenities and stylish service. From tasty dining experiences to arts and crafts classes, special outings, seasonal events and more, our community provides everything you need for an emotionally fulfilling Illinois winter – outdoors and in. Contact us to schedule a tour today.