The other week my friend Liz had a day off of work. So like anyone in the midwest who has a free day, we hopped the train down to Chicago for an adventure! We were there for about 6 hours yet seemed to tackle everything we wanted to do.
It was an AMAZING ‘winter’ day. Cool enough to feel like winter but not enough to stop us from our adventures.
Our first stop? Christkindlemarket. An outdoor german Christmas market. Think everything you ever dream about for Christmas: hot cider and cocoa, handmade ANYTHING (from wood and glass ornaments to soap and candles to toys).
You can find a beautiful gift for pretty much anyone (disclaimer I pretty much only bought stuff for myself so be careful 🙂 )
Then, they also have delicious food, entertainment from local schools or programs, and just a really awesome and community based atmosphere. We went at an ‘awkward’ time so it wasn’t super busy, but if you plan to go on a weekend, prepare to meet a lot of crowds.
Our second stop: Millennium Park.
If you have never been to Millennium Park it is a MUST SEE PLACE. It is a huge park with amphitheater, ice skating, a huge metal bean (I kid you not, scroll down for a picture), and so many other things. There are museums close by and there is always something going on in the park.
In fact there is a new addition to the park which has an ice skating loop (as opposed to a rink) where you actually follow the track. There is an adorable outdoor cafe on the route or which can be reached by walking on a trail. In the middle of the loop is rock climbing walls (obviously meant for summer). It seems they are continuing to develop this area. It was dark when we were exploring but it looked like there was also a mini golf course opening!
There is so much fun to be had at Millennium Park and honestly, you could spend hours there exploring.
At this point you will probably be hungry and there are a couple of VERY Chicago stops you need to make. And I am not talking the types of places that tourists hit because they think they are the ‘true Chicago.’ These are places that capture the true spirit of Chicago.
- Garretts Popcorn. You will regularly find lines going right out of their storefronts and clogging the sidewalk. This place is popular for tourists and native Chicagoans alike. Trust me, it is worth the wait.
- Lou Malnati’s pizza. This is the best deep dish I have had in Chicago. Giordanos is another amazing pizzeria. Chicago is known for its deep dish pizza so don’t pass up the opportunity to get some genuine deep dish while you are there.
Ok, so now you have shopped till you dropped, did a little work out ice skating or exploring Millennium Park, and have eaten delicious pizza. Now, it is time to go home and enjoy the fruits of your awesome day!
Checking out any other cool cities? Check out my other travel posts!