by Cecilia Karl
When the temperature dips and the winds threaten to carry you across town, there are two options for surviving a Midwest winter: You can either hunker down at home and stay put till spring, or you can embrace the fourth season and revel in its frosty chill. Wondering what to do in the great outdoors this time of year? We have a few ideas.

Get Out Your Broom
Bundle up and get your blood pumping this winter by taking to a city hockey rink for a season of broomball. A couple of brooms, a ball, two goals, and a dose of good sportsmanship are all you need to enjoy this celebrated wintertime sport. Gather a few pals and form a coed team with Chicago Sport and Social Club.
Head for the Slopes
When you don’t have a weekend to spare to drive up to Wisconsin, head for the slopes right here in Illinois. Four Lakes, a ski park situated in Lisle, is just a 40-minute drive from the city—and a hop, skip, and a train ride away from Union Station. A day on the slopes will cost you a mere $25.
Opt for Snowshoes
When the weather’s right and there’s enough snow on the ground—three inches at least to be exact—you can slap down $5 for a day of snowshoeing in the city. Head over to the Northerly Island field house for a snowy trek along the lake with great views of the skyline. Visit the Northerly Island Chicago Park District page for more information.
Circle the Rink
What’s winter in Chicago without a few spins around the ice rink beneath the city skyline at Millennium Park? Layer up in your coziest winter gear for an afternoon in your ice skates with friends or your sweet someone. If the chill takes you over, duck inside the Park Grill and Café to warm up over a cup of hot cocoa.
Savor a Good Sip
If trekking about in the cold is not your thing, sidle up to a window seat at your favorite bar to enjoy the snowfall. We love the cozy interior of the Bucktown bar, Owen & Engine. Pretend like we’re across the pond whilst sipping on a Winter Read cocktail? Don’t mind if we do.