Every winter it happens like clockwork. We fall out of love with our gloomy wonderland and long for a hot summerís day: the sun on our shoulders, a crisp beer on our lips, and a cotton dress lapping at our bare knees. They say necessity is the mother of all invention, and with nary a warm day in sight, weíve concocted a plan: six ways to taste the summertime without even packing a suitcase. Add one of these activities to your to-do list and we guarantee the warmth and renewal it brings will tide you over until the first tulip blooms.
Put an Umbrella in it
Hala Kahiki Lounge
2834 River Rd.
River Grove, IL
For a summery taste of the big island, hop in the car and head to Hala Kahiki Lounge in River Grove. Here, surrounded by thatched walls and Tiki carvings, youíll be lulled into an island state of mind. The menu boasts more than 100 tropical drinks, each garnished by a cheerful little umbrella (now, isnít that fancy?). Close your eyes and feel that warm, salt water air before slipping back out into a chilly Chicago night.
Take a Dip
505 N. Michigan Ave.
Michigan Avenueís luxe Intercontinental Hotel is the only in Chicago to welcome non-guests for a dip in its Junior Olympic-sized pool. Fun fact: When the hotel was constructed in 1929, it was home to a running track, bowling alley, and archery range as well. The lavish pool is the only surviving element, giving a historic spin to your swim session. For $25, youíll have access to the indoor, heated pool, as well as the dry sauna and gym. Interested? Stop by the fitness center and purchase your pass in-person.
Soak in the Humid Air
Garfield Park Conservatory
300 North Central Park Ave.
Sprung to life in 1908, the Garfield Park Conservatory has long been a place of beautiful warmth and solace for Chicagoans looking to escape another winter day. The conservatory houses two acres of indoor displays teeming with lush greenery, from towering palm trees to ferns and cacti. For a true taste of summertime, check your heavy winter coat at the gift shop and stroll the rooms fancy-free, breathing in the balmy air.
Get Your Heart Pumping
Chicago Sport & Social Club
Talk about a throwback to your grade school gym class days, Chicago Sport & Social hosts an indoor dodge ball league throughout the winter months. Gather a team of your friends togetheróor tag along with an existing groupóand work up a sweat while you forget about the snow and slush that awaits you post-match. If dodge ball isnít up your alley, the club also organizes leagues for those who love soccer, floor hockey, basketball, and more.
Work up a Sweat
Bikram Yoga Chicago
1344 N. Milwaukee
When winter hits in full force, there isnít a warmer place we can dream up than the Bikram yoga studio. With the thermostat cranked to 105 degrees, the chill outside those foggy windows will seem a world away as you breathe and bend your way to Zen. While there are dozens upon dozens of hot yoga offerings throughout the city, weíre partial to this Wicker Park fixture, loving its bare bones space and approachable instructors. Of course, the fact that itís a quick walk from the Division Blue Line doesnít hurt either.
939 W. North Ave & 12 W. Maple St
Unwind from a stressful week with a trip to Urban Oasis. With two convenient locations, after-work hours, and an affordable menu of offerings, this city spa certainly lives up to its name. We love Urban Oasis for its full spa treatment: slip into a fluffy robe and slippers upon arrival and spend your time flitting from decadent massage to steam shower. For moms-to-be, this spa is one of the few in the city that specializes in prenatal massage. Bonus: Urban Oasis is now offering $25 off your first visit.