As any Chicagoan can attest, the Windy City is an easy city to love in the summer months, but a hard one to live in when winter rolls around. Sure, it’s no Antarctica or Siberia, but it gets cold in the city, with temperatures frequently in the 20’s and low 30’s. Even days in the teens and below aren’t uncommon, thanks to a fierce wind that can make it feel several degrees colder than it really is outside. So it’s no surprise that the winter months are low season for tourists in Chicago.
January in Chicago is typically one of the coldest months, but it’s also one of the best times to snag a great deal to visit the city. In February, many people come in from the surrounding Midwest to celebrate Valentine’s Day in style. And in March, St. Patrick’s Day festivities bring in thousands of people. Without an special celebration or holidays to commemorate, January sees a big slump in the number of tourists. The good news for those that do come during this time is that hotels and other tour companies are trying to woo visitors and are willing to offer significant discounts in order to do so. A cheap ticket to Chicago can be pretty easy to come by as well, which makes this a great budget destination.
Not convinced you want to brave the cold to save a few bucks? Here’s more to consider. Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean that the city shuts down. In fact, maybe as a morale-booster during the dreary winter, the city offers lots of free things to do in the winter, especially in January. There’s free ice-skating at Millennium Park, free winter festivals, and plenty of free days at Chicago museums; the Art Institute is even free all January! There are so many indoor things to do in Chicago that you could spend nearly a whole weekend indoors and not run out of things to do. And if you stay in a Chicago hotel on the Magnificent Mile or in the Loop, you can step outside and be close to many major attractions in just a few minutes, spending minimal time in the cold winter air.
Photo by Erick )