New ways to enjoy winter in Chicago


Carpe Diem. Seize the day. Make hay while the sun shines. This is the unofficial motto of Chicago families. From the first warm day of spring to the last glorious day of Indian summer, we practically live at our outdoor institutions. It is as if we are trying to pack a whole year's worth of visits into four months. But is that really necessary?

Why can't you take your kids to the zoo or the Botanic Garden or Millennium Park during winter? In fact, you can.

There is a particular charm to visiting a beloved outdoor spot in the cold weather months. Without the crowds and in the thin, gray February light, familiar outdoor landmarks-many of which have at least some indoor component-reveal a new side.

Emily Paster is an attorney and freelance writer who blogs at She lives with her husband and two kids in River Forest.


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