Chicago traditions that are worth a revisit this winter

While there are always new and trendy options for your crew in Chicago, city classics can be an awesome fit for the whole family. Here are tried-and-true options in the Second (to none) City. 

Get down with deep dish

Let’s start with important matters: Ooey gooey cheesy goodness. I have tried pizzas around the globe, and I can assure you that nowhere does pies quite as indulgently well as Chicago. While a diplomatic few people root for both baseball teams and call themselves Chicago fans, I am a Chicago fan when it comes to deep dish. The big names like Edwardo’s, Giordano’s and Lou Malnati’s make my mouth water just bloggin’ about them. 

The chilly winter season is the ideal time to revisit this iconic Chicago treat, so I’d like to put a lesser-known name on your deep dish radar: Gulliver’s. This neighborhood spot in my part of town, Rogers Park, has been whipping up pies since 1965, so they’ve had plenty of time to perfect the art of deep dish. I recently picked up an incredible pizza and savored it near a toasty fireplace. It made for a cozy and delicious wintery evening! If you find yourself in Oakbrook Terrace or Glenview, you could pick up a high-quality pie at a suburban Gulliver’s location, too. 

Get your art fix in 

Just about every year I make it down to the Art Institute for one reason or another and it never disappoints! Maybe it’s the stoic lion statues and the airy Modern Wing that I love? Or the Thorne Miniature Rooms — 68 tiny Thorne interiors that span the 13th century to the 1930s — that keep drawing me back? (They will fill your kids with wonder!)

There are also so many incredible art-gazing options from Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” to Mary Cassatt’s “The Child’s Bath.” Seeing famous works of art right in my hometown that most people can only get a glimpse of in an art book never gets old. 

During your visit, if you can sneak away from your little cuties for grown up time, the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries could be ideal for much needed quiet. The unique space is serene and inspiring at the same time. Another route for grown up enjoyment can be found at Terzo Piano, the restaurant located in the Modern Wing. Adults will appreciate the sophisticated feel and food from Chef Tony Mantuano, who has led Spiaggia (another Chicago classic that I love) for years. Terzo Piano’s bright, minimalist space beckons parents to savor out-of-this-world pasta, sip vino and NOT talk about the kiddos for a change. 

Get sporty at hockey or basketball game

My husband Walter is crazy about all things Chicago sports and his excitement when I join him for a game is contagious. We have made it out for plenty of Bulls and Blackhawks games over the years, and always have a great time. We are looking forward to getting our toddler Isaiah in on the winter sports fun! If a Bulls game is on your to-do list too, be sure to check out this post with all of the deets you need to make the most of a family game. 

Whether you opt for good ol’ deep dish or peek into the mini worlds of the Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute, Chi-town has plenty of classic options that deserve a revisit this winter. 

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