3 ways to survive and thrive winter in Lake County

As far as Chicago winters go, this has not been the worst. But it’s still winter, which means it’s unpredictable at best, and freeze-your-face-off-cold at it’s worst. Here are three ways to survive and thrive in winter in Lake County.

Gear up

Nothing makes winter more unbearable than being underdressed and cold.

Survive: Head to Northerly Outfitters in Grayslake. They can give you the right gear for any activity, even if all you are doing is trying to stay warm at the bus stop. They carry everything you would expect from a high-end outdoor gear store and provide service with the helpfulness and kindness of a girlfriend shopping with you. Owner, Amy, will suit you up with everything from super warm base layers to coats that can take you on an arctic adventure.

Thrive: Strap on some snowshoes and get a workout while exploring the vast forests of Lake County. Northerly Outfitters rents snowshoes in addition to gearing you up with warm clothes. Or head to Heller Nature Center in Highland Park and explore Wander Woods with the kids. If we get more snow (four inches minimum) you can rent cross country skis.

Stay warm

The key to surviving winter is finding warmth in your favorite way.

Survive: Head to the Vernon Area Public Library District in Lincolnshire and sign the kids up for a class, grab your favorite book and curl up in front of their fireplace in the quiet study area. If you have to stay with the kids, there is everything from iPads and Legos, to a building wall to keep them occupied while you sit in the warm sun and pretend to read a book.

Thrive: Feel like you’re in the tropics without leaving the suburbs at the Chicago Botanic Garden. An hour walking around the greenhouses will remind you what you love about summer!


According to my girls, the only reason to play in the snow is to drink hot chocolate afterward.

Survive: Chocolate is, of course, the answer to survival, always. Last winter Kari gave us a great list of locations to get hot chocolate. I’m more of coffee girl myself, but my kids can’t get enough of Cacao Sweets & Treats in Grayslake, mostly on account of the extra large homemade marshmallow. The shop is just re-opening after a winter break so it’s a perfect weekend to indulge!

Thrive: Put the kids to be early and warm up some glogg from Glunz Family Winery. The wine is from Paso Robles California but the Glunz family is local to Chicagoland and they have a tasting room in Grayslake. The Vin Glogg is a half dry red and half port blended with spices and orange peel. I had never had warmed wine before we tried it this winter and now I am hooked. It’s perfect for those cold date nights in!

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