Winter in Chicago is roughly 19 years long. Having an extremely tiny, extremely susceptible-to-cold kiddo in your home is a total game-changer and can make that season feel even longer. Don’t despair! Here are three surefire ways to endure—and even enjoy!—those days when the weather outside (not to mention your mood) is frightful.
Get a little art therapy
There’s no guarantee that your baby will be the next virtuoso, but there’s also no guarantee that your child isn’t. (That’s one way to pay back all of those organic milk runs!) Either way, classes for the younger set offer the dual benefit of getting you out of the house on days when the sun is late to rise and early to set, and also offering up some mid-winter enrichment for your kiddo’s spongelike brain. Musical Magic (2255 W. Roscoe St.; musicalmagic.net) is a gentle, playful way to introduce the arts in an immersive, caregiver-friendly environment. Have an older kid in tow? Everyone involved will thrill for the new yoga offerings and drop-off Big Kid classes.
Look, sometimes you just have to embrace the fact that the Midwestern tundra isn’t thawing any time soon and learn to roll with it. It’s much easier to do so when your nest or cave is somewhere you actually want to be. Invest in cozier throws and pillows and rearrange floor spaces for your babe’s personal gymnasium. These Land of Nod textured poufs should inspire you to craft the world’s funkiest blanket tent to hide under. Hunker down and actually enjoy these weeks before the fresh air (and social obligations) will guilt you into once again wearing legitimate shoes.
Go to the tropics in your mind
Sometimes the best way to deal with an intensely cold winter is through complete and utter denial. Can’t afford a Tahitian getaway since baby arrived (or, you know, ever)? A pretty convenient runner-up is the beautiful Lincoln Park Conservatory (2391 N. Stockton Drive; chicagoparkdistrict.com) just north of the zoo. Sure, it doesn’t have a pristine beach, but it definitely has the trifecta of zero cost, being decently stroller-friendly and an entire room full of orchids working in its favor. It’s an incredibly pleasant place to spend an hour or two—and warm your bones before the frigid dash back to the car.