A Chicago Winter Survival Guide

A Chicago Winter Survival Guide

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I’m on my way back from a two-week-long trip to Hawaii. It was wonderful. I love the sun. I love warmth. Alas, I must now leave this wonderland of warmth and travel back to Chicago.

Being a native of California myself, the winters have always been a little difficult for me, but I have found ways to make winter tolerable, even enjoyable.

1. Dressing warm is about layering. Buy some thermals, snow boots, thick wool socks, and a Beanie or other warm hat. I also have an obnoxiously large winter jacket. Don’t worry about looking funny—we all kind of do. Solidarity.

2. Time your CTA route so you are not standing in the cold for too long. If you have a smart phone, consider downloading an app like bustracker, which will let you know when your bus or train is coming, so your not waiting outside for a half hour.

3. If you’re like me, the lack of sun can really effect your mood. I recommend taking lots of vitamin D and B complex. I’d just recommend taking vitamins in general. You might also consider purchasing a full spectrum light for your apartment.

4. Embrace the cold!  Have fun with it. Make a snow man. Have a snowball fight. Join the polar club and go for a dip in Lake Michigan. Build an igloo.

5. Go do things. Go to shows! There are over 300 theatre companies in Chicago. There are a number of great shows happening year round.One of the winter highlights for me is Rhino Fest, Chicago’s longest running fringe festival. It is put on by Curious Theatre Branch, which was co-founded by Jenny Magnus, who was artist-in-residence at the MCA last year and is one of our great inter-arts faculty.

The winter is not forever, and though summer is my favorite season, winter doesn’t have to be miserable. Make it fun. Make it memorable.