Winter is Here

Winter is Here: 3 In-Person & 3 Virtual Ways to Celebrate the Season Responsibly This Year

In-Person Ideas

Though winter this year may feel a bit unique, there are many ways you can still gather safely with friends to enjoy this chilly season. Read on for a few ideas on how to celebrate this wonderful time of year!

Ice Skating

Bundling up and going ice skating is a romantic and exciting way to stay active during the winter months. There are plenty of outdoor rinks you can visit that offer all of the equipment you will need, just ensure that you wear warm gear so you don’t get too chilly – we recommend mittens, a hat, ear muffs and pants that can safely be tucked into your ice skates. Make sure to do some research into the ice rink you are going to, as some require you to reserve tickets. Sometimes these places have events as well, like live DJs or cafes serving warm drinks!

Ice Skating

Volunteer

This is the season for giving, which means that volunteering is a great way to gather with others while also contributing to your community. There are many places you can go to provide aid, if your group has a particular passion try to find something related to that! Otherwise, some popular options include going and cleaning your favorite paths or parks, contributing your time at outdoor soup kitchens or grocery distribution sites, or walking dogs from an animal shelter!

Volunteer

Snowshoeing

Many friends and couples have taken to walking to socialize. With the winter months coming, you can mix this up by renting some snowshoes to traverse your favorite trails! Usually, wherever you rent your shoes from, you can get great advice on the most scenic local trails. Plot out a path with your friends or partner, and then get out and chat on the way to your destination! Wherever you end up, we recommend choosing a location with warm drinks to serve as a reward for getting out and active during the cold months! To add to the romance, try a shorter trail at night under the stars!

Snowshoeing

Virtual Ideas

The holidays are around the corner, and while you may be celebrating differently this year, there are many ways to still spend time with those you love. It is important to stay social during these times to keep from feeling isolated, and to do so safely. Whether on a double-date or socially-distancing with family, here are some ideas to help you stay connected over the holidays.

Paint & Warm Drinks on Zoom

Everyone loves paint & wine activities, try this twist on the classic to warm up during these chilly months! First order the painting supplies or pick them up from your local craft store – you can also try another artistic medium if you would prefer! Then, grab your drinks and find a video on Youtube to paint along with as a group on a video chat platform like Zoom! This can be an alcoholic activity or not depending on your preferences, just switch up the warm drink ideas. Some of our favorites include hot chocolate, hot toddies, hot apple cider, or mulled wine. This activity is bound to not only keep you warm but will be a fun misadventure as you try to follow the paint lesson with your loved ones.

Drinks

Build Gingerbread Houses

Gingerbread houses are commonly made together as a family, why not make it a competition amongst your friends? Together, put together a budget and rules for your gingerbread houses. Then, set a time to show them all off via video chat and spend the night rating them based on different categories like Most Creative and Most Silly. This is a great way for couples to compete against their friends, and brings some traditional holiday activities into a time where many traditions are having to be skipped!

Gingerbread Houses

Relax & Think Ahead

Does this holiday season have you feeling a bit down? There is nothing wrong with being aware of your feelings during this hard time. A great way to bond with your partner and with friends is to find ways to relax together. There are many online resources for group guided meditations – it is a great idea to set aside time to sit and reflect with others to make it a weekly or monthly tradition. You also can start looking forward to what you want to do once things are back to normal. Plan a trip together, or talk about the dates you want to go on in the future! This gives you something to look forward to and will help lighten your mood.

Relax

While enjoying the holiday season with loved ones, ensure you stay safe. To stay updated on the latest and most accurate information related to COVID-19, please refer to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

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Chicago Holidays 2020

Chicago Holidays 2020: COVID-19 Edition

Chicago Holidays 2020

Well, guys, unlike COVID, the year is officially coming to an end. Still, that will not put a damper on the season, and certainly not if we can help it. Chicago is still one of the most magical places to be in during the holiday season. So before you decide to go full bah-humbug on the holidays, check out our guide on holidays in Chicago–COVID style.

Give

There is no denying this has been a tough year for everyone. Fortunately, some of us have been spared in more ways than one, and if there has ever been a time to give back- it is now.

Check in with your local food banks and donation centers this year. Really show up for a family member in need or just donate to your favorite charity. The more holiday spirit we can spread around, the more we can restore faith in humanity this season.

Visit a Beautiful Restaurant

Hear us out. If you’re feeling particularly bummed about missing out on all the holiday gatherings, now is the perfect time to splurge on a nice night out with your partner.

Some of the most romantic restaurants in Chicago, like Oriole, Joe’s Seafood, or goosefoot, are now taking reservations and have strict safety measures in place for fine dining. You get to dress up, be around other humans, and feel inspired and grateful for making it through the year. Go ahead- celebrate!

(make sure to call ahead to get current information on any new curfews or guidelines)

Outdoor Activities

If you’re ready to venture out, keep an eye out for our beloved holiday traditions like the Zoo Lights at the Lincoln Park Zoo. The Ice Skating Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park or check out Christmas Around the World at the museum of science & Industry.

All of which are scheduled to go on this year with some additional guidelines in place.

Join the Cyber Experience on Some of Your Favorites

If you’re braving the rest of the year indoors, then worry not. There are still plenty of cyber activities available to enjoy the season. This year, the Goodman Theatre is gifting us the audio version of A Christmas Carol the entire month of December.

Also joining the list is the beloved Christkindmarket event. It will feature an online marketplace of all your holiday favorites. The virtual store is scheduled to go live on November 1st and run through the end of the year.

And don’t forget about Chicago’s favorite virtual tours, ready to take you all around Chicago with just a click.

There you have it. We hope this makes your holiday season a bit more bearable. Don’t forget to be safe and keep up with updates. Hang in there guys, we’re all in this together!

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