Last weekend I went to Chicago to visit my boyfriend. (Did I mention he’s living there now? How come no one warned me that long distance relationships are so difficult?) Since it snowed on Saturday and I had a sinus infection all weekend, we decided to pare down any ambitious endeavors. Despite this, we still managed to do a lot of exploring.
Chicago is full of fun activities in the summer (boat rides at Navy Pier, Taste of Chicago food festival, concerts in Millennium Park, frolicking around Buckingham fountain…the list goes on!) But when faced with a cold and snowy weekend, we had to come up with some alternatives.
Here are my suggestions for a Winter Weekend in Chicago:
Because brunch is always a good idea. We were in the burbs, so we chose Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe – which was absolutely delicious, but we did have to wait over an hour to be seated.
Chances are you’ll ultimately get hungry – again! I’d highly recommend Eataly (especially during “off hours”). We had lunch at 4:00pm and it was crowded, but I sense it’d be all the more crowded during lunch or dinner time on the weekend!
Everything there looks amaze tho. Mozzarella Bar. Cannoli. Carving Station. Carpaccio. If it’s Italian and delicious – Eataly’s got it.
If you’re feeling less fancy, Portillo’s is always a good idea! If you are feeling fancy and confident that you can actually get a table – head to RPM Italian - A modern Italian restaurant by Bill and Giuliana Rancic... and some other people. You might actually see them there and get starstuck. This is known to happen. I’m still working on getting a reservation for next time, but this is promising:
Depending on the occasion, Pops for Champagne or Starbucks on State (Winebucks / Starbucks Evenings) would be a great stop. This Starbucks literally has wine and beer on the menu. Not to mention small plates including Mac and Cheese:
Depending on the length of your stay, I would also recommend the museums and/or catching a Blue Man Group show.
Shopping on Michigan Ave (the Magnificent Mile!)
*We didn’t actually go to Burberry. I just love the architecture and design of this storefront…
A trip to Chicago is not complete without some shopping. Given the cold and snow, we made only a few select stops. Can you guess where?
Ding Ding Ding!
I was hoping the new J.Crew at the 900 North Michigan Shops would be open, but alas, still under construction. I was full of questions – When will it open? Will this store have Men and Women? Crewcuts? J.Crew Baby? Be larger than the current store? Matt seemed to know all of these answers. I was astonished!
Then he pointed to the writing on the wall:
How did I miss that?!
If you came to Chi to shop, you’re definitely going to want to head to the Fashion Outlets (Especially if you are flying out of O’Hare. Because they are literally 5 mins away from O’Hare). This mall is nice and clean and NEW! I know my way around an outlet mall (See: Black Friday: We Went Shopping) but this one is different. For one – it’s all indoors! Also, it has some higher-end designer outlets including: Burberry, Diane Von Furstenberg, Elie Tahari, Gucci, Tory Burch, Trina Turk…
Tory Burch has a limited selection of handbags and wallets, but a lot of footwear. Just don’t get your hopes too high because they might be sold out of your size! ‘Bloomingdales The Outlet Store’ is a great spot for deals on designer sunglasses. But be prepared to try on a lot of pairs, and withstand remarks from the boyfriend along the lines of “What? That’s considered high fashion? Those look ridiculous!” (Why you no like Prada Baroque? …It’s ok, I don’t have the face for them anyway).
There is also a Sperry outlet and a J.Crew Factory Store. So yeah, we checked out both. But nothing was really on “sale sale” so I was like “meh.”
Bonus: This mall has above-average dining options! We enjoyed some Freshii and Froyo.
Last weekend we also went to the Chicago Auto Show because the bf is obsessed with cars (See: R3dline_Photo on Instagram). Here’s my amateur attempt at car photography:
If you just tilt it, it’s artsy, right?
Get Low! Lean In!
The car show was open til 10pm and we closed that place down! Turns out, I actually found the event to be rather interesting! The only problem: my car lease is up in May and I can’t afford any of the beauties I saw at the show…booooo….
So, tell me, what are your favorite things to do in Chicago? Let me know in the comments below!