Average High Temperature: 30°F (-1°C)
Average Low Temperature: 15°F (-9°C)
Average Precipitation: 1.8"
Average Snowfall: 10.99"
While Chicago slows down a bit with events and festivals in January, there are still fun things to do. Here's a selection of Chicago's best events this month. Check back often as new ones will be added. Have an event you'd like to list? E-mail the event's details to Chicago@aboutguide.com
Watch my news segment New Year's Day morning on WGN TV (channel 9) about the best hangover cures from Chicago's top bartenders. Segment will air some time between 9 and 10 a.m. on January 1, 2014.
Top Event This Month: The Annual Polar Bear Plunge on January 25, 2014 - The Lakeview Polar Bear Club (LPBC) is hosting its 13th annual charity Polar Plunge on January 25th, 2014. If you are brave enough, you can join the club as they "plunge" into Lake Michigan at the Oak Street Beach at noon (arrive by 11 a.m.). (Learn about the club's history and see pictures of people doing past plunges.) Registration costs are $30/per swimmer when registering in advance. Otherwise, it is $40/per swimmer. As the club's Web site states: "While there are many fantastic charities that raise money for good causes, the LPBC stands apart by raising money for specific families." There will also be an after party at Fatpour Tapworks on Division. The bar is providing two buses to take people from the beach directly over to the bar.
Through January 5, 2014: ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo - The lights are turned on for the holidays at the Lincoln Park Zoo for the zoo's annual holiday ZooLights. Each year the zoo decorates its grounds and trees with multi-colored lights and animal figures.
Through January 12, 2014: Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier - Play inside a 170,000 square foot winter playground including Chicago Blackhawks indoor ice skating rink, huge inflatable slides, rides, holiday décor, entertainment, and more.
January 17 - 19, 2014: Chicago Cubs Convention - The official convention for Chicago's famous Chicago Cubs, giving fans a chance to get up close with some of their favorite players and broadcasters. (Bring a pen and paper for autographs.) The 29th Annual Cubs Convention will take place at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, located at 301 East North Water Street. Attendees have two options to purchase convention passes. Room reservations through the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers include weekend passes (2-4) in the purchase price for a reduced rate of $20 per pass. Or, individual weekend passes may be purchased for $60 per pass without a hotel reservation. All passes are valid for the entire three-day event. Throughout the weekend, fans will be able to engage with these special Cubs guests through a variety of autograph and photograph sessions, question-and-answer seminars, interactive exhibits, a children's play area, memorabilia displays, exhibitor booths and more. This year's attendees will also get a first look at many of the promotions and activities planned to celebrate 100 years of Wrigley Field during the upcoming season.
Date TBD: Recycle Your Christmas Tree - Ready to take down your Christmas tree? The Chicago Park District is accepting trees at several locations throughout the city. Also, there will be some wood mulch available at the sites.
January 20, 2014: Martin Lurther King Day - The annual holiday celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King. The day will be celebrated with various volunteer projects throughout the city. Find out how you can volunteer through the MLK Day of Service. (Note: local government offices are closed, but museums, restaurants, and more will be open.)
Moved to February 8 and 9: Chicago Snow Days - Teams of talented professional snow sculptors from around the world create masterpieces out of 10-foot blocks of man-made snow. Enjoy a snow sculpting competition, snow painting, snowboarding, and more.
Through March, 2014: Millennium Park Ice Skating - Ice skating at Chicago's Millennium Park is one of Chicago's most popular winter activities with the rink's skyscraper views, festive music, and charm - the rink is outside along Michigan Avenue. (Find other places to skate in Chicago this winter.)