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5 Best Outdoor Activities in Chicago this week

Thanksgiving is over and the Chicago air has a definite chill.  Is it time to hunker down for a long winter’s slumber?  Absolutely not.  Stay active and take advantage of The Top 5 Outdoor Activities in Chicago this week.Caroling at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park - Jean Ward - Chicagolakecondos

Shop Small Business Saturday today, November 30, 2013.  This is your opportunity to support your neighborhood businesses, but also to keep your dollars in the local economy.  Join your neighbors in passing on the big box shopping for the day and instead, exclusively shopping  mom and pop stores and businesses.  Do it for a day or keep it mind year round.  The best shops to visit may can be your favorite existing boutique or a new business you’ve yet to patron.  

Ice Skate at one of Chicago Park District’s 7 outdoor rinks or at one of the City rinks close located in the heart of the daily hustle and bustle.  The North Side’s popular Warren Park boasts the Chicago Blackhawks Ice Rink, which offers daily skating for a nominal charge, as well as free sledding at its man-made sled hill.  Both are open through February 2014, weather permitting.   Skate for free at Millennium Park’s McCormick Tribune Ice Rink downtown at Randolph and Michigan Avenue.  Pick up a free ice skating lessons over the weekend one hour before the rink opens, or free Sport Skating lessons/drill sessions on Thursday mornings on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Visit Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier.  For families and holiday nostalgics alike, an indoor Winter Wonderland is created, complete with snow-capped trees, thousands of holiday lights, and such exciting theme park attractions as a Ferris wheel, ice skating rink, zip line, ice caverns obstacle course, and Reindeer Express train ride.  Winter Wonderfest is open through mid-January, and select dates are discounted at Groupon.

Take a day trip to Wilmot Mountain for snow skiing, snowboarding, and tubing.  When you don’t want to give up a full week’s vacation for destination skiing, travel less than an hour outside of Chicago to Wilmot, Wisconsin, for skiing, tubing, and snowboarding.  Wilmot Mountain makes its own snow and offers an inexpensive day of outdoor snow fun, complete with ski school, rentals, dining, and entertainment. 

Sing along with holiday performers on Friday evenings in December at Millennium Park for the 8th annual Caroling at Cloud Gate.  Maybe you haven’t yet heard the Chicago Children’s Choir or the Windy City Gay Chorus and Aria, but now is your chance.  Listen to your favorite holiday music in the brisk outdoors, or join in on the caroling, now through December 24, 2013.

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