Chicago Winter Bucket List - Toddler Edition

This summer, we started a summer bucket list so we could try and fit as much fun into the few warm months we have! We're so guilty of waiting until the weekend to decide what we want to do and the bucket list gave us direction and we actually crossed off more than 3/4 of the items on our list! It inspired me to create a winter bucket list too, so here are some of the activities/places on it!

1. Ice Skating at Gallagher Way -  We took Gavin here when he had just turned 3 and had a blast! It's right outside of Wrigley Field and they are open during the week so it's easy to find a time that isn't too crowded! They have the little penguins for kids but I thought the penguin made it harder because you are basically pushing your kiddo and this 20 pound penguin! Added bonus - they brought the Chriskindlmarket back to Wrigley (see below) this year so go before Christmas and check two things off your winter bucket list!

Ice Skating

2. Chriskindlmarket at Gallagher Way - We frequent Gallagher Way all summer long for basically every event they put on! They're usually kid-friendly and include booze so the adults are happy too! We're so happy the market is back this year so we can get our fill of Christmas cheer without trekking downtown!

3. Zoo Lights - The holiday lights at the Lincoln Park Zoo are amazing! We've been going since I was pregnant with Gavin and they never disappoint! Parking is super challenging though, so be prepared to walk or take public transportation!

Zzoo Lights

4. Museum of Science and Industry - This is my favorite museum in the city! They have an amazing model train exhibit that my son is obsessed with and an interactive exhibit for young kids that will keep them entertained for a while. We try and go a few times every winter! If you go before Christmas, the Christmas around the World exhibit is so festive. They offer free days for Illinois Residents throughout the year so keep an eye out for those (but be prepared for crowds)!

5. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum - I'm not a big "nature" person so I was a little skeptical the first time I went here but I quickly became a huge fan. Parking is easy, they have an indoor kids play area, a live butterfly haven, and a spot for lunch. It's under $70 for a year-long family membership and you get reciprocity at a bunch of museums across country (we got in free at the Virginia Children's museum which saved us $60) so it's definitely a steal in the city! We went at least 10 times last winter and I will definitely be renewing. 

6. Navy Pier's Winter Wonderfest - We almost went last year but bailed because our youngest was too little to enjoy it. We are definitely including this on our bucket list this year since Gavin will go nuts for the Arctic Express Train Ride! Parking is a little pricey at Navy Pier but there are lots of good places for lunch so you can make a day out it!

7. Nick Jr. Live - Last year we took Gavin to Paw Patrol Live and he LOVED it so we're hoping to take both kids this year to Nick Jr. Live! The tix are pretty cheap and it's super easy to get to The Chicago Theatre from the Red Line. 

8. Sledding at Lincoln Park High School - Last winter was brutally cold but we made sure to hit one of the bigger hills in Chicago (it's still veryyyyy small) at Lincoln Park High School with the hundreds of other families in the area. We grabbed our cheapo sled and had the best time before we couldn't handle the cold anymore...15 minutes.

 Sledding