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Things to Do in Chicago’s Lakeview and Lincoln Park Neighborhoods on a Cold, Winter Day

This post was updated on January 10, 2020, with new ideas for 2020.

We haven’t seen the bitter winter cold days we’ve seen in recent years in Chicago yet, but they are likely coming soon. Fortunately for those who live in Chicago’s Lincoln Park and Lakeview neighborhoods, there are some great options for winter day activities. You don’t have to stay inside all day just because it’s cold out (though no one would blame you if you did). Below are some of our favorite things to do on a cold, winter day in Lincoln Park and Lakeview.

Hit up the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Located just north of the Lincoln Park Zoo, The Peggy Noebaert Nature Museum is a great place to spend a winter day. Since it’s difficult to enjoy nature when it’s freezing outside, this may be the second best option. Explore the butterfly haven, check out the many exhibits and learn more about nature in Chicago and throughout the world.

Thursdays are suggested donation days for Illinois Residents, so you can save a few bucks while enjoying some great indoor nature! Learn more about The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum at

Enjoy a Hot Coffee, Tea or Chocolate at Hero Coffee

One of Lakeview’s newest coffee shops is located on the first floor of Wirtz Residential’s 2950 N Sheridan. Hero offers a variety of coffee options, as well as tea and hot chocolate. Breakfast and lunch food is also available.

Hero’s location on the corner of Sheridan Road and Oakdale provides a great view on a snowy day.

Learn more about Hero Coffee at

Catch a Movie

There are some great movie theater options for those living in Lakeview and Lincoln Park. If you’re looking for a new Hollywood release, Landmark Century Theatre is a good choice at 2828 North Clark Street. If you’re in the mood for an indie film, there’s always some great picks at the Music Box Theatre (3733 North Southport Avenue).

Snuggle Up in a Bookstore

Unabridged Bookstore, 3251 North Broadway, has been one of Chicago’s favorite bookstores for over 35 years. You can easily spend a couple of hours browsing their large selection of books. You can pick up a couple to read at home so you don’t have to go out in the cold again!

Learn more about Unabridged at

Go Record Shopping

Just down the street from Unabridged Bookstore is Reckless Records. Reckless has three locations in Chicago. Their Lakeview location is at 3126 North Broadway and features an extensive collection of vinyl records, CDs and more. You’ll find new releases, albums from local artists and many used records ready for you to browse.

Learn more about Reckless Records at

Hit the Batting Cages while Enjoying Adult Beverages

Sluggers in Wrigleyville is well known for its combination of bar and game center. The second floor of the bar features batting cages, pop-a-shot basketball, air hockey, virtual driving games and more. If you really need to get out of your apartment and let loose on a cold day, Sluggers may be the right choice for you.

Sluggers is located at 3540 North Clark Street. Learn more about them at

Go Bowling

Southport Lanes is a great way to spend a winter afternoon in the neighborhood. The vintage vibe of this 4 lane bowling alley is the perfect setting for a fun day with friends. Southport Lanes also features a number of billiard tables and an extensive beer menu. If you get hungry, they serve burgers, wings, and other food items.

Southport Lanes is located at 3325 N. Southport Ave in Lakeview. Learn more about them and view their full menu at

Play Indoors

If you have young children, Present Place indoor playground is a great option on a cold, winter day. Voted the “best indoor playground” in Chicago by Chicago Magazine, Present Place is a creative play place for children 0-4 years old. Kids enjoy an oversized play set and play kitchen and imaginative, all-natural toys. Parents can enjoy free coffee, tea and wifi. Other refreshments are available for purchase as well.

Present Place is located at 3701 N. Ravenswood Ave, #247, Chicago. Learn more about them at