While Chicago, Illinois isn’t one of the coldest cities in the US, it certainly gets an honorable mention. Not only does it get the worst storms, but it also has the coldest average temperatures and heaviest snowfalls.
All this may be enough for you to say “no thanks” to Chicago come wintertime. But the truth is, it’s a gem of a city, and there’s plenty to do, even when the temperatures drop and the snow falls.
So don’t write off this destination for a fun trip. Here’s a list of the best destinations for bus tours in Chicago, Illinois you can go to.
The Magnificent Mile
The Magnificent Mile is an iconic location in Chicago. It spans 13 blocks and is filled with stores, restaurants, hotels, and other fun things.
If you’re a fan of shopping, then you can definitely spend hours here. Even better is, if you book a private bus tour, you can shop to your heart’s content without worry. The bus will wait for as long as you need, so you won’t feel rushed.
If you’d rather stay on the bus though, that’s fine too. While you remain nice and warm, you’ll see the shopping district lit up with festive holiday decorations during the cold winter months. The holiday cheer will put a smile on your face!
You might already be familiar with Millennium Park; it’s home to the “Bean” sculpture, aka Cloud Gate. A Chicago bus tour can take you straight there, so all you’ll have to do is hop off to snap a treasured picture before hopping back on.
However, if you’re dressed warmly, or you don’t mind the cold, get off and go walking around to see the special winter events. For example, a stroll around Millennium Park to look at the holiday lights can be wonderful. You can also go ice skating at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink for free!
During the year, there are boat tours that travel up and down the Chicago River. While those are usually nice to take, the chilly air and snow nipping at your skin may have you thinking twice.
However, this doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the majestic body of water. Your Chicago bus tour can stop near the Chicago Riverwalk to get you up close and personal.
Once you get off the bus, you can saunter across the riverwalk and get beautiful views of the city’s architecture. It’s usually lit up for the holiday season, so you’ll be treated to a visual delight.
You might think “no way” when you think of a pier during chilling winter days, but hear us out. Navy Pier actually has many indoor activities, so you won’t have to be cold to the bone.
If you’re visiting Chicago with your kids, then you’ll have a blast at the Chicago Children’s Museum. There’s also an IMAX theater, where you can view interesting movies in an immersive way.
For winter-specific activities, go to the Winter Wonderfest. There’s holiday-themed entertainment and ice skating.
Willis Tower Skydeck
This one’s not for people who are afraid of heights! Willis Tower is the tallest building in Chicago and the third-tallest in the Western Hemisphere. Not only that, but the Skydeck is the tallest public observation deck in the entire country.
You’ll take an elevator up 103 floors, where you’ll be over 1,300 feet above ground. On the Skydeck, you’ll get stunning panoramic views of the city. If you’re lucky, Chicago will be blanketed in snow.
Daredevils should also experience the Willis Tower Glass Ledge. This glass balcony extends four feet out and gives you the illusion of floating above the city. It’ll certainly get your heart pumping!
Art Institute of Chicago
On those really cold days when being outdoors for long periods isn’t feasible, have your bus tour drop you off at the Art Institute of Chicago. Art buffs will get their fill of amazing works, staying safe from the harsh outdoor temperatures while soaking in beauty and knowledge.
If you have a vested interest in the museum and the exhibits, then we recommend that you take a guided tour. The expert guides will fill you in on everything, including the history of the museum itself.
Museum Campus is a heavy hitter; it’s home to the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium. The first two are a few minutes away from one another, so you can walk to the next when you’re done with one. The planetarium isn’t that much farther away, but you can have your bus take you there for warmth and convenience.
This area is great for those with little ones, so make it into a family fun day if you’ve got them in tow.
Garfield Park Conservatory
Would you rather look at nature than art on a cold winter’s day? Then stay warm at the Garfield Park Conservatory. It’s one of the largest ones in the US, so it’s a place you can shelter in for hours without getting bored.
The conservatory stretches across two acres, and everything’s in greenhouses. You won’t feel cooped up as you gaze upon the beautiful greenery inside. In fact, if there’s snow falling, it’ll make you feel as if you were in a snow globe.
Should the weather be warm enough for you to venture outside, there are several outdoor gardens to see as well. The Chicago winter atmosphere will make your visit magical.
Book Bus Tours in Chicago, Illinois
As you can see, there’s plenty to do in the city during one of the roughest seasons of the year. And if you book bus tours in Chicago, Illinois, it’ll take the edge off a little.
So if you’ve always wanted to do Chicago sightseeing, and can only go during the winter, a fantastic way to experience it is through a bus tour. You won’t freeze, and you’ll get to rest your weary feet too.
Are you ready to explore Chicago in the winter? Then book your custom bus tour with us now!