Winter Pep Rally

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Chicago Lakefront Skyline

The football team at my high school won 2 games over the course of my junior and senior years. I was a cheerleader so one can imagine that yelling words of encouragement that never seem to come to fruition got to be a bit of a challenge over time. But we kept cheering and every Friday, regardless of the team’s record, there was a pep rally in the gym. The team would come out, people would say more encouraging sentiments, there were high kicks and jumping around and come Friday night, everyone would gather in the football stadium to see if tonight was the night the team would be cheered to victory.

My high school football team = winter in Chicago.

I look at the 15 day forecast and think “It’s over 30 degrees, that’s great!” and then it is 30 degrees and I am…cold. And going to be cold for the foreseeable future. Last Saturday’s 60 degree temps was like the really, super nice kid on the football team who catches a pass and you reeaaallly want him to make it to the end zone… and then he gets pummeled. Nice day but our optimism for good weather was abruptly cut short by the loss of 2o degrees the following day.

I walked outside today, saw the sunshine and realized that winter needs a pep rally otherwise I am going to lose perspective that it’s the Midwest in February and this is how it’s supposed to be.

The Lincoln Park Zoo is open all year so I walked over to see what animals were out and about. The zebras were doing their thing, chasing each other around, the lions were sunbathing, and I had the nicest chat with the zookeeper for the gorillas who usually don’t go outside until it’s 45 degrees but because it was sunny and no wind, they got to get some fresh air today. They seemed happy about this development.

The construction on the lake at Fullerton is finally complete so I checked out the new walkways and the view of the skyline, which is always pretty awesome. I walked along the lake home, imaging the empty marinas filled with boats and that I might someday be in this exact spot sans big puffy winter coat.

It was a winter in Chicago pep rally. You can do it! You can warm up and not snow anymore and make it pleasant be outside! Goooooo Weather!

While this rally will likely result in another loss, i.e. no warm weather in sight, I will take in the sights and activities our awesome city has to offer while bundled up knowing that cheering for brighter days is better than just assuming they will never come.

Lincoln Park Zoo Lions


Chicago Museum Free Days

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Chicago has some of the best museums in the world but to go to all of them will cost a pretty sizable chunk of change.  Luckily, you can score totally free admission if you take advantage of one of the “Free Days” listed below.  Weekend days, obviously, go early because everyone loves free but I’ve found that hitting up weekdays is fairly sans lines.


Adler Planetarium

May 12 & June 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Art Institute of Chicago

Free Thursday Evenings- free admission from 5-8pm through May 26th.  In June, free hours will move to the first and second Wednesday of every month with free admission all day long.

Chicago Children’s Museum

Free for Everyone: every Thursday 5-8pm; Free for ages 15 and under: First Sunday of Every Month

Lincoln Park Zoo

Free all the time!  Open everyday from 10am-5pm, you can check out some zebras, tigers, and monkeys (oh my!), all for zero dinero.  Nice!

Field Museum

Free Basic Admission: May 9th, June 7th & 13th, July 11th, August 8th, 29th & 31st