The 10 Best Spots In Chicago To Cure Your January Blues

Soldier Field | © Loco Steve/Flickr
Soldier Field | © Loco Steve/Flickr
Great. It’s that time of year again. The holidays are over but it’s still not spring. Suddenly all you seem to be doing is sitting on the couch and trying to remember what sunshine felt like. January can be a cold and sluggish month so here are a few fun things you can do to embrace this time of year and help cure those blues. Hop aboard a horse and buggy ride and steer it in the direction of the best winter you’ve ever had.
Kingston Mines © Ethan Prater/Flickr

Kingston Mines Blues Club

Concert Hall, Music Venue
Kingston Mines
Kingston Mines is a late-night hot spot for all things blues in Chicago's Lincoln Park. | © David Armano / Flickr
First things first, sometimes the best way to deal with being blue is just to wallow in it. Kingston Mines knows all about that. This venue will give you a night out with friends to reminisce, and enjoy each other all while listening to live blues. The nightclub’s website provides you with a line up of who’s playing when, whether it’s a weekend or a weekday. Soak up the jazz and blues and get in touch with your soulful side.
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Second City Theatre

You’ve probably heard this a thousand times: laughter is the best cure for any kind of sadness. Seeing a comedy show at The Second City will make you laugh and see the lighter side of life. The Second City offers an assortment of shows throughout January so you can see one or you can see them all. If you like the vibe, The Second City also offers comedy classes like improv, stand up, writing, and dozens more. The laughter never has to end and neither does your good mood. The theatre is located in Historic Old Town, so there will be plenty to do nearby before or after the show.

Second City Theatre, 1616 N Wells St, Chicago IL, USA 312-337-3992

Chicago Pizza Tour | © April Weeks/Flickr

Chicago Pizza Tour | © April Weeks/Flickr

Chicago Pizza Tours

Pizzeria, American
This has to be the tastiest concept since deep-dish. A tour bus and guide will take you around to the most significant pizza shops in Chicago; teaching you some history and cooking techniques while you inhale your pizza and drinks. Get a group together, fast for the whole day, and then enjoy yourself by letting Chicago Pizza Tours fulfill all your pizza fantasies.
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The Violet Hour

Bar, Cocktail Bar, American, Tapas, $$$
The Violet Hour
Leave your cell phone behind for an evening cocktail at The Violet Hour | © Michael Robinson
The Violet Hour is the perfect escape into a different kind of world. The mystique of this Speakeasy lounge has the power to make you feel like a 1920s socialite, with a little help from your imagination. With fancy décor, beverages, and encouragement to not use your phone, The Violet Hour is the perfect getaway from a couch-based tech obsession and an invitation to be in the moment with whomever you’re with. Get dressed up and enjoy a classy night out.
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Escape Artistry

One great way to bring you out of a slump is by putting yourself in an exciting and intense situation. Like, for instance, you and your friends getting locked on a train car until you can solve clues and riddles to find your way out. That’s not an everyday situation, now is it? At Escape Artistry in the Flatiron Arts Building, you and a group of the friends that remind you most of Sherlock Holmes will be locked on a train car and given clues to help you escape. It’s a unique experience and lets you pretend like you’re in an action-packed adventure movie without the danger and inconvenience of being actually trapped on a train car.

Flatiron Arts Building, 1579 N Milwaukee Ave #350, Chicago, IL, USA 312-566-9800

Segway Tour | courtesy of Steve’s Segway Tours

Segway Tour | courtesy of Steve’s Segway Tours

Segway Tours

This may sound like an activity more suited for warmer weather, but many Segway companies offer tours year round. If a warmer day is coming up, or if you don’t mind bundling up, schedule a tour with a group of friends and see Chicago in a whole new way. Riding around on a Segway is a great opportunity to let loose and sightsee. Most importantly, hot chocolate stands are never too far away. Some of the Chicago Segway companies include Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours, Chicago Segway Tours, and Steve’s Segway Tours in particular offers themed tours, as well as tours made especially for the winter months.

Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours, 300 E Monroe St, Chicago, IL, USA 312-552-5100

Chicago Segway Tours, 505 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL, USA 312-890-3701

Steve’s Segway Tours, 155 N Harbor Drive, Chicago IL, USA 312-946-9467

The Shedd Aquarium | © Smart Destinations/Flickr

The Shedd Aquarium | © Smart Destinations/Flickr

Shedd Aquarium

Water Tower Place & Mag Mile
Water Tower Place & Mag Mile | © TonyTheTiger/Wikicommons

Although all of the museums in Chicago will brighten your mood, The Shedd Aquarium stands out as a place that’s fun and easy to stroll through. Seeing exotic fish and dolphin shows will get your mind off the cold and onto something more tropical. This place let’s you have the fun of being with nature while inside staying warm. Be sure to buy your ticket online to avoid waiting in line! The Aquarium offers multiple free days for Illinois residents throughout January including the 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 22nd-25th, and the 26th.

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Retail Therapy on the Mag Mile

Being bummed out in January is the perfect excuse to invest in retail therapy. Maybe you’ve been looking for a chance to spend the gift cards you got over the holidays, or maybe you want to start off the year with a new wardrobe…or maybe you’ve decided you’re done with winter and ready to start shopping for summer clothes. No matter what your cause is, shopping on The Magnificent Mile brings you all your favorite stores along with the fun of being in the city. Want the same kind of experience but without the freezing temperatures? Head just down the street to the Water Tower Place.

Water Tower Place, 835 N Michigan Avenue, Chicago IL, USA

Rainforest Cafe | © Sean Hayford Oleary/Flickr

Rainforest Cafe | © Sean Hayford Oleary/Flickr

Rainforest Cafe

Cafe, American, Fast Food, Vegetarian, Cocktails, $$$
Soldier Field
Soldier Field | © Loco Steve/Flickr
To cheer yourself up, get some friends together, act like a kid again and escape into the rainforest for a little while. Wear the safari crown, order an ice cream volcano, feign panic during the thunderstorms, and remind yourself that you’re never too old to have a little fun. Rainforest Cafe offers an extensive menu and drinks all with a tropical rainforest theme, giving your meal a lively kick.
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Run a Chicago Race

It’s time to chase your blues away. Throw on your workout gear and train for the F^3 Lake Half Marathon and 5K coming up on January 23rd. Giving yourself a physical goal will make sure you stay active, which is the best thing you can do for a healthy body and mind. Need a little more motivation? The race doesn’t start until 10am and a post-race party with drinks and a buffet will be held afterwards in the South Loop. After this race, keep running and before you know it summer will be right around the corner.

Soldier Field, 1410 Museum Campus Dr, Chicago IL, USA 312-235-7000
By Emma Rimsa

Emma Rimsa was born and raised in Illinois and went to school for Journalism and Theatre. She is currently working in the Chicago radio industry, as a Segway tour guide, and once started a lawn care service that lasted a little under a week.

Her parents try very hard to be proud.

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