From groundbreaking theater to one of the year's hottest new restaurants, eight ways to turn up the temps this winter in the Windy City.
The interactive exhibit “Solarise” ushers in a new era at Garfield Park Conservatory.
The wind may be howling down Michigan Avenue, but winter in Chicago is no time to hibernate. The season is set to be sizzling-hot, abuzz with anticipated cultural events and new destinations for fashion, dining, imbibing, and more. If you have 48 hours to spare, get a taste of the excitement with these essential winter experiences.
Closed for nearly nine months, the contemporary galleries at the Art Institute of Chicago (312-443-3600) reopen with a bang, unveiling the largest gift in the institute’s history: 44 iconic works ranging from Warhol’s Liz #3 to Jasper Johns’s Target with Four Faces. Opens December 13.
Raising the Steaks
Restaurateurs Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz bet big on the Fulton Market district with Japanese stunner Momotaro. Now they’re doubling down with Swift & Sons (312-733-9420), a hugely anticipated steakhouse helmed by rising star chef Chris Pandel.
Four years after a hailstorm devastated Garfield Park Conservatory (312-746-5100), the century-old West Side institution is shining again with “Solarise: A Sea of All Colors,” an interactive exhibit drawing on the relationship between plants and light to explore a see-it-to-believe-it spectrum of color. On view through September 2016
There’s fashion for days and lines out the door at the Mag Mile’s latest style flagship, as Japanese retailer Uniqlo marks its Midwest debut with a jaw-dropping 60,000-square-foot emporium—its second largest in the US.
The ultimate winter cocktail is the Hearthstone at new Andersonville mixology hot spot Elixir (773-654-1751), where whiz kid Vlad Novikov combines bourbon, nocino liqueur, curaçao, and two kinds of bitters to come up with something dark, nutty, and dangerously drinkable.
Jump into the action at The Last Defender (773-769-3832), an interactive stage collaboration between the award-winning House Theatre and some of Chicago’s top game designers. Says Artistic Director Nathan Allen, “There will be nothing else like it—it’s like a crazy hauntedhouse ride.” January 21–March 27
Soak it in
Sit back, relax, and enjoy a rustic indulgence in the heart of the city at NoMI Spa (312-335-1234), where for 90 minutes guests can unwind with a body polish and massage featuring Farmhouse Fresh’s festively decadent Bourbon Bubbler, complete with brown sugar and Kentucky whiskey. $200
Attending an event on an empty stomach may seem unorthodox, but at First Bites Bash it’s essential. The kickoff to Chicago Restaurant Week features plates from more than 50 premier restaurants, all served up in the grand surroundings of Union Station. January 2