Helpful Tips for Settling in For a Chicago Winter

You’ve just moved to Chicago or you are on your way and the excitement of living in the Windy City is about to begin. While you’ll be blown away by the beautiful high rises, the gorgeous views, and the excitement of big city live, you also need to prepare yourself for what a Chicago winter is like.

Many newbies to the area aren’t prepared for just how cold it is or what it’s like to get around. Having an idea now will make it easier to enjoy yourself once you arrive. Take a look at these helpful tips that you’ll want to know before settling into your new Chicago home this winter.

What is Chicago’s climate like?

The first thing to understand is what the climate in Chicago is really like. While you’ll get to enjoy all four seasons between the humid summers, the mild autumns, and the cool springs, you’ll have a very cold winter, especially during January and February.

You’ll have the humidity and the cold that comes with being next to Lake Michigan. The winter season in Chicago can change in one week from highs of 30 degrees to lows of 16 degrees. You’ll likely see temps below zero and spontaneous snowstorms in the winter, but if you hold out until May or June, you’ll see warm weather again.

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Flying in and feeling the cold

If you’ve never visited during the winter season, the first thing you should do is plan to fly into Chicago Midway to lessen your chances of a delay or cancellation. O’Hare tends to get more of the winter weather effects than Chicago Midway. Prepare before your flight by checking on the current weather conditions.

You may be surprised how cold it is when you arrive. The best thing you can do is embrace the season of cold temperatures and enjoy the things that cold weather brings with it. You’ll be able to spend this season enjoying ice skating at the park, enjoying Christmas lights, and shopping at holiday markets.

How to dress

The most important thing to do is to prepare your wardrobe for the weather. You’ll want to dress appropriately when you arrive and then consider how you’ll dress commuting each day. You can always make the weather more tolerable by dressing appropriately. This means that you need to have waterproof boots for snowy and slushy sidewalks, a warm jacket to protect you from the wind, as well as gloves, a hat, and a scarf for protection.

Make sure you dress each day in layers that can be removed since you’ll enter heated buildings. You can always pack different shoes to change into when you arrive at the office. When it comes to your days off with sightseeing, you’ll have more options to tour the city outside of public transportation, such as the hop-on and hop-off tours where you can warm up without having to commute to the subway or buses.

Safety at home

You’ll probably be tempted to stay indoors this season. You’ll love the indoor attractions around town, as well as snuggling up by your fireplace. Be prepared for a higher heating bill but also beware of fire safety especially if you’re using a wood or pellet stove or are unsure if your HVAC system has been checked. Make sure to get out to avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder, but be sure to take a winter driving course to make sure you stay safe on the road. 

Have some winter fun

Don’t forget to have some fun this winter. Talk to the locals about staying warm this winter when you’re out enjoying ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo, the Christkindlmarket at Daley Plaza, or the caroling and ice skating at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park Plaza. If you want to stay indoors, check out a Christmas performance, a museum tour, or dinner out in your new town.

Moving in the winter can be tough, but planning ahead can make all the difference. Make sure you’ve hired your professional moving crew that can transport your household goods safely in the winter conditions and knows how to keep things protected in slippery conditions. Buy a new wardrobe and start booking your flight. When you arrive to your new home, enjoy the most exciting season of the year in the Windy City!

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