With the holidays and gift giving now over and no sunlight in spectacular sight, we thought we’d share the results of our customer survey about fun things to do, to help you enjoy this winter season. To make things a bit interesting, we scratched off anything that included lots of drinking and debauchery – as the Time Outs and Yelps of this world pretty much have those events covered. Our list is geared towards helping you stay fit and saving you from the grim effects of seasonal depression.
1) Ice Climbing Near Chicago. Some view ice climbing as a rather mysterious activity, not really sure with what its about and quite afraid of the risks involved. There appears to be the myth that climbing ice is an extremely dangerous sport with hazardous conditions that require a super-hero body. The truth of the matter is that ice climbing is quite safe and can be tailored to your preferred level of difficulty. Luckily, for local Chicagoans, climbs are offered on 60 to 100 foot frozen waterfalls about 2 hours away from Chicago. These ice climbing runs can be top-roped just like rock climbing. So the rope is anchored to the top of the cliff, waterfall, or ledge and the climber never drops more that a foot or two. The climber wears a helmet and goggles, some beginners can wear a full face shield for extra precaution until they get use to the ice tools. Crampons or “spikes” are worn on the feet to stick into the ice. Again, protective material can be put around your lower legs until you get use to the kick and stick motions. If you decide to go ice climbing with us, we take care of all the gear – just bring your own set of ski or snowboard boots.
2) Snowmobiling Wilderness Tour. Snowmobiling truly is a fun and exciting recreation for people of all ages. Some of the best snowmobiling you are likely to find is in Wisconsin, especially northern Wisconsin where the winter scenery is quite picture perfect. While snowmobiling fanatics usually do it for the adrenaline rush or need for speed, snowmobiling is also a great way to enjoy sparsely populated winter towns. Lots of trails in northern Wisconsin have supper clubs and lakeside resorts for you to pull in and take a break from the scenic trails. After miles of snowmobiling, what better way than to warm your body with artisan hot chocolate.
3) Ice Fishing. While usually considered a summer activity, fishing in Wisconsin is almost as popular during the arctic months of January to March as it is during the summer. A lot of highly desirable fish species, including walleye, panfish and northern pike, are active and easily catchable throughout winter. The emergence of high technology in ice fishing has helped as well. Power augers and heated fishing shanties make the act of ice fishing a lot more comfortable and less taxing than in the past. With a higher-than-normal proportion of Wisconsin’s unmarked roads clear of snow, anglers in recent winters have access to small lakes and ponds that can usually be reached only by snowmobile, if at all. Like all our other winter packages, all you need to bring is yourself and warm clothing to experience ice fishing near Chicago. Our expert guides will take care of you and bring the equipment for you to make your winter catch.
4) Midwest Dog Sledding. Mush mush! Nothing compares to the exhilaration of rushing through deep powder, across frozen lakes pulled by a team of fresh dogs, ice and snow flashing past your face. Dog sledding has been a fixture of the northland for hundreds if not thousands of years. Don’t be afraid to venture out into the Upper Peninsula to experience this ancient rite of winter. The groomed trails nestled in the UP’s forests seemingly transport you into an Alaskan type wilderness. As the dogs glide across the snow, you’ll be able to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature along with a pristine winter landscape.
5) Outdoor Winter War Games. Wars have been won and lost due to harsh weather conditions. Why not prepare yourself for the worst with outdoor winter paintballing. More enjoyable than a summer game, winter scrambles allow you to tumble, frolic, and leap structures, with the protection of falling on fresh powder. The difficulty of the games are not only increased by the lower visibility, but the snow on the ground adds texture to the games and forces your enemies to tread carefully. As long as you are wrapped up for the weather, the temperature shouldn’t bother you – make sure to maintain your peak awareness at all times though, or you may just get shot in the back. Located near Chicago, outdoor paintballing can be a perfect weekend escape for you and your friends.
6) Sushi Making Lessons. Enhance your culinary skills this winter with a sushi making class. Hobby classes cover an in-depth study of the essentials of preparing, presenting, and serving rolled Sushi, Nigiri Sushi and Sashimi, as well as principles on a wide range of Japanese dishes. Why spend tons of money dining at expensive Japanese restaurants, when you can learn how to make the best sushi at the comforts of your own home. Your skills coupled with a trip to the Mitsuwa Marketplace will guarantee Tokyo quality sushi instantly. These classes are held monthly at a specialty fish market and are in high demand – go ahead and take the step necessary to become the next Iron Chef of Chicago!
7) French Cooking Classes. If raw fish isn’t your favorite culinary dish, why not enroll in a night of romantic French cooking classes? Learn how to cook the French way with master French chef, Vincent Colombet, at his French cafe. More popular than a French kiss, the couples classes offer you a chance to improve your culinary skills and turn up the romanticism. The Chef’s approach to learning to cook is all about being relaxed and having fun together: a little bit of wine, some conversation, some laughs, some bread and cheese, some more wine, and a lot of cooking in between! Whether you consider yourself a novice or advanced in the kitchen, you’re sure to be challenged and entertained. While the winter in Chicago may be dark and cold, your cooking class will be guaranteed to be refreshing and warm!
8) Go Karting Chicago. Enhance your ability to escape traffic and navigate the Edens with an indoor high speed go carting experience. This may seem like an innocuous activity, but we guarantee sore arms and tighter ab muscles from fighting the G forces involved in a multi-lap race. While the indoor race track is guaranteed to be free from ice this winter, the crazy drivers from Chicago may likely be behind you. Go alone or create havoc with your friends – with all the technical turns and high speed straightaways throughout the track, you can all claim to be a step closer to becoming the next Mario Andretti or Michael Schumacher.
9) Indoor Golf Lessons. Whether you want to swing like Tiger Woods or hit like Elin, indoor golf lessons this winter will save you from summer embarrassment. The golf dome protects you from the elements and the prying eyes of the nasty paparazzi, while your instructor will patiently improve your swing and take your game to the next level. Our PGA certified instructor can work on improving anyone’s game and will tailor the perfect swing for your body type. Golf is an amazing sport as long as you play it right, so save yourself from lost balls and embarrassing bunker shots, and make the best use of your winter by improving your golf game.
10) Digital Photography Classes. For those not interested in outdoor adventures or culinary adventures, perhaps a
digital photography class can cure your boredom this winter. With the emergence of digital SLRs to cater to any skill level, the eye behind the shutter becomes even more critical in developing good photos. If you are planning a trip this summer, don’t leave without learning how to use your digital camera. Lessons in digital photography will give you the opportunity to develop your own photography style and allow you to create professional quality photos.