18 things to do indoors in Chicago
Written by Madelyn Sherburn

18 things to do indoors in Chicago

When it’s pouring rain, snowing or disgustingly muggy, escape the weather at these fun indoor activities in Chicago

Chicago weather is notoriously fickle, but you shouldn’t let scorching heat, pouring rain or frigid temperatures ruin your day. While you might need to put off your stroll through one of the city’s beautiful parks and shopping districts, some of the best things to do in Chicago are entirely indoors. You can learn something new at one of Chicago’s world class museums, get competitive with a game of golf or ping pong, or immerse yourself in another world by catching a film festival at one of the city’s best movie theaters. Even if the forecast dashed your original plans, these Chicago indoor activities won’t leave you disappointed.

Catch a matinee at Music Box Theatre Movie

You could spend an afternoon sitting in the dark at a variety of Chicago movie theaters, but the Music Box caters to anyone with a preference for independent films, foreign cinema, vintage movies and documentaries. Have a drink in the lounge before taking your seat in the ornate main theater or the smaller screening room—and don't forget to ask for butter (the real deal, not the pungent fake stuff) on your popcorn.

Take a dip at Aire Ancient Baths

If you're going to spend some time indoors, you might as well make it a luxurious, relaxing experience. Inspired by Greek and Roman bath houses, Aire squeezes six thermal baths into a River West building that once housed a factory. Guests get 90 minutes to take a dip in as many of the baths as they like before indulging in a massage or a variety of spa treatments (they call them "rituals").

Visit your favorite exhibits at Art Institute of Chicago

No matter how many times you've visited the Art Institute of Chicago, it's nice to come back and see some of your favorite works on display. While some gravitate to Sunday on La Grande Jatte or the New Contemporary collection in the Modern Wing, it can be equally fun to venture to the museum's Medieval and Renaissance Art galleries or explore the art of ancient Egypt in the basement. If you're going to spend an afternoon inside the Art Institute, you might as well try to see as much as you can.

Written by

Madelyn Sherburn

Madelyn Sherburn

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