Avoid the cold with some indoor activities throughout Chicago.
No need to catch the Hogwarts Express to visit the magical world of Harry Potter. This November, it will visit Chicago’s Water Tower Place in the form of an explorative magical adventure. Magic at Play is a hands-on experience that promises to be loads of fun whether you’re a lifetime Potterhead or new to the series. Sipping on delicious Butterbeer and wandering through the three floors of wizardry is sure to be one of the most unique ways to enjoy the season.
Nothing is cozier than candlelight, and Chicago’s Candlelight Concerts promise to be an immersive musical experience. With flickering candles adorning beautiful concert halls and repurposed venues, the series features music from a variety of genres and artists. Aretha Franklin, ABBA, Taylor Swift, and A Haunted Evening of Halloween Classics are just a few of the myriad of options one can choose from. And if you’re more of a traditionalist, don’t worry! There’s also a night dedicated to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and other classical musicians.
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Since 1975, audiences have been thrilled and entranced by The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The film’s plot follows a couple who gets stranded in the woods late one night and stumble upon a mansion full of oddballs…and just gets weirder from there. The movie has gained fame for its midnight showings around the world, which feature call and response lines, singing and dancing along, and bringing your own props.
Chicago’s premier Rocky Horror midnight theater is the Music Box Theatre, a delightfully grand movie house with ornate ceilings and details. The bizarre movie is made even more exciting by the shadowcast the Music Box provides. These are actors who act the film out on stage and around the theater while the movie is playing, truly making the night immersive. If you do decide to venture out to a midnight showing, be sure to do your research on what props to bring, costumes to wear, and songs to sing.
While not completely unique to Chicago, there’s little chance you’ll find anywhere else to play the sport of Whirlyball. A unique blend of basketball, lacrosse, and bumper cars, Whirlyball is one way to compete against friends without needing to tire yourself out by running.
One of the best secrets of downtown Chicago is the Athletic Association – today a one-of-a-kind hotel. Built during the post-Chicago fire architecture boom, the 1893 structure is ornate and castlelike. Located across from Millennium Park, the Association boasts a rooftop restaurant, microbar, drawing room, and Game Room. The Game Room, as the name suggests, offers shuffleboard, foosball, bocce, billiards, chess, checkers, and more. No matter your forte, there’s a way to show your friends you’re the best!
Over the past couple of years, escape rooms have skyrocketed in popularity. These immersive live action rooms give participants the change to solve puzzles, connect clues, and find a way to beat the clock. There are many different kinds of escape rooms, each with their own themes: historical, sci-fi, criminal, etc. The Escape Game Chicago offers escape adventures such as prison break, Gold Rush, and an art museum heist, while Fox in a Box Chicago has Cold War, serial killer, and bank robbing rooms.
If you need a convenient and fun way to get some stress or anger out, consider visiting one of Chicago’s ax throwing bars. Whether you grab a drink or go alcohol-free, nothing compares to chucking an ax at a target, especially when you can beat your friends. Bad Axe Chicago is the most well known ax throwing location in the city, with locations in Lakeview and West Loop.
Putt-putt can be fun in the summer, but playing inside offers a totally different experience. Big Mini Putt Club has 9-hole mini golf adorned with twists, turns, and a full bar. The well-designed course may only be 9 holes, but take your time and you’ll find plenty of fun. For a dark course with blacklights and bright neon colors, Glow Golf in Vernon Hills offers a less-adult golf feel.