Wandering what to do in Chicago this January? Here are the best things to do in Chicago in January 2022 (from a local) – from fun outdoor winter activities to the best indoor attractions.
January is an interesting month to visit Chicago. In the beginning of the month many holiday activities and events are still taking place and they are less likely to be crowded after Christmas. As the month goes on, there are fewer things to do, but there are still plenty of things to do in Chicago in January both indoors and outdoors. If you are willing to brave the cold and snow, January is still a good time to visit Chicago as attractions are less crowded and accommodation is more affordable.
I suggest bookmarking this blog post as I plan to update it regularly with any new information or updates.
Things to Do in Chicago in January 2022
- Things to Do in Chicago in January 2022
- Enjoy Warm Temperatures Inside the Garfield Park Conservatory
- Immerse Yourself in The Office Experience
- See the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit
- Go Sledding
- Go Outdoor Ice Skating
- Drive Ice Bumper Cars at Gallagher Way
- Outdoor Curling
- Have Dinner or Drinks in an Igloo
- Admire Famous Works at The Art Institute of Chicago
- Visit the Field Museum
- Visit the Shedd Aquarium
- Buddy Guy’s January Residency at Buddy Guy’s Legends
- Hold and Feed a Bunny
- January 2022 Events
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. I may make a small commission if you make a booking using my links at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Enjoy Warm Temperatures Inside the Garfield Park Conservatory
The Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the largest and most stunning botanical conservatories in the US. Often referred to as “landscape art under glass,” the Garfield Park Conservatory showcases thousands of plant species from around the world throughout eight indoor display gardens. Even if it is cold outside, you can enjoy the lush flora and tropical temperatures indoors! Their Winter Flower Show, Serenity ends January 9, 2022.
Where: 300 N. Central Park Ave., Chicago, IL 60624
Hours: Wednesday 10am-8pm (last entry at 6:30pm); Thursday – Sunday 10am-5pm (last entry at 3:30pm); Closed Monday and Tuesday. Click here to make reservations online in advance.
Cost: FREE (suggested donation)
Immerse Yourself in The Office Experience
The Office Experience pop-up three month run ends in January. Visit Schrute Farms, walk through the Dunder Mifflin set, and relive Jim and Pam’s iconic romance. The world of The Office will come to life with iconic set recreations, original show costumes and props, and opportunities for fans to engage with the show in new ways. Timed tickets are on sale online.
Where: 540 N Michigan Ave on the Mag Mile.
Cost: General admission is $37.50 plus taxes + fees for off-peak times or $45 plus taxes and fees for peak times. Children 3 and younger are free. Groups can also purchase private access tickets or book the space for a private party.
See the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit
From the creators of the blockbuster show at Atelier des Lumières seen by over 2 million visitors in Paris and Toronto and featured in Emily in Paris (one of my favorite travel shows on Netflix), the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit, is a massive indoor digital presentation of Vincent Van Gogh’s artwork. Tickets must be purchased online in advance. There are also yoga sessions which include a 35 minute Yoga class + 45 minutes thereafter to enjoy the exhibit. This show was supposed to end months ago but was extended by popular demand through February 14, 2022.
Where: Lighthouse ArtSpace at Germania Place, 108 W. Germania Pl, Chicago, IL
Cost: Tickets start at $39.99 plus fees for off peak times. See https://www.vangoghchicago.com/ for full prices and to purchase tickets in advance.
Snow is in the forecast for New Year’s Day. There are several sledding hills in parks and forest preserves in Chicago that are fun for kids or kids at heart.
Where: Various. See Best Sledding Hills in Chicago.
Go Outdoor Ice Skating
There are many outdoor ice skating rinks in Chicago open in January.
One of the best and instaworthy places to go ice skating in downtown Chicago is the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink right in front of The Bean.
Another picture perfect spot is the nearby skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park which has a path twice the length of a lap around a traditional skating rink.
Drive Ice Bumper Cars at Gallagher Way
The Rink at Gallagher Way is back this year with an 8,000-square-foot ice rink for skaters of all skill levels to skate on their own, participate in skating lessons and learn to curl. They are introducing ice bumper cars for the first time in January, 2022.
When: January 3-30, 2022.
Where: Gallagher Way, 3635 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60613
Hours: Monday through Thursday from 5-9 p.m., Saturdays from 5-9 p.m. and Sundays from 3-7 p.m. Closed Fridays.
Cost: $15 for a 10-minute ride.
View this post on Instagram
Curling is a winter sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice or a lane towards a target. Below is a list of places offering outdoor curling (along with drinks):
Have Dinner or Drinks in an Igloo
View this post on Instagram
Having dinner and drinks in an outdoor igloo has been trendy for a few years. Here are some of the best outdoor igloos in Chicago open this winter.
Admire Famous Works at The Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States and is frequently found on lists of the top museums in the world.
In addition to its large permanent collection of art from around the world, you can see rotating exhibitions. Barbara Kruger’s THINKING OF YOU. I MEAN ME. I MEAN YOU exhibit ends January 24, 2022.
Where: 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603
Hours: Monday and Thursday–Sunday from 11 a.m.– 5 p.m. (10–11 a.m. for members only). Closed on Tuesday–Wednesday.
Cost: $25 for adults, $19 for seniors, students and teens (14-17); members and children under 14 are always free. Click here to buy a skip the line ticket if you want to avoid long lines. Admission will be free for Illinois residents on weekdays (Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays) all month.
Visit the Field Museum
The Field Museum is one of the largest natural history museums in the world. Inside the museum you will see Maximo, the Titanosaur, the largest dinosaur that ever lived. (Click here to purchase an Early Access VIP Tour if you want to avoid crowds).
Where: Chicago’s Museum Campus, 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605 (detailed directions and parking information is available here)
When: Open daily 9am to 5pm (last admission at 4pm)
Cost: Price varies. Illinois residents get free admission on January 5, 12, 19 and 26, 2022.
Visit the Shedd Aquarium
You can visit Shedd Aquarium for unforgettable encounters with belugas and bluegills, stingrays and sturgeons.
When: Advance purchase of timed tickets is required.
Where: 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605 (detailed directions and parking information is available here)
Cost: Admission is $39.95 ($19.95 for Chicago residents) for adults; $29.95 ($14.95 for Chicago residents) for children (3–11)
Buddy Guy’s January Residency at Buddy Guy’s Legends
When: Thursdays through Sundays until January 30, 2022
Where: Buddy Guy’s Legends, 700 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
Cost: Tickets start at $65 per person for standing room
Hold and Feed a Bunny
Looking for a unique thing to do in Chicago? Visit the Cuddle Bunny in Chicago, where visitors can pet and feed bunnies. Cuddle Bunny also hosts special events like yoga and story time.
When: Open daily from 10:00 am – 08:00 pm. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Activities and bunny interaction after 6pm are by reservation ONLY.
Where: Cuddle Bunny, 2901 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657
Cost: Price varies.
January 2022 Events
In addition to the activities mentioned above, other January 2022 events include: Betty White Centennial Celebration (in Oak Park) (January 15, 2022), Chicago Polar Plunge (January 29, 2022), Chicago Ale Fest – Winter Edition (January 29, 2022) and Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival (January 20-30, 2022).
As you can see there are many things to do in Chicago in January.
Planning a trip to Chicago? Check out my Chicago guides and itineraries:
- Weekend in Chicago: The Perfect 3 Day Itinerary
- The Perfect Itinerary for One Day in Chicago (According to a Local)
- Best Free Things to Do in Chicago
- Most Instagrammable Places in Chicago