December 23, 2020

With COVID-19 restrictions in place, this is sure to be a winter unlike any other — but that doesn’t mean that you need to put your fun and festive plans on ice! 

Cabin fever is sure to run rampant this year, with caregivers and older adults spending more time at home due to social distancing. Fortunately, there are still plenty of outdoor and socially distanced outings to enjoy on foot or by car. Just remember to help your elderly loved ones dress appropriately for the winter weather, and pack all the supplies you may need for the day. 

Looking for a little inspiration? Here are seven safe activities and fun ideas that can help you enjoy our little winter wonderland, even during COVID:

1.) Enjoy Lights and Nature at The Morton Arboretum and Chicago Botanic Garden

What could be a better way to enjoy a chilly day out than to soak in the beauty of nature with your family and friends? Two of Chicagoland’s best nature-focused destinations, the Morton Arboretum and Chicago Botanic Garden, are each open for business right now with COVID restrictions in place. When night falls, buy tickets to enjoy a drive-thru light display at Morton Arboretum’s Illumination: Tree Lights or the Botanic Garden’s socially distanced walkthrough Lightscape event.

2.) Celebrate Winter in Lincoln Park

One of Chicago’s crown jewels, Lincoln Park encompasses more than 1188 acres, with endless things to see, do, and experience — including gorgeous winter scenes at the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool and the North Pond Nature Sanctuary. Warm up for a spell in the lush and colorful Lincoln Park Conservatory, or enjoy a festive (albeit frosty) night out at ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo, which has become a ticketed event in 2020.

3.) Enjoy the Snowy Scene at Museum Campus, Northerly Island, and Soldier Field

Chicago’s South Loop is a fun downtown neighborhood with lots to see and do — including a natural outdoor oasis known as Museum Campus. This sprawling outcropping in Lake Michigan is home to some of the city’s biggest cultural attractions, including the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium (both temporarily closed due to COVID). Even without the museums, the Campus is a lush greenspace with incredible views of the city skyline and easy access to hiking and snowshoeing at the serene Northerly Island, as well as sledding at the iconic hill next to Soldier Field.

4.) Take a European Vacation to Lincoln Square

Giddings Plaza, the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood, has all of the charms of a historic European town square in the middle of the city. This quaint open air square features a fountain, lots of benches, and easy access to cute shops — including a famous Old World sausage shop, a vintage apothecary, and one of the city’s best small bookstores. During the winter months, the plaza comes alive with a stunning Christmas tree, a public menorah, and lots of warm and wonderful hanging light displays and ice sculptures. 

5.) Step Back in Time at the The Fabyan Windmill in Geneva

Speaking of European charm? Not too far from the city, the quaint village of Geneva is home to the most authentic Dutch windmill in the United States. Named for the wealthy Geneva resident who purchased and relocated the windmill, the Fabyan Windmill is a gorgeous and picture-perfect sight — especially when surrounded by fresh snow and festive residents sledding down the nearby hills.   

6.) See the Iconic Sights at Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park

Dreaming of a downtown trip this winter? While the opera house and many lauded restaurants will be closed this season, you can still enjoy time in the outdoors at Millennium Park, home to the iconic Bean statue and the city’s annual Christmas tree, as well as some lovely and tranquil private gardens. Not too far away, Maggie Daley Park offers great views of the city, and socially distanced ice skating on a one-way ribbon course.   

7.) Go Ice Skating at a Local Outdoor Rink

The icy fun doesn’t have to stop this season! From the city to the suburbs, many of the area’s outdoor ice skating rinks will remain active this winter — with new restrictions and protocols in place due to COVID-19. Find an open air skating center near you with this wonderful list from TimeOut Chicago.  

Encourage Your Elderly Loved One to Stay Active During Winter

Looking for someone to help make sure your loved one always feels empowered to go on outings and adventures, even when you can’t be there yourself? If you live in the city of Chicago or the surrounding suburbs, Companions for Seniors is here for you. 

From offering assistance with walking and other activities of daily living, to offering reliable and convenient driving services, to simply providing a friend to share stories and chat with, a companion can make sure your senior loved one is able to really enjoy themselves as they make the most of each day — while staying safe and secure at every step of the journey.

At Companions for Seniors, our mission is to help seniors live independently and with dignity in the comfort of their own home by empowering them to lead an active and enriched lifestyle, connecting them with their community, and nurturing meaningful relationships. We have experience scheduling and coordinating all kinds of trips and outings in the Chicagoland area, so that elderly adults never have to worry about giving up on their active lifestyles. 

We are proud to be locally owned and operated in Chicago, Illinois, with services available in the city and suburbs. Have any more questions about traveling with a senior family member? Curious about how in-home care can fit into your loved one’s daily routine? Don’t hesitate to reach out online or give us a call at 866-910-9020 to get the conversation started today!

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