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Old 08-10-2016, 08:51 AM
 
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In my experience, cities like Seattle, Minneapolis, Phoenix (in the summer) slow down quite a bit during the off season. People tend to hibernate and reduce their social activities. New York, on the other hand, was vibrant and happening year round. How is Chicago? Would it be a mistake to move there in the winter if I'm craving to be in a vibrant and and active city?
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flavia84 View Post
In my experience, cities like Seattle, Minneapolis, Phoenix (in the summer) slow down quite a bit during the off season. People tend to hibernate and reduce their social activities. New York, on the other hand, was vibrant and happening year round. How is Chicago? Would it be a mistake to move there in the winter if I'm craving to be in a vibrant and and active city?
People do stuff when the weather permits.
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Although some stuff goes up in the winter, but probably not nearly as much as stuff that goes down in the summer.

Beaches, for example, go down in the winter.
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:35 AM
 
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There are a wide range of activities that are popular in the winter months. Traditional spectator sports like the Bears and other NFL teams are generally a big draw for sports bars, as are the Bulls and other NBA teams and the success of the Blackhawks has made the NHL much more widely supported.

Chicago has a many well supported venues for live music, live theater, dance performance and art exhibitions that concentrate their activities toward the fall and winter.

Beyond the stand-alone entertainment there is a long tradition of "charity events" that range from very dressy formal events at the big hotels / theaters to more casual things at gyms and bars.

Many days / night even in winter are fairly sunny, folks can and do get out for normal physical activity. Though Chicago is not Miami Beach nor a hardcore "active sports" town like Colorado Springs, so long as one does dress appropriately there can be plenty of things to do outdoors all year round.
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:46 AM
 
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So there are two things you need to be aware off. Chicago all year round is vibrant and energetic, however, from January - March you do see a big decline. Now that doesn't mean the city is dead, as from January - March you probably see more streetlife and activity than you would in a place like Seattle, Phoenix or Minneapolis at ANY given date throughout the year.

The thing is in the summer Chicago really booms with activity, sometimes to the point where it's a pain the ass (people everywhere, lot more traffic, but etc but it's stilll awesome). So if you come to Chicago in the summer and see how vibrant and energetic it is, don't expect to see it at that level in the winter. You will still see people out and about in the winter, and the core areas will have a lot of people outside, but I would say half of what you see in the summer.

I disagree with people saying their is plenty to outdoors in Chicago in the winter. I don't agree with that. If you want to go snowboarding or skiing you have to drive at least two hours out. Other than that there really isn't much else to do in winter outside geared towards winter sports. But that's okay because Chicago has a lot of gyms and indoor activities. So if staying active in the winter is a concern, trust me, you might not be doing it outside, but the amount of stuff going on indoors is overwhelming in itself.

So to answer your question Chicago is a vibrant and active city year round. It's just January-March it's much less so than the rest of the year. If your concern is staying active Chicago has plenty to do both indoors and outdoors. Obviously in the summer there is more to do.

In all honesty, I find Chicago to be the next most vibrant city in the US after NYC. Obviously there are places like Las Vegas or Miami that have their parts where no one can beat them year round. But pound per pound, Chicago is probably the second most vibrant city in the US year round. Also the city's northside continues to become more dense, more pedestrian friendly and more vibrant. 5 years ago in Logan Square the strip between Fullerton and California, was nothing special, especially at night. Now? It's becoming one of the hottest nightlife spots in the city with people always out and about in that strip. Chicago continues to create new areas like that are taking once poorly or mildly vibrant areas and really making them very very vibrant.

Also be careful where you choose to live too. You have extremely vibrant and active neighborhoods like the Near North Side, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square, etc. that are very vibrant year round. The are others one that like Avondale or Irving Park, that are much quieter in the winter months, but become fairly vibrant in the summer (not on the scale of the other ones). Then you have neighborhoods like Portage Park or Sauganash that are really dead in the winter and get some vibrancy in the summer months.

Last edited by UrbanCheetah; 08-10-2016 at 09:56 AM..
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
Many days / night even in winter are fairly sunny, folks can and do get out for normal physical activity.
But it's actually the cloudy days that are the warm days! Sunny days are colder days.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:44 AM
 
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But it's actually the cloudy days that are the warm days! Sunny days are colder days.
That's very true. When it's sunny as heck and not a cloud in the sky, I am just like "yeah it's going to be bitter out there."

Very rarely do we get a mild/warm winter day with sun. The only warm ones are when they are overcast.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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I think Chicago is almost always active when the sun is out.
It's those dreary cloudy winter days is when things slow down.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Wicker Park/East Village area
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Yes, it slows down. Even touring bands avoid Chicago in winter. Obviously there are bands coming through town, even in winter, but compare a July shows list to a January shows list and you'll see a huge difference. People still go out and do stuff all winter long, but overall the percentage of time spent inside the home has got to increase in jan and feb when it's like 0 degrees out.
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Old 08-10-2016, 11:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jwaiter View Post
Yes, it slows down. Even touring bands avoid Chicago in winter. Obviously there are bands coming through town, even in winter, but compare a July shows list to a January shows list and you'll see a huge difference. People still go out and do stuff all winter long, but overall the percentage of time spent inside the home has got to increase in jan and feb when it's like 0 degrees out.
Yup, and but I feel that trues with any cold winter city except for NYC. Boston, Philly and DC all slow down much more in winter.

And like you said, it declines in winter, but that doesn't mean the city is dead, just not as many people outside (I would say a good 50%) as there are in the summer.
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