NYE 2018 IN CHICAGO

Hi guys! Can’t believe we’re already a week into the new year. Tristan and I spent a long weekend in Chicago for new years so I wanted to share about our trip! I also linked all of my outfits at the bottom of the post!

I’ve been to Chicago 3 other times in the past, but only in May and August so I was excited (and slightly nervous) to go during the winter. Luckily for us, the weather was slightly mild compared to the usual below freezing temperatures… it was in the 20s and 30s the entire time we were there. Two of the days we were there it snowed for hours and I was so happy. I absolutely love snow and wish we got more in Charlotte. We stayed at Hotel Julian, about a block from Millennium Park and the bean. It was a really new and very nice hotel and we had zero complaints. We had a nice room and it was walking distance to a lot of the places we wanted to go, and we got a great price for the location because we booked through Hotel Tonight (one of my favorite travel apps!)

On Saturday when we arrived, we dropped our bags off at the hotel and walked to lunch at The Purple Pig in River North. It was a Spanish and Mediterranean tapas restaurant. We each had wine, the butternut squash soup, Greek cornbread, seafood saganaki, and meatballs. Everything was absolutely delicious and I’d highly recommend checking this place out if you’re in the area (tip: make a reservation!) After lunch, we grabbed a glass of wine at the hotel restaurant, About Last Knife, while we waited on our room to be ready. After checking in, we headed to Frosty’s, a Christmas pop-up bar, for cocktails before dinner. Since it was after Christmas and early (5pm), there was only a handful of people there, and it was snowing, so the entire experience was magical. It’s the cutest, most festive place, and had the best Christmas themed cocktails. We spent about an hour there then headed over to our dinner reservation at Bar Ramone, a Spanish tapas restaurant in River North. That was an amazing dinner and I’d highly recommend.

Sunday morning we took an Uber over to Wicker Park for brunch and shopping. We ate at Kanela Breakfast Club and had the BEST monkey bread ever. After brunch, we walked around the neighborhood shopping and then grabbed coffee at a Starbucks Reserve Bar (such a cool setup!) We headed back to the hotel and walked over to the bean, which was incredibly crowded, as to be expected. We walked over to Maggie Daley Park to see if we could ice skate at the ribbon rink they have set up there, but the line was a mile long so we opted out of that. We went to the Chicago Athletic Club to the game room bar there and had drinks. That evening we had dinner at Baita, an Italian Alps inspired pop-up restaurant at Eataly. The pasta was so fresh and delicious.

The next morning, New Year’s Eve, we woke up to pouring rain and heavy fog. We had gotten tickets to the Skydeck at Willis Tower and they were nonrefundable and nontransferable so we went anyways. When we got there, they told us it was 0% visibility up at the top but we went anyways because it was empty and you could not see a single thing! It was like being in a cloud and I thought it was pretty funny because I had been up there once before on a clear, sunny summer day. I hate Tristan didn’t get to see it so we’ll definitely go back next time! We went to brunch afterwards at Beatrix in River North. They have really fun brunch cocktails (I had the boozy banana joe, SO good!) and delicious food. After brunch, we walked down Miracle Mile and shopped a little. We had made a reservation at Duck Duck Goat for dinner at 4:45pm because that was all they had left when we looked, haha! It was a fixed menu with 10 different courses, including dumplings, noodles, salad, soup, and dessert. It was an awesome and SUPER filling meal. Since it was pouring rain and super cold, we just went back to the hotel and hung out the rest of the night and just barely stayed awake until midnight.

New Year’s Day we got ready, checked out of the hotel but left our bags with them, and walked over to Wildberry Pancakes for breakfast. The meal was good but they had extremely bad service so I wouldn’t recommend. After breakfast, we took an Uber over to Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the largest zoos in the country. It is free admission and neither of us had ever been so I was really excited to check it out. It was snowing and pretty empty but we had so much fun. We went over to the Conservatory and walked around in the warm, tropical gardens. After that, we walked around the Lincoln Park neighborhood, grabbed donuts at Firecakes, and then lunch at Soupbox in Lakeview East. It was snowing and just really fun to explore the neighborhoods before we had to head back to the hotel, grab our bags, and get to the airport.

It was a really fun trip and I would definitely go back during the winter, preferably before Christmas next time so we could check out more of the festive light shows and the Christmas market (it was closed by the time we got there).

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