A Frosty Doggo’s Indoor Guide to Chicago Winter

Once upon a time, the air didn’t hurt our faces and it was light outside—even at 5 p.m. We drank with our dogs on patios, went to farmers markets, watched outdoor movies, went to the beach, shared brunch, and even took puppy cruises. Life was good. 

And then it snowed. And it snowed again. And before long, we realized we had become sweatpants-people with really bored dogs. But not this time. Cause *this* time, we’re puppared with fun ideas to keep you and your buddy smilin’ all season long. Stay active, avoid cabin fever, and beat the winter blues with these toasty recs. 

Take a class. Has your pup been meaning to invest in herself, but just hasn’t had the time? Take advantage of the cool weather and enroll her in a training class. Whether she’d like to learn nosework or finally study to be a therapy dog like she’s always dreamed of, there’s a class for that! And good on you for encouraging her to take a little “her time” for a change.

Get your staycation on. The only thing better than snuggling in bed for 12 hours straight? Snuggling in bed for 12 hours straight with *room service.* Booking a room at one of these dog-friendly hotels is your ticket straight to cuddle town. Bone voyage!

Keep up with that beach bod. Have a water lover? Good weather may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Make a splash at Doggy Paddle, an indoor aquatic facility with pools for both silly dogs and calm dogs as well as an indoor dog park. Private lessons are available, too, for all you pool hogs out there (looking at you, Waffles). 

Get the party started. It doesn’t have to be your boy’s birthday for him to celebrate. Chicago has tons of puppin’ incredible doggo event venues where your friend can enjoy a little off-leash fun. Photobooths? Custom agility courses? Chicago flag pupcakes and doggy mocktails?! A dang bone-shaped pool?! Um, invite us, alright?

Catch up on your reading. Is your pup into Atwoof? Barkowski? J.K. Growling? Dogstoyevsky? Or, like, 50 Shades of Gravy? No matter your girl’s literary preferences, dogs love reading and bookstores love dogs. Pawfer to just enjoy a little Kindle over a coffee? Hit up a dog-friendly coffee shop. Just remember, kids: reading is your window to the woof.

When all else fails, go out drinking. The easiest way to stay toasty is to stay toasty (you feel us?). Head to one of these 14 breweries that allow pups inside or hit a local watering hole (like Archie’s, Bucktown Pub, Sportsman’s, Estereo, River Shannon, or Kasey’s, to name a few). It’s a great day to boop some noses and make some friends the old fashioned way. And if it’s way, way too cold, just drink at home

How do you keep the pups entertained during the winter months? Tell us in the comments!

(Photo by Liz Tremblay)

Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagram, and join our Dog-Friendly Chicago Facebook Group.

More reads you’ll ruv:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The internet’s most dog-friendly website. Sidewalk Dog is your go-to resource for all things dog. Trusted by more than 250,000 dog people around the world.

Join the Pack