It's tempting to want to hibernate when the weather turns frigid. Though with all the tasty treats and drinks at family gatherings and office parties, the holidays aren't the time to slow down. Get your blood pumping at these five events to keep those calorie bombs in check.
Channel your favorite Olympic ice skating star for a whirl at seasonal outdoor rinks around the city. Most offer skate rentals for $5-$10. Icy destinations include:
-McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park, 55 N. Michigan Ave. 312-742-1168. Free. Open daily through March 11.
-The Rink at Wrigley in the parking lot next to Wrigley Field, Clark and Addison streets. 312-617-7017. $5-$10. Open daily Nov. 25-Feb. 27. Closed Dec. 25.
-Midway Plaisance Park, 1130 Midway Plaisance North. 312-745-2470. Free. Open daily Nov. 26-Feb. 26. Closed Dec. 25.
More info: Find hours and additional rinks at chicago.metromix.com/skating.
Turkey Trot 8K
Run and Walk
Before pigging out on Thanksgiving Day, work up your heart rate at the 34th annual race through Lincoln Park (Fullerton Parkway and Cannon Drive). Participants score a long-sleeved running shirt and the chance to win prizes such as running store gift cards for top finishers and raffle winners. Also, consider bringing canned goods to donate to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. $30-$35.
When: 9 a.m. Thursday
More info: turkeytrotchicago.com
Chicago Skeeball League tournament
Mix up your exercise routine by grabbing a buddy for this two-on-two skeeball tournament at Lincoln Park bar Glascott's (2158 N. Halsted St.). As you strengthen your arm muscles, you'll also compete for Bears tickets. Admission includes a drink ticket and the tourney and is open to the first 64 teams to sign up from noon-1:30 p.m. the day of. $5-$10.
When: 2 p.m. Dec. 3
More info: skeenation.com
Santa Hustle 5K
The man in red isn't the fittest fellow, but the third annual run and walk gets Saint Nick look-alikes moving along Montrose Harbor (600 W. Montrose Ave.). The festive course features holiday music and decorations, candy, reindeer and sleigh rides. The $40 entry fee buys a Santa hat, beard and long-sleeved shirt, plus a post-race breakfast buffet at Cubby Bear (1059 W. Addison St.) or The Sports Corner (952 W. Addison St.).
When: 9 a.m. Dec. 3
More info: santahustle.com
Dreidel and Santa Rampage
Hop on your bike and join others dressed as Santa, elves and dreidels on a mischievous ride through the city. The annual Bike Winter event kicks off at Twisted Spoke (501 N. Ogden Ave.) before heading about seven miles to the Billy Goat Tavern (430 N. Michigan Ave.). Expect shenanigans along the way, such as naughty carol sing-alongs and photo ops with department store Santas. Free.
When: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 17
More info: bikewinter.org
Runs and races not your thing? You don't have to hit the gym to make up for that extra slice of pumpkin pie. According to Dawn Jackson Blatner, a Chicago-based dietitian as well as nutrition consultant for the Chicago Cubs, your usual holiday routine might already be hiding some calorie-burning activities. L.H.
2 HOURS OF SHOPPING = 344 CALORIES
1 HOUR PUTTING UP THE CHRISTMAS TREE = 172 CALORIES
1.5 HOURS OF COOKING = 281 CALORIES
1 HOUR WRITING GREETING CARDS = 135 CALORIES
(Estimates are based on a 165-pound person.)