The best routes for getting around in the cold.

There’s nothing like a Chicago winter to make you want to stay curled up in bed until April. However, for those too busy to hibernate, there’s no other option than to face the elements. Luckily, we at NBN have created a guide of warm routes through the bitter cold. Here you’ll find some paths, transportation and tips to get you where you need to go with (most of) your fingers and toes intact.


Go through University Hall for a warm start, then try your chances with getting lost in Old Kellogg. Bonus points if you stop in Garrett Seminary and confess your sins.


The “quick and dirty” route when it comes to beating the cold. Giving into the wind tunnel that is Sheridan Road is a white-flag surrender to Mother Nature.


This route takes you past the creepy Music Administration Building, so you can imagine you’re being chased by a ghost. Hopefully this will motivate you to move quickly because there are no warm buildings to get from campus to downtown. (If you wanted to be warm, you should have stayed in your dorm.)


In order to avoid grouchy geese and the bitter cold, we do not recommend the Lakefill path.


Walking through campus is usually your best bet to stay warm. The brutalist concrete buildings may be ugly, but they make a great wind block.


If you can navigate the bowels of Tech, entering through a side door and exiting the front of Mudd can save you from a couple hundred yards of the elements.


Cutting through Deering Meadow is not the toastiest, but it’s technically the shortest route. So if you like freezing (or you’re running late) this route is for you.

A note on bikes

Chicago Road and Sheridan Road are your best bet because they have bike lanes (though they aren’t always salted). Don’t forget a helmet! Not only will it protect you from the harsh concrete sidewalk, it will also shield you from the throngs of pedestrians who refuse to look before crossing. Pro tip: wear boots for when you inevitably tire of “pedestrian slalom” and have to walk your bike.

Other options

  • For those who like to travel in a heated atmosphere, you can hop on the 201 or Campus Loop buses. But don’t forget to memorize the entire schedule — if you put your faith in the Rider app, you’ll be left to freeze.
  • Get where you need to go without any of the fickle human interaction by taking the steam tunnels. Though technically illegal, the steam tunnel route can be very exciting. The downside: jump into the wrong underground system, and you could end up among the rats in the sewer.
  • If you prefer to remain in the realm of legality, try huddling together with a tour group: Nothing warms the soul like the ignorant bliss of prospective students.