Sub-zero temperatures. Freezing rain. Snow and ice. You know it's around the corner, and while you could still go from wearing flip-flops to UGGs all within a 24 hour period and back again as late as November, the fact is, Chicago's honeymoon of warm, desirable weather is going to come to a screeching halt any day now. (Yeah, we know that's sort of Debbie Downer-ish, but we're just being realistic here, people…)
But fear not, fellow frostbite victims. Hidden in the city is a climate-controlled little terrarium where you can escape reality. The Garfield Park Conservatory is an appealing and somewhat off-the-beaten-path place to live in denial for an hour or two. (You could camp out all day if you really wanted to – no one is stopping you as long as you aren't breaking any laws and don't pitch an actual tent…) Go for a stroll without your bulky parka through the ''palm house'', admiring the (you guessed it) coconut palm trees. It's like a free, tropical paradise in the dead of winter (and did we mention there is a free parking lot?) right next to the Conservatory-Central Park Drive station on the Green Line. Sometimes it really is easy being green.