Cabin Fever: 8 Activities Worth Leaving The House For

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Between the holiday withdrawl and the perpetually drab weather, it's pretty tempting to pull the covers over your head and surrender to sloth. But, here's a reality check: There are three more months to go before spring makes its cheery appearance, so it's best to find some other cold-weather hobbies, besides say, browsing Facebook. Seriously, we're just as lazy as the next gal, but we certainly enjoy life beyond our PJs. And just in case your brain is in too much of a holiday fog to sort out a plan of action, we've sourced eight amazing activities that are guaranteed to get you up and out of your casa.

If crowded January gyms aren't your thing, try joining an outdoor cycling club. Feeling artistic? There's no better way to tap into your inner Monet than with a glass of vino at Arts and Spirits. And because we're always into a hearty dose of primping and pampering, we've got our calendar marked for Mario Tricoci's Beauty Resolutions event (hello, complimentary treatments!). But don't worry, your couch will always be there, waiting for you when you get home.

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Paella Cooking Demo At Café Ba-Ba-Reeba
We love a lazy girl’s way out of cooking just as much as the next gal, but it’s time to give delivery service a break and start making use of that kitchen. Instead of studying a cookbook in search of a comforting winter recipe, head out to Café Ba-Ba-Reeba on Saturday, January 12 at 10 a.m. for a two-hour Spanish-themed cooking class. For just $30 per amigo, you’ll learn how to make the restaurant's signature dishes such as: crab-stuffed piquillo peppers, chorizo a la sidra, botifarra, chicken and mussels paella, and churros with yummy dipping sauces for dessert. There’s no need to take notes, you’ll leave with a tapas recipe booklet and paella cookbook to keep you on track. And just in case you need an extra incentive to bundle up and leave your own casa, you’ll get to try all of the dishes with applicable wine pairings. So, see you there?
Café Ba-Ba-Reeba, 2024 North Halsted Street (between Armitage and Dickens avenues); 773-935-5000.

Five-Year Anniversary Incentive (And New Location!) At The Bar Method
This is the time of year when you’re more motivated to throw on a Snuggie than head to the gym — we hear you. But instead of forgoing your fitness goals due to old man winter, why not celebrate them at The Bar Method’s newest location in the Gold Coast on January 26. The fifth Chicago location is opening in conjunction with its five-year anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, the company is offering Bar Method clients a five-week body transformation challenge starting Monday, January 7. Five classes per week; five weeks; five studios to choose from. Meet the challenge and you’ll be eligible to win one of five grand prizes, but everyone will walk away with a more bodacious bod.
The Bar Method, Multiple Locations.

Winemaker Reception at Paris Club
We know you don’t need a reason to head to Paris Club, but we’re going to give you one: a free wine-tasting reception with Mercer Estates winemaker Jessica Munnell. On Monday, January 14 from 5 to 9 p.m., you can enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres paired with a variety of Mercer wines. Oh, and feel free to ask questions. Munnell’s expertise doesn’t cost a thing, either.
Paris Club, 59 West Hubbard Street (between Clark and Dearborn streets); 312-595-0800.

Chillcation At The Hiltons Of Chicago
So, you're ready to get up off the couch, but don't want to leave city limits. Thanks to the Hilton’s Winter Chillcation promo, there’s never been a better time to take a getaway in your own city. From The Drake and the Waldorf Astoria to the Conrad and theWit, each property is offering a bevy of valuable discounts, room upgrades, and amenities starting at just $149 a night. Now that’s what we call a suite dream.
The Hiltons Of Chicago, Multiple Locations.

Photos: Courtesy of Cafe Ba Ba Reeba, The Bar Method, Paris Club, Hilton
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Culture And Vino At Arts N Spirits
It’s never too late to pick up a new hobby. At Arts n Spirits, the premise is pretty straightforward: visit the online calendar and choose a class, reserve your slot ($25 to $45, including materials), grab your peeps and some vino (it’s BYOB!), and get ready to channel your inner Monet!
  Arts n Spirits, 1921 North Damen Avenue (between Homer and Cortland streets); 773-772-3877.

Critical Mass Bike Ride (Starting) At Daley Plaza
On the last Friday of each month (come rain, snow, or shine), thousands of cyclists gather at Daley Plaza before embarking on a trip around the city. It’s free, it’s great exercise, and you might even conquer that New Year’s resolution of meeting new people. We’ll see you January 25. Don’t forget your helmet.
Critical Mass at Daley Plaza, 50 West Washington Street (at Dearborn Street).

Oh-Sew Crazy At The Needle Shop
Hey baby, it’s cold outside, the perfect time to try sewing yourself a warm-and-cozy addition to your wardrobe — or just keep those freezing hands busy. The Needle Shop is a DIY sewing school and fabric shop, offering classes in accessories, clothing, hand embroidery, interiors, and sewing basics. This certainly isn’t your grandma’s knitting circle. You could walk away with a killer messenger bag or an off-the-moment frock.
The Needle Shop, 2054 West Charleston Street (between Damen and Hoyne avenues); no phone.

Beauty Resolutions Event At Mario Tricoci
We got three words for you: complimentary beauty services. Yup, we’re talking about cellophane hair treatments (a glossing miracle worker), blow-dry styles, facials, massages, and airbrush-makeup apps. The festivities take place on Thursday, January 24 from 5 to 7 p.m. Getting gorgeous and keeping our wallets closed? Sounds like a two-bird-one-stone situation to us.
Mario Tricoci, 900 North Michigan Avenue (between Walton Street and Delaware Place); 1-800-Tricoci.

Photos: courtesy of Arts n Spirits, Critical Mass, The Needle Shop, Mario Tricoci