Chicago is one city that is known for its ever-changing weather conditions. Whether it’s dealing with scorching summers, brutal winters or torrential rain, Chicago is more than just “the windy city.” While tailgating in Chicago, it’s crucial to take into consideration the weather conditions that can not only affect your drive in to Soldier Field but also the conditions while in the parking lots. Following a few simple tips can help make your tailgating excursion a more comfortable and enjoyable experience for both you and your guests.
Tailgating involves grilling, cooking and drinking; which are all great activities for a bright and sunny day. However, cooking over a hot grill on a scorching Chicago summer day can be uncomfortable to say the least. Allowing yourself some relief on exceptionally hot days is crucial in maintaining a comfortable tailgating event. Although there is a ban on canopies for Chicago Bears tailgating, the restrictions are more lenient towards non-free-standing canopies. A retractable canopy connected to your tailgating vehicle or even a simple battery-powered necklace fan can make a huge difference in bearing the heat.
Rain can be a definite damper on any tailgating excursion. Even with all the planning in the world and a proper synopsis of upcoming weather predictions, it’s important to be prepared for unexpected rain. Umbrellas and ponchos can be stored easily without taking up too much space and can be conveniently tucked away in your tailgating vehicle for just-in-case purposes. Also, it’s always handy to bring along a grill that can be used without having to be open to the elements. The Coleman Chicago Bears InstaStart Tailgate Grill provides features that allow it to be used in wet weather conditions and has a dependable lighting mechanism that doesn’t require matches to start.
Chicago is renowned for its blistering weather during the winter, whether it’s below-zero temperatures or hammering snowfall. Surviving Chicago winters while tailgating involves some extra time and effort when it comes to dressing for the weather. Layering undergarments and weather-protectant coats are imperative for staying warm. Also, head-protector items like earmuffs and hats will keep your head nice and cozy while exhibiting team spirit like the Chicago Bears Mohawk Beanie. Quality gloves are also needed to keep fingers from freezing but it can be more convenient to buy gloves with cut-out slots for fingers to allow for ease in grilling and eating.
Driving to Soldier Field can be difficult as is due to construction and traffic delays. However, adverse weather conditions can add hours onto your travel time. Whether it’s rain or snow, there will inevitably be slow drivers on the road or even an accident or two that will cause major backups on highways. While many of the parking lots call for an arrival time of four to five hours prior to kickoff to ensure availability, people tend to arrive much earlier because of the popularity of the limited tailgating parking spaces. So when driving to a Soldier Field game during bad weather, it’s important to allow ample time for traffic that may even further delay your arrival time.
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Sara Lugardo is a Korean American who thrives in writing about community news in Chicago. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.