Winter in Chicago is often thought of as a time for hibernation, but the good folks up in Andersonville are here to get us out of the house and celebrate the coziness of this oft-bemoaned season. Inspired by the neighborhood’s Swedish roots and the Danish notion of hygge, which is the ritual of embracing life’s pleasures and finding warmth in the presence of family, friends, and community, the annual weekend-long festival is totally worth leaving the house for.
Hosted by the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, Hygge Fest is a neighborhood-wide affair supported by local businesses, cafés, bakeries, and restaurants, including Andersonville Antiques, Colectivo Coffee, Foursided, Lost Larson, Milk Handmade, Rattleback Records, Transit Tees, Uncharted Books, Strange Cargo Tees, Summerdale, and many others. For the festival, which takes place February 1 and 2, each participating business offers different promotions and events—for example: 20 percent off soaps, candles, and tarot cards at Foursided; a scrunchie-making workshop at Milk Handmade; and free mulled cider at Transit Tees.
Some highlights of Hygge Fest this year include the Andersonville Coffee & Hot Cocoa Crawl, held February 1,10 a.m.–1 p.m. Check-in starts at 9 a.m. at Elixir Andersonville, and attendees can follow one of two routes (Bean or Brew), each of which has seven stops for hot drinks at spots like Replay and Ridman’s Coffee. No matter the route you select, everyone gets a commemorative ceramic Andersonville mug and a pastry.
The Pajama Fun Run is another standout event, taking place February 1 at 9 a.m. and benefiting Care for Real. It starts at Clark and Balmoral, and heads north to Gethsemane Garden Center and back. At one mile round-trip, it’s doable for all types of runners and walkers.
For families, be sure and stop at George’s Ice Cream and Sweets on Saturday to mark National Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. Apparently that’s a thing, and the scoop shop is celebrating by opening at 8 a.m.