Our Favorite Places in Chicago to take a Half Day and Relax

Chicago is a massive assemblage of both land and lake (and miles about miles of each), skyscrapers galore, an abundance of culture and history, food – oh, the food, and pretty much anything and everything else that anyone could wish for. But even for those who dwell within the city limits, it’s difficult to find the time to bask in all that this great city has to offer. “The grind” has been aptly dubbed as there are only so many hours in a day and days in a week, and work demands a hardy chunk of each. For most, free time, or rather, “me time,” is ephemeral and precious, which is why it’s so important for one’s mind, body, and soul to get away and recharge.

Now the ideal getaway would, of course, be jetting over to Fiji, but that’s not always possible. This is exactly why “staycations” have become such a thing in recent years and fortunately for Chicagoans, this is the ideal place to do so. Even if all one has is a half day, there are ways to make the most of that time and return you to real life thereafter with a bounce in your step and renewed energy.

Here are some of our favorite places in Chicago to take a half day…

Photo: Morton Arboretum/Facebook

Morton Arboretum

One of the most effective ways to turn off that irksome buzz of the big city hustle and bustle is to get back to nature. If 40 or more hours of your week are spent in a steel and concrete box surrounding by dozens of other steel and concrete boxes, it might be easy to forget that Chicago is more than just manmade monstrosities. However, things like flowers, trees, and peace and quiet are never really more than a stone’s throw away even from the most densely populated concrete jungles in this city. A wonderful place to lose oneself in fresh air and serenity is Morton Arboretum in nearby Lisle. An outdoor museum covering 1,700 acres with trees and plants, gardens, a restored tallgrass prairie, hiking trails, and both bike and driving roadways – – – there’s even a maze! Morton Arboretum is less manicured than some of the other gardens in the city which makes it easier to reconnect to the simplest, purest joys available, the natural ones. A few drops of Half Day full-plant oil during your half day in the great outdoors will get you feeling like a whole new person.

Photo: The Catcade/Facebook

The Catcade

Studies have shown that the simple act of petting a dog or cat can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and help your body release a relaxation hormone, but even not all animal lovers have their own pets to love on and reduce stress. Fortunately, there’s The Catcade in the heart of the Lakeview area, where for a nominal fee you can hang out in a living room-like setting, play free arcade games or check your email on your device, and all while hanging out with an array of adoptable, lovable, stress-fighting kitty cats. A dose of Half Day full plant oil to promote a calming focus combined with the unconditional affection of a cat can have profound effects on your emotional and physical well-being. The Catcade provides a total win-win experience with the entrance fee going directly to the cost of medical treatment for the cats and operating expenses for the shelter, and you’ll be able to take the warm fuzzies home with you – in the form of memories, or even with an actual companion should you find one you simply have to have.

Photo: The 606

The 606

And just like everyone’s begun hearing a lot of people talking about the amazing effects of full-plant oils recently, another top topic here in Chicago is the 606. What’s the 606? Only a way cool former abandoned rail line turned into more than two-and-a-half miles of multi-recreational trails running smack dab through the city. Walk, run, or bike ride the 606 and enjoy art, amazing views, and green spaces without having to be in the thick of the shoulder-to-shoulder, bumper-to-bumper chaos of the city. A couple of drops of Half Day then the rest of your own personal half day is left to explore the 606, and the city of Chicago, in as laid back of a way as your heart (and soul) desires.

So get out there and explore!