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Returning Jan. 25 Near 727 West Madison: The Chicago Polar Plunge!

If one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2020 is to welcome new experiences outside your comfort zone, consider signing up for Chicago’s 19th Annual Polar Plunge! Scheduled for Jan. 25, this chilly event involves jumping into the frigid waters of Lake Michigan in the middle of winter. Why would people do this? Past participants cite a number of reasons: wanting to challenge themselves, wanting to do something off-the-wall with friends, and wanting to be part of something bigger and better than themselves. 

The event has grown enormously since its humble start in 2001 when three friends hopped into Lake Michigan for a few fleeting moments. Since then, word has spread and the annual event has grown to include more than 3,000 yearly participants who have raised more than $400,000 for local charities. Pro tip: after the plunge you’ll definitely want to join the warm-up after party at Moe’s Cantina River North.