It's 2 degrees outside, and just the thought of wrestling into 17 layers of wool -- plus parka --
saps your will to live.
But you've seen every episode of "Boardwalk Empire"(twice), your rations of last week's chili are depleted and restless leg syndrome has begun to set in.
Here are our favorite reasons to rejoin the world:
1. Because there are actually decent sledding hills in this pancake-flat city. Our picks: Mount Trashmore at Robert E. James Park on Mulford Street, Evanston; Soldier Field Sled Hill Prairie at 1801 S. Museum Campus Drive; or just hit Lincoln Park.
2. Because your dog is practically begging to get out and play well with others -- take him to bark park Saturdays at Canine Crews in Humboldt Park. $5 per dog for two hours of play; 1616 N. Washtenaw Ave.; 773-235-1616 or caninecrews.com
3. Because if Disneyland is the Happiest Place on Earth, then an exhibit of Disney memorabilia is bound to lift your spirits. (And if it doesn't, the chick hatchery will.) Admission $27 adults, $18 children; Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr.; 773-684-1414 or msichicago.org
4. Because even though you're all grown up, there's still something irresistible about the miniature trains and the teeny tiny version of Chicago on display at Wonderland Express. Tickets $12 adults, $10 children; November 29 through January 5 at Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe; 847-835-5440 or chicagobotanic.org
5. Because rowing for beginners in a giant indoor tank is now an option at the stunning new Jeanne Gang-designed Clark Park Boathouse -- and it's an amazing lower-body workout. $60 for a three-week course; 3400 N. Rockwell St.; 312-636-1239 or rowchicago.com
6. Because Luna Gale, a world-premiere drama about teenage drug addicts accused of neglecting their baby, will be far more gripping than reruns of Teen Mom on MTV. January 18 through February 23 at Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St.; 312-443-3800 or goodmantheatre.org [Ticket prices not yet available]
7.Because strolling through the Art Institute's exhibit about food is a warmer way to work up an appetite than, say, biking on the lakefront path in a blizzard. Admission $23 adults (residency discounts apply), free for children younger than 14; Nov. 12 through Jan. 27; 111 S. Michigan Ave.; 312-443-3600 or artic.edu
8. Because the rink at Wrigley is closed this year and skating at Millennium Park is a total zoo. But the Midway Plaisance Park Ice Rink is better anyway -- and it's on the exact spot where the World's Fair Ferris wheel stood. 1130 Midway Plaisance; 312-745-2470 or chicagoparkdistrict .com/parks/midway-plaisance-park
9. Because your new coat from Andrew Marc or beach vacation outfit from Calypso aren't going to shop for themselves -- armed with your credit card, you can constructively kill hours indoors at the new Fashion Outlets of Chicago. 5220 Fashion Outlets Way, Rosemont; 847-928-7500 or fashionoutletsofchicago.com
10. Because you can be skiing in an hour and a half on one of the 25 admittedly manmade -- but unbeatably close to Chicago -- runs at Wilmot Mountain. Opening day Nov. 1; lift tickets $33 to $43, ski rental $25 to $28; 11931 Fox River Road., Wilmot, WI; 262-862-2301 or wilmotmountain.com
11. Because your post-holiday pounds have overstayed their welcome. Try a high-in-the-sky workout at the new AIR aerial fitness studio. Classes $30 each or $100 for first month; 2217 N. Clybourn Ave.; 980-219-8425 or airfitnow.com
12. Because a tiki bar where you sip drinks out of giant seashells feels like an instant vacation. Three Dots and a Dash, 435 N. Clark St.; 312-610-4220 or threedotschicago.com.
13. Because if the Green City Market can persevere through the winter, so can you. And where else will you find such killer maple syrup for your snow-day pancakes? Saturday indoor markets, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.; November through mid-April at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive.; 773-880-1266 or greencitymarket.org
14. Because you really can make it through a couple of hours at the new Kidville in Lincoln Park -- and your tots will love it. Dance, art, music and more classes available plus open playspace hours; 1030 W. North Ave.; 312-605-2555 or kidville.com/lincolnpark
15. Because biscuits are the new doughnut, and you can get 'em hot, fluffy, vegetarian and made from scratch at Bang Bang Pie Shop. 2051 N. California Ave.; 773-276-8888 or bangbangpie.com
16. Because it's better for your mental health to drink coffee among hipsters at the cooler-than-thou new Intelligentsia in Logan Square than home alone by yourself. 2642 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-945-1690 or intelligentsiacoffee.com
17. Because the new Nike running store in Bucktown has all the insulated tights and reflective jackets you need to keep pounding the pavement on these dark and freezing mornings. 1640 N. Damen Ave., nike.com
18. Because there's a baby snow leopard at the Brookfield Zoo. Admission $15 adults, $10.50 children; 8400 W. 31st St., Brookfield; 708-688-8000 or brookfieldzoo.org
19. Because you're not going to make soup like the amazing shrimp-and-giant-corn chupe ($22) at new Peruvian restaurant Tanta. 118 W. Grand Ave.; 312-222-9700 or tantachicago.com
20. Because you've always wanted to learn how to make your own tamales, and now you can with a class on Nov. 17 or Dec. 7 through Dabble. Registration $45; Enerspace Chicago, 1046 W. Kinzie St.; dabble.co
21. Because your hot chocolate might be good, but it won't warm you like Xoco's chile and allspice laced Aztec hot chocolate. Overload your craving for Mexican-flavored sweets with a churro alongside. Xoco, 449 North Clark Street