The nose-biting cold that tore through the midwest and east coast this week may have you in hibernation mode, but winter doesn't have to be all about blustery morning commutes and stocking up on cold medicine.
In Minneapolis, for example, where temperatures are down to -4 degrees, a good deed could warm your heart and save you money on your next hotel stay. The Grand Hotel's "Kick Start The New Year" package (from $109 per night) gives guests 20 percent off any stay if they donate to the hotel's January shoe drive. Located at the Front Desk, the month-long initiative is accepting used running shoes (any size, color, or style will do) to be donated to the global non-profit Soles for Souls, which provides shoes to those in need. (Valid for stays through March, 2014.)
Over in Chicago, Hotel Burnham's "Whiskey Lover's Package" (from $179 per night) is another surefire way to stay toasty in one of the country's most frigid locales this season. Known for its beautifully preserved architecture, salvaged marble floors, and mahogany-accented lobby, the hotel was practically built for quiet evenings sitting by the fire with a glass of whiskey in hand. Book any stay Thursday-Sunday until January 31, 2014, and receive a tour for two at the Koval Distillery (a 20-minute drive north of the hotel), a 200mL bottle of Koval upon arrival, and late check-out.