The winter season can really do a number on our bodies. In the winter you may feel achy, your joints may hurt and let’s not even discuss the discomfort we may feel if we catch the common cold or the flu.  With all these ailments happening a good chunk of the year in Chicago, it never hurts to catch a little R&R in the dead of winter. For an otherworldly experience, I ventured out to West Irving Park to the Galos Cave.

I’m sure you are surprised to know that there are caves in Chicago. However, it may not be the type of caves that you are imagining. The Galos Cave is one of the first salt-iodine caves in the US with many more salt caves popping up all across Chicago. Visitors retreat to salt saves in hopes to receive some relief from their ailments. A few sessions at the cave can help with respiratory issues, dermatological skin conditions, and allergies.  One 45 minute session at the cave is the equivalent of 3 long days at the beach. With rave reviews and even being featured in TIME Magazine, it was time to make a salty escape to The Galos Cave.

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I went on a weekend, which is the busiest time for the cave. Between the hours of 10-1pm, is probably the best time to attend if you want some privacy.  The cave also welcomes children featuring a play area with toys, rakes and of course salt. It can fit about 10 people so it never gets crowded but who wouldn’t want a whole entire cave to themselves? When I went it was only me and 2 other people. I’m sure we all were hoping the other one wouldn’t show up because having an entire cave to myself would have been bliss.

Stalactites dangled from the ceilings and salt crystals covered the entire floor. The Galos Caves creates the perfect artificial sea atmosphere to create the mood that you are lounging on the beach even in the winter.

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To kick off the session one is advised to gently walk around the cave to massage their feet on the salt-covered floor. This felt a little uncomfortable at first but you get used to it.  You can even run the salt through your hands and fingers. It’s like a giant adult sandbox.  Once you become acclimated to your salt environment, it is then time to sit back and relax and breathe in the salt filled air.

During the session sounds of nature filled the room. One could hear the waves crashing and the birds singing across the paradise made of salt. To really allow visitors to get comfortable, a small pillow and  blanket was provided.

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Fast forward to 35 minutes and I’m waking up from a wonderful slumber. I did not expect to fall asleep, but hey it happens to the best of us.  I felt incredibly refreshed and it was one of the best naps I’ve had in a while.  You haven’t experienced a great nap until you’ve had one inside of a salt cave.

After a few sessions, that is when you may notice the benefits of being enclosed in iodine salt. Groupon currently has a great deal on multiple sessions at the Galos Cave available on their website.

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Overall I enjoyed my experience at The Galos Cave and for the experience it is worth checking out. I went because I’ve never been in a cave of any sort before so I feel like this counts as a cave-like experience.

It wasn’t life changing and honestly I didn’t feel any different during my session or afterwards. The change in air quality also wasn’t noticeable to me. This is why it is advised to do multiple sessions and in that case, you may feel a difference. If anything, go so you can have a nap. If you would like to learn more about the Galos Cave head to

Special Note: Always make an appointment, walk-ins are not accepted since there is limited space inside the cave.