Temperatures were in the teens as people headed to work.
"It's cold. It is cold. You have to be determined to get where you want to go," resident Sue Bolley said.
The annual rites of spring like that first tennis match, softball game and tee time of the season were put on hold.
There wasn't a soul at Sydney Marovitz Golf Course on Chicago's North Side.
It was so cold that the Morton Arboretum in Lisle had to reschedule its planned spring equinox tour for next Wednesday.
It may be cold for people but not for trees and plants.
"Our trees are ready to go. They put on buds, and as the weather gets warmer, the buds get bigger, and eventually the leaves and the flowers emerge," Morton Arboretum Docent and Tram Interpreter Coordinator Mary Samerdyke said. "A lot of people don't think of a pussy willow as a flower, but that is indeed the flowering part of the willow tree."
For it to really feel like spring, you had to go inside.
At the Lincoln Park Conservatory, it was a balmy 76 degrees-perfect for those trying to escape the cold.
"Nice sense of warmth, and then we just went back outside, and it was freezing again. So we come back in," Rick Leedham, who was at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, said.