What’s your family’s holiday tradition? If you’re looking for a new way to celebrate the festive time of year, plan a trip to Chicago. From endless shopping and festive parades, to the Chicago Transit Authority’s special Holiday Train, the Windy City is a holiday wonderland. Watch the video for a glimpse of Chicago during the holidays and then check out 10 Ways to Enjoy the Holidays in Chicago!
The nation’s largest evening holiday celebration features a full day of family-friendly activities on November 21, concerts by top musical artists and the best shopping. The excitement culminates with a grand evening parade down Michigan Avenue that illuminates one million lights on 200 trees!
The Chicago Transit Authority decorates one of its trains, inside and out, with twinkling lights and festive decorations. As the holiday train pulls into each station, Santa waves to boarding passengers from his sleigh on an open-air flatcar while elves serenade riders between stops.
The Museum of Science and Industry’s Christmas Around the World & Holidays of Lights features 60 seasonal displays decorated by members of Chicago’s many ethnic communities. The annual celebration offers a glimpse into how cultures around the world celebrate the season. Make sure to stop by the museum between November 19 and January 3 to see the beautiful displays!
Located in the heart of Millennium Park, the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink offers family fun with the Chicago skyline as a backdrop starting November 13. Look out for special appearance on the ice by Santa Clause during the holiday season!
More than one million twinkling lights transform the Lincoln Park Zoo into a winter wonderland, complete with unique activities like live ice carvings and special holiday treats. In addition, visitors can take advantage of the zoo’s enchanting wildlife, with exhibits open late during ZooLights.
Christkindlmarket Chicago is an outdoor holiday market featuring vendors from around the world. Visitors can browse handcrafted ornaments, toys and unique holiday gifts, as well as enjoy traditional German foods, sweets and beverages November 20-December 24.
Since 1907, the Walnut Room at Macy’s has been decked out in holiday décor. The main focal point is the 45-foot Great Tree, which graces the center of the historic room from November through early January.
Every Friday evening from November 28-December 19, local choral groups sing cherished Christmas tunes during Caroling at Cloud Gate. The event takes place in front of Millennium Park’s Cloud Gate sculpture and lasts about an hour.
Charles Dickens’ timeless tale comes to life at the Goodman Theatre every holiday season. The production, now in its 38th season, is called one of the best holiday shows in the city. Celebrate this wonderful time of year by seeing this iconic show, November 14-December 27.
One of the best holiday photo opportunities in the city is a picture in front of the wreathed bronze lions at the Art Institute of Chicago’s Michigan Avenue entrance. The lions are not identical and thus are named for their poses: The south lion stands “In an Attitude of Defiance,” while the north lion is “On the Prowl.”
Have ideas that we missed? Comment below and share with us!
-Illinois Office of Tourism