The holidays are here and there are so many fun and festive things to do around Chicago! Now is the best time to get out and explore this winter season. Below find a few of our favorite festivals, markets, and holiday-themed events. Let me know which ones you plan on doing in the comments below xo
1. CHRISTKINDLE MARKER
When: November 19th- December 24th
Where: The Daley Plaza
This market is a classic in Chicago and a one everyone should visit. It opens at 11AM daily and located at 50 W. Washington Street. There are lots of fun little shops, tons of food options, and festive decor. So much fun!
2. LINCOLN PARK ZOO LIGHTS
Where: Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St.
Zoolights is a Chicago tradition and is back at Lincoln Park Zoo. Enjoy visits with Santa, a holiday pop-up bar, an Enchanted Forest, Light Maze Presented by Invesco QQQ, sweet treats of all kinds, and much more! You have to buy your $5 tickets in advance online.
3. ICE SKATING AT MAGGIE DALEY SKATING RIBBON
When: Nov. 20th – March 13th, 2022
Where: 337 E. Randolph St.
Come and skate the quarter mile Alpine inspired ice-skating ribbon, while taking in the magnificent views of the Chicago Skyline. You can make reservations online and either rent or bring your own skates.
4. LET IT SHINE LIGHTSHOW
The Let It Shine Lightshow now has 3 locations in Aurora, Northbrook, and Schaumburg. Guests can stay in their cars and drive through this fun experience. There are 1 million LED lights that to help immerse yourselves into a wonderland of dazzling archways, sparkling candy canes, glowing snowmen, and more! Get your tickets online in advance.
5. HOLIDAY MAGIC AT THE BROOKFIELD ZOO
When: Now through December 31
The Brookfield Zoo has a brilliantly lit 600 foot long tunnel featuring thousands of colored lights all synchronized to music. They also have lots of other festive decorations as well as LED animal sculptures, a 41 foot tall tree and a 20 foot lit orb that is ideal for Instagram selfies and lots of holiday photos.
6. MACY’S WALNUT ROOM & STATE STREET HOLIDAY WINDOWS
When: Now through Jan. 3
Where: 111 N. State St.
The Walnut Room is always a fun tradition in my husband’s family. Macy’s always has such amazing window displays and it’s so nice to sit around the large tree in the Walnut Room and have dinner.
7. WINTERLAND AT GALLAGHER WAY
Where: Wrigley Field, 3635 N. Clark Street
Winterland at Gallagher Way has returned. They have the festive Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville, fun dining options at the nearby eateries, visits with Santa, ice skating, and so much more. Hotel Zachary is also right there with their Terrace globes.
8. ILLUMINATION AT MORTON ARBORETUM
When: November 20th- Jaunary 2nd
Where: 4100 IL-53, Lisle IL
The ninth annual Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum returns as a walking experience. Explore 50 acres of the Arboretum’s majestic trees during this one-of-a-kind spectacle of color, light, and sound.
9. ART ON theMART: THE JOFFREY BALLET’S “THE NUTCRACKER”
When: November 26thv- December 30th
Where: 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza
The Nutcracker presentation for Art on theMART, set to the music of Tchaikovsky’s beloved score. The performance runs nightly at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., in partnership with Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The projections — displayed on theMART’s 2.5 acre river-facade — can be viewed for free from the jetty section of the Chicago Riverwalk on Wacker Drive between Wells Street and Franklin Street.
10. SERENITY: WINTER FLOWER SHOW AT GARFIELD PARK CONSERVATORY
When: November 24th – January 9th
Where: 300 N. Central Park Ave
11. LIGHT UP THE LAKE AT NAVY PIER
When: Now through January 2nd
Where: 600 E. Grand Ave, Navy Pier
Light Up the Lake is Chicagoland’s largest indoor, temperature-controlled experience, featuring large-scale light-sculpture displays, comprising more than 600,000 twinkling lights! It also offers an Alpine ice rink, authentic holiday beer garden and so much more.
12. JOJO’s WINTER WONDERLAND
Where: 23 W. Hubbard Street in River North
This such a fun and festive immersive dining experience for the holidays. They have fancy shakes, fun cocktails, and different flavored hot chocolates. They also have food too and a great kids menu. Make sure to make a reservation in advance and request one of their private domes.
13. SANTA SUITE AT THE SWISSOTEL
The Swissotel transformed their 2,000 square-foot Presidential Suite into Santa’s Chicago holiday home. Families and friends can book private parties or overnight stays with 17 different Christmas trees and visits from Santa Clause himself. This over-the-top space is decorated perfectly and is a must this holiday season. Visit their website for more info.
14. DR. SEUSS EXPERIENCE
Where: Water Tower Place: 835 N. Michigan Ave
This Seuss-tacular sensory spectacle invotes fans of all age on an awe-inspiring journey through 9 different Dr. Seuss books, allowing each visitor a chance to magically step into the pages with balloon mazes, interactive games, swings, parades, and more! See their website for tickets.
15. FROZEN ON BROADWAY
Where: The Cadillac Palace Theater
When: November 19, 2021 – January 22, 2022
Frozen is finally here in Chicago on Broadway and a must see! Such a fun and festive experience this winter. Check out their website for tickets.