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 my favorite festivals, markets, and holiday-themed events. Let me know which ones you plan on doing in the comments below xo
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Where: Wrigley Field, 3635 N. Clark Street
Winterland at Gallagher Way has returned and it is bigger and better than ever. They have the festive Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville, fun dining options at the nearby eateries, visits with Santa, ice skating, games, rides, and so much more. Hotel Zachary is also right there with their Terrace globes.
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 ice skating rink, authentic holiday beer garden and so much more.
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.
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.
This just opened downtown right off of Michigan Avenue and has the BEST Christmas decorations. They have festive drinks, cheery holiday music, and charcuterie boards. They also have hot chocolate and donut + dessert boards for kids! It is open to all ages before 6PM and 21+ after 6PM.
This is another amazing light festival located outside Chicago in Tinley Park. Immerse yourself in a million twinkling lights as you stroll inside larger-than-life themed worlds. There is food, music, dancing and more!
This magical show will be running through December and an interactive way to experience the classic tale of The Nutcracker. It is the perfect activity to do this holiday season and make sure to book your tickets in advance.
The Museum of Ice Cream is adding a winter holiday themed twist with festive treats, a pink wonderland, and interactive Christmas activities. So much fun!
This is such a classic activity to do during the holiday season. I am so excited to be attending this weekend as my good friend’s daughter will be performing in it. Such a fun holiday tradition!
Returning for its tenth season, the 2,100 sq ft (200 sq m) synthetic ice rink is the only hotel skating rink in Chicago. Surrounded by Chicago’s skyscrapers and twinkling lights, the rink is tucked into a winter wonderland featuring festive music and snowflake lighting. Enjoy a selection of hot beverages and snacks available at the Chalet.
Cirque Dreams Holidaze is coming to Chicago! Make sure to book your tickets because they will only be performing for a short time. I saw it last year and loved it!