Into the midnight hour of December eve, it's never too late
to choose Chicago for making holiday traditions of your own! With an abundance
of events, shopping and family-fun happenings, you'll never run out of things
to do this holiday season in Chicago.
In the spirit of holiday gift-giving and seasonal sales, through
December 15, 2014 the Chicago
Fall Escape offers a great last minute hotel deal! Enjoy a $150 Chicago
hotel statement credit when you use any eligible American Express Card to book
a qualifying stay on this
site at one of the participating hotels listed here.
Ice Skating in
Open through Mar. 9, 2014, at the McCormick Tribune Plaza at Millennium Park
Kick off Chicago's winter season with a fun-filled day of ice skating. The rink
draws more than 100,000 skaters annually, and is free and open to the public. Skate
rental is available for $10.
Zoo Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo
Through Jan. 5, 2014, Lincoln Park
Enjoy ice carving demonstrations, visits with Santa, warm drinks, cool
crafts and more as you stroll through Lincoln Park Zoo decorated with more than
two million beautiful lights. All new this year is Ice Skating at Lincoln
Park Zoo! Whizz past the goats and cows at the rink in Farm-in-the-Zoo
before heading to the Kovler Lion House to visit Santa Claus himself. Snacks
and festive winter warming drinks are available for purchase and will keep the
whole family happy.
at Cloud Gate
Annual event held on Fridays, last performance Dec. 20, in Millennium Park
Now in its eighth season, Caroling at Cloud Gate has become a cherished
tradition in Chicago, with hundreds of singers gathering each week in the park.
Enjoy the beautiful voices of a variety of choral groups and participate in a
holiday sing-along on Fridays at 6 PM now through December 20.
Matzah to Menorah: A Holiday Jazz
Dec. 5, Spertus Institute
On the eighth and final night of Hanukkah, join tenor Alberto Mizrahi,
harmonica/piano whiz Howard Levy and jazz ensemble Trio Globo in celebrating
the festivities of the evening with "the jazziest way to say Happy Hanukkah!"
This soulful celebration of music will delight jazz enthusiasts and first time
jazz-goers alike. Chicago Tribune
Jazz Critic Howard Reich was so impressed by last year's performance that he
insisted Spertus present an even more impressive line-up, filled with
Grammy-winning and engaging performances through the evening. Buy your tickets here.
Annual event: Held November 26 to
December 24, 2013 in Daley Plaza
Experience a traditional German Christmas inspired by the famous Nuremberg
Christmas market dating back to 1545. Visitors will find Chicago's iconic
Picasso sculpture surrounded by red and white crested huts glowing with warmth
and overflowing with curios. Daley Plaza is transformed at this outdoor market
offering exquisite handmade gifts, unique ornaments and German delicacies like
brats, goulash, potato pancakes, cookies and Gluhwein (a warm spiced wine).
Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier
Dec. 6, 2013 - Jan. 12, 2014, Festival
Experience the winter season inside 170,000 square feet of family-friendly
holiday fun, including the indoor ice skating rink, rides, indoor Ferris wheel
and more! No matter the weather outside, stay warm and active at this
gigantic playground for families. During the 13th annual Winter WonderFest
presented by Bank of America, banish the winter blues with rides, attractions
and live entertainment for all ages - all within Navy Pier's Festival Hall. Buy your tickets here.
along The Magnificent MileTM (Michigan Avenue) or State Street
No city does shopping like Chicago. Whether it's along the famous Magnificent
Mile or on State Street (that great street), you will find everything you need
for the holiday season! Be sure to peek into the decorated famed windows of Macy's on State Street for a
State Christmas Traditions
Annually early November to early January at Macy's on State Street
Themed and decorated windows along State Street unveil a story of Christmas
cheer. While walking along State Street, take the time to marvel at the 45-foot
Great Tree decorated with over 1,200 themed ornaments and 25,000 dazzling lights
in the famed Walnut Room.
Wonder at Adler Planetarium
Runs through Jan. 5, 2014
Season of Wonder, a tradition for all ages,
celebrates the magic of the winter season as only the Adler can. Featuring
a sky show that explores the spectacular sights of the winter night sky,
seasonal programming, a family snowflake-themed story time and a one-of-a-kind
immersive experience in The World's
Largest Snow Globe, ‘tis the season to wonder, observe and discover at
the Adler. Admission required.
Around the World & Holidays of Light
Annual event running through Jan. 5, 2014, at Museum of Science and Industry
A Chicago tradition since 1942. The Museum's 45-foot Grand Tree takes center
stage in the Rotunda with more than 30,000 lights and 1,000 ornaments,
surrounded by more than 50 smaller trees beautifully decorated by volunteers
from Chicago's ethnic communities to represent their various cultures and
holiday traditions. View the trees, enjoy intermittent falling "snow"
and savor the performances on the Holiday Stage by school choral groups and
ethnic song and dance groups. Admission required. This year's colorful theme is
inspired by the Museum's new temporary exhibit-Treasures of the Walt Disney
Archives, presented by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club-which
celebrates the innovation of Walt Disney's legacy with more than 300 artifacts
from Disney's 90-year history. Admission required.
Holiday Fantasea at Shedd Aquarium
Show runs through Dec. 24, 2013
A festive favorite, Shedd's themed, multi-species aquatic show, A Holiday
Fantasea, returns featuring your favorite marine mammals. Set among the
twinkling lights in the Abbott Oceanarium, Pacific white-sided dolphins leap,
beluga whales breach and sea lions and penguins saunter, showcasing their
natural behaviors set to a celebratory soundtrack from around the world -- and
Santa makes a special appearance! Admission required.
The Joffrey Ballet's
December 7-27, 2012 at The Auditorium Theater
The Tchaikovsky masterpiece, featuring the full Joffrey Company, local
children's choruses, and more than 120 young dancers, creates a winter
wonderland of beauty, magic and sugarplum delight! Purchase your tickets here.
Elf The Musical
Nov. 26 - Dec. 15, 2013 at the Cadillac
This endearingly hilarious tale of Buddy, a human who is raised as an elf,
comes to Chicago this Christmas season. As a child, Buddy mistakenly crawled
into Santa's bag of gifts and was transported to the North Pole. His enormous
size and poor toy-making skills make him face the truth, so with Santa's
permission, he goes to New York City to find his family. While on his
adventure, he spreads the true meaning of Christmas! Purchase tickets here.
A Christmas Carol
Nov. 16 - Dec. 28, 2013 at The
For three decades, Charles Dickens' classic story, paired with the Goodman
Theatre's actors and miraculous
stagecraft have made A Christmas Carol
a perennial holiday favorite and beloved Chicago tradition. Audiences delight
in the "Bah, Humbugs," the arrival of the ghosts, the music and
dancing and Scrooge's joyful discovery of life and love. Bring the whole
family, or make it a holiday season date night! Purchase tickets here.