When Christmas comes around, Chicago lights up. There’s no shortage of glittering lights displays, holiday markets, seasonal treats, snowy sights, and exciting events all season long. So how do you see and do it all? With a holiday tour of the city! Whether you’re looking to walk, ride, or cruise, these tours cover the very best of the season, from the most dazzling light shows to the tastiest hot chocolate and beyond.

Here are a few ways to see Christmas lights and more with holiday tours in Chicago.

Chicago holiday lights tours

Chicago is known for our dazzling holiday experiences, from ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo on the lakefront to the towering Christmas tree in the heart of downtown. See it all with these festive tours that cover the very best of Chicago’s holiday events and traditions.

Popular annual attractions include the European-inspired outdoor market Christkindlmarket and themed holiday windows at Macy’s on State Street. Whether you prefer admiring holiday lights by foot, segway, or trolley — there’s something for everyone in this magical city.

Historic holiday tours

Glessner House Museum

Step back in time this holiday season with these fascinating tours. Explore the interiors of gorgeous historic homes, all decked out for the holidays. You’ll learn about history, architecture, and how beloved customs fit into the story of the Chicago area.

Festive food tours

Christkindlmarket night view

Eat and drink your way through Christmas in Chicago. This holiday walking tour offered through Bobby’s Bike Hike hits all the indoor and outdoor highlights, including Christkindlmarket, Millennium Park, and the historic Palmer House hotel. Bring your appetite for samples of the famous Palmer House brownies, seasonal craft beer, and traditional German fare at Chicago’s famous Christmas market.

Holiday dinner cruises

Odyssey River Cruise

For unmatched views of the city horizon all lit up for the holidays, take an unforgettable dinner cruise along the lakefront or down the Chicago River or Lake Michigan. Step aboard a stunning ship for gourmet meals, top-shelf cocktails, dancing, live music, and plenty of holiday glitz. Celebrate a special occasion or holiday like New Year’s Eve with this unique dining experience, or simply enjoy quality time with loved ones for the fun of it.

Check out Chicago dinner cruise options for more.