Find something for everyone on your list (including yourself) at Chicago’s top boutiques, retail centers, and shopping districts. Our guide to shopping in Chicago during the holidays has everything you need to find one-of-a-kind gifts, from handmade crafts to artisan chocolate to luxury goods and beyond. Explore holiday markets, neighborhood boutiques, high-end showrooms, and more in Chicago.
Holiday markets & shopping events
Deck the halls after a trip to this annual outdoor market, which celebrates the holiday season with German-American traditions. Buy ornate, hand-blown glass ornaments, gorgeous nutcrackers, charming cuckoo clocks, and other wooden handicrafts. You also can sip on hot, spiced wine, nosh on sausages and potato pancakes, and sample many other German holiday delicacies.
One of a Kind Show
Peruse the handmade wares of 500 artists and makers at theMART, formerly known as the Merchandise Mart. While you’re there, catch an exciting artist demonstration, watch a fashion show, or even create something original at a crafting workshop.
Travel to Sweden — or as close as you’ll get to it in Chicago — with this annual Swedish American Museum festival. Shoppers can stock up on traditional handcrafts and delight in free performances, such as Nordic folk dancing and Swedish choir recitals.
Renegade Craft Fair
Head over to the Morgan Manufacturing event space for this festive holiday market. More than 100 independent designers and artisans will be showing off their handmade jewelry, one-of-a-kind clothing, funky accessories, unique stationery, and more.
Find more holiday markets with unique gift options all around Chicago.
The Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue
900 North Michigan Shops
Located at the north end of The Magnificent Mile shopping district, the 900 North Michigan Shops is a chic indoor shopping destination with 70 luxury stores, such as Gucci, St. Croix, and Michael Kors, all anchored by a six-story flagship Bloomingdale’s.
The Shops at North Bridge
Spread throughout six city blocks, shoppers can explore 50 stores, such as BOSS Hugo Boss, White House Black Market, MAC Cosmetics, and more, as well as a flagship Nordstrom and 20 restaurants including the massive Italian emporium Eataly.
Water Tower Place
With nearly 100 shops, including a flagship American Girl Place, this spectacular eight-level mall offers an array of retail options across all price ranges — from American Eagle Outfitters and Aéropostale to Pandora and Lacoste— as well as dining, spas, and more.
Check out our full guide to shopping on The Magnificent Mile.
State Street: Shopping Chicago’s Loop
Macy’s on State Street
A must-visit gem in Chicago, this nine-floor flagship offers up everything on your shopping list: perfume, jewelry, handbags, clothing, housewares, toys, and of course, Frango chocolates. An anchor of the State Street shopping district, the department store is particularly festive around the holidays with its famed window displays and 45-foot Great Tree. The architecturally rich building is a National Historic Landmark and boasts the first restaurant in a department store, The Walnut Room, which opened in 1907.
This landmark development features exciting retailers such as Anthropologie, Sephora, and Zara, along with plenty of dining options like an AMC Dine-in Movie Theatre, Magnolia Bakery, and The Dearborn, all in one modern five-story building. This shopping destination also touts direct access to the CTA Red Line and Blue Line ‘L’ trains.
Find more in our shopping guide to Chicago’s State Street district.
This charming area is known for its diversity, especially when it comes to shopping. Forget chain stores — Andersonville’s commercial district is lined with independent boutiques and specialty shops like antiques at Roost, women’s clothing at Milk Handmade, and local art at Andersonville Galleria.
Looking for hip gift ideas? Hit up one of Lakeview’s vibrant retail corridors, like North Broadway or the bustling Southport Corridor, where you’ll find vintage shops, low-key bookstores, alternative clothing boutiques, and offbeat home décor. Don’t miss Foursided for quirky gifts and work by local artists.
For independent boutiques and high-end retailers, stroll down Armitage Avenue for a day of shopping. From upscale pet accessories to sophisticated home décor stores to trendy fashion boutiques, this is the spot to shop for well-heeled gift recipients. Laudi Vidni, for instance, sells custom-made leather goods for a truly one-of-a-kind gift.
Old World charm abounds in this German neighborhood, where you’ll find quaint shops like Merz Apothecary and Timeless Toys. When you’re ready for a break from shopping, refuel in one of the cozy bistros or sausage shops.
This casual neighborhood offers a welcoming mix of shopping centered on Roscoe Street. From vintage clothing stores to unusual knick-knack shops to upscale baby clothing, you’ll find it all at this “village within a city.”
Get an urban shopping fix in this stylish neighborhood, where high-end antique stores and fashion industry icons are sidled alongside bohemian boutiques and eclectic art galleries, all along North, Milwaukee, and Damen Avenues.
This eclectic community — which comprises the West Town, Noble Square, Ukrainian Village, and East Village neighborhoods — offers up a mix of funky thrift stores and independent retailers along Division Street and Chicago Avenue. While around Grand Avenue, those with an eye for design should hit the furniture showrooms, antique shops, and architectural salvage warehouses for unique finds.
Discount outlet malls near Chicago
Fashion Outlets of Chicago
Do some deal hunting at this retail complex, where stores like Aldo, the Nike Factory Store, and Bath & Body Works are interspersed between upscale bargain shops like Nordstrom Rack and Saks OFF 5TH, as well as luxury labels like Gucci and Prada.
Chicago Premium Outlets
With 120 outlet stores, such as Cole Haan and Armani, deal hunters will be in shopping paradise while scoring discounts up to 65 percent off.