Chicago Like a Local Blog

Unique perspectives on the city from the people who live here.

Posts from December 2015

Holidays at The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago

Chicago's hotels go all out for the holiday season, making for a magical winter getaway. From grand trees festooned with gilded ornaments to a gingerbread elevator, the attention to detail and creativity will send your holiday spirits soaring. Here are 8 must-visit Chicago hotels that feature spectacular holiday decor.

What to Eat and Drink at Christkindlmarket

Friday, December 11, 2015 12:00 AM by Matt Kirouac

The holidays are a time for gift-giving and gingerbread and family. It's also a time for mulled wine in boots and more stollen than you've ever seen in your life. This is where Christkindlmarket comes in, serving up festive holiday eats through December 24.

Insider's Guide to Navy Pier's Winter WonderFest

Friday, December 11, 2015 12:00 AM by Amy Bizzarri

Navy Pier Winter WonderFest

Navy Pier is just as wonderful in the winter as it is in the summer. You can pull right in, park your car in the indoor lot, and enjoy a day jam-packed with activities, dining, shopping, and fun — without having to endure the chilly weather outdoors. For the 17th year in a row, families from near and far will head to Navy Pier to celebrate the season minus the gloves, hat and mittens at Winter WonderFest (open December 1, 2017-January 7, 2018).

St. Lucia Festival of Lights December 13, 2015

Chicago holiday celebrations take on a Swedish flavor with the annual tradition Sunday, December 13 at 4:45 pm. As the sun is setting on Clark Street, a parade of white-gowned girls will march through Andersonville, starting at the Swedish American Museum at 5211 N. Clark St. The beauty and joy of this Swedish tradition should not be missed. Here are a few highlights:

Santa at ZooLights

Santa sightings in Chicago are in full swing! Santa Claus loves Chicago and every year he rolls into town to visit with all the good boys and girls. The busy man in red hops from venue to venue, from parks to cruise liners sailing along Lake Michigan, carefully checking his list twice and marking down what kids want for Christmas. Catch him at these spots in Chicago before he heads back to the North Pole to gear up for the big night.

Discount Shopping 101: Cute Clothes for Cheap

Monday, December 7, 2015 12:00 AM by Maddy Osman

Photo credit Adam Alexander

Attention discount shoppers! Pick up some great deals for yourself this season (and all year round!) at the top resale boutiques and thrift stores across the city. With such a well-dressed and eclectic mix of people who call Chicago home, these shops are a treasure trove of unique secondhand styles at bargain prices.

Emerald City Theatre presents A Charlie Brown Christmas


Chicago's theater scene is hot during the colder winter months, with holiday shows popping up around the city. Start a new family tradition and make a point of getting dressed up in your holiday best and hitting a show or two. Here are nine kid-friendly holiday shows in Chicago that you won't want to miss.

E is for Essanay Studios

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 12:00 AM by Max Grinnell

Essanay Studios Chicago

Tucked in amidst the two-flat buildings, elaborate courtyard constructions, and other bits and piece of Uptown’s landscape sits the historic Essanay Film Studios complex. A century ago, the place was fairly abuzz with a veritable cavalcade of producers, directors, bit players, and early stars of the silver screen.

11 Uniquely-Chicago Family Holiday Traditions

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 12:00 AM by Amy Bizzarri

Holidays at Art Institute of Chicago

I wouldn't want to be anywhere other than Chicago around the holidays. The lights, the shows, the special events — and sometimes even a sprinkling of snow — make the season merry and bright. Here are eleven unique, family-friendly holiday happenings in and around Chicago!  

Christkindlmarket Chicago
Although it is a German tradition that dates back over many centuries, Chicago's Christkindlmarket has become as much a part of the Windy City as deep dish pizza. Inspired by the famous Nuremberg market and hosting over 50 authentic German vendors, Christkindlmarket offers a taste of Germany without the airfare.

Featured Partners

First Timer's Guide to Chicago
We're glad you're coming for the first...
Been Here? Do this in 2018
Did you fall in love with Chicago, too? It happens...
Chicago Sightseeing
Whether you are planning a Chicago travel...
Spend a Weekend in the Chicago Loop
Experience some of the best attractions, theater,...
Sightseeing along the L Train
Chicago has an excellent public transportation...
Editor's Picks: Just For Fall
Fall Date Night Ideas in Chicago
Date Night can mean a lot of things to different...
Chicago Beer Gardens Kick Off the Fall Season
Beer + gardens: two words that have intonations...
Apple of My Eye
October is National Apple Month and we're...
The Sky is the Limit at the Chicago Architecture Biennial
The largest architecture and design exhibition in...