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HOLIDAYS IN THE CITY

From festive neighborhood happenings to sparkling holiday lights that turn the city into a wondrous snow globe scene, Chicago is glorious in the winter months. Cherished annual events, outdoor ice-skating, winter tours, retail therapy and more make it a perfect destination for all.

 

MILLENNIUM PARK CAMPUS ICE SKATING

Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon

No visit to Chicago is complete without ice skating, a favorite winter pastime in the city. Lace up your skates and glide around the pristine McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park, open November 17, 2017 - March 4, 2018. Skating is free and open to the public, with a $12 weekday and $14 weekend rental fee for those without their own skates. Or, skate laps around the Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon (pictured above), which provides skaters with a rolling landscape of remarkable views from the heart of downtown Chicago from late late November 2017 - March 2018. 

Explore more: Unique Ice-Skating Rinks.

 

MSI CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD

MSI Christmas around the World

Walk among twinkling lights and beautifully decorated trees at the Museum of Science & Industry's annual Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light festivals. These gorgeous displays have wowed museum-goers since 1942, when a single tree was dedicated to the Allies of World War II. Stroll among the trees under lightly falling indoor "snow," enjoy live choral, musical and dance performances on the Holiday Stage, and marvel at the 45-foot Grand Tree in the museum's beautiful Rotunda.

Explore more: Chicago Holiday Lights & Christmas Displays.

 

CHRISTKINDLMARKET ON DALEY PLAZA

Christkindlmarket Chicago

Shop dozens of craft stalls vending traditional German American foods and crafts at Christkindlmarket on the Daley Plaza. This is undoubtedly Chicago's most popular holiday market held November 17 - December 24. Celebrating its 21st anniversary this year, shoppers can look forward to authentic German food and drinks, a diverse entertainment lineup, and the most unique holiday shopping experience in the city. Bring home hand-blown ornaments, wood crafts, beer steins, cuckoo clocks, and more, and feast on spiced one and schnitzel. 

Explore more: Guide to Holiday Shopping

 

ZOOLIGHTS AT LINCOLN PARK ZOO

ZooLights

One of Chicago's finest free attractions, Lincoln Park Zoo, transforms into a spectacle of light and color each year with ZooLights, open to the public November 25 - January 1. Observe the zoo's treasured animal inhabitants, while dazzling light displays sparkle and pulsate all around. Visitors also enjoy ice-sculpting, spiced wine and frosty ales, tasty bites and rides on carousels and trains, among many other activities. This is a special event for the whole family, and one your group will remember for a very long time.

Explore more: Chicago Holiday Lights & Christmas Displays.

 

NYE IN THE CITY

Fireworks

Finally, ring in 2018 with New Year's Eve events throughout the city. From historic hotels and vista-rich cruises to hip clubs and swanky speakeasies, there's an NYE event that is just right for your group. Check them out here.

For more ways to experience Holidays in Chicago, explore these pages:

Related Listings

Millennium Park
201 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 744-6050

Lincoln Park Zoo
Cannon Dr. at Fullerton Parkway
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 742-2000

Museum of Science and Industry
57th Street and Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 684-1414

Christkindlmarket Chicago
50 W. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 494-2175