5 Fun and Festive Things to do in Chicago During the Holidays | Hotel EMC2

5 Fun and Festive Things to do in Chicago During the Holidays

Twinkling lights, decorated trees, and hot cocoa all signal that a colder season is approaching and that the holidays are right around the corner. It’s a festive time of year, and there’s no better place to celebrate it than in the heart of Chicago. This year, the holidays may look a little bit different, but there are still many ways you can celebrate safely with your family. We’ve compiled a list of 5 fun and festive things that you can do in Chicago during the holidays this year.

View Lincoln Park’s ZooLights

Imagine standing in the glow of 2.5 million lights. That’s exactly the experience you’ll get when you go to Lincoln Park’s ZooLights. This one-of-a-kind holiday experience offers a family-oriented celebration in Chicago’s well known Lincoln Park. ZooLights start on November 21 and continue through January 3 in Lincoln Park Zoo. Make sure to buy your tickets in advance to be able to enjoy the spectacular light display.

Browse the virtual Christkindlemarket

This year, Chicago’s iconic Christkindlmarket has become a virtual marketplace. You’ll be able to browse 47 different Christkindlmarket vendors online, including gift boxes, mugs, clothing and accessories, decor, ornaments, and toys and games. Chicago’s Christkindlmarket takes place from November 1 to December 31 online. 

Shop on The Magnificent Mile

If you like to shop till you drop, then you’ll love the stores along Michigan Avenue, otherwise known as The Magnificent Mile. The Magnificent Mile boasts more than 460 retailers including popular brands, department stores, and designer labels. While you’re shopping, don’t forget to look for some of Chicago’s historic landmarks; there are over 50 located along the Magnificent Mile. Since Black Friday is near, you could choose to shop that day to find great discounts, or on another day for other sales, since many Black Friday deals are spread throughout November this year.

See the City of Chicago Christmas Tree

Every year, the city of Chicago decorates a giant Christmas tree with sparkling lights and colorful ornaments and puts it up on display in Millennium Park. You can enjoy the glittering tree set against Chicago’s sparkling skyline, as well as the sights at Millennium Park. This year, due to health and safety concerns, the city of Chicago will not present an in-person tree lighting ceremony to the public. However, Chicagoans and visitors are invited to attend a new virtual holiday program premiering on November 19 at 6:30 pm where they will be able to watch the tree light up. If you want to see the Christmas Tree in-person, you can visit it from November 20 to January 7.

Ice skate at Maggie Daley Park

Strap on a pair of ice skates, because it’s skating season! Starting on November 20, you’ll be able to ice skate at Maggie Daley Park’s Skating Ribbon. The Skating Ribbon is not only at an iconic location, with the city’s sweeping skyline in the background, but it also features a winding pathway of ice instead of a traditional round rink. The best part of the rink is that it is free, you only need to pay for skate rentals. However, this year, you’ll need to make a reservation to keep social distancing guidelines. This activity is perfect for the entire family, and the Skating Ribbon is even open on holidays. 

Planning your holiday trip

Whether you choose to visit Chicago during the holiday season or in the future, you’ll have a unique and thrilling experience, not to mention the stunning landscapes you’ll be able to see. After you’ve selected your travel dates, you’ll need to decide where you’ll stay on your trip. Consider booking a hotel located in the heart of the city, close to nearly everything. Next up, pack your bags with essentials like warm clothes and a face covering to keep you safe and healthy. Now you’re ready for your upcoming trip to Chicago filled with breathtaking adventures and spectacular sights. 

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