Despite freezing temperatures and gusty winds, Chicago during the holiday season is pretty awesome. Between outdoor markets, live performances, Michelin-starred restaurants, and beautiful lighting displays, the city is filled with holiday cheer. There’s a plethora of things to do in Chicago during the holidays that are fit for people of all ages and backgrounds. Bundle up your goose-down coat, hike up your socks, and sip on a cup of delicious hot cocoa. Here are 5 things to do this holiday season in Chicago that will be remembered forever.

Ride The Holiday Train

Turn a Christmas movie into reality with a ride along the holiday-themed CTA train in Chicago this December. The CTA Holiday Train is festive, bright, and full of magic, and it’s sure to appeal to those of all ages. With Santa’s sleigh weaving through Chicago’s bustling nature, perhaps it’ll remind busy Chicagoans to settle down and enjoy the happiest time of the year.

Shop At The Christkindlmarket

Prepare yourself for a crowd and bring enough cash to browse holiday antiques, a vast German pastry selection, and ornate, holiday souvenirs for a day to remember at the Christkindlmarket in Chicago. Feast on crepes, sausages and potato pancakes, and wash it all down with hot cocoa, beer or Glühwein, a traditional hot-spiced wine. The festival is perfect for both residents and tourists, alike.

Dabble In A Little Shakespeare

To mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare, Chicago has created the Shakespeare 400 Chicago event, which included 863 events at 231 locations across Chicago, for this yearlong festival. Led by Chicago Shakespeare Theater and 60 local institutions, this event has become one of the largest Shakespeare celebratory events across the globe. December is filled with terrific performances to wrap up the year, by which musicians, actors, dancers, chefs, designers, and scholars, from 12 countries, have or will be making appearances. This is definitely an event worth going to!

Take An Architecture Tour

There’s no doubt that Chicago’s rich architectural design is incredibly impressive, especially with the holiday lights abound and the official Christmas tree at Daley Plaza on display. Throughout December, spend a weekend exploring the city’s beauty and soaking in the holiday spirit with a holiday lights architecture tour in Chicago. Stops include the tree beneath the Wrigley building and shops along Magnificent Mile.

Go Ice Skating

There’s no need to hibernate come winter. Playing outdoors can be really fun, and Chicago offers a tremendous number of activities to be shared and enjoyed with close friends and family. Break out your ice skating shoes and see what you’re capable of! Choose from a variety of ice skating rinks in Chicago, such as McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon, Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderfest Rink, the Ice Rink At Lincoln Park Zoo, or the Sky Rink at The Peninsula Chicago.

Whether you’re alone or with friends and family, it’s easy to have a blast in Chicago during the holidays. With a city bustling with high-energy and vitality, it sets the stage for what this season is all about: memories, vibrancy, and happiness.