Holidays

Quintessential Guide to Christmas in Chicago

Christmas in the city. There’s something special about it. Lights adorn every corner and merriment fills the air. Each winter, Chicago hosts a number of longstanding traditions for visitors and locals alike. So, if you’re looking to feel the Christmas spirit: We’ve got you covered. Scroll below for our “holiday bucket list,” if you will.

 

Top 10 things to do for Christmastime in Chicago…

 

Christkindlmarket

One of Chicago’s premier winter events, Christkindlmarket is a traditional German holiday market held at Daley Plaza.

Holiday tea

Indulge in formal tea, served extra special for the holidays at luxury locations like The Drake and The Peninsula.

Catch a live performance

Now’s the time to see a seasonal live performance, like The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol.

Macy’s Christmas windows

For some of us, it will always be Marshall Field’s — but stop by to see the festive window displays at Macy’s State Street.

ZooLights

Each December, Lincoln Park Zoo transforms into a winter wonderland full of colorful lights that are free for all to enjoy.

Wrigley Building

Stroll along Michigan Avenue and pause at the Wrigley Building to marvel at the grand Christmas tree and decor.

CTA holiday train

Whether you plan ahead to ride the decked-out train, or you catch it by chance: riding the holiday CTA is $2.25 fare well spent.

Watch a classic flick

A handful of Chicago theaters screen Christmas classic, like Home Alone, at ArcLight Cinema and Regal Webster Place.

Ice skating

Grab some skates and hit the ice one of Chicago’s many ice rinks, like at Millennium Park or Maggie Daley Park.

Walnut Room

A Chicago tradition since 1907, The Walnut Room at Macy’s is a festive destination for visitors and locals alike.

 

What’s your favorite holiday tradition in Chicago?

 

 

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Events, Festivals

7 Top Things to Do this November in Chicago

November is here — and so are the fun festivities leading into the holiday season. From exhibits to festivals, and special events to outdoor activities, here are the top things we’re most looking forward to this month in Chicago.

 

Bookmark these 7 best things to do this November…

 

BeerHoptacular

BeerHoptacular is Chicago’s original craft beer festival with over 150 craft beers, now in its seventh annual celebration on November 4.

BeerHoptacular.com

 

Ice Skating at Millennium Park

Grab some skates and hit the ice at Millennium Park’s rink, opening for the season beginning November 17 (weather permitting).

Millennium Park McCormick Tribune Ice Rink

 

Holiday Chocolate Show

Visit the West Loop on November 11 for chocolate demos, samples and gifts, with proceeds benefitting local children’s charity.

Holiday Chocolate Show

 

Christkindlmarket

One of Chicago’s premier winter events, Christkindlmarket is a traditional German holiday market held at Daley Plaza — this year opening November 17.

Christkindlmarket.com

 

Saturday Night Live: The Experience

See an entire exhibit dedicated to the late night comedy show, Saturday Night Live — complete with memorabilia from SNL’s 40 year history, from Matt Foley to Mary Catherine Gallagher.

SNLtheExhibition.com

 

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

An annual event celebrated the Saturday before Thanksgiving, nearly one million lights illuminate Mag Mile along Michigan Avenue — marking the unofficial start to the holidays.

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

 

ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo

An attraction for Chicagoans each year, ZooLights in Lincoln Park Zoo is open and free for all. Walk through the grounds of Lincoln Park, entirely lit by colorful Christmas lights and sounds of music.

LPzoo.org

 

What are you most looking forward to this November?

 

 

 

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Events, Get The List, Holidays

Holiday Events in Chicago

Holiday Events in Chicago

According to events12.com:

 

Escape challenge

December 24, 2015 – Jan. 30, 20

3.7 miles NW

You and 9 others are trapped in The Railcar and must solve clues to escape within an hour at the Flatiron Arts Building. Video.

Discount tickets $10.

All-American musical

December 26, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016

13.6 miles north

Guys and Dolls is a Tony winning musical about 1930s gangsters, gamblers, and showgirls in New York City at Northwestern University. Discount tickets $26.

Austrian music & dance

December 27, 2015 (2:30 p.m.)

1 mile south

Costumed dancers and singers bring the waltzes of Strauss to life, as a full orchestra plays at Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert at the Symphony Center.

Family basketball show

December 29 – 30, 2015

18 miles NW

The famous Harlem Globetrotters demonstrate ball handling wizardry, rim-rattling dunks, trick shots, and comedy at Allstate Arena in Rosemont. Discount tickets $31.

New Year’s Eve – a day early

December 30, 2015 (8 p.m. to 1 a.m.)

1.5 miles SW

Enjoy an open bar, appetizers, live music, dancing, and a silent auction at the black-tie-optional charity benefit EVE of the EVE, Chicago Union Station.

New Year’s Eve – restaurants

December 31, 2015

Chicago locations

Find a list of restaurants that offer special menus and celebrations for New Year’s Eve at OpenTable.

New Year’s Eve – Hard Rock

December 31, 2015 (9 p.m.)

0.2 miles south

New Year’s Eve Soiree has multiple ballrooms, live & DJ music, buffets, and 30 bartenders at the Hard Rock Hotel.

New Year’s Eve – Palmer House

December 31, 2015 (9 p.m.)

0.7 miles south

Big Night Chicago New Year’s Eve Gala includes food, drinks, 4 dance floors, 8 party bands, and DJs.

New Year’s Eve – Drake Hotel

December 31, 2015

1 mile north

Chicago Scene’s New Years Eve Party has 4 ballrooms with DJs, 45 bartenders, and a balloon drop at the Drake Hotel.

New Year’s Eve – fireworks

December 31, 2015

1 mile east

Welcome the new year with New Year’s Eve Fireworks at Navy Pier at midnight. Free.

New Year’s Eve – Navy Pier #1

December 31, 2015 (9 p.m.)

1 mile east

Crystal Gardens New Year’s Eve has dancing to mainstream music, party favors, 20 bars, hors d’oeuvres, a champagne toast at midnight, and a terrace to watch the fireworks, at Navy Pier.

New Year’s Eve – Navy Pier #2

December 31, 2015 (8:15 p.m.)

1 mile east

Resolution Gala is a formal affair in the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier with 30 bars, buffet stations, live DJ, a champagne toast at midnight, and views of fireworks over the lake for age 21+.

New Year’s Eve – Marriott

December 31, 2015

1.1 miles SW

Formal New Year’s Eve Soiree includes before & after parties, a buffet, drinks, dessert, and celebrity DJs at JW Marriott for age 21+.Discount VIP tickets $149.

New Year’s Eve – Hilton

December 31, 2015

1.2 miles south

A ticket to the giant New Year’s Eve Soiree at the Hilton Chicago includes drinks, a buffet, DJ music, and before and after parties at other locations. Discount tickets $145.

New Year’s Eve – beer

December 31, 2015

3 miles west

Brew Year’s Eve features 12 breweries pouring 30 craft beers, with live music, passed hors d’oeuvres, and a dessert buffet on three floors of Salvage One.

New Year’s Eve – comedy

December 31, 2015 (8 p.m. to 2 a.m.)

5 miles north

The New Year’s Eve Party includes a buffet dinner, 2 improv comedy shows, 2 drink tickets, and midnight champagne at Under The Gun Theater for age 21+.

New Year’s Eve – classical

December 31, 2015

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