5 Things you Must do During the Holidays in Chicago

Chicago really knows how to celebrate the Christmas season, and we can't wait to send your group to the Windy City and help spread all this iconic holiday cheer!

From unique tradition-based shopping experiences to a Mickey Mouse led grand parade, there is certainly no shortage of things to do this holiday season in Chicago!

Here are 5 Things you Must do During the Holidays in Chicago:

  1. Christkindlmarket

    - For 23 years now the Chicago Christkindlmarket has lit up Daley Plaza, this extravagant European-style Christmas market styled after those in Nuremberg Germany. The market takes place November 16th - December 24th and includes a grand tree lighting, festive decor, cultural foods, 'unique shopping and diverse holiday entertainment'. Pick up a hot cocoa or authentic German beer and spend an afternoon shopping and enjoying the festivities! 

  2. ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo

    - Lincoln Park Zoo's ZooLight tradition has been around for 24 years now, dazzling guests with over 2.5 million lights on display each year. This 'fun, free, family-oriented holiday celebration' features several different holiday festivities such as photos with Santa, 3D displays, holiday shopping and dining, live ice sculpture carvings, musical light shows, and carolers. The big 'flip of the switch' takes place each November 23rd! 

  3. Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

    - For something truly spectacular make it a point to attend the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, a free two-day holiday event that takes place each November 16th - 17th. The entire event consists of several live musical acts, holiday-themed activities, excellent shopping opportunities, and the grand Tree-Lighting Parade with Mickey and Minnie Mouse. The night ends with fireworks over the Chicago River, the entire event a truly magical one! If you can't make it to the event, no worries, ABC7 broadcasts it yearly!

  4. Great Tree at Macy's

    - Macy's State Street Great Tree is a Christmas tradition you simply can't miss, this landmark department store presenting one of the most spectacular Christmas Tree displays in the country, as well as a magnificent window display, each year. Chicago's Macy's is a National Registered Historic Place and features 12 full floors of dining, shopping, and entertainment. During the Christmas season (November 1st - January 5th here at Macy's), you will be able to Dine with Santa on the 7th floor, visit Santaland on the 5th floor, and enjoy great shopping everywhere else! This year marks the 111th tree-lighting ceremony and 51st window display. The tree theme is Chicago Landmarks this year (2018) and it features just over 2,000 different iconic ornaments! 

  5. McCormick Tribune IceRink

    - Of course, all the locals know that a whirl around the McCormick Tribune IceRink is a must during the holiday season, but did you? This iconic rink is located next to the Bean in Millennium Park and sees over 100,000 visitors annually. The rink is free November 16th through March 10th. For even more skating fun 'take a spin under a snow-capped city skyline and along a ribbon on ice' at the Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon!