Things To Do in Chicago During the Holidays

Chicago During the HolidaysChicago during the holiday season | Time Out

As the holiday season approaches, here are some things to do in Chicago to spice up your break!


1. Christkindlmarket 

Christkindlemarket is an authentic German-style outdoor market. It has been running since 1996 in both Chicago and Nuremberg, Germany. Visitors can shop for Christmas ornaments and products from around the world and try various German food and drinks. Christkindlmarket will be in three locations in 2022: Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago, Gallagher Way in Wrigleyville, and RiverEdge park in Aurora. Entrance is free for all three locations. Check their website for additional information, including hours and directions on how to purchase products online.


2. Sledding

One of the most common winter activities is sledding. In Chicago, most sledding enthusiasts head to Cricket Hill at Montrose Harbor, Palmisano Park in Bridgeport, the Dan Ryan Woods, and Soldier Field.


3. Ice Skating

Ice skating is an activity that Chicagoans can never get enough of. There are both outdoor and indoor rinks for adrenalie junkies to enjoy. One of the most visited rinks in Chicago is the Mccormick Tribune Ice Skating Rink at Millennium Park. It is open from November to March every year. Here’s a report on some of the best outdoor ice skating rinks in Chicago.


4. Digital Art at Art on the Mart

Art on theMART is the largest permanent digital art projection in the world, projecting contemporary artwork across the 2.5-acre river-façade of theMART. Their winter program features Joffrey Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”. It is a 30 minute program of projections shown twice nightly. It is located at The Merchandise Mart, 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago, IL 60654. However, spectators can watch the show from the jetty section of the Chicago Riverwalk on Wacker Drive between Wells Street and Franklin Street.


5. Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is a yearly lights festival in the Magnificent Mile area of downtown Chicago. At the Lights Festival, you can expect to see tons of lights, a fireworks show set to music, and more. It is considered one of the most memorable downtown Chicago Christmas events! Both locals and visitors love to walk along the Magnificent Mile on a beautiful winter night. The lights festival is open every night, but the fireworks show is open only during the weekends.


6. Hot Cocoa

Hot chocolate is one of the most traditional Christmas drinks. After walking the streets of Chicago, there is nothing better than getting a satiating cup of hot chocolate. There are several shops and restaurants in Chicago that sell specialty hot chocolate. All of them also offer vastly different styles of this traditional holiday drink. You can try drinking chocolate, Mexican hot chocolate, or a large cup of cocoa topped with toppings like whip cream, rock candy, and more.


7. Christmas Movie Drive-In

Every year at the ChiTown Movies or the Lincoln Yard Drive-In you can catch some Christmas classics. All throughout the Christmas season, the two drive-in movie theaters play a selection of Christmas movies. You can typically see movies like Elf, Love Actually, A Christmas Story, and more. There are not many places where you can enjoy the atmosphere of a drive-in movie theater, especially in the winter, so this is a rather unique (and popular!) attraction.


These are of course, just a few of the many activities that you can do in Chicago — head over there to experience them yourself!

About the Author

Bhavya Vegesna
Hey! I'm Bhavya and I'm a rising senior! I live in 1502 and am a staff writer for The Acronym. Outside of The Acronym, I like to travel, read, and try new food!

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