Five Holiday Activities in Chicago

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The holidays are officially upon us! So get out there and enjoy one (or five!) of the many holiday activities happening around Chicago this month.

1. Winter WonderFest


Find thrills without the chills inside the 15th annual PNC Bank Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier, featuring 170,000 square feet of Chicago Blackhawks Ice Skating and more than 24 rides including an indoor Ferris wheel, attractions and so much more.

New rides include:

Polar Extreme- Challenge your friends to a race through this double sided course! Battle your way through the frozen tundra to escape down the slide at the end.

Ice Peaks Climbing Wall- Grab hold of the ropes and challenge yourself to climb to the top of these new interactive climbing walls. Gym shoes are required.


2. Chriskindlmarket


Inspired by the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, which began in 1545, the Christkindlmarket Chicago brings a cherished German and European tradition with international flair and local charm to Chicago.

Be sure the check the website to see what events are happening each day! From Chicago’s own Christkind visiting the market, to carolers, to cultural events and courses, there is plenty to see and do at Chriskindlmarket!


3. Zoo Lights


Join us at the Lincoln Park Zoo for the brilliance of this fun, free, family-oriented holiday celebration, featuring luminous displays and holiday-season activities throughout zoo grounds.

Lincoln Park Zoo has flipped on the switch for the free holiday fun! ZooLights will shine Friday–Sunday until December 13, at which point the lights will be on nightly (except December 24 and 25) until January 3.

Take photos with Santa, partake in fun holiday crafts, and enjoy warm spiced wine, frosty lager and delicious snacks while taking in the beautiful sites of Zoo Lights.


4. Ice Skating


There are a few great places to ice skate around Chicago, so dust off your skates or rent a pair from the rink!

  • For the last 14 years, the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park has drawn more than 100,000 skaters annually and is free and open to the public. The rink, located on Michigan Avenue between Washington and Madison Streets, will still offer skate rental for only $12.
  • The Skating Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park is dramatically different from typical civic ice rinks, creating a multisensory activity that is integrated into the landscape. Skaters can experience “alpine in the city” as they lace up their ice skates and follow a path twice the length of a lap around a traditional skating rink. Complementing the ribbon are places to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and rent skates.


5. The Nutcracker


See Robert Joffrey’s version of this holiday favorite for the last time! Don’t miss this lavish, beloved holiday tradition, with Tchaikovsky’s score performed live by The Chicago Philharmonic.

Written by @properties
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