I love Chicago. I’ll be honest, I love Chicago a lot more in August, but during the holidays there are so many wonderful activities to do and places to visit with your kids, making Chicago is a must-visit over Christmas. Here are seven must-do’s if you’re planning a trip to Chicago over the holidays:
1. Take in a Holiday Market at Christkindlmarket Chicago: Last December, I took my older girls to see the Christmas Markets in Vienna and Prague and they were amazing. We loved the foods, the holiday ornaments, the entertainment. Through December 24, you can enjoy the same at Christkindlmarket Chicago, so be sure to head over and check out the events calendar for choirs, parades and more.
2. Go on a Holiday Lights Bus Tour: Check in with the Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co. to hop on a two-hour narrated bus tour as you revel in the festive lights along the Magnificent Mile, State Street and the Navy Pier. Take in the 40-foot tree at Daley Plaza and enjoy a stop at the Lincoln Park Zoo for the annual ZooLights.
3. Explore Christmas Traditions Around the World: Head over to the Museum of Science & Industry for two seasonal exhibits, “Christmas Around the World” and “Holidays of Light,” both of which run through January 5. Look out for dozens of beautifully decorated trees and even holiday chorale performances that take place during the week.
4. Enjoy Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier: You and your kids will love all that this year’s Winter WonderFest has to offer, including spinning teacup rides, giant candy canes, rides on the Tilt-A-Whirl and skating on the indoor skating rink. Little ones will also like the bounce house and snowball area complete with red and green rubber balls.
5. Sip a Holiday Beverage in the Walnut Room: On a frosty holiday afternoon, pop in Macy’s on State Street and head to the Walnut Room on the 7th floor. Your kids will be in awe of the 45-foot Great Tree that stands fully decorated in the middle of the room. Order some hot chocolate or an egg nog as you take a break from shopping and sightseeing.
6. Strap on Your Skates for Outdoor Ice Skating: You can enjoy wonderful indoor ice skating at Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier, or you can head to Millennium Park for outdoor ice skating. The rink is huge and the twinkling lights on the trees adjacent the rink right in the city are not to be missed. Bundle up and get skating.
7. Take in the Symphony with Welcome Yule!: You and your family will love Welcome Yule!, a full-length musical production complete with dancers, sing-alongs, holiday characters and a children’s chorus. Featuring members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the eight holiday performances will run between December 14 and 23.
Also make sure to check out my list of the best family-friendly Hotels in Chicago.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Chicago? Let me know in the comments section below.
Photo Credit: Eric Allix Rogers