Christmas Events in Chicago to Make The Most of The Holiday Season

Chicago - the name itself gives me chattering teeth and sends a shiver down my spine. As the chilling cold settles down in the city, it gets enveloped in a blanket of snow. But just then, the anticipation of Christmas warms everyone up and there is much bustle in the town to usher in everyone’s favorite festival. Chicago is home to a plethora of Christmas events suited for all ages. With a perfect mixture of traditional and modern Christmas activities, Chicago keeps everyone entertained. If you are planning a vacation this holiday season, take a look at these Christmas events in Chicago for a memorable trip.

Events for a joyous time with kids and family:

christmas events in Chicago for kids

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  • Zoo lights at Lincoln Park Zoo

What better place to take kids other than a zoo? While the Lincoln Park Zoo will delight the tots, the 2.5 million Christmas lights illuminating the place will leave adults equally amused. This free event is packed with festivities, sweet savories, magnificent displays, and numerous Zoolight activities. Don’t forget to take the free rides on the AT&T Endangered Species Carousel and Lionel Train Adventure. For more details click here.

  • Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier 

Escape the biting cold of Chicago by visiting this indoor winter carnival of navy pier. A perfect retreat for family fun, this fest features arctic express train ride, toboggan tunnel, winter mini golf, ice skating rink, a 15 foot-tall snow tubing hill, and much more. You can buy online tickets to this wonderfest on Navy Pier’s official website. More on the winter carnival here.

  • Christmas Holiday Windows on State Street 

Walk from one end to the other at Macy’s on State Street and the window displays will unfold a story. Every year, there is a new theme that animates the windows at Macy’s. A tradition started centuries ago just to please onlookers, it is now a must-visit destination for visitors. You can later go on a gastronomic journey by visiting the Walnut Room.

  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Christmas Concert

There cannot be a better way to experience the spirit of Christmas than listening to melodious carols. Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Merry, Merry Chicago’ is the right concert for ringing in the holiday season. The Chicago children’s choir is accompanied with many other renowned artists who perform Christmas songs that enliven the festival. Perfect for the entire family, this is one Christmas activity in Chicago that everyone enjoys. 

  • The Art Institute Holiday Thorne Rooms

It would be natural of you to question me what is so special about viewing rooms during Christmas. Doesn’t everyone decorate them to look their finest? Well, these are miniature rooms that are intricately and caringly decorated for the Christmas holidays using teeny tiny objects. These include chandeliers, menorah, dolls, furniture, and even a mini Christmas tree. The rooms are constructed to a scale of one inch to one foot and are distinct from each other. The French Provincial Room and The English Victorian Room would certainly leave you awestruck. 

Triphobo Recommendations for Chicago:

Events to have a blast with friends

christmas events in chicago to attend with friends

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  • Magnificent Mile Light Festival

Many would say this Christmas event in Chicago is to be enjoyed with family and kids. Well, I would disagree. Magnificent Mile Lights Festival kicks off the holiday season in style and allows you to let out the child in you. And who better than friends to get the devil out of you. Go face painting, partake in a variety of activities, sing along to live stage music, and hog down the mouthwatering street food. This is the event to make lasting memories with friends. 

  • Caroling at Cloud Gate

Friends make the best singing partners. Gather at “The Bean” which hosts this festive series called Caroling at Cloud Gate. Sing along in your hoarse voices the classic holiday songs and hop right into the spirit of Christmas.

  • Christmas Concerts

Chicago is jammed with a plethora of concerts during the holiday season. Rock, pop, jazz, jingle - the city has covered everyone’s likes. Attend any of these concerts and bang your heads together to the blaring music. If you are inclined more towards melodious music, attend Andrew Bird’s “cozy” concerts that rings volume of melody. The performer returns to his hometown every Christmas to drown his people into the sea of euphony.

Events for couples for that perfect date

christmas events for couples in Chicago

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  • Theater and Ballet Shows

I’ve always viewed stage theaters as the most romantic place. The grand hall beautifully set in red is the perfect place to be with your partner. And when there is a heartbreaking performance being put on the stage, it equals to icing on the cake. Chicago has a string of such shows happening during Christmas. ‘The Nutcracker’, ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘The Grinch who stole Christmas’, and many such theatrical shows are waiting to impress you.

  • Ice Skating at Millenium Park

Hold your beloved’s hand and skate on the ice rink at the Millenium Park. An activity that does not cost you a dime, it surely gives you many intimate moments though. Celebrate Christmas in downtown Chicago by spinning around the ice rink with your soulmate. Bundle up in warm clothes and head towards this perfect place to enjoy some quality time with your other half.

  • Holiday Lights at Morton Arboretum

Morton Arboretum turns into a paradise during Christmas with thousands of lights adorning its trees. It has a lot in store for its visitors including a light show in the lake water. The many interactive displays here will leave you spellbound. A leisurely walk with your loved one along the forested path is just the thing to do. The walkway is lined with illuminated trees that come alive to music, has chandeliers dangling from the trees, and bonfires to warm you up on the cold wintery days. 

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Events to Enjoy All by Yourself

christmas events if you are alone in chicago

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  • Annual Chicago Tree lighting ceremony

The Millenium Park is a bustling place during the tree lighting ceremony in Chicago. With a large crowd gathered to witness the age-old tradition, you will not feel left out. Participate in the countdown of the lighting ceremony and bond with the locals. The tree lighting is preceded by theatrical performance, soulful music, and an appearance of Santa and Mrs. Claus.

  • Christmas Holiday Tours

The best way to see Chicago in all its glory is to opt for the Christmas Holiday Tours. There are many tours that would take you to view the best Christmas lights and the architectural achievements in the city. The Chicago Trolley Holiday Lights Tour is your best option to see the illuminated Chicago during Christmas. 

  • Holiday train rides

While the Polar Express trains may have been packed with kids and families, you have the chance of aboarding the Holiday Train. This unique Chicago tradition has plenty of CTA Holiday Trains that leave no one disappointed during the festival times. Ride these trains that are ornamented with Christmas decorations and you’ll step down with a joyous heart and a smile on your face. Don’t forget to wave at Santa waiting at each stop on his sleigh. 

The city of majestic skyscrapers is decked up to celebrate the Festival of Lights with much grandeur. Have you packed your bags to celebrate Christmas in Chicago?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
KETKI HANAMSHET KETKI HANAMSHET

Usually lost in a reverie, Ketki is someone who absolutely refuses to live in the practical world. While she has a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, she should be honored mastery in procrastination. If you see her slouching on a couch, ask her out for a cup of hot steaming tea & she'll be up in a jiffy. She puts books, cricket, and pets above everything materialistic. Someone who loves to have a heart-to-heart, Ketki is that 2 AM person who replies back with long text messages. Although she believes she can take on the world, you'll see her screaming her head off at the sight of a tiny moth flying her way. As this wandering soul finds her way through the maze of life, her only motto is - 'Enjoy the journey, rather than hurrying to the destination'.

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