If anyone knows how to celebrate the holidays, it’s Midwesterners. More specifically, it’s Chicagoans. Every year during Chicago’s winter wonderland, visitors are drawn like magnets to the city’s festive energy. It seems everyone wants to visit Chicago during Christmas.

Millions of twinkling lights glow among the buildings, trees, and silhouettes of the downtown atmosphere. Animated window displays charm onlookers of all ages, and the frigid, icy air actually feels hospitable in the midst of holiday magic. And it is frigid, and icy, but oh so welcoming!

Thousands visit Chicago during Christmas and the other winter holidays, and they revel in the enchantment of the Windy City. What do they do? Where do they go? Here are some ideas.


Top Six Classic Chicago Holiday Experiences Worth Checking Out


#1 The Lights on the Mag Mile
You can’t visit Chicago in December without basking in the glow of over a million tiny lights on the Magnificent Mile. It is simply breathtaking. Both the lights and the icy air will literally take your breath away.

#2 The Window displays at Macy’s
For decades, Marshall Fields decked their halls (well, their windows) with elegant and charming animated displays. When the Macy’s name replaced Fields, they vowed not to replace the custom, thank goodness. You can try to get in to have lunch in the famed Walnut Room as well, in the shadows of the Great Tree, but the waiting list each day is longer than Santa’s naughty and nice list. For many folks, it is worth the wait to dine in the proximity of the huge, beautifully decorated Christmas tree.

#3 The Zoolights at Lincoln Park Zoo
During the holiday season at Lincoln Park Zoo, you can take in the beautiful lights display, see Santa, decorate holiday cookies, create some holiday crafts, and enjoy the holiday cheer.

#4 Ice-skating at Millennium Park
How nostalgic is that, to be skating in the midst of flying red and green scarves, under holly leaves on light posts, in the middle of a decorated city? It’s really touching back to the holiday traditions of years past.

#5 Drinking hot chocolate while walking around Daley Plaza
Sip from your cup of chocolate indulgence, look at the amazing tree, sip again, look at the tree again’just do it.

#6 The Museum of Science and Industry’s Holiday Display
The Museum of Science and Industry constructs an amazing and educational display each year detailing Christmas Around the World. They have over 50 decorated trees showcasing holiday traditions from around the globe.

Chicago offers an abundance of ambience and cheer for holiday visitors. If you are downtown, all you need to do is look around, and you will see that the festivity infuses the city.


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