Holiday Activities » Chicago, IL

Holiday Activities in Chicago, IL

The Windy City lights up with the spirit of the season as winter approaches. There are countless activities to celebrate this magical time of year in Chicago.
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Polar Adventure Days

Polar Adventure days is yet another free, family-friendly winter event in Chicago. Offered annually, the event is three days of winter fun at Northerly Island including live music, arts and crafts, beautiful ice sculpture displays and so much more. If you're looking for something off the beaten path, patrons have the option of free snowshow rental to explore the island.


This festive German American holiday market is a treasured tradition in the city of Chicago. Located in the heart of the downtown "loop", Christkindlmarket is a lively marketplace reminiscent of Old World Germany, complete with piping hot mulled wine for the adults. Vendors flock to Christkindlmarket to peddle their wares -- from clothing and ornaments to freshly made pretzels and hot cocoa.

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival marks the official start of the holiday season in Chicago. Chicago's main throughfare glitters with thousands of festive lights and twinkles in the spirit of Christmas. A family-friendly affair, the festival is a beloved tradition for Chicagoans and takes place on Michigan Avenue between Oak Street and the Chicago River. Public transporation or cab are the recommended mode of transporation.

Zoolights at Lincoln Park Zoo

Chicago's beloved (free) zoo in the sprawling Lincoln Park neighborhood hosts this magical festival of lights each year. There are also holiday crafts and visits with Santa for the kiddos and hot spiced wine for the grownups. As a bonus, Zoolights remembers the reason for the season and collects warm coats for those in need in boxes spaced throughout the zoo.

Millenium Park Ice Skating

Millenium Park transforms into a magical winter wonderland for the holidays, and trust us, you won't want to miss it! Perfect for beginners and professionals alike, the Millenium Park Ice Rink is located in the center of the bustling downtown. Don't own skates? No problem! For a small fee patrons may rent either figure or hockey skates and twirl to their hearts content.