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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Winter Wonderland at John Hancock Observatory

Climb Chicago's tallest "chimney" at the John Hancock Observatory and meet santa in the sky! It truly is a Winter Wonderland in Chicago's famous skyscraper complete with Santa's sleigh, photo ops with Santa and complimentary childrens tickets to the Field Museum (with a regular priced admission ticket). Winter Wonderfland is open daily during the holidays but Santa flies in on the weekends.

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light

For over 70 years the Museum of Science and Industry has celebrated the holiday season with Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light. The Museum's 45-foot Grand Tree lights up the night with more than 30,000 lights and 1,000 ornaments flanked by more than 50 smaller trees decorated to represent the different cultures and holiday traditions of Chicago's ethnic communities.

Holiday Concert Series

The Chicago Public Library presents the annual Holiday Concert Series with several performances throughout the city of Chicago. The series is free to the public and fun for the whole family. Enjoy the sounds of the season while taking in wintertime in the Windy City. The renowned Chicago Bar Association Symphony and Chorus are highlighted in the performance.


Julmarknad is the annual Christmas bazzar of the Swedish American Museum. You'll find a wide assortment of charming and authentic Scandinavian handicrafts at this festive event. There's entertainment for the whole family -- crafts, games, visits with Santa, folk dancers and the traditional Swedish Lucia processions.

Skating in the Sky

Lace up your skates and take a spin on ice... 1,000 feet in the sky! John Hancock Observatory has a 900 square foot synethic ice rink open throughout the wintertime. There's surely nothing like skating while soaking in the 360-degree views of Chicago. They offer skate rental for a minimal fee and if you're a newbie you can learn to skate with the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks youth coach every Monday.