Things to Do in Chicago During Christmas

Things to Do in Chicago During Christmas

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This guest post is brought to you by Yamy Hartsough. Yamy is based in South Bend, IN which is an hour drive away from Chicago. She mainly writes for her blog Gofamgo, which focuses on sharing stories, tips, reviews, and guides for traveling with the family.


If you’re looking for that Winter Wonderland, you should consider going to Chicago this holiday. The Windy City has lots to offer during the season that would surely bring the joy to your family getaway. Here are some suggestions of things to do in Chicago during the Christmas season to get you started.

Head to Navy Pier

Your visit to Chicago is not complete without dropping by Navy Pier, which stages the annual Winter WonderFest, an indoor carnival featuring giant indoor slides, mini golf and a 15-foot snow tubing hill. You can ride the Centennial Wheel which gives you a great view of the Chicago Skyline and of Lake Michigan. Try some of the delicious dining options, retail shops and attractions such as the Chicago Children’s Museum. Admission to the pier is free, however, some other amenities would require additional fees like the rides, dining cruises or children’s museum.

Ice Skate

Another great winter activity with the family is ice skating. Luckily, Chicago has a bunch of indoor and outdoor rinks. Some are free while others charge rental fees for the skates. One of the public rinks is by Millennium Park where you can find the infamous Cloud Gate, aka The Bean. Another nearby area that you could skate is Maggie Daley Plaza which houses a 20-acre playground and activity area for families.

Shop in a Christmas Market

The annual open-air German Christmas market, Christkindlmarket, in Daley Plaza showcases Christmas ornaments, sauerkraut, and potato cakes. It is a favorite of both locals and tourists alike.

Lights, Animals and Hot Cocoa

One of the oldest zoos in the United States and one of the few that are still free for 365 days a year, Lincoln Park Zoo is also in Chicago. Every year, they have an event called ZooLights. Picture this, 2 million lights, ice carvings, yummy hot cocoa, and a free zoo. Win!

Museum Hopping

The Museum of Science and Industry exhibits holiday traditions with the annual Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light. It does not stop there. It is also one of the largest science museums in the world. Your family will enjoy trying out different shows they have all year round. They have a flight simulator and a real submarine for you to go in.

Other museums that I recommend for your family includes the Shedd Aquarium for marine life, the Field Museum for history and dinosaurs, the Adler Planetarium for planets, and the Art Institute of Chicago for the arts.

Chicago Thrills

Get a view of the city from up high. You head to the 360 Observation Deck in the John Hancock Center which just added a thrilling experience called Tilt, where they tilt the platform you’re standing on to face downward to the street 1000 feet below you. Another thrill that is a go-to when you’re in Chicago is the Willis Tower’s The Ledge which is basically a glass box sticking out of the building where you stand and stare over downtown.

There are plenty of things to do in Chicago. Whatever you end up doing, I hope you have a splendid holiday with your family!

If you enjoyed reading this post feel free to follow Yamy on any and all of the following:

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We would like to thank Yamy for taking part in our Christmas Around the US series.

Merry Christmas to you and your family:)

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32 thoughts on “Things to Do in Chicago During Christmas

  1. Beautiful place…I really like it

  2. I’ve never been to Chicago, but I would love to visit during the holidays/winter. Ice skating sounds a lot of fun!

  3. We LOVE Chicago at the holidays! I always go to the Palmer House for a Brownie 😉 but the museums are amazing too!!!

  4. My friend lives there. I will go in future I guess. Very beautiful places.

  5. I’ve been to Chicago couple years ago but not during Christmas season. I didn’t know they have Christmas market! I would love to go!

  6. Now I want to go to Chicago… you made it look so fun!

  7. That sounds simply awesome! I’ve never been to Chicago but have heard it’s a beautiful city. Seems like the city would turn out to be one of the best towns to explore! Love this post!

  8. Wow this looks like it would be an incredible trip for me. I had no clue there was so much I could do

  9. I love Chicago. It’s been a few years since I’ve last been, and I definitely want to visit a lot of the places on this list!
    XOXO
    Annie

  10. There seems nobreason to feel boring in Chicago this Christmas season! Does Chicago musuems offers Christmas discounts on their entrance fees?

    • Some of them do! Some might have a free day while I can’t list them on top of my head. There are also plenty of museums with free admissions (the whole year). I’d be making a post about those free attractions soon on my blog.

  11. Never been to Chicago but I am sure this guide will come in handy if I ever go there.
    Sahrish Adeel recently posted…Grace by Picture Polish – Review & SwatchMy Profile

  12. These are such great ideas! I’m always on the hunt for fun things to do with the kiddos this time of year!

  13. I want to be in Chicago just to do all of these activities! I’ll have to find out if we have any Christmas markets where I am like the one Yamy mentioned!

  14. Chicago is beautiful. The pizza is on my bucket list.

  15. We’ve never been to Chicago but this lists quite a few fun things we’d definitely do during the holidays because we visit similar places here in NYC. I love Christmas themed Markets for unique presents

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