My mom and I went to Chicago for a couple of days right before Christmas. Only a 3 hour train ride away from my hometown, Chicago is so close yet I rarely go there. I’ve never been there during Christmas, so I was excited to see what Chicago is like during the Christmas season.
Many of these things you can do all year round, but a few can only be done around the holiday season. Besides shopping along Michigan Avenue, here’s what we did:
The Skating Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park
There was a video floating around Facebook about the skating ribbon that I stumbled upon right before the trip. This isn’t your typical ice skating rink– instead of skating around in circles (or ovals or rectangles or whatever), the rink is like a track. It also has an area where you can buy food and hot chocolate. Admission is free, but it costs $12 to rent skates during the week, and $14 on weekends and holidays.
We didn’t skate long since it was cold and I was terrified of falling down, but it was definitely worth it!
And it had a great view of the skyline:
The Navy Pier is all lit up during Christmas season! While there wasn’t a whole lot to do since we were there at night, we heard the Winter WonderFest is a great place for families. There are lots of activities for kids, like ice skating, visiting Santa, rides, mini golf, etc.
There are also lots of shops and restaurants inside where you can get away from the cold for a while!
We took a ride on the festive Ferris Wheel:
And got a cool shot of the skyline at night:
The Christkindlmarket is an outdoor market in the Daley Plaza inspired by Christmas markets in Germany. The market takes place every year from the middle of November to the end of December.
You can find toys, jewelry, crafts, ornaments, food and so much more at this international market. You can even get German spiced wine in the markets’ signature boot shaped mug.
It was actually warm for once the day we were there, and it was so packed it was hard to even move! I couldn’t get very many photos because there were so many people around.
Check Out the Massive Christmas Trees!
Be on the lookout for all the Christmas trees throughout the city!
This giant beauty is located in Millennium Park – right next to The Bean!
This tree is inside the entrance of the Willis Tower.
Inside Macy’s – it changed colors, too!
Cloud Gate, or more commonly known as The Bean, is a famous sculpture at Millennium Park. It’s basically a giant mirror shaped like a kidney bean.
I hate that I have to type Willis Tower instead of Sears Tower. One of the most famous attractions in Chicago, and for good reason. Go up to the 103rd floor and you get this incredible view:
The Skydeck Ledge is a glass box that extends about four feet out from the building. I thought I would be nervous standing on the glass, but it didn’t bother me at all!
We crammed in quite a bit of stuff for only being there for two days.. I can’t wait to go back and explore even more of the city!