Make Chicago the holiday season getaway this year because the city has so many different kinds of spirit lifting activities it makes sense to save ski and sun getaways until gloomy January. Three of the happenings this week and next range from ice skating to shopping with Santa in between.
McCormick Tribune Ice Rink returns to Millennium Park Nov. 16 so grab your skates or rent them and head downtown. Chicago’s noted skyline provides the backdrop as skaters swirl across the ice. Admission is free and the CTA provides makes the rink an easy holiday destination. The hours make skating an after-work and date destination.
Details: Skate rental is $10. The rink typically stays open through mid-March depending on weather. Hours are Mon.-Thurs. noon to 8 p.m., Fri. noon to 10 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (through Dec. 22), Sun. 10 a.m.-9 p.m The rink will be open Thanksgiving Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For other holiday hours and exceptions visit Millennium Park. McCormick Tribune Ice Rink is in Millennium Park along Michigan Avenue between Washington and Madison Streets. Millennium Park Michigan Avnue and Washington Street Chicago, IL 60602
Magnificent Mile Lights Festival brings a Disney-style day to Chicago each year. North Michigan Avenue become a magical, glistening mile Nov. 17 when Mickey Mouse and Minnie light up the street in the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade. Thousands of lights go on as the famed pair of Disney mice wave their wands parading south on Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to the Chicago River. Santa Claus "flies" along the parade along with giant helium balloons and about 40 floats.But the day begins with food and entertainment on Lights Festival Lane at Pioneer Court near the Chicago River and ends with fireworks on the river.
Details: The parade starts at 5:30 p.m. Fireworks are 6:57 p.m. The Lights Festival Lane is at 401 N. Michigan Ave. next to the Tribune Tower and is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Christkindlmarket fills Daley Plaza with German treats and gifts Nov. 20 through Dec. 24, 2012. According to region, Christkind (pronounced Kristkint) is a beautiful fairy-like figure in gold and white who delivers gifts similar to Weihnachtsmann (Father Christmas). Snack on pretzels and sweets washed down with good beer but also get some holiday shopping done in Germany without leaving Chicago.
Details: Admission is free. Hours are Sun.-Thurs. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11a.m. to 9 p.m. Special hours are Nov. 20 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thanksgiving Day11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Christmas Eve 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Christkindlmarket is at Daley Plaza, 50 W Washington St., Chicago, IL 60602.
For more activities visit Thanksgiving Weekend