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The top 10 things to do in Chicago during the Christmas season

The Chicago Christmas Tree
Doug Boehm

Chicago is a great city to visit any time of the year but few times are better than the holiday season. There is so much to do; shopping, shopping and more shopping, seeing the city and all of its decorations, people watching and eating the comfort foods that Chicago is so well known for. There are a lot more than 10 fun things to do in Chicago at Christmas time but I had to draw the line somewhere and 10 is a nice round number.

  1. Christkindlmarket- A little bit of Germany in downtown Chicago.
  2. Michigan Avenue- One of America’s great shopping streets, is at its best during the Christmas season. A million white lights decorate the trees and countless people decorate the sidewalks.
  3. Zoo Lights- The Lincoln Park Zoo is decorated to the hilt and there are lots of fun family activities. The best part is that it is free.
  4. Christmas Around the World- The Museum of Science & Industry decorates more than 50 trees each from a unique culture.
  5. Ice Skating- The setting for the rink, under “The Bean” in Millennium Park with the highrises of Michigan Avenue in the background is tough to beat. The rink is free but skate rental costs $10.
  6. Macy’s- Like most Chicagoans I think Macy’s pales in comparison to Marshall Field’s but they did have enough sense to continue the Christmas traditions of Field’s. The decorations are second to none and the Walnut Room is a lunch time favorite among shoppers.
  7. The Nutcracker- Even people who are not fans of the ballet will enjoy the music. It is a sophisticated way to spend an evening.
  8. A Christmas Carol- A favorite Christmas story for many. The Goodman Theater always puts on a top notch production.
  9. High Tea at the Drake- A relaxing way to take a break from the frenetic pace of shopping on Michigan Avenue.
  10. The Poinsettia Show- A tradition at the Lincoln Park Conservatory. Hundreds of different colored poinsettias and model trains decorate a section of the conservatory. It is free and very warm.


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