Things To Do in Chicago During the Holiday Season


Logan Hanekamp

As the temperature drops and we enter into the cold month of December, the holiday season quickly approaches. When it comes to the holidays, Chicago doesn’t mess around. The entire city transforms into a winter wonderland full of holiday cheer and decorations.

Things to Do:

Lincoln Park ZooLights

One of Chicago’s most popular holiday events is the ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo presented by ComEd. This has been one of Chicago’s favorite holiday traditions for 24 years. As you enter the zoo, you are immediately immersed in the holiday spirit presented by the one-of-a-kind display of Christmas lights and various holiday-oriented activities.

Time: 4:30-9 p.m.


December 2018: 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31

January 2019: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

Christkindlmarket Chicago

This holiday season marks the 23rd annual Christkindlmarket located at the Daley Plaza in Chicago. Chicago’s Christkindlmarket, inspired by the original Christkindlmarket in Germany, combines cherished European traditions with local Chicago charm. The open-air market brings a unique shopping experience to the city. The shopping is combined with typical German food and drinks and holiday entertainment to make the Christkindlmarket a popular destination every holiday season.


Sunday – Thursday  11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Friday – Saturday  11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Dates: November 16 – December 24, 2018

Shopping on Michigan Ave

Chicago is famous for many things including its pizza, lakefront, and shopping. Chicago’s Michigan Avenue is home to the Magnificent Mile — a popular shopping destination lined with esteemed brands and stores such as Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, and the Blackhawks Store. What makes Michigan Avenue so popular during the holiday season are the stores window decorations and luminous lights. It’s the perfect destination for some holiday spirit and getting holiday shopping done.

Ice Skating in Grant Park

One of the most popular winter activities to do in Chicago is ice skate in Grant Park. The rink is most popular during the evenings when skaters get to skate under the bright Chicago skyline. The rink is open through March 10, weather permitting.


Monday – Thursday: noon – 8:00 pm

Friday: noon – 10:00 pm

Saturday: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm

Sunday: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

Macy’s Windows

While walking along State Street, your attention will instantly be captured by the Macy’s store windows. These windows are beautifully decorated by a large team of artists, welders, carpenters, and more. Each window is filled with imaginative scenes that create a holiday story for all ages.

Dates: Nov.1, 2018 – Jan. 5, 2019