Chicago: The Windy City. Home to deep-dish pizza, a crosstown rivalry like no other, and some amazing holiday traditions. There is never a dull moment in this city, with the endless activity, places to go, things to do, and people to see. Here are a few of the best holiday traditions that make Chicago so special.
1. Ice skating and tree lighting at Millenium Park.
Ice skating + snow = picturesque Christmas movie, right? Now throw in a dazzling skyline, unique sculptures, and endless Christmas music. This describes the environment at the ice rink at Millenium Park. If you're willing to brave the cold (and the Chicago traffic), this spot can't be beat.
2. Trees around the world at the Museum of Science and Industry.
Share the holidays with 50 different cultures as you walk through the halls of the Museum of Science and Industry and marvel at the 50 different Christmas trees, all decorated to reflect a culture or country. Learn about the traditions, and maybe catch a performance or two while you walk around. It's also a great tradition if you want to skip the cold!
3. Christmas lights at the zoo
Every child or adult that has grown up in the Chicagoland area knows that Brookfield Zoo and Lincoln Park Zoo were the go-to for school field trips, summer day trips, or an occasional field day with friends. However, the best time to go is during the holiday season, when all the trees are strung with lights, and the sound of Christmas music fills the air.
4. The windows at Macy's
You can't help but be filled with excitement as you walk down State Street and explore the Windows of Macy's department store. Each year, a new story is told, and windows decorated. Inside holds the Great Tree, while the outside of the building exhibits gold horns covered in shimmering red and green above the doors.
It wasn't truly the Christmas season until you saw the red and white roofed huts scattered about Daly plaza, and you had to have one of the boot mugs that made every Instagram picture look 10x better. Plus, who doesn't love German food, music, and chocolate all in one place?
6. Seeing Santa at the mall
Whether it be Yorktown Center, Oak Brook Mall, or Woodfield Mall, Santa was there. Mom dressed you up and brought you to see Santa, and stood in a line that was typically no less than 30 minutes long for that chance to get the annual Santa picture.
7. Seeing "A Christmas Carol" at the Goodman Theater
This tradition, held at the Goodman Theater, is a must-see. See the show, and after, walk down the streets of Chicago marveling at the twinkling trees lining the streets.
8. Attending the Joffrey Ballet's performance of "The Nutcracker"
A classic for any holiday season, whether seen locally or at a theater in downtown. There is nothing like "The Nutcracker" to get you in the spirit for Christmas.
9. 93.9 Lite Fm - "All Christmas music, all season long"
If you live in Chicago, you know the catchy jingle: "All Christmas music, all season long" that can only belong to our 93.9 Lite FM. In my house, I turned it on November 15th when it started and won't turn it off until December 26th when it ends.
10. Showings of classic Christmas movies at the Tivoli Theater
This gem lies in my hometown - humble Downers Grove, IL. The Tivoli Theater is a classic theater, dating back to 1928. Movies always seem to be better here, especially when they are Christmas movies.