Best Places to Spend Christmas: Chicago
December is a cold month in Chicago with temperatures often ranging between -2C and 6C – warm clothing is not optional. Once you do have your travelling wardrobe packed with enough armour to fight the numbing temperatures, you can start to choose just which of the many Christmas activities in Chicago during December you would want to check out.
The Christmas festivities in the Windy City officially kick off in mid-November with the annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. Taking place along the most famous stretch of real estate in Chicago, the festival is an opportunity for the whole family to join in the fun as the Mickey Mouse procession on Michigan Avenue lights up over a million lights between Chicago River and Oak Street. By the time Thanksgiving comes along, Chicago residents are in the thick of the Christmas mood.
If it is your first time in Chicago, plan to catch the Magnificent Mile InstaGreeter service. It is a free, one hour tour of the famous Michigan Mile and other nearby landmarks led by a knowledgeable guide. You will be taken through the city’s history, significance of different buildings and even tips on the best places to shop. The only downside is that the free tour takes place on Fridays and Saturdays. It is on a first-come-first-served basis meaning you cannot book a place in advance.
A visit to the predominantly German-themed Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza is a must. It is the biggest open air Christmas market of its kind in the country and stocks European craft, artwork and German wines. The market is open between 23rd November and 24th December. If you love skating, try your hand at the Millennium Park surrounded by some of the city’s tallest office blocks. Skating is free but you have to hire skates if you do not have your own.