Chicago never has a shortage of fun things to do around the holidays. Here are some picks for Chicago holiday classics that are not to be missed.

Tree Lighting & Window Shopping

When: Nov. 18

Where: Millennium Park & State St.

Cost of Admission: FREE

The 104th annual official holiday season kick-off is happening at Millennium Park on November 18. Watch Cloud Gate, Maggie Daley Park, and the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink turn into a magical winter campus. Then, go see the holiday window displays at Macy’s, an even older tradition that’s been around for 110 years!


When: Nov. 17 – Dec. 24

Where: Daley Plaza

Cost of Admission: FREE

Whether you want to eat a bratwurst, drink Glühwein, or shop for unique Christmas ornaments, there’s no better place to get into the holiday spirit than Christkindlmarket.

Zoo Lights

When: Nov. 24–26, Dec. 1–3, 8–23, 26–31, Jan. 1–7

Where: Lincoln Park Zoo

Cost of Admission: FREE

By now a Chicago staple, Zoo Lights allows you to see what Lincoln Park Zoo would look like after being decorated by an army of Christmas elves. The first 1,000 people through the gates each day will receive special glasses to view the lights with.

Ice Skate at Millennium Park

When: Nov. 18 – Mar. 5

Where: 1 Michigan Ave.

Cost of Admission: FREE

Get outside, get moving, and have some family fun at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink. Chicago has many a good place to skate in the winter, but few are as scenic as this location right in Millennium Park!

Have another activity on your list? Let us know!

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