Holiday fun in the windy city

Where’s the holiday spirit…? In the city!
Winter blues starting to hit you? No need, there is plenty for you to do and see. The next day that you are free, be sure to take a trip down to the city. You’ll lose that frown as soon as you start to look around. These are just a few things your city has to offer to help share some holiday cheer.
The Magnificent mile lights festival has passed but you can still join in the fun at the 99th annual Official City of Chicago Holiday Tree Lighting at the Daley Plaze, Tuesday, November 20th. The ceremony starts at 4:30 and the lighting takes place at 5:30. While you’re there make sure to check out Santa’s house and maybe even snap a picture with the man himself. The Daley Plaze is also host of the Christkindlmarket which opens the next day on the 21st and goes through Dec 24th. This german style market has over 50 vendors consisting of handmade ornaments, accessories, and other great gifts. Grab a some German style food or drinks while you shop.
Photo Credit: Christkindlmarket Chicago
Nothing starts off the holiday cheer like the McDonalds Thanksgiving Parade. Instead of watching it on your t.v. you can join the excitment Thursday, Nov 22, 8am at State and Cogress. Whitness the floats, wave to santa, and embrace the holiday
If you can’t get enough of the lights you are in luck. Zoo lights at Lincoln Park Zoo opens November 23 and is open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until December 23. Then it’s open everyday from the 26th until January 6th. Enjoy a stroll enchanted by thousands of lights and witness live ice carving, musical light shows, animal encounters and much more.
One must see is the 170,000 square foot festive holiday playground at the Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier. Ice skate under a sky of lights or witness all the excitement from the top of the 50 foot indoor ferris wheel. There is something for everyone. Admission is free but an activity wristband will need to be purchased to participate in rides and attractions. The fun begins November 30th and will continue until January 6th. Hours are 10am -5pm Sunday through Thursday between Nov 30th and Dec 15th and 10am-8pm from the 15th until Jan 6th. Friday and Saturday are 10am-10pm throughout. Special holiday hours are in effect. Check the website for more details.
Can’t wait until the 30th to get on the ice? You are in luck. McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park opened Friday, November 16th and will remain open through mid-march 2013. This rink is free and offers a skate rental for only $10.
They say Chicago is the best in the summer but the winter has so much to offer too. Best of all, most of them are free! Among the things I’ve listed there are also many performances you can enjoy like A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre, Joffery Ballet Nutcracker at the Auditorium Theatre, or the Radio City Spectacular Starring the Rocketes at the Akoo Theatre. Find more information about these events and many more at Metromix or Explore Chicago. Have fun and Happy Holidays!
Colleen Murray
Spa Bleu