There are some things in Chicago that you simply can’t miss. Seeing the “Bean”, walking around Millennium Park, visiting the Art Institute, etc.
But the holidays are a different beast here in Chicago. There is so much more to explore with your family or friends you call family. Either way, these are worth the time to get downtown or drive out to the burbs to make these happen.
Every family has a holiday tradition that they won’t give up even if everyone in the family doesn’t want to do them anymore. Regardless, if you are looking for a new holiday tradition during these holidays or just want to try something new, these are the six holiday traditions that you don’t want to even consider missing this holiday season.
1. Macy’s Windows
Decorated to a T every year, these are a holiday tradition that you can’t miss if you’re in Chicago. They literally provide the holiday spirit without skipping a beat. Macy’s windows are a tradition from 1897 and each year they have a theme. Grab some hot cocoa or cider and enjoy a walk around Macy’s in downtown!
2. Chriskindelmarket in Daley Plaza
There is literally nothing like Chriskindelmarket in Chicago. Bring your own souvenir boot mug for a free pint or make sure you buy one while you’re there. Stay bundled and wander the shops for holiday tradition’s sake and pick up a holiday gift in no time.
3. The Lighting of the Christmas Tree
The location of the Christmas tree recently changed to right in Millenium Park, but it usually happens a couple of weeks before Christmas. Watching the lights on the ginormous tree turn on makes for a great holiday tradition without having to spend too much time in that Chicago wind and cold.
4. Ice Skating at Millenium Park
Seriously it’s epic watching the shoppers shop, the tourists tour and the people pop up into the air while ice skating in this extremely popular downtown location. Go close to the “Bean” in downtown Chicago and you’ll find it right in front of the Park Grill restaurant. Grab a snack or hot cocoa from the Snack Shop or run into PG for a meal after skating. Can’t miss this opportunity this winter!
5. Watch A Christmas Carol (or other holiday themed play or show!)
Every year, Chicago spends time keeping with holiday traditions. So look out for Chicago’s theater productions for the best holiday plays that keep you in the holiday spirit. A Christmas Carol, Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Scrooge and more have played year after year! Chicago is known for their theater world, so this would be worth the money and possibly could substitute the time you spend at Grandma’s with a night with her out on the town! Why not?
6. Home Alone House
If you’ve ever watched Home Alone, have a car in Chicago and want to bring back a holiday tradition, this is the place to go. Located at 671 Lincoln Ave, Winnetka, IL 60093, just 30 minutes north of downtown Chicago, you can’t miss imaging the sled going down those stairs, the burglars walking through the basement and the homemade zip-line from the back window. Too fun to pass up!
So if you need holiday traditions or want to add to your own, try out one of these this holiday season. You truly won’t regret spending more time with family doing something new and in season! Oh what fun it is to spend the holidays doing something that you love and being with people who you love as well!
Share your own personal holiday tradition favorites! Write them in the comments below!