From one corner of the state to the other, celebrating the holidays in Illinois can be cozy and memorable. Even though it may be frosty and snowing, staying indoors this winter is not an option – there’s so much to do!
For example, all of Chicago’s museums have their own holiday displays, you can check out the animated windows on Macy’s State Street and stop in to see the Great Tree while you’re there, visit the outdoor ice rinks at Millennium Park or the indoor ice skating rink at the John Hancock building, and animal lovers can go see the festive “Zoo Lights” at Lincoln Park Zoo.
Below is a roundup of more Illinois area sights and sounds your family is sure to enjoy this holiday season.
- The popular German-themed market, Christkindlmarket Chicago, is a festive destination that attracts thousands of tourists each year. Explore shopping, German beer, a spiced German wine called Gluhwein, a variety of “wurst” sausages and stay for live music and performances by accomplished local artists.
- The Navy Pier Winter Wonderfest downtown is a popular holiday festival with outdoor lights and decorations and indoor games, food and rides. Complete with skating rinks, a ferris wheel, bounce houses and a zip line, this destination is ideal for families with small children.
- “The Magnificent Mile” is nestled between Chicago River and Oak Street, offering more than 400 stores, three malls, nearly 300 restaurants and 60 hotels. It’s truly a shopper’s paradise! There are also museums and attractions like the Chicago Sports Museum in the Water Tower Place mall along the way.
- Get into the holiday spirit with “The Nutcracker” by Joffrey Ballet. This elaborate performance is a Chicago tradition featuring some of the world’s top dancers in fanciful costumes.
- Check out the Chestnut Mountain Resort in Galena, a hotel complete with a sauna, onsite restaurant and a fun-filled arcade game room. Skiing can be at the top of your list when you visit with more than 25 rails, 19 runs, air ramps and black diamond trails.
- Drive out to the western suburbs for Illumination at Morton Arboretum, a festive holiday lights display featuring the arboretum trees. Experience mini-light shows to set to music like “The Nutcracker” as well as bonfires along the mile-long forest path.
- In Springfield, come discover The State House Inn a few miles from the Springfield Park District. The lagoons at Lincoln Washington and Southwind Parks all offer outdoor entertainment with ice skating when the temperature drops.
Come bundle up and enjoy the “Land of Lincoln” this holiday season.