3 Things to do while your family is in Chicago for the holidays

3 Things to do while your family is in Chicago for the holidays

There is so much going on during the holiday season. Chicago puts on a show with the lights and the festivities to put you and your family in the holiday spirit.

Here are a few things you can do from Thanksgiving to Christmas that will be memorable and fun in Chicago.

1. Dinner and a Show

The Chicago Theater is iconic and this time of year, you can get into the holiday spirit with “Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical. The traveling show made a stop in Chicago and debuted to a packed house on November 16th and runs until November 25th.

The best part of the musical is of course The Grinch. When I saw it, his demeanor and mannerisms made me (and the audience) laugh. We all can feel like the grinch sometimes during the holidays and it was nice to sit back and laugh about it and remember what Thanksgiving and Christmas are all about.

After the show, you can head one block north to State and Lake restaurant in the Witt Hotel. It’s quiet, yet upscale, and it’s so close to the Chicago Theatre that you won’t be cold for long. I recommend their fries and Brussels sprouts and a nice cocktail to unwind from the excitement of the show.

Them you can head across the street to Raised Bar for a night cap.

2. Christkindlmarket

One of the most anticipated holiday activities in Chicago is Christkindlmarket in the Daley Plaza. Some people go for the hot wine, others to collect the hot chocolate mugs, and others to shop for one of a kind trinkets. It runs from November 20th to December 24th.

This is a free activity to bring the family together for the holidays. If you’re hungry after, you can go to the Walnut Room at Macy’s on State Street. It’s a great photo op in front of the big tree. Plus, rumor has it, there’s a fairy that walks around to grant you wishes.

3. ZooLights

You’ve never seen a zoo this packed. I use to lead tours to out of town guests staying at Hosteling International through the ZooLights and it was always a favorite. My favorite part are the ice sculptures. We would stand in awe of the light shows throughout the Lincoln Park Zoo, say hi to a giraffe and then walk towards the city for some drinks in Old Town.

The ZooLights are free but there are also special, ticketed nights including a Holiday Market (Nov 27), an adults-only night (Nov 29), a live performance of music from A Charlie Brown Christmas (Dec 9) and a Zoo Year’s Eve celebration (Dec 31). 

The holidays can be a stressful time especially when you don’t know what to do. I hope this helps you plan some adventures and Instagram moments with your family and friends.

Amanda Elliott
Amanda Elliott

Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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