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Four Places to Get into the Christmas Spirit in Chicago

This blog post was updated on August 27, 2018.

Navy Pier Winter Wonderfest (CC Flickr photo credit: katesheets)The Christmas holidays might be a bit on the chilly side in Chicago, but they are still loads of fun!


Nights have become lit with multi-colored bulbs and adorned with wreathes and mistletoe as last-minute shoppers scurry about.


Friends and family just kicking off their winter vacations congregate for massive dinners and a healthy dose of red wine.


All over the city, Chicago attractions and landmarks are taking on a holiday flair, and they are the perfect reason to get out of the house and start feeling festive.


Now is definitely the time to get into the Christmas spirit, and those arriving on holiday flights to Chicago can do so with a few of the following:


John Hancock Observatory:  Winter Wonderland: The John Hancock Observatory has transformed into a Winter Wonderland that is accessible from now until December 31st.  Also, with every adult ticket, you get one child ticket for free.  Entrance includes a free family photo. Find out more.


Navy Pier Winter Wonderfest: Navy Pier is one of Chicago’s best attractions, being right on the waterfront and packed with loads of fun things to do.  In time for the holidays, it has transformed into Winter Wonderfest, a free to enter event unless wanting to take part in some of the rides and attractions.  Enjoy sports, rides, musical acts and shows. Find out more.


Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic: Wander Brookfield Zoo this coming weekend or the week between December 26th to 31st for a holiday spectacle.  The Brookfield Zoo has created one of the largest light festivals in Chicago, and the festivities include both indoor and outdoor exhibits, a laser light school, holiday snacks and goodies, and music and entertainment. Find out more.


Lincoln Park ZooLights: The Lincoln Park ZooLights takes place every evening from 5 to 9pm on December 16th to January 1st (closed the 24th/25th), and it’s free!  Experience lights, live ice carving, holiday crafts and food and more.  What better way to get into the holiday spirit than with a free event in the company of others… and animals? Find out more.


Of course, there’s more than just these events happening in the bustling city of Chicago in honor of the holidays.  Do you have a favorite wintertime event that’s not on this list?  Share it in the comments!


CC Flickr photo credit: katesheets

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