Now that another Thanksgiving is behind us, the city of Chicago is officially in holiday mode bringing weekends packed with fun and holiday cheer!  Let’s see what’s in store for us this weekend!!

If you’re on a mission for unique Christmas gifts, you might want to visit one of the following events:

The 24th annual Christkindlmarket is back at the Daley Plaza (48 W. Washington St.) in The Loop through December 24th.  This free, open-air, European holiday market is stocked with everything from nutcrackers and cuckoo clocks to beautiful hand-painted ornaments and toys for the kids.  It also features German foods, choirs, and carolers as you shop the day away.  It’s an annual holiday tradition here in Chicago not to be missed!

Swing by the Made in Chicago Market:  Winter Edition this Saturday (10 a.m.) at Journeymen Plumbers Hall (1340 W. Washington Blvd.) on the Near West Side.  It’s Chicago’s premiere place that highlights the best local and handmade products Chicago has to offer.  All vendors are based locally and produce everything from apparel to accessories, art to home décor, skin care to paper goods, pet products, and so much more!  Also featured are local food and drink vendors, fun activities, and opportunities to learn more about our city.  Come discover something new!!

Get in the holiday spirit and shop away at Home for the Holidays:  Andersonville & Lincoln Square recurring weekly on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through December 22nd.  Hop aboard a charming trolley for a 4 hour magical holiday-tinged tour of Lincoln Square and Andersonville, with their German and Swedish roots respectively.  The trolley leaves from East Delaware St. across the street from the Westin Michigan Avenue Hotel.  It includes a tour of both neighborhoods; an insider’s tour of the DANK Haus German-American museum; complimentary wine tasting from the Chopping Block; gelato tastings from FRIO Gelato; discount offers from various area shops, museums, and restaurants; and more!  Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to explore and shop in the many unique and locally owned shops!!

If you simply want to get in the holiday spirit, then perhaps these events might do the trick:

Returning to Union Station (225 S. Canal St.) in the West Loop on select dates through December 29th is The Polar Express Train Ride.  Passengers will relive the magic of the classic story by Chris Van Allsburg as they are whisked away on The Polar Express™ for a magical one hour trip to meet Santa.  During your trip, characters will lead passengers in an immersive onboard experience- just like in the movie!  Hot chocolate and a delicious cookie will be served by dancing chefs and Santa & his elves will greet you with the first gift of Christmas.  And each passenger will take home a keepsake sleigh bell and souvenir golden ticket!  It’s a magical trip!!

Join Isabella as she is whisked away to an upside down, inside out world where she meets characters inspired by the original timeless poem Twas the Night Before … by Cirque du Soleil.  This festive show is held at The Chicago Theatre (175 N. State St.) in The Loop on Wednesdays through Sundays (ending on December 8th) and is Cirque du Soleil’s first ever Christmas show filled with Christmas cheer, rip roaring fun, and hugely lovable characters to spark lasting memories this holiday season!  It’s time to discover what happens before Santa drops in!!

Are You Ready to Get in the Holiday Mode?