Photo of Chicago downtown cityscape with decorated Christmas tree glowing in the dark

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO – Chicago’s Holiday Season Welcomes You!

Photo of Chicago downtown cityscape with decorated Christmas tree glowing in the dark

It’s time again to feel the magic of the holiday season as Chicago once again will be full of bustling excitement and seasonal celebrations no matter what holidays you observe!  Join us as we welcome you to Chicago’s Holiday Season!!

The 109th official City of Chicago Christmas Tree is on display at Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.) in The Loop through Sunday, January 8, 2023.  This year’s tree was donated by the Glisovic family of Morton Grove and is a 55-foot Colorado Blue Spruce.  This larger-than-life attraction will shine brightly with its twinkling lights and crowned with an illuminated star!

The iconic German-inspired Christkindlmarket Chicago returns to the Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington St.) in The Loop now through December 24th from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.  It’s the most authentic holiday market of its kind outside of Europe, featuring international and local vendors offering a unique shopping experience, family-friendly events, and intercultural activities! Also, don’t leave without trying the spiced glühwein which is a German hot wine concoction best enjoyed in the market’s famous souvenir boot mugs!!

Gallagher Way (3635 N. Clark St.) in the Wrigleyville neighborhood is thrilled to announce the return of Winterland now through January 8, 2023.  This annual holiday event that normally offers festivities like the Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville beside the ballpark is officially moving some of its wintry attractions inside the ballpark this year, including the 12,000-square-foot Gallagher Ice Rink!  This expanded holiday experience will offer more family-friendly activities and new experiences such as on-field games, carnival rides, an ice slide, a miniature train, and even a pop-up restaurant “The Lodge” complete with cozy firepits!!

Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year at ZooLights located at Lincoln Park Zoo (2400 N. Cannon Dr.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood now through January 1, 2023, from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.  Come see one of the largest displays of holiday lights in the city limits as this annual event strings up millions of LED lights.  Visitors can wander through the Zoo snapping photos at the various displays as well as taking part in a variety of activities.  There are some new ticketed features this year as well that include a Ferris Wheel so you can get a bird’s eye view of all the lights!  Plus, there will be plenty of hot beverages and snacks to enjoy at stands throughout the Zoo!!

Chicago officially kicks-off its festive holiday season this Saturday (5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.) with the Wintrust Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.  Shining bright for 31 years, this spectacular parade marches down the Magnificent Mile (401 N. Michigan Ave.) in The Loop from Oak Street to Wacker Drive illuminating one million lights on 200+ trees along the way!  The procession also features fabulous floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, celebrities, musical performances, and Santa Claus led by Grand Marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida.  Afterwards, stick around and enjoy Wintrust’s fireworks spectacular!!

Finally, it’s turkey time!  Head on down to State Street in The Loop for Chicago’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, November 24th, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.  This annual, colorful procession makes its way down State Street between Ida B. Wells Drive and Randolph Street complete with over 100 floats along with a lively mix of performances from equestrian performers and fire twirlers to ballerinas and soul steppers!  And don’t forget to gaze upwards as the skyline fills with giant helium balloons led by none other than “Teddy Turkey.”  Gobble, Gobble!!

Sue Moss and Dean’s Team Chicago