Celebrating Christmas in the Windy City

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and there’s no better place to embrace the festive spirit than in the magnificent city of Chicago! With its dazzling lights, spirited traditions, and a whole lot of holiday cheer, Chicago transforms into a winter wonderland during Christmas. So, bundle up, grab a cup of hot cocoa, and let’s take a merry journey through the Windy City’s unique way of celebrating Christmas.

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Mile-Long Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

Chicago kicks off the holiday season in style with the annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. Imagine a mile-long stretch of Michigan Avenue, illuminated by over a million twinkling lights! It’s a sight to behold as the city’s most iconic shopping district transforms into a sparkling winter wonderland. The grand tree-lighting parade is the highlight of the festival, featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse as the grand marshals. Santa Claus himself makes an appearance, making this event a true spectacle of lights and laughter.

Museum Magic at The Art Institute

The Art Institute of Chicago takes the holiday season up a notch with its annual Wreathing of the Lions event. Each year, two iconic bronze lion statues flanking the museum entrance don festive wreaths. This cherished tradition symbolizes the welcoming of visitors and the spreading of holiday joy. The museum itself is a treasure trove of art, but during Christmas, it’s especially magical. Explore the decked halls and experience the beauty of classic and contemporary art, all aglow with holiday spirit.

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Skating by the Cloud Gate

Millennium Park’s Cloud Gate, affectionately known as “The Bean,” becomes the heart of holiday celebrations during Christmas. The area transforms into a winter playground with an ice skating rink that offers the perfect backdrop for a romantic date or a fun family outing. Glide along the ice with the iconic Chicago skyline as your backdrop, and don’t forget to snap a selfie with The Bean covered in snow. It’s a picture-perfect moment!

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Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza

Chicago’s Christkindlmarket is a slice of European holiday charm right in the heart of the city. Modelled after the traditional German Christmas markets, this open-air market in Daley Plaza boasts rows of charming wooden stalls selling handmade ornaments, nutcrackers, and delicious German treats like bratwurst and mulled wine. It’s the perfect place to pick up unique gifts and immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere.

The Magic of Morton Arboretum

If you’re looking for a truly enchanting experience, head to the Morton Arboretum in nearby Lisle. Every year, they host an event called “Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum,” where you can walk through a mesmerizing display of LED lights wrapped around trees, creating a magical forest of colours. It’s a breathtaking way to connect with nature and the holiday spirit simultaneously.

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The Nutcracker Ballet at The Joffrey

Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet presents a beloved holiday classic, “The Nutcracker.” This timeless production, set against the backdrop of a magical Chicago, brings the tale to life with stunning choreography and lavish costumes. It’s a must-see performance that will transport you to a world of sugarplum fairies and toy soldiers.

Book Chicago at Christmas with American Holidays from €1039pp / £889pp

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Chicago truly knows how to deck the halls and spread holiday cheer. From the twinkling lights along the Magnificent Mile to the festive markets and cultural celebrations, Christmas in the Windy City is a magical experience you won’t soon forget. So, whether you’re a Chicago native or a visitor, embrace the joy and wonder of the season in this vibrant and spirited city. Merry Christmas, Chicago-style!

What’s Included?

Return flights with one checked bag per person roundtrip

5 nights at Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago ***

Based on 2 adults sharing. Travelling 23rd December 2023.

Quote reference number: 53166991