5 Best Ways to Spend a Seasonal Staycation in the Heart of Chicago

5 Best Ways to Spend a Seasonal Staycation in the Heart of Chicago

Families and friends looking to stay close to home but enjoy all Chicago has to offer can make memories—and new traditions—during this special time of year with a staycation right in the heart of the city. Vibrant, bustling, and dazzling, Chicago truly turns into a holiday wonderland as lights, decorative store windows, and merriment transform the city into a must-see destination. A city travelers love, Chicago is the perfect place for a holiday staycation with everything families and friends need to relax, have fun, be entertained and eat well. Enjoy an unforgettable staycation right here with these fun events, places and activities this holiday season:

Glide along the winding Skating Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park, where on special days you can have breakfast and ice skate with Santa; catch carolers serenading the crowds on Sunday afternoons.

Catch a performance of the Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the historic Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. It is a lavish production that boasts stunning costumes, beautiful choreography and a musical score played by a live orchestra.

A must see: The wreathed lions at the Art Institute of Chicago have been a tradition for more than 25 years. Cheery holiday wreaths are placed on the regal lion statues on the museum steps where they’re up all season for all to see. Head inside for an afternoon stroll through the Art Institute’s latest exhibitions.

Lights, lights and more lights! The Museum of Science & Industry's 45-foot Grand Tree takes center stage in the Rotunda, decked out in 30,000 lights. Fifty smaller trees, beautifully decorated by volunteers, surround it. The volunteers come together from Chicago communities to represent their various cultures and holiday traditions. The occasional falling of "snow" adds to the fun.

The Chicago Botanic Garden Wonderland Express features toy trains that wind their way through plants, overhead bridges, and past more than 80 miniature recreations of Chicago's most famous buildings and landmarks, from The Bean (Cloud Gate) to Wrigley Field. These detailed replicas are constructed using natural materials like gourds, pine cones, bark, acorns, pods, seeds, grains and grass. There’s also indoor snow!

What better place for a staycation than a hotel in the heart of the city? Experience all that Chicago – and Michigan Avenue - has to offer with a comfortable stay at a renovated hotel in the heart of Chicago: Red Roof’s first Red Collection property, The St. Clair Hotel™– Magnificent Mile. It provides a prime location at the intersection of St. Clair and Ontario. Holiday guests will love the property’s 208 modern, amenity-filled rooms which feature modern, clean and fresh décor decorated with locally-inspired artwork of Chicago cityscapes and stocked with quintessential Chicago-themed souvenir kits. With rates starting at just $79, The St. Clair Hotel – Magnificent Mile is staycation central this holiday season. Looking for additional savings? Guests can enter for a chance to win free nights, prizes, savings and local experiences with ‘24 Days of The St. Clair Hotel’.

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