Top 5 Reasons to Spend the Holiday Season in Chicago Image

Top 5 Reasons to Spend the Holiday Season in Chicago

Chicago. One of the most vibrant cities in the world and one that becomes even more exciting, vibrant and electrifying around the holidays! Visitors and residents come out in droves to experience the sights, sounds, smells and events that permeate and populate the city during this special time of year. Michigan Avenue is front and center for Chicagoans and visitors during Christmas, as one of the most famous destination shopping streets in the world becomes holiday central. Whether on a quick staycation or visiting from out of town, travelers this season have many festive reasons, from ice skating and holiday markets to ferris wheels and zoo lights, to celebrate in the Windy City including:

Navy Pier

Packed with family fun, Fifth Third Bank’s Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier is a beloved annual Chicago winter event, featuring 170,000 square feet of carnival rides, giant slides, holiday-themed activities, and an indoor ice skating rink. Experience the city’s biggest and best indoor winter playground; a part of the annual holiday tradition for hundreds of Chicagoans.

The St. Clair Hotel™ – Magnificent Mile

Providing a comfortable stay in the heart of a Chicago, Red Roof’s first Red Collection property, The St. Clair Hotel™ – Magnificent Mile provides a prime location at the intersection of St. Clair and Ontario in Streeterville, a vibrant downtown Chicago neighborhood whose main attraction is the Navy Pier, and just off of Michigan Avenue, putting guests at the forefront of a pulsing shopping scene with high-end retailers including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Gucci, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Stuart Weitzman and more. Holiday guests will love the property’s 208 modern, amenity-filled rooms which features modern, clean and fresh décor decorated with locally-inspired artwork of Chicago cityscapes and stocked with quintessential Chicago-themed souvenir kits to extend the experience – and the guests’ memories – long after they’ve arrived back home. With rates starting at $79, The St. Clair Hotel – Magnificent Mile is the place to stay 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’.


Christkindlmarket Chicago transforms Daley Plaza into a picturesque European Christmas village filled with candy cane striped wooden huts with nearly 60 vendors boasting hand-made holiday ornaments, nutcrackers, cuckoo-clocks, toys, jewelry, and much more. The Grand Timber House and Festival Tent provide visitors a place to warm up and enjoy delicious food and drinks. Entertainment throughout the 37-day event includes an Alpine Brass band, the Children’s Lantern Parade, Theatre day and more! Open daily through December 24th.

Zoo Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo

Every year, the Lincoln Park Zoo celebrates the holidays by decorating the zoo with hundreds of strings of lights and festive displays. Visitors can also enjoy giant snow globes, family crafts, ice skating, and ice carving demonstrations, and get a unique photo with Santa. Admission to the zoo is free.

Millennium Park Ice Skating

Check out Cloud Gate a.k.a. the “Bean” on Michigan Avenue and then lace up for ice skating. Skates can be rented or visitors can bring their own. When it’s time to warm up, skaters can head over to the Park Grill restaurant for some hot cocoa with rubber mats at the ready for wet skates.

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