Winter Things To Do in Chicago- Michigan Avenue Lights, Ice Skating at Millennium Park and Just Wandering Around!

Winter is really pretty in Chicago- sure it’s a little cold, but if you bundle up, have proper hats, scarves, gloves, and boots you’ll be fine!

it's cold in chicago so you have to wear the right clothes

Go ice skating at Millennium Park- I love urban ice skating! If you go on a Friday evening during the holiday season, you can also listen to carolers.

ice skating in millennium park, chicago

Go to State Street and look at all the lights and window decorations- especially at Macy’s. Inside Macy’s they’ve also got it all decorated up. The Walnut Room restaurant has a giant Christmas tree.

Macy's in Chicago is decorated really nicely for Christmas

The Walnut Room at Macy's in Chicago has a giant Christmas Tree

Michigan Avenue also has tons of lights– it’s really really pretty!

Michigan Avenue in Chicago- tons of Christmas lights

Grab a sled or a piece of cardboard and find a nice hill- this one is in Lincoln Park near Wrightwood Ave.

sledding in lincoln park, chicago

Go for a run, LOL. It’s brisk!

winter runner in lincoln park, chicago

Find a Christmas Tree seller and take a deep breath.

Fresh Christmas trees in Lincoln park, Chicago

Fresh Christmas trees in Lincoln park, Chicago

Fresh Christmas trees in Lincoln park, Chicago

Fresh Christmas trees in Lincoln park, Chicago

Or just walk around any of the many great Chicago neighborhoods, get a hot chocolate or a meal.

Wicker Park:

Wicker Park, Chicago

Wicker Park, Chicago

Lincoln Park:

Lincoln Park, Chicago

Lincoln Park, Chicago

Lincoln Park, Chicago

Lincoln Park, Chicago

Lincoln Park, Chicago

Lincoln Park, Chicago

Lincoln Park, Chicago

Winter Things To Do in Chicago- Butch McGuire’s

If you live in Chicago and haven’t been to Butch McGuire’s you are seriously out of it! It’s been around forever and is a Chicago institution! Get over there soon- Christmastime is the best time to visit. They spend two months decorating for Christmas with tons of lights and even a working train set that hangs from the ceiling. Good food, great drinks (perfect Irish Coffee)- we even went last year for their New Years Eve party. It was fun and not all crazy and ridiculously crowded. They have daily specials and weekend brunch, too. Now go on, go.

Winter cocktails at Butch McGuire's in Chicago

Christmas at Butch McGuire's, Chicago

Christmas at Butch McGuire's, Chicago

Butch McGuire's is a great spot for an Irish Coffee in Chicago

Warm up with drinks at Butch McGuire's in Chicago

New Years Eve at Butch McGuire's in Chicago

New Years Eve at Butch McGuire's in Chicago

New Years Eve at Butch McGuire's in Chicago

 

Winter Things To Do in Chicago- Christkindlmarket!

The Christkindlemarket in Daley Plaza is an authentic (and free!) European (German mostly) Christmas marketplace. You can get handmade ornaments, scarves and hats, Christmas decorations, mugs, cuckoo clocks, candies and much more. They also sell German food, hot cider, beer, and warm spiced wine- yum! Pro Tip: go after work during the week instead of on the weekend, it’s prettier at night and you can beat the crowds!

The Christmas Tree in Daley Plaza, Chicago

The Christkindlmarket, Chicago

Authentic German Christmas market, Chicago

Authentic German food is available at the Christkindlmarket in Chicago

Authentic German food is available at the Christkindlmarket in Chicago

Handmade ornaments from all over the world are available at The Christkindlmarket in Chicago

You can get fun international candies at the Christkindlmarket in Chicago

 

 

Winter Things To Do in Chicago- The Holiday Train!

Yes, the Chicago CTA Holiday Train is a real thing. It travels each train route thru the holiday season. You can see where it’s going to be on the CTA schedule.  It’s super cute and lots of fun (even if some of the people in the pics don’t look too thrilled- they are secretly holiday lovers or they wouldn’t have gotten on the train!). The trains are decorated inside and out and they play Christmas music inside. So festive!

waiting for the holiday train, cta, chicago

waiting for the holiday train, cta, chicago

CTA holiday train, chicago

CTA holiday train, chicago

CTA holiday train, chicago

CTA holiday train, chicago

CTA holiday train, chicago

Winter things to do in Chicago- Zoo lights at Lincoln Park Zoo!

Winter is such a pretty time in Chicago, and we don’t let the weather slow us down. Between Thanksgiving and New Years there are tons of things to do. So many that I didn’t get to post about them all because they came and went already!

But one place that does it up for the whole month of December is The Lincoln Park Zoo.

Christmas decorations inside The Lincoln Park Conservatory

The Conservatory and The Zoo are always free, and they’re inside Lincoln Park itself. You can walk around the park, see all the pretty buildings in the neighborhood, then visit the Conservatory and The Zoo.

lincoln_park_zoo_christmas_flowers

If you time it right, you can see everything at once. Visit The Conservatory from 9-5 daily, then head over to the Zoo for the light show from 5-9! Over 2 million holiday lights festoon the trees inside the zoo. It’s sooooooo pretty!

holiday lights at the lincoln park zoo, chicago

 

Plus they have ice carving, and carousel and train rides.

winter at lincoln park zoo

There are stands that sell hot cider, hot chocolate and mulled wine- yum. You can even visit some of the animals. It’s fun and scary to see the big cats outside at night.

mulled wine at lincoln park zoo holiday lights

The Lincoln Park Zoo website has all the details and schedule.

lincoln park zoo christmas lights

 

lincoln_park_zoo_holiday lights

I guess this year they even have an ice skating rink– fun!

If you are still up for it, you can wander into the Lincoln Park neighborhood and stop at Galway Arms for a hot spiked beverage in front of one of their toasty fireplaces.

winter Holiday drinks at Galway Arms, Chicago