It’s the best time of the year for families. And, if you live in Chicago or are planning a visit during the holiday season, you’ll notice that Chicago goes all out with spreading the holiday cheer. Whether you need to pay a visit to Santa, enjoy a peaceful ride or fun-filled walk through a lights display, or catch a holiday performance, one thing is for sure—any of these will surely invoke the holiday spirit. And, who knows? You may find yourself a new annual tradition.
Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a fun-filled holiday adventure (or two)!
Special Light Displays
Although the start of the holidays in Chicago officially begins with the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival on Chicago’s most famous shopping street, the Magnificent Mile there are plenty of places to be dazzled by the twinkling of lights. (You can re-watch the holiday magic here.) To make it extra special, it’s best to share the moment with friends, family, and… animals! The Lincoln Park Zoo gets transformed into a winter wonderland with over 2 million lights, giant character displays, and lighted tunnels at ZooLights. Santa Claus will be at the Lion House to hear children’s wish lists. Other fun activities include train and carousel rides, ice carving, and a musical light show. Have you ever wanted to ice skate past goats and cows? Well, now’s your chance! New this year is their ice rink at the Farm-in-the-Zoo. Drive on over to the Brookfield Zoo, if singing’s more your thing. At the Holiday Magic event, you can serenade animals, or go to the Holly Jolly Theatre and hear local choirs sing. Besides ice-carving demonstrations and a light show, enjoy the magic of seeing more than a million lights illuminated. If you prefer a smaller zoo, Cosley Zoo’s Festival of Lights and Trees will be sure to please. From November 28th to December 30th you can grab a hot chocolate while perusing the zoo’s grounds lit up with over 20, 000 lights. They are even offering free zoo admission during the festival. For a lights experience unlike any other, check out Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum where trees will respond to touch and sound, with vivid, electric colors displayed throughout.