Christmas Season Events in Chicago

Courtesy of Robert Stinnett (Flickr CC0)

Tree Lighting Ceremony

On November 18, the Millennium Park Christmas Tree was officially lit up. The tree is in Millennium Park along Michigan Avenue and Washington Street. It will stay there all the way until Jan. 9, 2023.

It was the holiday season’s 109th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. This year the tree on display is a 55-foot-tall, Colorado Blue Spruce — a donation from the Glisovic Family in Morton Grove.

They held the event along with many musical performances and Chicago’s Dreezy Claus and Sister Claus. This year the tree was decorated in patriotic colors: red, white, and blue with more than 12,000 ornaments and 340,000 vibrant lights.

Thanksgiving is Still Ahead

Although the Christmas spirit has already taken over, Thanksgiving is still coming up. The Chicago Thanksgiving Parade will be happening this week on Thanksgiving Day, November 24. It will have completely decked-out floats, marching band music, and even a bit of Christmas jingles, with a special appearance of Santa Claus. The parade will be held from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and will run along State Street from Ida B. Wells Drive to Randolph Street.

The annual Turkey Trot will happen on November 24, with both 5k and 8k races for all ages. For $20-$55, anyone can register for the races which will be held in Lincoln Park.

Christmas Events

Courtesy of Dan Perry (Flickr CC0)

Not only is Millennium Park home to the beautiful Chicago Christmas Tree, but there’s also a free-to-visit ice skating rink. The rink has been open since November 19 and will last until March 5, if weather permits.

The park is completely free to visit for anyone who brings their own skates and signs up through an online reservation. These reservations are required to be made two weeks in advance, but there may be limited walk-up availability. They do provide skate rentals for anyone who needs them. Each online reservation lasts 90 minutes and there are allotted times to choose from.

There are also more places to ice skate for free, like Maggie Daley’s Ice Skating Ribbon. Every Monday-Thursday, from now until December 16, it’s completely free to skate at the rink with your own skates.

The rink also offers rentals. Although they’ll be open from Friday-Sunday during the holiday season, from December 16 to January 8, it will only be free with skates during the 11 a.m. session. All other session times are $5 with tax, not including skate rentals.

The Christkindlmarket is back in Chicago. It started this past Friday, this German Holiday-style market has set up its location. The market is going on from now through December 31 at the Daley Plaza located downtown. Vendors are selling all kinds of goods. From delicious food and beverages to many different homemade gifts. There will be free admission for all who want to stop by and visit.

ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo is being held now until January 1. From Tuesday-Friday admission will be $5 and all Mondays will be free. This is an amazing light show event for all ages to see and enjoy.

Sledding In Chicago

In addition to ice skating, there will be many Chicago Park Hills open for sledding during this holiday season. There are many different parks with hills to choose from but some most loved places include:

  • Palmisano Park (Bridgeport).
  • Cricket Hill (Lincoln Park).
  • Dan Ryan Woods (Ashburn).
  • Caldwell Woods (Norwood Park).
  • Warren Park (West Ridge).

Overall, in Chicago, there are so many fun activities to enjoy with friends and family during this holiday season.

Written by Alyssa Calderon


Block Club Chicago: Holiday Season Is Officially On As Chicago’s 55-Foot Christmas Tree Is Lit In Millennium Park

WBEZ Chicago: Holiday things to do in Chicago: Lights, shopping, shows, skating and more

Fox News: Fox News’ ‘All-American Tree Lighting’ kicks off Christmas season on ‘The Five’

Maggie Daley Park: Ice Skating Ribbon Now Open  November 18, 2022—March 5, 2023 (weather permitting) Millennium Park, McCormick Tribune Ice Rink Free Admission, Online Skating Tickets Required

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Stinnett Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Inset Image Courtesy of Dan Perry Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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