Christmas 2023 in Mud City: Celebrating the Holidays in Chicago

by operator

Winter in Chicago may be freezing filled up with snow, but Christmas in Chicago makes it worthwhile to visit. When it comes to genuine special celebrations, Chicago is always over the top. Throughout the summer, the city goes all out with major fireworks displays, and during the winter, the Windy City is illuminated, and the stores have impressive window displays. There is something exceptional about Christmas in Chicago. Besides visiting the locations with Christmas events and displays, there are plenty more activities to engage in during the Christmas season in Chicago. So, this holiday season, pack your bags and head to Chicago.

christmas chicago

Top 9 Ways To Commemorate Christmas In Chicago

The diverse Chicago Christmas events and traditions delight the senses and add excitement to your holiday schedule. Celebrate this vibrant season with Chicago’s Christmas events 2022 and welcome the season with the appropriate cheer:

1. Christkindlmarket


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If you are seeking activities to partake in on Christmas day in Chicago, then head to Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago, which transforms into a charming European Christmas village filled with red-and-white huts adorned with twinkling Chicago Christmas lights and wreaths. The market showcases numerous vendors displaying handcrafted ornaments, cuckoo clocks, nutcrackers, toys, and much more. The Festival Tents and The Grand Timber House provide visitors with a place to warm up, sit down, and enjoy delicious food and beverages such as potato pancakes, German beer, and spiced wine. This 37-day grand event allows you to indulge in live music performances and the Children’s Lantern Parade. Experience this unique event venue in the heart of downtown Chicago. This tradition, which will celebrate its 23rd year in 2022, will draw inspiration from the Nuremberg German Christmas market in Chicago.

Dates: November 18th to December 24th, 2022Time: 11 am to 8 pm (Sunday to Thursday) and 11 am to 9 pm (Friday to Saturday)

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The Mile Lights Festival

2. The Mile Lights Festival

Image OriginThis celebration offers family-friendly activities for two days free of cost. The festival concludes with an evening tree-lighting parade along North Michigan Avenue. The captivating highlight of this event is the presence of Mickey and Minnie Mouse leading the procession. The celebration begins at Lights Festival Lane on Friday evening and continues throughout the day on Saturday. Crowd favorites such as the Cheesecake Company, Eli’s, Garrett Popcorn, and more will be returning for Christmas in Chicago 2022, along with Santa Claus.

Dates: November 16 to November 17, 2022Time: 4 pm to 8 pm (Friday) and 11 am to 4 pm (Saturday)

City of Chicago Christmas Tree

3. City of Chicago Christmas Tree

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A 48-year-old, 60-foot Christmas tree weighing 8200 pounds is the City of Chicago’s 105th Christmas tree donated by Deborah Orth and her family. You will find the Christmas tree location in Chicago at Millennium Park where the City of Chicago’s Christmas Tree Lighting commemoration will take place. This highly anticipated event attracts people of all ages to witness the glittering tree amidst Chicago’s sparkling skyline and the iconic art and architecture of Millennium Park. The ceremony will commence at approximately 6 pm with the Chicago Christmas lights at Washington Street and Michigan Avenue.

Dates: November 16, 2022Time: At 6 pm

Lincoln Park Zoo

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4. Lincoln Park Zoo

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The 24th edition will illuminate the grounds with over two million lights, including extensively illuminated structures. This unique festival transforms Lincoln Park’s zoo into a winter wonderland renowned across the USA. Event crafts and activities, and of course, delightful treats, complete the fun. Be sure to visit the Helen Brach Primate House to meet Santa Claus. You can also enjoy a ride on the Lionel Train Adventure through the snowy woods and rugged ravine. Alternatively, go ice skating alongside goats and horses at the Farm in the Zoo.

Dates: November 23 to January 06, 2022Time: 4.30pm to 9pm

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5. St. Lucia celebration of illumination

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Chicago’s Andersonville was initially settled as a Swedish cultivating network after the 1871 Great Fire when Swedish enclaves on the close north side of Chicago moved further to the north side Today, Andersonville still differentiates its Swedish customs, while accommodating a lively, different community with numerous cultures. In this celebration, a candlelight procession is conducted at the North Side of Andersonville along Clark Street commencing from the Swedish American Museum. This procession is based on Swedish culture and roots. The exceptionally chosen “Lucia Girls” lead the parade wearing white robes and adorned with beautiful crowns of candles, they sing “The Lucia Song” and invite individuals to participate in their walk. Later on, rejoice at the museum with family-friendly entertainment and numerous Christmas activities in Chicago.

St. Lucia festival of lights

Dates: December 12, 2022Time: 4:45pm to 7:00pm

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6. Winter WonderFest

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Winter WonderFest

It is one of Chicago’s most fashionable, most significant and finest indoor play areas. Loaded with family fun, Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier is a beloved annual Chicago winter event. This year it will be the 17th yearly celebration including 170,000 square feet of fair rides, carousels, holiday-themed activities, Ice Skating, colossal slides, and the decor is just as stunning as the views. Vast snowflakes and thousands of icicle lights dangle from the roof. Come and experience the city’s most splendid and finest indoor winter play area and join the enormous number of families who have made it a part of their annual holiday tradition!

Dates: November 30, 2021, to January 06, 2022Time: From 10 am daily

7. Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic

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Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic

Celebrating its 37th year, Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic is the Chicago’s largest lights celebration featuring one million twinkling lights throughout the suburban zoo. You will discover animated light shows and a video light show, animal exhibits that stay open into the night, as will zoo restaurants and gifts shops. Enjoy a full schedule of live entertainment, serenading the animals, professional ice-cutting performances, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, magic and train shows, a 38-foot talking tree, costumed characters, and a model train show. Visitors can experience lights throughout the zoo while visiting their favorite animals as well.

Dates: December 01 to December 31, 2022Time: 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

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8. Unique Seasonal Show

One of a Kind Holiday Show

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It is an exhilarating option opposed to traditional retail and is an enjoyable place to discover extraordinary presents for everyone on your holiday agenda. It is currently in its eighteenth year and one of the most cherished Christmas stores in Chicago. Over 600 independent artists from North America bring their innovative, handcrafted items to the market. Get ready to browse a wide range of media and categories including ceramic kitchenware; jewelry made from recycled paper; home decorations; a plethora of fashion options from cozy wool hats to travel-inspired scarves in large prints, gourmet treats, furniture, children’s items, jewelry, pet products, painting, and much more. Engage in conversation with the artists and witness their demonstrations, watch fashion shows, and listen to live music.

Dates: December 06 to December 09, 2022Time: 11am to 8pm

9. Macy’s Christmas Windows

Image SourceMacy’s window displays are the thrilling and festive window displays that provide entertainment to people during the holiday season. Apart from the Chicago Christmas lights, it is these window displays that are one of the Christmas events of 2022 in Chicago that people eagerly anticipate. Christmas shopping in Chicago can also be done here as Macy’s chocolate shop offers the finest treats to be given away as holiday gifts.

Macy's window

When: November 1, 2021 – January 5, 2022

Where: 111 N State StreetCost: Free

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With seasonal joy spread throughout every region, street, and edifice, it is truly enchanting to celebrate Christmas in Chicago. It is the main season when you can savor a cup of mulled wine beneath the Picasso statue, sing carols, and visit the Walnut Room tree at Macy’s. You can follow the above guide and fill your trip to the USA with the warmth and happiness of the season.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Christmas In Chicago

What is Chicago known for?

If you are visiting Chicago for the first time, some of the things that this city is famous for are Chicago-style hot dogs and deep-dish pizza along with a vibrant jazz music scene that you can explore.

What is there to do in Chicago in December?

One can observe the Zoolights at the Lincoln Park Zoo and go ice skating at the Millennium Park in Chicago in December.

Does it snow in Chicago in December?

Chicago experiences frigid winds and snow in December.

Are museums free in Chicago?

Similar to other attractions in the USA, museums in Chicago offer free admission for members of the US Armed Services, Chicago Fire Department, Chicago Police Department, and Illinois teachers.

Is the Skydeck free?

The Skydeck in Chicago is not free. You need to pay INR 2,348.08 for adults, while for kids above the age of 3 years, the cost is INR 996.24.

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