Posted on: January 22, 2020 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Pam Wilinski


It’s no doubt that Chicago is a hub of activity throughout the year, but when the winter winds begin to blow through, they bring a flurry of fun festivities to enjoy.

Ice skating is availbale at a number of locations: next to the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park. Free admission, and skate rental is between $13 – $15. Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon also has free admission with skate rentals between $13 – $15. It’s open through March (weather permitting), and offers special hours on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. The rink at Gallagher Way outside Wrigley Field. Kids 12 and under skate for free. Thise over 13 pay $6 with skates rented for $12.

At Daley Plaza and near Wrigley Field, take a stroll through the Christkindlmarket, a German street-style market, offering a variety of German and Bavarian items from food to handcrafted items like nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks, beer steins and glass ornaments. No trip is complete with a mug of Glühwein, a traditional hot spiced wine, or hot cocoa for the kids. 

Too Cold? Head to the Navy Pier Winter Wonderfest where the fun is indoors, filling its 170,000-square-foot Festival Hall with carnival rides, a tubing hill, tons of holiday décor, and a massive ice-skating rink. The festival runs from December 6 through January 12, with hours varying daily. Prices are $10 – $14 for kids and seniors and $20 – $28;general admission passes give you access to all the holiday fun inside.

Lincoln Park Zoo’s ZooLights boasts over 2.5 MILLION lights. While most of the animals will be inside, guests can wander through the park to see the display and take part in a variety of activities throughout the season. Ice sculpture carving, strolling carolers, and Santa are regular fixtures of the event. There are also ticketed events like a holiday market, an adults-only night, a live performance of music from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”(December 15), and a Zoo Year’s Eve celebration (December 31).

The best way to get to any events happening in the city this holiday season is by taking the CTA Holiday Train. The train has cars packed with lights, ribbons, and holiday cheer to every CTA line in the city from November 29 through December 23. You may be lucky enough to see the train on your commute in or out of the city and snap a picture, and maybe you’ll be riding it on your trip. Check the CTA’s website for a complete Holiday Train schedule.

Pam Wilinski can be contacted at