8 Chicago Events That Will Put You In The Holiday Spirit

It's time to get festive in Chicago!

November 7, 2018

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Given that we're gearing up for the first snow of the season, it seems like the appropriate time to talk about holiday-related things in the city.

When it comes to getting festive in Chicago, there are a couple of things you NEED to add to your list including ice skating in Millennium Park, drinking out of a boot mug at Daley Plaza, and hopping from bar to bar in your Santa Suit while throwing down "cereal shots" at 6 am. It's a thing.

Here's our list of "festive" events in the city! 


1. Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony (6 p.m. Nov. 16 in Millennium Park at Randolph and Michigan Avenue)

Kickstart the holiday season with the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony set amongst Chicago's glittering skyline. The City of Chicago’s 105th Christmas Tree is a 60-foot Norway Spruce from Elmhurst, Illinois, donated by Deborah Orth and her family. Santa Claus will emcee the night alongside Miguel Cervantes, the star of Hamilton at CIBC Theatre. Disney DCOM actress and singer Cozi Zuehlsdorff with perform her Christmas release "It's a Wonderful Life" and fireworks will go off after the lights go on at 6:30 pm! FREE ADMISSION


2. The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival (5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 17 on N. Michigan Avenue)

The 27th annual tree-lighting parade transforms Michigan Ave north of the Chicago River into a winter wonderland. Come for the parade, check out Mickey and Minnie Mouse as grand marshals and catch the fireworks! You can also watch on ABC7 Chicago from the comfort of your home!


3. Go Ice Skating in the City! (Noon on Nov. 16 - March 2019)

The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink returns to Millenium Park. Themed Skate Nights are free on most Thursdays, weather permitting. Otherwise, skate rentals are $13 from Monday to Thursday and $15 on weekends! You can also check out the rink across the bridge at Maggie Daley Park. 


4. Christkindlmarket is back, baby! 

The German-style outdoor Christmas market is back in Chicago this holiday season bringing you a ton of holiday cheer and spirit. Head over early for the Twas the Night Before Christkindlmarket event on November 15 from 5 to 8:30 pm! The Christkindlmarket will be open Nov. 16 through Dec. 24 in Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington). The boot isn't making a return this year, however, it's being replaced by a heart-shaped. According to the press release, it's an homage to the market theme for this year, “Ich liebe Christkindlmarket” or “I love Christkindlmarket," and was inspired by gingerbread hearts given out at German fairs.


5. Check out Lincoln Park's ZooLights

From Nov. 23 to Jan. 6 you can check out impressive twinkling light Christmas displays while participating in seasonal activities and sipping on spiced wine and beer at Lincoln Park Zoo! 


6. Do the Santa Hustle 5K!

Does running in the blistering cold sound like fun? Wonderful! Run around the lakefront outside of Soldier Field while listening to Christmas music, and stopping at cookie and candy stations along the route. Past the finish line, you'll find an after party at Navy Pier! 


7. A Holiday Bar Crawl Sounds Like a Good Idea!

And it probably is... TBOX Chicago, the self-proclaimed "world's largest and longest-running bar crawl" returns this year with flying cereal shots, costumes, and a breakfast buffet. Funds benefit charity which will definitely make up for your bad decisions!


8. Get Your Bodak Yellow on at the B96 Pepsi #JingleBash. 

Yes, this is completely self-promotion and we're not embarrassed about it because we're throwing the best show of the holiday season at the Allstate Arena on Dec. 8th! We have Cardi B, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Why Don't We, Lauv and Mike Posner on the lineup so get your tickets ASAP!