Holiday Activities in Chicago

Helen McKnight

As late December approaches in Chicago there are a lot of activities that businesses and the city of Chicago create to celebrate the holiday season. One of the most popular activities is the Christkindl Market. The market has been open in Chicago since 1996 and has been a popular holiday activity in Chicago ever since. The market is in Daley Plaza in the Chicago Loop. There are a variety of merchandise vendors that sell: food and drink, ornaments, clothing and more. They also have a “meet Santa” activity and a restaurant that you can sit down and eat at. Greta Rose, ‘20, said, “I love visiting the Christkindl market. It’s a family tradition and it just makes me so happy!”

Other winter activities that pop-up around Chicago are ice-skating rinks and Winter-Wonderfest. The latter is a carnival-style attraction in Navy Pier that occupies the ballroom from December 5th to January 12th. There are activities like indoor ice skating, carnival rides, and festive carousel. The tickets cost $28 and are available for purchase online. Chloe Kim, ‘21, said, “I always like to go to Winter-Wonderfest because it really puts me in the holiday spirit.” 

Another activity in Chicago that can surprise you is the holiday CTA trains and buses. The CTA runs trains and buses through Chicago beginning on December 1st through New Year’s. When I asked Adrienne Weiner, ‘24, about her holiday CTA experience, she said, “Seeing the holiday train is always really fun because it’s a nice surprise, but it can be crowded which kind of sucks.” The trains and buses are decorated with twinkling lights and other holiday decorations and there are employees dressed as elves handing out candy canes.

It seems like, generally, the holiday activities seem to be cheering up citizens of Chicago who might be feeling down because of the cold winter.