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It’s Christmastime in the City – Fun Holiday Activities in Chi

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Columbia Chicago chapter.

“City sidewalks, busy sidewalks dressed in holiday style, In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas,” sings Bing Crosby in “Silver Bells.” These lyrics certainly ring true in our beautiful city of Chicago. Along with the beautiful decorations on State street accompanied by busy shoppers passing from shop to shop, there’s lots to do this holiday season.

Here’s a list of fun things to do in Chi that will be sure to keep your season merry and bright.


One of my all time favorite traditions just opened this Friday in Daley Plaza, the German market known for its hot chocolate and goodies. Be sure to stop by to get a complimentary mug (I have one from every year) and enjoy lots of good German food, drinks, and knicknacks all for free admission.

Tree Lighting at Millennium Park

Friday November 22, the 55-foot tree donated by an Elgin family will finally be lit up in its annual tree lighting! The tree will be up all season until January 6, so even if you miss the lighting you’ll have plenty of time to stop by and see the amazing sight in person.

Ice Skating

Ice skating is always a perfect date idea, no matter how uncoordinated you may be you’ll always have someone to cling to and keep warm. Whether you choose to ice skate at the Millennium Tribune Ice Rink or the Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon, you’ll have a blast! It’s free admission for either rink, and skate rental is $13 on weekdays and $15 on weekends.

Caroling at Cloud Gate

Come out and hear renowned choirs sing your favorite Christmas carols every Friday from Nov. 29-Dec. 20 in front of ‘the Bean.’ The echoes of their voices while the Millennium Tree sparkles near is a magical experience. It’s also another free activity that will make your season that much brighter.

Christmas Vacation Pop Up Bar

The “Griswold’s” Pop-Up bar just opened Sunday Nov. 17 in Wrigleyville in what is usually Houndstooth Saloon, 3369 N. Clark St. This is paying homage to the iconic–and one of my all time favorite Christmas movies–Christmas Vacation. According to NBC, visitors will get to see Cousin Eddie’s RV, sit in the Griswold’s family room, and even get to order Aunt Bethany’s jell-o. This looks like an absolute blast!

Olivia Deloian

Columbia Chicago '20

My name is Olivia Deloian and I'm a journalism major at Columbia College Chicago with a focus in News and Features. I'll be graduating in May! I'm currently a production intern with ABC 7's show Windy City Live! A former intern with ABC 7's Consumer I-Team, and NBC 5 Chicago's Investigative Team. I'm also a former staff reporter and editorial leader at the Columbia Chronicle. I have a passion for writing and telling important stories. I'm a self-proclaimed fashionista, and I could spend all day talking about music and movies, and of course The Bachelor. Ask me what I'm listening to today. "Doing what you love is freedom. Loving what you do is happiness." -Lana Del Rey
Melanie Medrano

Columbia Chicago '21

A music-enthused entertainment journalist who wants to share her voice with the world - one article at a time.