Best Things To Do in Chicago in December

Since my hometown is only an hour outside of the city of Chicago, I have many Christmas memories that were made in the city. Some of my earliest memories include going Christmas shopping on the Magnificent Mile every year with family and friends. This area is decorated so well, that even window shopping is a fun time. My favorite stop has always been Macy’s because of the large, decorated window displays. It gets really crowded in this area during this time of the year, but sometimes that's part of the fun, as there are excited Christmas shoppers all around. 

There are so many things to do in Chicago in December, but I've put together some cheaper, fun things to do if you don't want to spend all of your gifting money!  

1. Christkindlmarket

This outdoor market in the Chicago Loop has become so popular around the holidays that it’s hard to imagine Chicago without it. The Christkindlmarket started as a German tradition but has now become a city-wide tradition open from November 16th to December 24th, 2018. There are many types of German food and drinks, as well as gifts from local vendors. I’ve been to the downtown location and the Wrigleyville one, which is smaller. At the more popular location downtown, they have a big heating tent with a bar and places to sit. Every year, they create a new souvenir mug for customers to take home with their hot cocoa. Other treats my family and friends have shared include their fried mini donuts and a fried dough cone filled with marshmallow fluff and chocolate. The best part? Admission is always FREE! 

2. CTA Holiday Train

The brightly lit 'L' Holiday Train starts to run on select weekdays and over the weekends before Christmas in the city. A single ride ticket is $2.50 or a day pass is $10 so you can use the L to get around the city all day. It has peppermint-scented passenger coaches, pulling Santa in his sleigh on the last train car. At certain stops, train conductors dressed in elf costumes take photos of kids with Santa and hand out candy canes. Throughout the ride, holiday music plays loudly in the cars. Everything in the train cars is decorated including the seats and more candy canes are handed out to passengers. I've ridden in it twice and it is a must if you are visiting Chicago during this time. Check the CTA website for a current schedule.

3. Ice Skating at Millennium Park

You'll feel like you're in a Christmas movie by ice skating at Millennium Park! The rink is open November 16th through March 10th, 2019. Since you probably won't have ice skates with you, they are available to rent at the park for $10. Of all the affordable things to do in Chicago during December, ice skating at Millennium Park is one of the most exciting! 

Image Credit: 1, 2