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The holidays are coming up and this whole year we have all had to celebrate the holidays differently. This time around is no different and it is important to continue staying safe. It is still nice to get out of your house and feel some type of normalcy. Here are five ways to celebrate with your family. friends, or partner in the Chicago-land area.


Activity Ideas 

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1) Drive Thru Light Shows- This idea is awesome and a concept I never heard of before. A lot of businesses have been adapting to the new guidelines set in place, so if we have to drive thru restaurants, why not light shows!? It actually sounds way better than walking around when it is freezing. For most of the light shows, you pay a one time fee, depending on the day, with peak days being more expensive.

Aurora Festival of Lights 

Location: Aurora, IL

Sunday-Friday 5pm-9pm, Friday-Saturday 5pm-10pm

Let It Shine Drive Thru Light Show

Location: Northbrook court, located 25 miles from Chicago 

If you buy tickets you also qualify for discounts at some stores https://www.northbrookcourt.com/en/events/let-it-shine-34708.htm 

$29 Weekdays, 39.99 weekends 

Weekdays 4:30-10pm, weekends 4:30-11pm


Illumination Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum

Location:  Lisle, IL 

$39 peak night, $29 standard night for members; $49 peak night, $39 standard night for guests


Zoo-lights Lincoln Park

Location: Chicago, IL

$5 Admission or free nights will be available on Nov. 24 and Dec. 9, 17, 21 and 29

4-10 p.m until January 3rd


Brookfield Zoo's Holiday Magic

Location: Brookfield, IL

$25 adults $18 children (3-11) Free Monday and Tuesdays in December thru the 22nd 

Friday through Sunday, November 27-29, Wednesday through Sunday, December 2-6, 9-13, 16-20, Saturday through Thursday, December 26-31  


[bf_image id="qduc25-eedxh4-6zc5fz"] 2) Millennial Tree

While their tree lighting ceremony was virtual, you can see the tree in person, located near Washington Street and Michigan Avenue, up until January 7th.


3) Museum of Science and Industry

MSI has an annual Around the World exhibit, showcasing how people celebrate Christmas differently. From now until December 24th, they are doing live tours of the exhibit. I have never been in person so I am kind of bummed I won’t be able to go this year, but I am happy to still get a look. https://www.msichicago.org/explore/whats-here/exhibits/christmas-around-the-world/

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4) Watch Newly Released Christmas Movies: 


The Holidate

The Princess Switch: Switched Again

Operation Christmas Drop

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

Dolly Parton's Christmas On a Square

Christmas Chronicles part 2 


Happiest Season

Also, side note- I wanted to include Hanukkah movies but there are actually zero on Netflix. One list suggested The Boy in the Striped Pajamas...so yeah. Netflix has a Holiday movie section but it is all Christmas related.

[bf_image id="xjxn4g48ws8tjbscr6ctksw"] 4) Make Hot Cocoa Bombs

I am actually obsessed with these hot coco bombs and my Instagram algorithm definitely knows that. I first saw them on dippedby_gaby’s Instagram who makes both hot chocolate and Abuelita bombs. So you can either buy from her or make them yourself with friends, family, or your partner. Then enjoy together and watch some of those movies above!

Recipe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgSeH5nNB_w 


Maya is currently a Senior at University of Illinois at Chicago. She is majoring in Integrated Health Studies with the goal of becoming a genetic counselor. She joined HER and is excited for all the article she will create. She enjoys staying connected with pop culture and all the new restaurants.
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