7 Things To Add To Your Winter Break Bucket List

Tis the seasons to be jolly! Winter Break is right around the corner, and here is what you can do in downtown Chicago. 

1. Ice Skating

Millennium Park’s ice skating rink is scheduled to be re-open for the season beginning November 18, 2016 through March 5, 2017. The rink opens at noon Monday through Friday, and on Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Ice skating is free to the public; however, if you do not have a pair of skates, the skate rental fees are $12. If you want to rent a locker, it will cost $1. For holiday hours and information about ice skating lessons, see the City of Chicago’s website.  

The skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park re-opens their venue during Late-November through March. There are free admissions, skate rentals are also $12, and the locker rentals are $2. For holiday hours and rules, click here. For more information about free holiday events at the Maggie Daley Park, click here and register for the events of your choice. 

2. The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Light Festival

This takes place on November 19, 2016. There will be a parade at downtown Chicago featuring Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse at 5:30 p.m. They will have a full lineup of activities starting 11 a.m. This is also the tree-lighting event for downtown Chicago. This year’s lineup is still to come, check out the Magnificent Mile’s website for updates. 

3. The Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier

This event takes place on December 2, 2016 and concludes on January 8, 2017. More information on general admission tickets are still to come. 

4. The Lincoln Park Zoo Lights

LP Zoo lights up its location beginning November 25, 2016 through January 1, 2017. For more information about their special events, check out their website here. I went in 2014, and it was flawless! Check out the photos for a glimpse of my experience. 

5. The CTA Holiday Train

You will be able to ride the train with Santa Claus, you can take photos with Santa at certain stops and days, the entire train is filled with Christmas decorations, and you get a free candy cane from Santa’s elves. Check out CTA’s website as they release the 2016 schedule. Check out the photos for a glimpse of my experience from 2015! 

6. The CTA Holiday Bus

At some of the stops, you can take a photo on the bus, and it usually runs from the beginning of December until December 23rd. As of right now, the CTA has not yet released their schedule for 2016, but you can find the schedule here when they release it.  

7. The Polar Plunge

The Polar Plunge is brought to you by the Special Olympics Committee. Reportedly, they invited the 28-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps to the event. So, this could be your chance to meet him in person and support a great cause! If you are interested in plunging, registration opens on November 28, 2016. If you are interested in attending the event, it will take place on March 5, 2017. 


Get excited for Winter Break 2016 and feel free to share some of your Winter Bucket List items!