’Tis the season—almost. The Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon and McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park are both set to open for business on Friday, November 17—the same day the city’s official Christmas tree will be lit at Michigan Avenue and Washington Street in the 104th annual ceremony.
Bring your skates to hit the rink around noon or come back at 6pm to see the hand-selected tree all lit up. The lighting will be accompanied by an entertainment lineup to be announced in early November.
The tree lighting is just the kickoff. Millennium Park’s calendar is full of fun, free festivities to welcome winter. Don't miss Caroling at Cloud Gate, the part-concert, part-sing-along series Fridays at 7pm from November 24 to December 15 (weather permitting).
If singing isn’t your thing, the Art Institute of Chicago’s annual tradition, the Wreathing of the Lions, takes place on November 24. Those giant lion statues on the museum steps will get wrapped in wreaths for wintertime. The ritual will be followed by arts and crafts inside, perfect for the kids.
The Skating Ribbon and the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink will be open (weather permitting) Mon–Thu noon–8pm, Fri noon–10pm, Sat 10am–10pm, Sun 10am–8pm (the rink stays open till 9pm on Sundays); check online for special holiday hours. Admission is free to both, with skate rental available for $12 Mon–Thu and $14 Fri–Sun and holidays.