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News / City Life

Things to do on Christmas if you're not celebrating Christmas

Photo: Erica Gannett Sun Wah

Chicago, along with the rest of the country, shuts down on Christmas Day. Shops, museums and offices all clear out as folks take their annual Yuletide sabbatical. 

The chunk of the population that does not celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ are given the opportunity to explore a quiet and empty city. From skating at the Maggie Daley Ice Ribbon to gorging on some of the city's best Chinese food, here are 10 things to do on Christmas if you're not partaking in the holiday.

See the city from up high: The Willis Tower Skydeck and 360 Chicago at the John Hancock Building are both open on Christmas Day. 

Binge watch movies on Netflix: There's nothing wrong with using a paid holiday to catch up on all of the movies that you've lied about watching. Check out our 100 best movies on Netflix right now for inspiration.

Ice skate without the crowd: The wait can get pretty long at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park and the Maggie Daley Ice Ribbon. Christmas Day provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy a clear stretch of ice.

See some pretty flowers: The Lincoln Park Conservatory and the Garfield Park Conservatory are both open on Christmas, each with their own flower show. 

Watch the Bulls destroy the Lakers: The Bulls are hosting the Lakers at the United Center, just two weeks after Kobe Bryant surpassed Michael Jordan on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Judging by the Lakers' season, Bryant won't surpass Jordan's six championships.

Lincoln Park Zoo: Granted, Zoo Lights might be closed on Christmas Day, but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying the spectacle of animals in captivity.

Chinese food: Chinese food has long been a reliable alternative to Christmas Day festivities. Make a trip to Chinatown or just order take out from one of the best Chinese restaurants in your area. 

See a movie: There is no shortage of new movies to see on Christmas Day. After way too much controversy, The Interview will be screened at the Hollywood Boulevard Cinemas in Woodridge. If you've already seen the other five Lord of the Rings films, then you might as well see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies just to get it over with.

Channel your inner Kubrick: The Music Box Theatre is screening a Stanley Kubrick double-feature of The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut

Go to Skokie for Jewmongous!Former Rockapella star Sean Altman is bringing his "unkosher comedy songs" in Jewmongous! to the Skokie Theatre on Christmas Day. If you're looking for some good Christmas puns (like "Reuben The Hook-Nosed Reindeer") then this is worth checking out.