Christmas in Chicago

Make the holiday season in Chicago bright with Christmas markets, ice skating, concerts and more seasonal fun

Photograph: Neal O'Bryan

Winter in Chicago may be cold (and filled with snow and slush), but Christmas in Chicago makes it worth the extra layers you might have to wear. The period between Thanksgiving and the New Year's Eve is filled with heartfelt traditions, from tree-lighting ceremonies to wreathings and department store window displays. It's the only time of year when you can sip a mug of steaming spiced wine beneath the Picasso statue, visit the Walnut Room tree at Macy's and sing carols in front of the Bean. There's something undeniably special about Christmas in Chicago, so we've assembled a variety of ways to celebrate the season with the appropriate amount of cheer.

Best selling Christmas events

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

Sat Nov 17 - Sun Dec 30

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The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker

Sat Dec 1 - Sun Dec 30

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5 out of 5 stars
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Holiday Lights Helicopter Tour
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Holiday Lights Helicopter Tour

Sat Dec 1 - Tue Dec 31

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Christmas in Chicago

The 10 best things to do during the holidays in Chicago
Things to do

The 10 best things to do during the holidays in Chicago

Make it a classic Chicago Christmas

The best holiday pop-up bars in Chicago
Bars

The best holiday pop-up bars in Chicago

Festive pop-up bars that are bursting with Christmas cheer are taking over the city

Shop at these Chicago Christmas markets
Shopping

Shop at these Chicago Christmas markets

Chicago's seasonal market circuit makes it easy to find gifts for everyone on your list

Experience holiday magic at Christkindlmarket Chicago
Things to do

Experience holiday magic at Christkindlmarket Chicago

Grab a mug of Glühwein, peruse the handmade gifts and get acquainted with Chicago's favorite holiday market

Twinkling photos from ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo
News

Twinkling photos from ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo

Nothing beats walking throughout a winter landscape covered in tiny, glimmering lights

Where to cut down your own Christmas tree
Things to do

Where to cut down your own Christmas tree

Take a short day trip from Chicago to chop down your own perfect Christmas tree

Chicago's best gift shops
Shopping

Chicago's best gift shops

Our favorite go-to gift shops, stocked with clever items for any budget that are sure to please

The 50 best Christmas films
Movies

The 50 best Christmas films

We’re making a list, checking it twice, of the best Christmas films of all time

The best toy stores in Chicago
Kids

The best toy stores in Chicago

These toys aren't just for kids!

Event calendars

November events calendar
Things to do

November events calendar

December events calendar
Things to do

December events calendar