Christmas in Chicago

Celebrate Christmas in Chicago with light displays, holiday theater and more festive events.

Millennium Park Christmas tree
Photograph: Shutterstock

No matter what's happening in the world, winter in Chicago is still going to be cold and the Christmas displays and celebrations throughout the city are bound to be festive. Many annual holiday events are adapting to our new socially-distanced reality, including the beloved Christkindlmarket, which will sell its wares online this year. You may have to sip hot mugs of glühwein at home, but you can still enjoy twinkling outdoor light displays, ice skating and a Christmas tree museum exhibition before New Year's Eve arrives. Here's how you can celebrate Christmas in Chicago with the appropriate amount to cheer.

When is Christmas?

Christmas always falls on December 25th. But in 2020, the exact date will be Friday, December 25, 2020.

Christmas in Chicago

ZooLights returns with paid admission
News

ZooLights returns with paid admission

Financial strain and capacity limitations lead to this year's ticketed event.

Lightscape is back at the Chicago Botanic Garden
News

Lightscape is back at the Chicago Botanic Garden

A 110-foot tunnel of lights is the centerpiece of this holiday display.

Christkindlmarket won’t set up in Daley Plaza
News

Christkindlmarket won’t set up in Daley Plaza

The holiday market will be an online-only affair in 2020.

Chicago is searching for the perfect Christmas tree
News

Chicago is searching for the perfect Christmas tree

Know of a 45-foot-tall spruce somewhere near the city?

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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 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.

The 50 best Christmas films
Movies

The 50 best Christmas films

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

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