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

Where to see dazzling Christmas lights in Chicago
Things to do

Where to see dazzling Christmas lights in Chicago

Find some twinkling bulbs near you.

Where to see the CTA Holiday Train
News

Where to see the CTA Holiday Train

Unfortunately, no passengers will be allowed on the festive fleet this year.

The best holiday pop-ups in Chicago
Things to do

The best holiday pop-ups in Chicago

Take some cheerful photos or shop local goods at these pop-up events.

The best holiday films set in Chicago, ranked
Movies

The best holiday films set in Chicago, ranked

Chicago is a popular setting for seasonal cinema.

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17 restaurants offering Christmas
News

17 restaurants offering Christmas

Too busy wrapping gifts? Let these local spots do the cooking.

15 amazing holiday gifts made in Chicago
Shopping

15 amazing holiday gifts made in Chicago

Shop local when you're searching for special gifts this season.

Virtual holiday performances to watch this winter
Theater

Virtual holiday performances to watch this winter

Get your Nutcracker fix by logging on to a Zoom conference.

The best ice skating rinks in Chicago
Things to do

The best ice skating rinks in Chicago

Outdoor rinks are still welcoming a limited number of skaters this year.

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Where to find mulled wine and hot cocktails to go
News

Where to find mulled wine and hot cocktails to go

Nothing warms you up quite like a hot beverage.

You can book a ‘Home Alone’ experience at this hotel
News

You can book a ‘Home Alone’ experience at this hotel

Yes, a cheese pizza is included.

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.

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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.

Things to do outdoors this winter
Things to do

Things to do outdoors this winter

Don't let the cold and snow keep you cooped up in your apartment.

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.

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Event calendars

December events calendar
Things to do

December events calendar

January events calendar
Things to do

January events calendar