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Millennium Park Christmas tree
Photograph: Shutterstock

December 2021 events calendar for Chicago

Find the best holiday activities in Chicago, including free things to do, and picks from theater, art and music

By Zach Long and Emma Krupp

Despite the cold, darkness and snow, December is undoubtedly one of the most wonderful months in Chicago—and there are still plenty of ways to ring in the season safely this year. Celebrate the holidays  with twinkling displays of Christmas lights in Chicago, towering public trees and other festive outdoor events, or test out your skills on a Chicago ice skating rink. Want to get in on the festivities from the comfort of your couch? The city's beloved Christkindlmarket has been canceled, but you can sip hot chocolate and snack on spiced nuts at home via the market's online store. Pair that with a screening of a holiday classic presented by Chicago theaters and you've got yourself a perfect December evening in. And we didn't forget about New Years: Instead of heading to a big party this year, try ordering in with some top-notch takeout and to-go cocktails. It's the last month of the year, so make the most of the remaining days by filling them with the best things to do in Chicago this December.

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