Too cold outside? Navy Pier brings all of the winter fun indoors, filling its gigantic 170,000-square-foot Festival Hall with a regulation-size Alpine ice skating rink, a holiday beer garden, kiddie train rides, Santa’s Village and a gift market. The centerpiece of Light Up the Lake (which replaces Navy Pier's Winter Wonderfest) is a collection of oversized light sculptures, including a giant Teddy Bear, 25-foot-tall deer, a 60-foot light tunnel and 40-foot tree. Boasting more than 600,000 lights, Navy Pier claims that it's "the area's largest indoor lights show." Plus, each Light Up the Lake ticket includes a ride on Navy Pier's 200-foot Centennial Wheel—don't worry, all of the gondolas are fully enclosed and heated!
Welcome to 2022! January might not be the most exciting month our city has to offer, but you'll find there are still plenty of things to do this winter in Chicago if you know where to look. Catch the final days of Christmas lights in Chicago (they're still pretty, even when the holidays have passed) before they shut down for the season, and get some fresh winter air when you take a spin around the best ice skating rinks the city has to offer. If you'd rather stay inside, turn your attention to exhibitions at Chicago museums—the Art Institute's Barbara Kruger show runs until the end of the month, for instance—or treat yourself to a day of relaxation at a nearby spa. Plus, watch for the in-person return of iconic January events like the Polar Plunge, which sends brave jumpers for a dip into the icy waters of Lake Michigan. Ready to welcome a new year? Check our list of the best things to do in Chicago this January.
RECOMMENDED: Events calendar for Chicago in 2022