Although summers in Chicago are pretty spectacular, the holiday season is no slouch. While it does get colder and gloomier, the city hosts some pretty amazing events designed to bring out the holiday cheer in everyone.
The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
This unique event starts with a family-friendly lineup of activities on Friday from 4 p.m. and Saturday starting at 11 a.m. Lights Festival Lane in Pioneer Court (401 N. Michigan Ave.) features live music, a visit with Santa Claus, themed activities, and treats and offers from Mag Mile businesses. Free concerts and meet and greets take place too – the headliner this year is Cody Simpson. Then, at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, the grand Tree-Lighting Parade goes down Michigan Avenue, as Grand Marshals Mickey and Minnie Mouse light up the Magnificent Mile from Oak Street to Wacker Drive. Fireworks end the event at 6:55 p.m.
City of Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
This year’s official tree lighting at Millennium Park will be the 105th! Taking place near the Bean at Michigan Ave. and Washington St., this event features a 60-foot evergreen tree and plenty of holiday fun. The action begins at 6 p.m. and the actual tree lighting takes place at 6:30 p.m. This year, “Hamilton” star Miguel Cervantes acts as emcee. Naturally, admission is free.
The McDonalds Thanksgiving Parade
Progressing on State St. from Congress to Randolph, this exciting parade features hundreds of marching bands, inflatable balloons, unforgettable performances, and holiday cheer! If you can’t make it in person, you can watch it on TV, but you won’t want to miss out as long as you’re not cooking Thanksgiving dinner! Event runs from 8-11 a.m.
The Christkindlmarket Chicago
Inspired by the 16th century Christmas market in Nuremberg, Germany, this open-air European tradition brings international flair and local excitement to your Chicago holidays. Do some shopping for handmade gifts, eat some sweet and savory foods, watch crafts being made! You can now catch Chicagoland’s German-inspired holiday marketplace at Daley Plaza and Naperville.
Christmas Around the World and Holidays Of Light at the MSI
The Museum of Science and Industry is always a great option for winter in Chicago because it’s warm and fun and you learn things too. But around Christmas it’s even better because of the annual holiday event, featuring a four-story Grand Tree surrounded by 50 displays representing holiday traditions from all over the world. Holiday performances take place throughout the season.
Of course, there’s plenty of other fun to be had in Chicago during the holiday season. See if you can get a ride on the CTA Holiday Train, or look at Macy’s windows and enjoy Lightscape on State Street! Visit Lincoln Park Zoo for ZooLights. Get yourself over to Navy Pier for its annual winter playground, which opens on 11/29 in 2018. Go skating at the McCormick-Tribune Rink and Maggie Daley Park’s Skating Ribbon.
Count on your local movers, who know how Chicago works in winter and all year long!
At Elite Moving & Storage, we’re proud to be the best movers in one of the greatest cities in the country. We love this town, and we hope that if you’re looking for cheap local movers or affordable movers that can carry you into or away from the Chicago area, you’ll hire us!