Forum quorum: Favorite ways to celebrate the holidays in Chicago

Written by: Laura Baginski

Many of us parents like to plan (often to have our uncooperative children thwart those plans). And with the holidays upon us, there's so much to do in the city that you'll want to mark events on your calendar. What are the best things to do with kids during the holidays? One member posed that question on our main discussion forum, and our members had great suggestions.

Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Christkindlmarket (Nov. 20-Dec. 24): This German-style open-air holiday market in Daley Plaza is celebrating its 20th year. Get some gluwhein (warm mulled wine) in the back-by-popular-demand boot mugs, while the kids sip hot chocolate.
  2. CTA Holiday Train (through Dec. 23): Hop aboard a CTA train decked out with lights, music and more, and say hi to Santa, bravely riding on an open-air car even through the subway tunnels. The CTA also festoons some busses. 
  3. Wonderland Express at Chicago Botanic Garden (Nov. 27-Jan. 3): If your child likes trains, prepare for his or her mind to explode with joy as tiny electric trains wind through elaborate snow-covered scenes.
  4. Ice skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park (starts Nov. 14): Experience the second season of the twists and turns of Chicago's newest (and coolest) ice skating rink. 
  5. Christmas Around the World at Museum of Science and Industry (Nov. 19-Jan. 3): Volunteers from Chicago's ethnic communities decorate more than 50 trees to reflect their heritage and holiday traditions.
  6. Magnificent Mile Lights Parade (Nov. 21): Mickey and Minnie lead a raucous parade down Michigan Avenue, lighting the trees along the way.
  7. The Walnut Room at Macy's State Street (through Jan.): A holiday tradition for more than 100 years, the Walnut Room and its 45-foot-tall Christmas tree is something to see. Don't want to pay for a meal at the restaurant? You can check out the tree from the 8th floor.
  8. ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo (Nov. 27–29; Dec. 4–6, 11–23, 26–31; Jan. 1–3): It's free, it's gorgeous, it's a must. 
  9. Santa at the Shops at 900 N. Michigan Ave. (Nov. 22-Dec. 24): A "naturally bearded" Santa, sitting on a throne in front of a giant Christams tree, will listen to all of your child's needs and wants. Each child gets a special gift.
  10. Illumination: Tree Lights at Morton Arbortetum (Nov. 20-Jan. 2): Beautifully lit-up trees respond to your voice and touch during a one-mile walk through 50 acres of woods. 
  11. A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre (Nov. 14-Dec. 27): Ebenezer Scrooge has been saying "Bah humbug!" at the Goodman for 38 years.

Which must-do holiday traditions are missing from this list? Tell us in the comments!

Posted on November 12, 2015 at 12:43 PM