I look forward to December in Chicago every year; not because I like the cold and snow but because of all of the activities packed into the month. There’s so much to do in the month of December with many events being free or low cost so most can take advantage of them! Here’s a list of can’t miss activities happening during December in the city!
Inspired by the Christkindle Market in Nuremberg, Germany, this free outdoor market takes place in Daley Plaza. Explore German food, drinks, shopping, and entertainment thru December 24th. You can also catch the market in Naperville. Entry into the Christkindle Market is FREE.
One-of-a-Kind Show at The Mart
Browse hundreds of handmaid one-of-a-kind items from over 600 artists at The Mart December 6-9th! Tickets start at $12 or choose from ticket packages starting at $18. Pro Tip: If you sign up for emails from some of the featured artists you can score free tickets. Shoppers will have the opportunity to meet and engage with participating artists to learn about them, their creative process, and their work while shopping art, fashion, jewelry, wood, photography, glass, furniture, home goods, pet products, bath & body, and so much more! Everything you’re looking for in one place!
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The One of A Kind Show kicked off its 4 day run today! It’s a shoppers paradise filled with unique finds from many local artists as well as artists from across the country; jewelry, fine art, accessories, clothing, food…you name it! It can be pretty overwhelming! I had planned to play it cool today but that went out the window at the first booth! Do you plan on attending? #flosfavorites #chicagogrammers #wcbclife #thursdaythings
Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon
Take in the skyline as you skate the ribbon at Maggie Daley Park. This family-friendly activity is always a highlight of winter in Chicago.
Art on The Mart
This free display happens Wednesdays-Sundays from 7-9pm. Hang out on the Chicago River Walk as the Merchandise Mart turns into the largest digital art projector in the world. Thirty-four projectors will showcase the works of four renowned contemporary artists during the 2-hour shows. The Mart spans two city blocks and is over 25 stories high, don’t miss this spectacular display
West Town Winter Fest’s Jolly Trolley
Hop on the Jolly Trolley to shop the Blocks of West Town during Winterfest on December 8th. Over 20 retailers will feature special promotions, one-of-a-kind items, and trunk sales. The guided tour lasts 3 hours, features all the shopping blocks and provides a “checked shopping bag” service, so you don’t have to worry about your gifts while you shop. Receive a $20 Gift Certificate when you purchase a $10 Jolly Trolley ticket. Adult beverages are provided during the trolley ride.
ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo
The one-of-a-kind experience offers fun, free, family-oriented festivities, and hundreds of dynamic displays all under the glow of 2.5 million lights. Zoolights is free entry.
Ride the Polar Express
Hop on board AMTRAK’s Polar Express taking off from Chicago’s Famous Union Station! This is the only time it’s acceptable to wear your pajamas in public, since guests are encouraged to come dressed in their PJs, lol. Each 3-hour memorable ride includes live entertainment, delicious hot chocolate, a cookie, and a keepsake.
Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderfest
Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier is an annual Chicago winter event, featuring 170,000 square feet of carnival rides, giant slides, holiday-themed activities, and Indoor Ice Skating Rink, and more.
Illumination: Tree Lights at Morton Aboretorum
Walk a mile long paved path amid a multitude of colors as interactive lighting effects highlight the beauty of trees in winter. Enjoy seasonal music, stare in amazement at the ever-changing, interactive lighting designs, and warm up by a crackling fire with a cozy drink or roast marshmallows for s’mores. Purchase tickets here.
Check Out the Winky Lux Experience
The WINKY LUX EXPERIENCE is a pop-up inside The Shops at Northbridge There are seven Instagrammable rooms waiting for you to let loose and get creative in. I think the guys enjoyed it just as much as us ladies. The tour is free but you may want to pick up some of Winky Lux’s cruelty-free beauty products while you’re there.
Navy Pier Fireworks
Take in the New Years Eve Fireworks Show over Lake Michigan on December 31st starting at 12 a.m. This event is free!