Sew Cute Holiday: What to do in Chicago for the Holidays!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Here is a snapshot of me at Illuminations at the Morton Arboretum!

Everyone really seemed to enjoy my post Instagram-able Chicago restaruants worth the hype post from this summer. So..... I decided to create a guide on all of the best things to do in Chicago for Christmas and the holidays! 

I've lived in the Chicagoland area, (aka the South West suburbs) my entire life. I grew up going into the city for the holidays and doing all sorts of activities and traditions. Chicago is a major tourist destination during the holidays, so I wanted to round-up all of my favorite holiday traditions, plus just fun things you should do while in the city for Christmas time! 

Shop on the Magnificent Mile | Basic is as basic does, but the Magnificent Mile is seriously the best place to shop in Chicago if you are looking for big stores like J.Crew, Nordstrom, and more. Plus there is so much holiday cheer down Michigan Ave. There are lights, fun window displays, and so much more! 

Visit Macy's State Street & the Walnut Room | Going to Macy's State Street has been a tradition in my family since we were little kids. Of course, if you know anything about Chicago you know that Macy's State Street was originally Marshall Fields (RIP (can someone bring back Marshall Fields okay thanks)). We used to go to Marshall Fields every year to eat in the Walnut Room, take a picture with Santa, and to pick out ornaments in their Christmas section. Although it just isn't the same for us, because it is now Macy's, there is still all the same magical traditions at Macy's! You can eat at the Walnut room and see the most amazing tree in Chicago. Each year it is a different theme so it is worth going back year after year. To get the best view of the tree head up to the 8th floor where there is a viewing area of the tree. You can also get great pictures up there! Many of our past Christmas card pictures are from there. At the Walnut Room they also used to have cute little glass dated mugs which we would get each year. I'm not sure if they still do this but it is worth asking! Also, get the Frango Mint Pie, you will thank me later. But, if they got rid of it revolt and walk right out of there. Macy's has also continued the Christmas window tradition that Marshall Fields started. So, be sure to walk around the entire store to see all of the windows! Lastly, be sure to pick up an ornament from their home decor Christmas section. It is quite magical. Overall, Macy's on State Street has a TON of Christmas activities, whether you are an adult or you are brining your kiddos along.

Illuminations at the Morton Arboretum | This year and last year my family and I headed to the Morton Arboretum to see their Christmas lights display. At Illuminations you walk through the grounds at Morton Arboretum and see a wide variety of light displays, and some even include music! Although it can get very cold, it is still fun to see all of the lights and to experience all of the Christmas magic (of course while you are freezing your butt off). But, it's all part of the experience right? 

Lincoln Park Zoo Lights | Let's go to the zoo! During the holidays Lincoln Park Zoo does a huge Christmas light display. Although I have never been to the Lincoln Park Zoo during Christmas it is for sure on my bucket list. 

Brookfield Zoo Lights | Similar to the Lincoln Park Zoo Lights the Brookfield Zoo in the suburbs puts on a similar showcase of Christmas lights. This year my mom and I tried to go to the Brookfield Zoo Lights on the first weekend. BIG MISTAKE PEOPLE! Although we are still planning on going my biggest advice is to get there early. Arrive at around 2pm, 1pm to be super safe, and see the animals during the day before the lights turn on, then stay for the lights. We sat in traffic for an hour + trying to get in and ended up getting turned away from every parking lot. So, just plan ahead if you are planning a trip out to Brookfield Zoo Lights.


See a Christmas play or show | If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen that I went at saw White Christmas downtown Chicago. This was a great show to see, but there are a ton of other shows you can see in honor of the holidays! My family used to see the Nutcracker every single year. Be sure to check out Broadway in Chicago's website to get more information on shows that are playing while you may be visiting the city. 

Visit Navy Pier | Navy Pier also has a ton of fun activities for the holidays! Be sure to check out their website for specifics of dates and times of their activities. Side note: If you will be in Chicago on NYE Navy Pier does an amazing firework show! I've gone in the past and it is so cool, and magical. 

Grab coffee at Goddess & the Baker | Goddess & the Baker is my favorite coffee place in Chicago. If you need to warm up find one of their multiple locations and grab a coffee! Not to mention, they have some amazing treats as well. From Christmas chocolates to cookies they have a little bit of everything if you need something for your sweet tooth. 

Get some Garrett's | I know, another basic AF thing to do in Chicago, but Garrett's popcorn really is amazing. Get the Chicago mix, which is cheese and carmel popcorn. If you aren't from Chicago it sounds absolutely disgusting, but I promise it is amazing. Plus they have fun holiday tins that make great gift giving ideas because who doesn't want to un-wrap FOOD! 

Go ice skating | There are a ton of places to go ice skating in the city. But, going near the Bean in Millennium Park is always the most picturesque option. 

Walk around Millennium Park | Although this may be a chilly option, Millennium Park has some great festive activities going on during the season! Plus it is an iconic area of Chicago that is worth the trip. 

Visit the lions outside of the art museum | The lions in front of the Art Institute of Chicago get decked out for Christmas. Be sure to snap a photo of them while you are wandering around the Millennium Park area. 

Christkindlmarket | The Christkindlmarket now has a ton of different locations! So whether you are downtown Chicago, at Oakbrook, or even Naperville you can visit this Christmas Market. My boyfriend and I have recently gone to the Naperville market and we munched on tasty treats and saw so many beautiful ornaments and decorations. The Chicago market is the largest, but it's nice to be able to see one in the suburbs if you aren't planning on heading into the city. The highlights of the Naperville market for me were the pretzels, apple cider donuts, and the cinnamon covered almonds. YUM! 

See a classic Christmas film in theaters | My mom and I always go see a classic Christmas movie in theaters during the holidays. The Paramount Theater in Aurora and the Tivoli in Downers Grove do showings of old Christmas movies during the holidays. I'm sure there are other theaters closer to the city that do the same! Check out movie theaters that show old Christmas movies like White Christmas or Christmas Vacation for the something fun and different to do during the holidays.

Grab a Christmas treat | In Chicago there are so many Christmas treats in every store practically. My favorite Christmas treat I've had this season was Sprinkle's Cupcakes gingerbread cupcake. SO GOOD! Check out their shop on Walton to get the holiday sampler pack. For $5 you get three mini holiday flavored cupcakes including red velvet, gingerbread, and chocolate peppermint. If Sprinkle's isn't your cup of tea check out Magnolia Bakery on State Street for their holiday selection of cupcakes.

This is just a small list of all of the amazing things you can do during the holidays in Chicago! Do you have any Christmas in Chicago traditions with your family? Let me know in the comments below! 
XOXO 
Miranda 
  

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