Chicago Holiday Events & Activities Open in 2020
Not only is winter one of the most beautiful times of the year in Chicago, but it’s also one of the most fun. In a city that’s known for its pop-up bars, stellar restaurants, and holiday spirit, the Chicago holiday event season promises a revival despite the pandemic. While it will look much different this year, with most events needing to be very safe, Chicago has promised us some safe fun this winter to look forward to. Here are some of the best events happening in the Chicagoland area during the winter season.
Chicago Botanic Garden Lightscape
Selling out its debut season last year, the Chicago Botanic Garden Lightscape offers an epic light show to celebrate the holiday season. The Chicago Botanic Garden is one of the most popular destinations any time of year, and to see it decked out in lights is a one of a kind experience. They require face masks, limiting capacity, and keeping the entire event outdoors for your safety. Visitchicagonorthshore.com says to come out and “ Bask in the glow of thousands of twinkling lights in favorites like the Cathedral of Light and new delights you’ve never seen before.” They also recommend that you boo early as they are expecting to sell out again this year. Now — January 3, 2021, Chicago Botanic Garden — 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL. Event link
Let it Shine Lightshow
Wanting to see a light show without getting out of the car? The Let It Shine Lightshow in Northbrook is hosting a touchless, safe, family light show that you can drive through and enjoy from your car. The show will let you be “immersed into a symphony of sight and sound in a wonderland of displays, synchronized to holiday classics from the comfort of their own car.” The show is open rain, (snow) or shine and will run Now — January 9, 2021. Located at the Northbrook Court Mall — 1515 Lake Cook Rd, Northbrook, IL. Event link
Art on the Mart
The Merchandise Mart building is hosting a holiday show after taking the summer off. According to Timeout.com, a “25-story-tall video installation that takes over the side of the Merchandise Mart is returning in time for the holidays, filling the building’s historic facade with vibrant colors and moving images. A new 30-minute program will feature animated production images from The Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker set to Tchaikovsky’s festive score as well as works from the Art Institute of Chicago’s “Monet and Chicago” and “Bisa Butler: Portraits” exhibitions.”
This thrilling 30-minute program is perfect for bringing your household to if you are hoping to be safe but also experience the Holidays as you have always been able to. They are running a show at 7 and 7:30 pm every evening through the end of December. 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago IL, 60654. Event link
A Christmas Carol: An Audio Play
The Goodman theatre downtown is known for being a one of a kind theatre that performs the classics too. Since their yearly production of the Christmas Carol has been canceled due to COVID, they recorded the production which is available to be listened to for free all December long. You can watch a preview video for the production at goodmantheatre.org, and watch out there for the audio play to drop. Event link
Ice Skating at Maggie Daley Park
Quickly becoming a Chicagoan favorite, the newly built Maggie Daley Ice Skating rink is a beautiful and unique place to have some winter fun. Almost entirely outside, you can rent skates or bring your own and ride along with the twists and turns of the cool rink. This year is only different than last because a reservation is needed in advance to attend. Admission is free, but skate rentals are $16-$20. Open now — Jan 3, 2021. Maggie Daley Park in Millennium Park, Chicago, IL. Event link
City Of Chicago Christmas Tree
Everyone’s favorite Chicago Holiday activity is going out and watching the massive 45-foot tree get lit up in Millenium Park. This year the lighting of the tree ceremony won’t take place as usual, but the tree will be there none the less and citizens can see the “ 45-foot blue spruce from a Morgan Park family—that remains on display until the beginning of the new year. The larger-than-life attraction is adorned with twinkling lights and crowned with an illuminated star. Spectators can check out the festive tree near Washington Street and Michigan Avenue through Sunday, January 7, 2021”. Event link
While the holidays in Chicago won’t take place as they have in years past, the community is pushing through and holding safe and fun events that can get you out of the house and experience all the things you love about a Chicago winter.