The Chi’s Winter Hot Spots

‘Tis the season to kick it with friends and the fam. Chicago is filled with fun activities year-round, but it only gets better during the holiday season. There’s no such thing as not having anything to do or anywhere to go in this city. Some places don’t even charge for entry. So if you’re tired of being stuck in the house, let me help you out with a few festive places to visit before this holiday season is over.

Ice Skating @ Millennium Park

For the past 18 years, the Hilton has presented us with ice skating in Millennium Park. The skating fun doesn’t come to an end until March 8, 2020. It’s free and open to the public. There are even times allotted for skating lessons if you need a little help. Although skating doesn’t cost, you might want to bring a few extra dollars to pay for rental skates ($10 – $15) and skate sharpening ($9) as well as locker rentals ($1 / 4 quarters) if needed.

*Price: $FREE.99

Lincoln Park ZooLights / Holiday Market @ Lincoln Park Zoo

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo. You’ll be able to enjoy activities such as cookie decorating, Ferris wheel riding, and yoga classes under the 2.5 million lights. More activities and dates are listed on Lincoln Park Zoo’s website under the “ZooLights” tab.

*Price: $3 per ticket / $27 for 10 tickets / $51 for 30 tickets

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Christmas Around the World @ Museum of Science & Industry

MSI is an interesting place to visit year-round with all of its different exciting exhibits, but it gets even better during the winter when Christmas Around the World is brought back again for the season. You’ll not only get to enjoy the aesthetically pleasing trees and decorations, but you’ll also be learning about the decorations that are representative of other countries and cultures’ Christmas traditions.

*Price: $12.95 for children (ages 3 – 11) / $21.95 for adults (ages 12+)

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Winter Wonderfest @ Navy Pier

Navy Pier is one of Chicago’s most visited and loved sites, especially when Winter Wonderfest returns every winter. Some of the exciting festivities include indoor ice skating, inflatable rides, and a festive carousel. You can even save money by purchasing more tickets.

*Price: $10 – $14 for children under 42” and seniors / $20 – $28 for general (prices vary by date)

Wndr Museum

Come visit this interactive museum that is fun for all ages. This year’s theme is Tangible and Intangible and is made up of four rooms filled with amazing content. For more information about the museum check out this TSL article and visit the museum’s website.

Price: Tickets are $32 (+ tax) per person. Kids ages 2 and under are free.

Chicago Botanic Garden Lightscape @ Chicago Botanic Garden

Walking along this mile-long path, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful lights and sounds. Trees and tunnels alike will glow while songs of the season are played. You can even toast marshmallows over a fire to keep warm. It looks like no garden you’ve ever seen before.

Price: $FREE.99 for children under 3 / $17 – $25 for adults / $8 – $13 for children (prices vary by date)

Nevermore Park

Artist Hebru Brantley allows visitors to experience a day in the life of his characters Flyboy and  Lil Mama through this 6,000 foot space drenched in creativity and imagination. This park is open until Dec. 29th. For more information visit their website.

*Price: $28 per person

So when someone in your family or friend group says there’s nothing to do, just pull up this article and grab the car keys. Have a happy and safe holiday and make sure you go out and enjoy what the city has to offer.


By Cierra Lemott, Senior, Brooks College Prep

Instagram & Snapchat: @cece.kodak

Written by Cierra Lemott

I'm a professional procrastinator and my hobbies include sleeping, eating, and Netflix binging.

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